Sales Intelligence Explained
Fact 1 – they have a lot of data to work with.
Fact 2 – This data has a lot of business potential.
However, the problem is that not many businesses know how to leverage this data to take the right business decisions. For instance, utilizing data to boost sales and meet revenue targets month on month.
Modern buyers are savvy. They expect a personalized experience. Without powerful data insights, your sales pitch is just another shot in the dark, not very different from cold calling and the result is the same - a cold lead. It is not the lack of lead generation that dents their sales graphs for most businesses. Instead, it lacks actionable insights to make the right sell to these leads.
Fret not, we told you the problems to give you the solution too. All hail - Sales Intelligence. Read on to explore how businesses can leverage Sales Intelligence tools to decode buyer personas, boost revenues and maximize their Return On Investment (ROI).
The web series The Office (US) reiterates a simple but powerful sales tip - know your customer. Michael Scott, Dwight, Jim, Phyllis, Stanley & Andy (though entertaining and endearing) are an inefficient bunch and a perfect example of how sales teams shouldn't be. To succeed, sales teams must establish deep, strong relationships with their customers. How do you do that? Well, how do you make any relationship strong? By understanding the other person's likes, dislikes, pet peeves and what not.
In the business world, Sales Intelligence becomes your wingman. Sales Intelligence tools help you by gathering deep insights about your prospects so that you can convert them into customers. It gathers all the essential data about your prospects and converts them into actionable data points. This empowers sales teams to focus more on delivering a better sales experience and less on data entry.
Let's take a deep dive into the world of Sales Intelligence, how it works, the importance, etc.
What Are Sales Intelligence Tools?
"The most valuable commodity I know of is information." - Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas), Wall Street.
An iconic movie of the 1980s (At #TechDogs, we are movie buffs!), Wall Street gave excellent sales advice and it rings true even today. The lead-to-close process is long, slow and needless to say complicated. Experts suggest that almost 80% of the leads lose their interest due to the sales not pitching the correct value proposition. One way to minimize this process and close deals faster is to gather business intelligence about your prospects, which can help increase the sales conversions. How is this sales intelligence data collected? That's right, using Sales Intelligence Software.
A Sales Intelligence tool provides information about a prospective buyer that helps sales reps create a better sales pitch, engage them with the right messaging and nurture the leads towards conversion. In simple words, think of a scenario where you are going on a date with a crush. Would it not be nice to know their choice of food, ambiance, movies genre and gifts? Will this information help you plan the perfect date?
The answer is yes, a definite yes!
Similarly, this tool lets you go prepared in the field and bring on your best game - one that your prospect would like the most. Sales Intelligence software gives users actionable insights about different business functions such as people demographics including name, age and, gender etc., user behavior data such as clicks and views, etc. and buyer intent data such as search query terms, previously read articles and more.
That's a lot of information to have about your customer-to-be (in a clever way, though). Well, the story of Sales Intelligence Software was not so elaborate from the get-go. Let's take a look at where it all began.
Where Did Sales Intelligence Come From?
Sales intelligence is a young and relatively undefined vertical. While data and our ability to leverage it have multiplied in the last few years (data is a $122 billion market!), sales feel like it is stuck in the rut of Excel spreadsheets.
Sales intelligence tools have redefined the way sales reps use the available data, to develop deep customer relationships, right nurturing and predicting customer behavior. The evolution of Sales Intelligence tools can be broken down into three parts:
Earliest Sales Intelligence software provided profound visibility to sales professionals vis-à-vis their performance month on month. Details like last quarter sales, number of daily or weekly calls, sales pipeline and average stage duration for your deals are easily known.
Leveraging AI (Artificial Intelligence) capabilities, Predictive Analytics offer insights on competitive intelligence and future happenings. Sales intelligence platform focusing on predictive analytics provide three popular analytics:
Email sentiment that uses natural language processing (NLP) to gauge whether emails from prospects have any opposing ideas, which may mean the deal is in jeopardy.
Lead scoring assigns high-value businesses a numerical value for specific attributes and common traits. The higher the score, the more likely the lead conversion.
Forecasting tools calculate the probability of winning deals based on previous wins and performance patterns.
The latest Sales Intelligence tools suggest the exact actions that a sales team can take to achieve the desired result. In other words, prescriptive insights don't tell you what's happening or what might happen; they tell you why something is happening and how you can increase sales growth.
Is that a remarkable feat for a tool to have accomplished? Don't be surprised. Sales Intelligence Software can do all that. Let's understand how it manages it all.
How Does It Work?
