Business Intelligence Lessons from a Baseball Mogul

Richard West B2B Sales & Marketing

Football fans may have recently seen the news that well-known baseball executive Billy Beane is in talks to buy a stake in Liverpool FC owners, FSG. The deal is part of the company’s strategy to become the world’s most powerful sports conglomerate and would make FSG worth an estimated £6.2bn.

Beane is perhaps best known as the subject of the 2003 book Moneyball by Michael Lewis, which was made into a film starring Brad Pitt in 2011. His story is an interesting one. Beane took control of baseball team the Oakland Athletics when it was facing financial pressure and was tasked with cutting player wages. To achieve this while also maintaining the team’s success, Beane focused his efforts on finding undervalued players.

This included those whose performance may not have been related to traditional metrics such as stealing bases, hitting runs or making plays, but was instead focused on less apparent qualities that would still have a substantial impact on the team’s success. Beane did this using a technique known as Sabermetrics – this is essentially a mathematical analysis of the in-game statistics that shows what impact a player has on a game.

Using this approach, Beane was able to hone-in on inexpensive players who were better than they appeared and that fulfilled an unmet need in the Oakland Athletics’ game plan. As a result of this approach, the team went on to win a record-breaking 20 games in a row during 2002 and won the play-off series in 2006.

Hidden Strengths

Beane’s approach shows us that our strengths may not be in the most obvious place and that an in-depth data analysis can reveal surprising insights into where we can find value. In sales, for example, it may seem sensible to always target large companies and those with good liquidity or high sales – however, this might not necessarily equate to long-term success.

Instead, we should take the time to analyse sales data and identify which clients have brought us value in ways that may not be obvious in financial reporting and use this information to make more intelligent decisions. Take, for example, a company that leases construction equipment.

There are several data points which they could consider to help focus on leads that offer maximum profitability and long-term sustainability.

These could include:

Poor Liquidity

It may seem counter-intuitive to seek out companies with high assets and poor liquidity.

However, your service could provide such businesses with a much-needed opportunity to improve their cash position by selling off assets – providing you with a long-term customer.

Growth Rate

By targeting small, yet rapidly growing companies you could achieve a better return over the medium term with less competition for the business.

Having several of these clients could prove as profitable as one large client and would also spread your business risk.

SIC codes

Red Flag Alert has developed cutting-edge AI technology that allows us to assign highly specific SIC codes to each business.

This allows you to target your sales at specific industries.

For example, while your competitors may be targeting the insurance market generally, you know that your golden segment is with those companies selling trade credit insurance, and this focus will give you a competitive edge.

Become a Data-Driven Business

At Red Flag Alert, we help companies to put data analysis at the heart of their strategy.

Our solution contains detailed information on 6.5 million UK businesses and uses AI-powered algorithms to generate real-time information on key events and critical insights.

With over 100 data points on each company and hundreds of thousands of updates every day, you’ll have all the data you need to allow your company to zero-in on new revenue opportunities.

To discuss how Red Flag Alert can enable your sales team to be more data-driven, please get in touch with Richard West on richard.west@redflagalert.com or 0344 412 6699.

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Richard West Richard West CRO

Richard is an experienced SaaS leader, since joining Red Flag Alert in 2013 he has overseen a ten-fold increase in revenue.

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