New innovators: Connectors Marketplace
Connectors is a digital selling lead generation tool that allows companies to identify and engage with potential buyers at scale
Kevin Neary, founder of Connectors Marketplace, an advanced data analytics company based at NOVA, UCD’s new venture hub
“The modern buyer is socially connected, digitally driven and very mobile. For digital selling teams to be successful today, they must meet this modern buyer on their terms,” says Kevin Neary, founder of Connectors Marketplace, an advanced data analytics company based at NOVA, UCD’s new venture hub.
To help sales professionals “meet this modern buyer”, Neary’s company has developed a product called Connectors. It’s a digital selling lead generation tool that allows large and small companies to identify and engage with potential buyers at scale.
“By simply logging on to the Connectors website sales teams can run a keywords search and get instant access to lists of potential buyers at a price point of just €1 per lead, “ Neary says. “This is a massive improvement on traditional inbound marketing lead generation where it takes a significant amount of time and effort to generate leads. Another differentiator is that our product can access multiple sources – such as social networks, meet-up groups and online publications – for data and insights on buyers.”
Data science is a fundamental component of the current wave of digital transformation taking place across sectors such as health, banking, marketing, and customer support. Surprisingly enough, however, the sales industry has been slow to get in on the action, Neary says.
“Sales success has traditionally been considered a game of skill and luck. But with the rise of big data and predictive data analytics, sales leaders are realising that they must change gut feelings and educated guesses for processes that are repeatable, measurable and insightful,” says Neary whose background is in business development and software services.
“We felt it was time for the sales industry to join the digital party and saw it as our opportunity to create a market-changing disruptive technology. Predictive analytics leverages a variety of techniques, including statistical analysis, modelling, machine learning, and data mining, to enable us to better predict buyers.”
Neary founded Connectors Marketplace in 2010 to develop and sell a crowdsourcing product. In 2015, as a result of market research and watching emerging trends, the company decided to pivot. “We were having challenges with our original product around cost of sale and market fit,” Neary says. “We realised we needed a product that was easier to bring to market and this coincided with our identifying the gap to equip sales professionals with more effective tools in the digital transformation space.”
Connectors was developed over a 12-month period at a cost of €450,000 (self-funded) and launched in May of this year. It already has direct paying customers and is also working with a number of software companies on integration projects. The company has plans to launch a funding round in Q4 of this year and expects to double its current workforce of 15 over the next 18 months.
“The world’s top sales operations have started to evolve a new breed of sales teams and arm them with a new breed of tools that identify, connect and engage with multiple decision-makers across multiple digital channels simultaneously,” Neary says. “Connectors has been specifically developed to meet this emerging demand.”
Connectors Marketplace is an industry member of CeADAR, the national centre for applied data analytics, and its platform has been developed using proprietary algorithms, machine learning and natural language understanding. The product is aimed at sales directors who will typically buy it for their sales teams. It is currently being sold in Europe, the Middle East and Africa but the intention is to go global.
“There is no shortage of competition in the marketplace but we are a new category of data aggregator with proprietary technologies that provide instant access to high quality buyer profiles from hundreds of data sources. We expect this combination of strengths to keep us ahead of the game,” Neary says.