"If you only had four hours in a working day, what would you prioritize?" asks Josh Bowyer, CEO of Zint Technology. “With targets looming, we’re often too focused on doing things right rather than questioning if we’re doing the right things. The best sales teams prioritize being effective over being efficient. What 20% of your activities are generating 80% of your revenue?"
Based at Workspace's Salisbury House near Finsbury Circus, Zint is a new Prospect Relationship Management (PRM) platform helping to make sales teams more effective. Bowyer knows from experience the types of support that sales teams need. Before founding Zint, he worked in a sales position for 7 years at Global Advisory company CEB (now part of Gartner) before moving into the world of start-ups.
Bowyer saw a gap in the market for this kind of sales tool in the UK. "There are some great tools on the market, however those that focus on the UK have mostly been designed for Finance and Procurement teams, which is a totally different use-case," he says. He launched Zint with Co-founder Fraser Atkins in early 2018. Since then, they've brought on board over 70 private and public companies as clients and are looking to double their team by the end of the year.
Atkins, a graduate of the University of Cambridge and MIT, founded his first technology business through Y Combinator and was a member of the 2013 cohort of Entrepreneur First (EF), a technology accelerator based at Workspace’s Biscuit Factory in Bermondsey. The EF portfolio has taken over $300m in venture investment with backers including the founders of LinkedIn, DeepMind and the Workspace Group.
Rather than relying on purchased datasets, Zint analyses all of the open source data available on UK companies allowing sales teams to easily identify all of their ideal customers. The platform then provides insight to enable teams to connect with decision-makers in highly targeted ways. This includes rich context about the company model, it’s financial stability, business activities, strategy and also offers information about key decision makers.
"We're helping our customers accelerate revenues," says Bowyer. They do this by focusing on four things. First, Zint helps sales teams increase the number of qualified leads. Next, by improving the quality of the leads and offering more information to the sales team, the technology aims to increase both the win rate and the size of the opportunity. Finally, Zint enables teams to prioritize companies in buying mode which has helped customers to shorten their average sales cycle. "When you combine those four levers you have a multiplier effect, which can have a big impact on the bottom line," he adds.
The Co-founders' complementary experience meant rapid development; work began on Zint in January 2018 and a beta version was ready for testing in May. "I knew the products out there and where our strengths lay," says Bowyer. "Not long after we launched, we closed some pretty big deals and so from July onwards, we were in the black."
Zint is currently working with InXpress, a courier and parcel delivery service whose sales teams need to identify companies who regularly send parcels. "Selling to the SME space has always been a difficult task because information about these companies has traditionally been very opaque," says Bowyer.
Instead of trawling through Google and LinkedIn, InXpress sales teams can now use Zint to identify prospects in their local area, which they know have recently imported goods. "Their conversion rate is significantly higher," says Bowyer. "A recent case study from the group has shown an 80% increase in lead qualification"
Atkins leads the charge on technology. "Knowing our market so well has allowed us to develop at an astounding rate," says Bowyer. They have just launched another tool which allows customers to identify referral opportunities from existing companies. "It allows you to profile your existing client base to quickly surface every ideal company which is an easy referral away."
Zint has recently moved into Salisbury House, a grade II listed building between Moorgate and Liverpool St station. "Great views, nicely kept, and a good price," he says simply. They were one of the first occupants of their floor of Salisbury House and are looking forward to mingling with other businesses up on the roof terrace in the summer.
Bowyer is aware that time is precious; the team practice ‘time-boxing’ where they concentrate on specific tasks without allowing any distractions. Fittingly, the Zint sales team uses Zint themselves. It’s another way to maximize both their customers' time and their own. "We’re totally focused on winning the right kind of customers," says Bowyer. "Good customers do more than add to the bottom line. They stay with you, will refer you into new markets, and will often invest their own time to help you evolve and grow."
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