For those not in sales, selling products and services to clients sounds like an easy job. You make a few calls, reach out to potential clients, pitch your items, make some sales, and reach your targets.
How you sell matters. What your process is matters. But how your customers feel when they engage with you matters more. ~ Tiffani Bova
However, the ground reality is much different, and the story is not as linear. Modern-day buyers expect a personalized experience. To meet these demands, salespersons have to make use of every nugget of information to woo their clients at every touchpoint. As a sales rep, you are entrusted with the responsibility to build a relationship with your prospect. Sales departments don’t make a sale; they make a customer.
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The salesperson must intimately know and understand the client. Given that time is money and companies must use their resources wisely, it would not be feasible for salespeople to scour the web for information on the prospects. In place of working hard, the sales team has to work smart. This is the situation where sales intelligence steps in.
Sales intelligence tools extract the actionable bits of information that a sales professional can leverage to convert more clients. In this post, we will explore everything that you need to know about sales intelligence and how it can benefit your business.
What is Sales Intelligence?
Sales intelligence encompasses a wide array of technologies that can help salespeople identify, interpret, and track data that offers insight into the client or prospect’s behavior. These data points allow the salesperson to monitor any changes in the target client’s business and capitalize on opportunities.
At the same time, sales intelligence tools allow for the demonstration, integration, assessment, analysis, and collation of prospect data. Further, sales intelligence data needs to be reviewed regularly to maintain a clean and updated database. Using these insights, the sales team can modify and customize their approach for better results.
Apart from basic and historical information, sales intelligence platforms can also collect real-time data. Thus, the sales teams can set alerts for buying signals and interests for their target prospects and take advantage of it when the opportunity arises.
While there are large volumes of data available on various channels, sales intelligence helps you understand the key points from all the noise. It enhances an organization’s capacity to learn, reason, and understand in the following ways:
- Learn: Sales intelligence offers key data highlights that sales teams can procure and digest to learn about prospects. When sales intelligence tools are integrated with sales process tools, the actionable data and updated account records are easily accessible to learn about the target account.
- Reason: While making decisions based on your instincts may be a smart move, salespeople must primarily depend on concrete data to call the shots. Tasks like qualification and prioritization of leads could be the determining factor between making a sale and wasting your time. Hence, good decisions should be based on rational reasoning, which is facilitated through sales intelligence.
- Understand: Contextual sales intelligence, such as industry trends, competitive landscape, and company news, can help salespeople find the links between the client’s pain points and the solution offered by your product or service. Thus, it enables you to gain a granular and broad understanding of your prospect.
In a nutshell, sales intelligence is everything that your business needs to optimize the sales process.
Need for Sales Intelligence
The Sales Intelligence market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.4% by 2024. This phenomenal growth is no surprise considering that several businesses now realize the potential of sales intelligence platforms in boosting sales and revenue. The demand for sales intelligence tools has been spurred further with the advancement in technology.
Following are the various processes that call for sales intelligence adoption:
For Sales Prospecting
The most crucial part of selling is identifying your target clientele. Sales is no longer about selling ice to an Eskimo. Sales prospecting allows you to find the right companies based on specific and predefined characteristics or triggers, making them more willing to purchase from you.
By getting maximum actionable information about your potential clients, your sales team can ask the right questions and highlight the right features of your product or service. Further, knowing about triggers can also help them create a sense of urgency.
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Sales intelligence allows the sales representative to present your product or service as an appropriate solution and to help the clients believe that they have seized a great opportunity at the best time.
For Defining Ideal Customer Profile
Creating an Ideal Customer Profile is the foundational step in sales. The Ideal Customer Profile is the gradation against which you can calibrate your leads to qualify them.
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To get started on creating an Ideal Customer Profile, you need to identify the common features present in your happiest and most satisfied clients. Sales intelligence platforms accept the names of your clients as inputs and reverse map their details to find the shared characteristics.
For Tracking Real-Time Data
Sales intelligence tools work around the clock to ensure that the account details are up to date. It makes use of web indexing technologies to ensure that salespeople have constant-access to high value, rich profile information. It makes it easier for them to call the correct point of contact and pitch in a suitable tone.
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Furthermore, sales intelligence platforms can send out real-time alerts for dynamic buying signals and triggers. Needless to say, a sales rep who can contact a company just when they need a solution is more likely to bag the sale!
For Understanding Companies and its People
Every company, big or small, is comprised of individuals. Hence, salespeople are not only selling to an organization, but they are also selling to people. Even though you ensure a professional front, every interaction is made at a human-level.
Thus, it is essential to acknowledge the person involved and utilize sales intelligence to extract as much information as possible regarding the individual before you approach them. Sales intelligence platforms make use of intent data to paint a clear picture of the person so that your sales team will know what works best!
