Whether you are new to sales or an experienced veteran, everyone shares one consistent obstacle-obtaining the name, phone number and email address of the key people involved in buying from you. Many of the sales and marketing activities are specifically geared towards obtaining this information. Without knowing who to communicate with and how to accomplish this, the sales cycle freezes up.
Jigsaw is the Holy Grail of contact information. Founded in 2003 by Jim Fowler and Garth Moulton, their vision for the company was ahead of its time. Crowdsourcing was not yet in our vocabulary or on our bookshelves, yet what Jim and Garth envisioned was exactly that–a database of contacts that was created, used and maintained by its users. As with all pioneering efforts, Jigsaw had vocal and influential critics that pronounced that “Jigsaw is Evil”.
Michael Arrington wrote this about Jigsaw in TechCrunch back on March 23, 2006,
“Jigsaw is a marketplace for contact information, and it is very efficient. It boasts detailed personal contact information for 2.5 million people, and 7,000 new people are added every day. If you want the name, title, email address, direct phone line and/or address of any executive of any company, there is a very good chance Jigsaw will already have it in its database and will sell it to you. And if you are a sales guy and have no ethical concerns about where you get your contact information, you probably already know all about Jigsaw.” (full post available here)
Since this post, Jigsaw has grown to provide over 17 million contact records and 3 million company records. These records are used and verified by over 1 million Jigsaw users every day. They are adding by 1,500 registered users every working day.
There might still be detractors, but Crowdsourcing is now a broadly accepted concept that is being integrated into every business segment. The New York Times wrote an article earlier this month that touted Jigsaw’s approach and their success.
An example of the commitment Jigsaw leadership has to the “community” of it’s users, they rolled out a new, robust forum they call “Community Central”. The forum provides in-depth answers to common and sometimes not so common questions, as well as suggestions for new capabilities. What makes this forum is the deep involvement of Jigsaw’s users. There is a ranking system within Jigsaw, and the highest-ranked users are referred to as “Rainmakers”. From that group there is a large subset dubbed “Forefathers” that Jigsaw leadership has been working with for some time that develop, test deploy and populate the community. Community Central will fuel an already strong sense of community and pride amongst Jigsaw users and is destined to become a model for other companies desiring to get their customers engaged and talking together.
I have written extensively about Jigsaw in previous blog entries here and here. Jigsaw will be included in our Web Demonstration series coming in October that also includes all of the Webtools highlighted in this “30 Webtools in 30 Days” series. Make sure you are signed up for our newsletter to receive the information and benefits of these activities going forward.
Jigsaw offers several new and valuable methods to use their services and our outlined clearly on their site. The most effective way to start is to click on this link, (look for the confirmation email to complete activation) which will provide you access to Jigsaw as well as the ability to download twenty free contacts, vs. the 2 that you would receive by going to the public site. Please note: I receive no compensation from Jigsaw. It is simply a special opportunity for readers of Fill the Funnel.
I recommend them as the #1 WebTool for Salesmakers because if I could only have one WebTool for sales, Jigsaw would be my clear choice.