With every kind of “intelligence” being thrown around in business discourse, from artificial intelligence to conversational intelligence, it can be confusing to discern what’s what. Sales intelligence is a term not to be overlooked, as it will help you to better understand prospects and existing customers.
What is sales intelligence?
Sales intelligence refers to a variety of tech solutions that provide salespeople with data collection, insight, analytics, and presentation of information pertaining to client (or potential client) activities. The data can come from communication with the target as well as open sources and behavioral trends, but it needs to be real-time and organized to ensure usability.
These technologies are indispensable in the B2B selling sphere, where the buyer is vastly more sophisticated and informed than the B2C buyer. Holding relevant information facilitates selling, making for efficient and repeatable results.
What can sales intelligence reveal?
Depending on the tool being used, sales intelligence technology can tell sellers a number of these things — and even more:
- Surface information about the company like location, history, size, and other numbers.
- Details of leads including job level, seniority, and contact info.
- Customer behaviors and intent throughout the buyer journey.
- The specific needs and challenges of each and every prospect.
- Customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Why is sales intelligence important?
It’s not just about the information gathered; it’s about what sales intelligence software can do with that data to boost sales.
Sales intelligence is important because:
- It helps give sales and marketing teams a competitive edge
- It helps close sales and speeds up the sales cycle
- Context and behavioral data are analyzed, not just face value data
- It bridges gaps between sales and marketing teams
- It builds a clearer picture for all involved in the sales process
And finally, sales intelligence analysts can build a list of quality leads based on data revealed with sales technology — a great benefit considering in 2020 “finding new business to fill my pipeline” was cited by Richardson Sales Performance as the biggest challenge across organizations!
How does sales intelligence work?
Different platforms work in different ways. In general, though, SI software works by continuously trawling for relevant data and matching or syncing it to the data present in its database. This data can be open source or retrieved via internal communications with a company — either or both!
Typically the software should also provide some sort of analysis function, helping the user to actually use this info. Many are also synced with certain CRM software.
Best sales intelligence software
What is sales intelligence software? Sales intelligence software is SaaS that allows companies to use data to improve their sales processes.
While many of these products have overlapping functions, not every service is the same so it’s up to team leads to choose the most ideal software for their teams.
Here are our top five picks for software solutions to up your game.
Revenue Grid is a sales automation platform encompassing a range of critical sales intelligence solutions. It boasts a pipeline visibility feature that lets sellers and leaders analyze key metrics. Using AI pushes signals to sellers to guide them toward the best next action in order to accelerate deals; with this guided selling approach, teams can implement a unified sales approach that is repeatable for success. Plus, Revenue Grid fully integrates with Salesforce CRM!
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LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Essentially, this is LinkedIn for B2B salespeople. This tool taps into LinkedIn’s own database on more than 500 million prospects, syncing the data to your CRM tools. In line with the networking site’s regular functions, professional subscribers get additional access to leads with or without contact info and gain insight into their real-time business activity.
Nimble is a leading CRM for Office-365 and G-Suite that delivers a contact management solution for teams and individuals. It combines traditional CRM strengths like contact, inbox, and calendar integration with other functions like social media, contact management, and marketing automation.
XANT Playbooks is a sales engagement platform to connect sales reps to the right buyers while optimizing customer interactions with action sequencing that instructs when and how to reach out. Playbooks manage lead follow-up for reps; it also offers automated administrative tasks. Additionally, there is built-in leadership insight for remote teams.
InsideView is an AI-based B2B data and intelligence platform that helps businesses discover new markets and target and engage the appropriate leads. It manages customer data quality to deliver selling signals to drive revenue growth. Like most others, it offers real-time data sync.
How to choose the right sales intelligence software
Surely, with just one search engine query, sales leaders are bombarded with hundreds of software options. This leaves them wondering: “What’s the right software solution for my team?”
Leaders should ask themselves what their teams’ main challenges are and look for a SI solution that addresses those challenges. Other than that, there are a few aspects that the SI software should definitely have:
- Data enrichment
- Data maintenance
- Lead qualification
- A variety of sources
- Accurate and real-time information
Of course, adequate staff training on how to use the platform efficiently is also absolutely necessary!
Why sales intelligence is the future of sales
According to LinkedIn’s Sales Report of 2020, 43% of sales representatives are already using sales intelligence tools. That’s up 54% from 2018. Any team not implementing sales intelligence tools is letting itself fall behind top performers.
With such a competitive, hyper-informed market, businesses can no longer afford a trial-and-error method of selling. Through sales intelligence, successful sales teams must function like well-oiled machines with established, repeatable processes.
A final matter to think about is that of time management. Sellers only spend about a third of their time talking to prospects: 17% of their time is swallowed by data entry with another 17% devoted to lead research, according to FinancesOnline. With sales intelligence software typically offering the lead qualification and automated data entry functions, sales representatives can win back a large chunk of their productive hours, leaving them more time to — you guessed it — sell!