There is No More B2B or B2C: It’s Human to Human #H2H. - Brian Kramer
Advantages of Sales Intelligence
On the one hand, there is data, and on the other hand, there is actionable data. Sales intelligence helps differentiate between the two.
Here are the clear advantages of using sales intelligence platforms:
High Data Quality and Better Management
As stated previously, there is no dearth of data on prospects. However, not every data bit carries value. Moreover, a significant chunk of data goes bad every year.
Thus, it is essential to test the data completeness, uniqueness, timeliness, validity, accuracy, and consistency on a regular basis. Sales intelligence tools not only ensures that your organization makes use of high-quality data but also maintains database hygiene while storing it.
Efficient Lead Generation and Prospecting
Sales intelligence tools not only help you discover high-quality leads, but it can also boost your outbound lead generation efforts. At the same time, sales intelligence also allows you to prospect the clients more efficiently. As a result, it creates a consistent pipeline of leads and prospects.
Sell More to Existing Clients
It is a well-known fact that it is more cost-effective to sell to an existing client than to acquire a new one. Through sales intelligence, sales representatives have the knowledge regarding what the customers and buys and what they pass upon. Obtaining this information allows the sales team to upsell and cross-sell products.
Enhanced Customer Support and Service
Once the salesperson gains insights into customer behavior and buying habits, they are in a better position to understand their business needs. Thus, aided by the actionable intelligence offered by the sales intelligence, sales reps can efficiently respond to queries, discuss cost-saving opportunities, introduce new and suitable products, and review stock availability.
Emotional or instinctive decisions will not take businesses very far. Companies have to make data-driven decisions to stay relevant in the industry. However, delayed or diluted data can rob away your ability to take timely and necessary actions. To combat this issue, companies must make use of sales intelligence platforms that make accurate, real-time data available at your fingertips.
Establishing a Single Source of Truth
Different departments collect customer data. Consequently, the data is stored in different systems that are spread throughout the business. Disparate data can make it difficult for companies to maintain data hygiene and accuracy. Sales intelligence tools offer a single source of truth, which can be shared seamlessly across different units without any losses.
Optimized Content Creation and Distribution
Sales intelligence allows the marketing team to create more engaging content. Further, it lends insights into suitable channels for distributing content. On the other hand, sales teams can repurpose this content and use it to prepare case studies and presentations to address businesses with similar pain points.
Salespeople can implement priority and value-based follow-ups with segmented clients. This automation is possible due to sales intelligence, which helps them identify which account is ready to buy. Thus, sales intelligence inputs increase productivity and shorten sales cycles.
Criteria for Selecting the Best Sales Intelligence Platforms
Now that one understands the importance of sales intelligence and how sales intelligence platforms can benefit your business, let’s talk about how to select a suitable sales intelligence tool.
An ideal sales intelligence platform fulfills the following criteria:
Collates Data From an Assortment of Sources
Having a single source of data is not enough. Your sales intelligence tool must be capable of collecting data from various sources, whether offline or online.
Data sets like engagement data, intent data, etc. come from a variety of sources, and this data could point towards buying signals. Generally, there are two main sources of data collection:
- Crawling and tracking websites or social networks to locate the key events that may indicate the company’s interest in making a purchase.
- Analyzing the visitor’s content consumption behavior and patterns when they visit specific websites.
While the above data can help the salesperson with the outreach, eventually, it is all about approaching the individuals within the company and pitching to them. To help the sales rep with the same, sales intelligence offers contact-level intent data.
Contact-level intent data comes from:
- Prospects who visit your website, read or download your content, and open your emails - basically, prospects who make direct contact. However, they may not leave behind their contact details, making it tough to identify these prospects.
- Websites that require visitors to sign up or register to gain access to the entire content. Naturally, if an individual signs up, it is an indication of strong buying signals. However, the volume of traffic on such sites can be smaller.
- Social networking platforms like Quora, LinkedIn, and Twitter, where buyers seek information, engage with brands, share experiences, talk about events, and follow industry influencers.
Sales intelligence platforms must be capable of analyzing these various platforms and identify activities in real-time. It must employ a technology that can analyze a user profile to trace their professional persona and gather real-time data on their topics of interest.
Basically, you need to keep a hawk-eye’s view of your prospect, and you can only achieve if your sales intelligence tool is capable of collecting user or company data from an array of sources.
Seamless Integration With Other Tools
Your company’s sales intelligence platform must be compatible with your CRM, email, or sales engagement platform. This integration allows salespeople to access actionable data to carry out the next set of activities. It makes it easier for them to make the best use of the available intelligence and do smarter prospecting.
