B2B Opportunity Costs: The Trade-Offs of Not Using Company Intelligence Today
People, time, and money are the driving forces behind today’s dial. There are many things on a company’s priority list that need looking after. Otherwise, it all might just go down. It is not unheard, nor uncommon for businesses to lay off people amidst hard times. Sometimes these impulsive moves might seem the best possible course of action, yet looking from another perspective will bring no light to further possibilities. One thing is certain though: when faced with many decisions — which seem equal in value — it becomes difficult to discern between them. After reading this article, I hope you will understand and put to practice the understanding of opportunity costs, especially in what regards your investments in company intelligence.
Opportunity cost is seemingly a phrase that should be appropriated by “corporate” language and thus widely overused. Yet, you don’t see the term appear repeatedly in business conversation and headlines, nor is it something you’d notice when overviewing a financial report. Opportunity cost determines the price you pay for choosing between the most-optimal alternative and your recourse.
Life, be it career or relationships, can be seen as a sum of events in which you either sought or offered value in some form or shape. Additionally, value is not a standardized notion therefore it is perceived differently by different people. Even in the same circumstances, two individuals may opt for contrasting things due to past and present influence — culture, value system, lack of information, desire. Most often we look for the greatest benefit to reap and the smallest price to pay. As such, the second-best option we have forsaken becomes the incurred opportunity cost.
Our world is not an endless pit of minerals. As we continue to exploit resources, their quantity diminishes and there is the risk of depletion. Accounting for scarcity is a fundamental term within economics.
If you have a computer, you know that every time you want to install software on it you will be greeted with a message saying “Do you really want to install this? There might be a risk.“ You are faced with two deciding buttons “accept/reject” — “yes/no”. Every time you are looking at making a decision, there is an invisible box above you named opportunity cost.
Another interpretation of opportunity cost would be abstinence from the next best available alternative. It is easy to choose when you are handy to all the possible information, but should there be some empty space suddenly the value/cost ratio becomes harder to appraise. This very situation of not always being part of the same level playing field leads to people looking into better decision-making skills.
In a mathematical perspective, opportunity cost comprises the following formula of a simple subtraction: return on your option minus the return on the best alternative equals opportunity cost. Keep in mind, that no matter the disparity between alternatives only the highest-value applies. For example, the opportunity cost of building a new office is the loss of income that a housing complex, gym, supermarket would have brought — whichever the highest.
The concept of “trade-off” is at the core of opportunity cost. The same entity is forbidden to have two states simultaneously in a timeline, thus we are forced by the world construct to choose one over the other.
Company intelligence vs opportunity cost of time and human resources
Time and human resources are the two prominent things making up the company’s treasure chamber. According to Yesware, the most prevalent cause of sales opportunities’ undoing is improper budget management and savagely cutting spending, especially marketing. Therefore ill-advised choices on appropriate distribution might affect your business’ bottom line, project deadline, and possible loss of opportunities.
Reaching the right people
Even award-worthy email homework, that was supposed to win over various leads who were having doubts, will leave you bitter if the email addresses you sent them to no longer exist. The same can be said about receiving a notification about the person you are trying to reach saying he/she doesn’t work here anymore or has been since moved in the hierarchy.
Accurate email addresses are the output of trustworthy business data providers. What would you rather choose: putting tremendous times into personalizing an email only to find out that due to obsolete data your performance indicators are going down, or watching every single email arrive at the desired destination?
No missed targets
As companies have issued remote work during the pandemic, most office phone numbers have become abandoned. Therefore, again you find yourself before the impasse of not getting the chance to reach out to the person you’ve been connecting with. Moreover, finding an alternative way requires that you had already invested prior identifying efforts or you had better get started now.
A company directory provides you with an environment containing every piece of information in one place. Here, opportunity cost has you selecting between: a) resources used to look up contact data and come across the probability of data poisoning and b) buying a subscription to a B2B company directory. This opportunity cost becomes even more clear to estimate in the usual working environment. However, considering these unprecedented times, access to the latest bits of data is more than welcome.
Readiness for each call
You have higher chances of converting a client and closing a deal if you’ve prepared diligently. But the space between good and sufficient is the amount of time invested. More calls or more emails are the pioneers of quantity and bringers of desperation. On the other hand, fewer conversations laden with high-quality interactions are the heralds of finesse. A sales agent will always be buried down under a stack of tasks to keep himself/herself up-to-date and this thorough research requires skills and hours.
An alternative is having the possibility of bringing up full company profiles of the people you are targeting in a matter of a few clicks.
According to HubSpot, in 2020 message personalisation has become the preferred tactic to increase engagement rates. Preparing for a call follows the same idea. The salesperson needs not waste time on curating data and can instead proceed to craft a better call conversation. Hence, more high-quality calls involving better personalisation, results and resource management.
Pitch-perfect sales pitch
Sales pitches do not follow a one size fits all formula. Each business faces various challenges that require a specific approach. Different pain points will want different features of the same solution and you have to display a degree of understanding for your own and client’s benefit. Employ empathy even if the deal is yet to be in the palm of your hands.
Business directories at the disposal of a sales rep can have him/her faster identify the necessary changes for the pitch to drive a better chance of converting. As such, more cold calls will move into the pipeline.
Robert Frost once explained opportunity cost as the road not taken. In our case, you would have turned your back on the missed conversations due to sales pitches missing the main point.
Support in facing challenges
Even if the pandemic hasn’t messed around with your supply chain, stakeholders’ decisions or hasn’t yet made you find ways to cope with the current economic situation as a whole, it is best to prepare for the worst case. If an unexpected event finds a weakness within your chain, you need to act fast.
B2B data directories are the pylons of support that can help you withstand the weight of any unfavourable event. By using the filters, you can segment potential business partners and other entities that would be of mutual help during challenging times. In this case, the opportunity cost is obtaining access to accurate company data versus slowing down your activity.
Efficiency of meetings
Sometimes meetings take the entire day of a worker without having any efficiency impact and only cause headaches. As the management sifts through who should or should have done that the entire day passes without getting to do the assigned tasks. Meetings can and should be run more efficiently. One way to do so is to provide substantial ideas, solutions, decision backed-up by accurate data.
If the failure of one of your main suppliers is the topic prognosed, then it makes sense to have readily data about what happened and possible alternatives to attenuate the effect on your company. Instead of waltzing into the meeting without any idea what to do next, you could employ a business intelligence platform and have a go by vertical, location, size and other criteria relevant to your issue. Knowing which company is active and having their contact details ready to start a negotiation will save you dozens of working hours.
All in all
These are just a few instances with day-to-day examples that should have you put more thought to the notion of opportunity cost in regards to company intelligence platforms. So, if you have arrived at the conclusion that a data provider is the highest-value opportunity, we have a freebie for you on how to choose the right one for you and your business.