Sales Intelligence empowers users to target the right buyers, understand key insights and engage with personalized outreach. As we are aware - data is useless unless we know how to act upon it. Sales Intelligence tools automate the entire sales process, provides deeper insights to connect more effectively with prospects and helps sales managers to create perfect strategies which helps in closing the deals. It collects data in different ways such as:
Crawling websites and social networks to identify critical events that target prospects may be interested in.
Analyzing the content consumption pattern of possibilities on certain websites.
Using cookie data.
After which, the tools help intelligently convert all the accumulated data into action points, which then is used by sales teams to increase their chances of effectively reaching and converting prospects.
Benefits Of Using Sales Intelligence Tools
A Sales Intelligence software has a lot many features for which it became so popular, let us see a few more of their features. Most important aspect of this software is that it lets sales teams work smarter, not harder. Let's say you get a lead from your website. Traditional sales opportunity processes involve calling up the prospective customers, asking them their interests, noting it all down in your diary.
After this, you would probably sit and draft your proposal email. Mind you, will it be the same old company template that you follow with a few tweaks and the result? Most will get no reply. Lucky ones might get a response after umpteen follow-ups. Consumers today are not fools. In this age of social media and the 24x7 internet, emails get a small fraction of attention and your jolly old template won't cut it.
What if you got all the information about the prospect, such as the type of business they do, their pain point, their use case? If you draft the email highlighting the right features and attaching a case study of a similar client domain, would you get the reply? Most certainly. That is the power of sales intelligence and that's how this software helps. This tool is needed to cut through the noise and directly impact the customer.
According to Aberdeen, companies that empower their sales teams with Sales Intelligence tools witnessed an almost 29 percent increase in year-over-year revenue. Besides the revenue boost and maximized increased ROI, sales intelligence tools can help your organization to:
Sales teams have clear visibility of the sales productivity in the lead pipeline to prioritize follow-ups based on the lead qualification process with advanced search. Rather than wasting time on cold leads, teams can focus on the most valuable and promising ones.
Better Sales Pitch:
Leads are often lost because customers often feel salespersons are underprepared for initial meetings. Sales Intelligence tools provides actionable insights based on contextual and behavioral data of each prospect. This enables sales teams to create a compelling sales pitch.
Faster Conversion Rates:
Sales is all about timing. Reach out with the correct value propositions at the right time. Deals will close faster. When you nurture leads with the right touchpoints, create value and target the right buyer persona, you gain their trust sooner and they convert faster.
Actionable Insights For Other Teams:Entire organization benefits from Sales Intelligence software, as it can shed light on critical behavioral aspects and buying trends which can also help the marketing team better target and optimize campaigns.
While the importance and impact of Sales Intelligence for a business is pretty straightforward, you should be aware of the basic features when buying a tool for your team. Read on.
What Are The Features Of Sales Intelligence Software?
Before you invest in a sales intelligence tool, you must invest a bit of time into your customer demographic, which will help you choose the apt one. We have listed a few pointers to help you select the best tool.
Avoid tools that are simply a dump of data. 30% of the data goes bad every year. However, your device must be smart enough to navigate through it and provide valuable insights, so you are not wasting time on it.
Quality always trumps quantity. At the start, you may be excited by the sheer number of contacts you can lay your hands on. However, over time it is the quality that matters. If your sales intelligence tool cannot give you efficient filters to slice and dice your data, you are heading down a slippery path.
Together Everyone Achieves More:
Your selected tool must have many integration options. There are a lot of other technologies that can work well together. This will give you the best chance to use the data to get maximum sales.
Lead scoring refers to marking quality leads per your organization's parameter of an ideal customer profile. This helps the sales rep identify the hot tips and invest efforts to convert them into a sale.
Artificial Intelligence Integrations:
Artificial Intelligence is leveraged by most tools to provide data about prospects crucial in converting a lead into a customer.
Sales Intelligence Software Is Here To Stay!
Recent technological advancements in data enrichment have paved the way for Artificial Intelligence (AI) to be leveraged in sales and marketing. With Industry 5.0 being touted as an amalgamation of AI and humans, sales organizations are investing in research to leverage AI, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP) deeper into the processes. Moving forward, Sales Intelligence software is predicted to get even more intelligent by analyzing data in real-time from millions of sources and boosting sales performance.
Sales Intelligence indeed is powerful - it gives actionable insights into your prospects, helping sales teams effectively connect and close deals. With robust strategy and sales tools, it is up to the companies to leverage the intelligence and maximize their ROI. Sales are now much more than the manual Excel sheets; it is the amalgamation of what the customer wants, the value-add that you can provide and your customer conversion ratio year on year.
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