Like Selling Ice to an Eskimo: The Trouble With Information

You know the old saying about trying to sell ice to Eskimos. Common sense notwithstanding, it still happens all the time. What’s worse is that you’ve probably been on the receiving end of it.

If you’re reading this, you probably already know that you need better information to make sure that sales happen as efficiently as possible in your company. But choosing the perfect schema for your company’s competitive intelligence needs can be daunting.

There are many services that compile, sort, or assess massive amounts of information from across the Internet. These service providers will tell you that you don’t know enough about the market or the competition, or that you cannot adequately use information without some kind of automated searching tool. They say you need more information in order to be more informed. They want to sell you ice.

We have a revolutionary idea here at Compelligence: you don’t need more information; you just need better access to the information you already have.

The fact of the matter is that no amount of automated Googling and searching is going to provide the quality of information that is already possessed collectively by your employees: the salespeople who already know the customers and the market, the marketing professionals who write your silver bullets and tailor the same information to suit a hundred different positioning needs day in and day out, even those employees who used to work for your competitors.

You already have the information you need, you just need to take what you know and make it unified, accessible, and actionable.

This means your focus should not be on trying to collect more information, but rather, on finding a strong method for compiling resources, streamlining communication, and sharing information. When every member of your team has quick and easy access to all of the information they need, their collective knowledge synthesizes itself into well-founded, industry-aware positioning and strong, unified sales messages.

We call this specific and organized kind of information “guidance.” Guidance is useful, processed, evaluated knowledge rather than un-assessed, un-edited, un-directed information.

For example, imagine that you are trying to drive to a new restaurant in an unfamiliar part of town. You can use a map to get you there, but it will take attention, careful assessment, and continued effort on your part throughout the drive. Alternatively, instead of just bringing a map (the information) along with you, you could get proper directions (guidance) before you leave the house and then simply follow the steps, only ever having to make the most immediately relevant decisions at any given time. Guidance tells you exactly what you need to do, whereas information needs interpreting.

Others may tell you that they will help you to know your industry better. Approach this type of pitch with suspicion: the fact of the matter is that you already know your industry better than any competitive intelligence company can—but you likely just can’t access all of your own information. Compelligence is unique in that we won’t try to sell you more information to get bogged down in; we will give you the tools, methodologies, and best practices to turn the knowledge you already have into the kind of guidance that speeds sales and builds corporate maturity.

We’re not going to sell you ice. We’ll teach you to build an igloo instead.

Compelligence allows every member of your team to access exactly what they need and to provide feedback directly to the content creators. This means that instead of wasting time tailoring information by hand time and time again, your marketing team can see at once what your whole sales team needs to know and they can make all of the relevant information available once and let our program pare down and direct what each individual salesperson sees on their screen while they’re on call with potential customers.

One person does the work once and everyone reaps the benefits.

We even train you to make sure not only that your team understands how to utilize our tools, but also to teach new methods of comparison, communication, and identifying industries to optimize the way your company approaches intelligence building.

We’re not providing competitive data, we’re providing a framework for competitive guidance. You can save the ice for the party; there’ll be plenty of sales to celebrate.