New Data Service Aims to Help Businesses Source Prospects

  • Mary Wisniewski
  • August 14, 2012
  • 0

Show me the — spending?

If a consumer’s transactions can indicate the likelihood of whether he gets a divorce, so too can commercial purchases reveal the likelihood of a business paying its bills.

So believes B2B payment and purchase data provider Cortera Inc., which is why the company announced a new service this week that hopes to help sales, marketing and finance executives choose which prospects to pursue, as well as identify their most valuable customers. To do so, Cortera provides users with businesses’ purchasing histories and spending futures data.

“We are looking at business risk based on what you buy,” Jim Swift, president and chief executive of Cortera, tells Bank Innovation.

Called B2B Purchase Insights, Cortera’s new subscription service tracks the risks in active and prospective commercial accounts through three main purchase categories: materials, operations and shipping. The data is more valuable then what businesses transitionally rely on — demographics and payment history — because purchase data is less lagging, Swift argues.

One specific use case of the service, according to Swift, is to assist sales teams in discovering the most desirable, i.e. high-value, customers. In other words, the service plays matchmaker to help show a user which business client he should want. The service pools together disparate commercial data points from a number of sources, including public records, online information and accounts receivable data, into a single source, says Swift, adding that Cortera tracks more than $1.6 trillion annual B2B spend.

We got a peak of its risk report, and liked what saw. The design is clean and clear, which makes the information easy to read. Plus, the service also pulls in relevant news articles that might point to business risk indicators.

Cortera B2B Purchase Insights is accessed through a number of ways, including via Cortera Pulse, which monitors the heath of a business for $99 a month per user.

Cortera competes with Dun & Bradstreet and Experian.

“We allow companies to get smart about other companies,” Gary Brooks, chief marketing officer, tells Bank Innovation.

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Mary joined the Bank Innovation team in 2011 and serves as its editor, blogger and content curator. She covers the commerce, fintech and small business beats. She also oversees RMG’s custom publications, manages the freelancing team and contributes stories for the media company’s print publications. Prior to working at RMG, Mary was the fashion editor at National Jeweler magazine, where she contributed, among other things, coverage of international jewelry shows, Fashion Week, rising gold prices, bloody Burmese gemstones and a Bill Clinton watch junket. Her written work has also appeared in Cracked, Billboard and a number of fashion blogs and business publications. Mary has a BA in Journalism from Pepperdine University in Malibu. She grew up on a dirt road in the suburbs of Detroit and currently lives in New York with two roommates, a record player, an espresso machine and a toy poodle. Mary is endlessly curious and follows anything that grabs her. Current interests include literature, anthropology, travel, essays and fashion. She is fond of good conversation, oceans, startups, dandyism, coffee, cemeteries, Cat Stevens, Gregor von Rezzori, Oscar Wilde and Gidget.

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