New Data Service Aims to Help Businesses Source Prospects

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.