The most crucial input by sales intelligence tools is the priority assignment for seller engagement. It offers a data-driven approach for companies to prioritize low hanging sales opportunities. Furthermore, sales intelligence also shares contextual information with the sales rep, which offers them a greater grasp of the situation. For instance, having knowledge about the buyer’s journey stage or intent can help them enrich the interaction with valuable data to capture their interests. At the same time, sales intelligence can offer prompts or resources to engage meaningfully with these leads.
Making sales intelligence accessible on other tools or platforms equips salespeople with relevant data at their fingertips. Thus seamless integration with the current digital infrastructure allows them to pull up high-value information at any point and at any stage to knock their sales pitch out of the park!
Real-Time Data Churning Capacity
In the B2B environment, data is highly dynamic.
According to Experian Data Quality, data inaccuracies can result in a 12% loss in revenue and plagues nearly 88% of companies! Furthermore, bad data can lead to content distribution to incorrect audiences or sales call to the wrong people. Such missteps can damage your domain & brand reputation and negatively affect your brand value. Clearly, there is a growing need to maintain data hygiene, especially in real-time, and sales intelligence tools can specifically address this issue.
Moreover, real-time data aids salespeople to act immediately and capitalize on the opportunities that arise. Several sales rep will share their experience of being snubbed by a company to suddenly bagging a sale with them as they frantically looked for solutions to an immediate problem. Thus, it goes without saying that sales are all about timing.
The integration of sales intelligence with a sales engagement platform or CRM sets up the foundation for salespeople to turn highly responsive. When triggers and buying signals set off the alarms, salespersons can take immediate action, reach the prospect, follow-up with them, and nurture them through the sales process.
However, it is also worth noting that sales are a long-drawn process. Thus, you cannot expect an instantaneous action and reaction. Even as your sales team is engaged in nurturing a prospect, your sales intelligence tools must parallelly continue real-time reporting and gathering of insights to drive deals forward.
Not all companies are the same. Similarly, their utilization of sales intelligence will also vary. Hence, sales intelligence platforms must offer the scope and flexibility for customizing the tool in the way that companies deem fit. Organizations can identify the buying signals that concern them and feed them into their sales intelligence tools. Accordingly, they can be notified of any triggers so that the sales team can act upon it instantly.
You must seek out sales intelligence platforms that offer additional features such as intent data or tech stack. These data sets not only feature as the hallmark of sales intelligence but also provide granular insight into your client behavior. Technographics can help you set up alerts and prioritize companies. Thus, if you notice a competitor’s client looking for alternative solutions, your sales team can swoop in and capitalize on the opportunity. On the other hand, intent data can share real-time updates on the prospect’s intent. Getting alerts on the prospect’s activities can help you strike the iron while it is still hot!
Customization of sales intelligence platforms grants you access to competitive intelligence of the right kind and at the right time.
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Clodura’s AI-Powered Sales Intelligence For Smarter Sales Prospecting
Clodura’s AI-Powered sales intelligence platform delivers real-time triggers on more than 25 vital buying signals so that sales teams never miss acting upon another opportunity again. How?
- Meaningful Engagements with Buyers: Your client’s time is valuable, and so is yours. Clodura helps identify the low hanging sales opportunities and allows you to prioritize your outreach accordingly. Through the actionable data insights, your sales team can gain context that will enable them to tailor the perfect sales pitch. With Clodura’s intervention, you can gain the most from every interaction.
- Identify Sales Opportunities: Get all the accurate and relevant information over a single platform. Clodura scans your Total Addressable Market in real-time and keeps you up to date at all times. With over 25 customizable buying signal alerts, your sales team can be at the top of their game.
- Stay Ahead of the Competition: Clodura offers high-quality, actionable data for you to capitalize on every business opportunity. With real-time data and customizable alerts, you can stay a mile ahead of your competition.
With Clodura, you will never miss a sales opportunity ever again!
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Working smart doesn’t mean working less. It means working hard on what truly matters.
Sales intelligence is a lead generation and sales prospecting list on steroids.
Integrating sales intelligence with your current sales engagement or CRM systems can boost productivity. It ensures a sales-marketing continuum, which will translate into more sales and greater revenue. On the client front, they will enjoy more customer-centric services, high-value interactions, and improved services. For your employees, sales intelligence tools will take the stress off of sales and marketing teams and encourages them to focus on tasks that truly matter.
All in all, sales intelligence platforms will benefit your company, your customers, and your employees. What more can you ask? Clearly, in terms of ROI, sales intelligence makes a compelling case for itself.
Hence it comes as no surprise that in the years to come, sales intelligence platforms are bound to emerge as a key requirement for businesses.