When you’re making business credit decisions about prospective customers, how do you differentiate the “good” from the “bad?” Can you tell which of your current customers could be spending much more with you, and which ones may be in financial retreat? If you’re like most organizations, you rely on traditional business credit scoring to help; however, a range of dynamic, new tools and data are available today to improve the precision of these business-critical tasks.
For those looking to build a more comprehensive view of financial health by replacing or augmenting an existing source of business data, here are five basic characteristics to look for when evaluating a new solution.
Look for a vast, “whole-market” data set. To assure broad portfolio coverage—including virtually all your customers, prospects, suppliers and other companies of interest—make sure a prospective solution secures data from a wide variety of reliable sources.
Presentation matters. To be of significant value to credit professionals, B2B data must be organized and presented in a format that enables volumes of information to be received and understood at a glance. Trends and scores must be brought into sharp focus to empower smarter, faster decisions.
The more detailed, the better. To more precisely evaluate the financial health of individual companies, many of which are private firms without any publicly available information, a solution must offer detailed insights and a deep range of report options that enable you to easily drill into the financial behaviors of individual business customers, prospects and suppliers.
Easy integration is key. Financial information on private companies must be constantly updated and easily integrated into existing databases and credit application processes. Users should find it easy to incorporate the insights into business processes and systems through batch file appends and system-to-system XML interfaces. The new, expanded information should be easy to access whenever, wherever and however it’s needed.
Inquire about “categorized” information. Being able to easily segment data into meaningful categories, means you can clearly focus on areas that are most important to your business. You can also see relationships between different categories for higher-order analytical insights. For instance, if you’re accessing purchase behaviors, you can see a company’s spend on shipping and transportation, raw materials and business operations and more. This can reveal what they’ll likely purchase in the future, as well as the trend of their general financial health.
More isn’t always better. As you assess alternative solutions, keep in mind that “more” isn’t always better. Make sure the data is relevant and actionable, and offers fresh, meaningful insights that can be applied in practical ways to grow and protect your business.
If you’re considering an alternative solution to supplement your business research, we can help. Cortera has spent years developing and refining the industry’s only comprehensive B2B purchase-based financial data and information service to incorporate the essential ingredients detailed above.
Learn more about the predictive power of purchase data (versus traditional credit payment data) in the white paper, The Emerging Game-Changer for Credit and Risk Management Is B2B Purchase Behavior the Ultimate Credit Barometer? READ NOW