Having a good understanding of another company is often vital for a range of different functions within your business. Whether it’s a prospect, a competitor, or a potential business partner, every piece of insight you can find could get you one step closer to success.
Getting hold of this information can be a challenge, though; sales staff don’t have the time to scour the net looking for insights from a number of different sources, and the fact is that many companies simply don’t use the wealth of data available to its full advantage.
So how can your business use sales intelligence to drive more purchases and secure lucrative deals?
What is Sales Intelligence?
In simple terms, sales intelligence is basically just gathering information, usually on another company, that can then be used by the sales team to have a better chance at driving a sale. As well as data on individual companies, this can also include competitive intelligence and general market insights – essentially anything that can be used to help your sales team close more deals.
Using sales intelligence has several benefits for your business; it can fuel your sales pipeline, boost revenue and offers you the opportunity to enjoy a much better ROI. It also makes your sales and marketing tools that much more efficient; for example in the case of automated marketing it can be used to enrich your current data and improve your campaign results.
Gathering Sales Intelligence
A lot of sales intelligence data is usually gathered during the marketing process, and is then passed onto the sales team. In order to gain a full overview of a prospect or other company, or a particular market, it is usually necessary to utilise a number of different sources. These might include:
- Your own metrics – Your own analytics can help you determine where your prospects are in the sales process, or if they are even likely to convert at all. Things like which pages of your site someone visited, the content they’ve downloaded, and whether they’ve been engaging with your emails.
- Social media – Social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook can be useful for gathering data on prospects, while Twitter and Quora can be good sources to gain knowledge of a particular market, for example trending topics. You can also see how individuals or businesses are interacting with your company on these sites.
- Company websites – If you’re researching a prospect company or competitor, their website is probably the first place you’d look. Here you can potentially find details such as company ownership and structure, industry, and location. Annual reports can be a good source for useful information. The main downside here, though, is that insights are going to be limited and any contact information is likely to be general phone numbers/email addresses that will be screened by gatekeepers or secretaries.
- Official sources – Resources such as Companies House and Chambers of Commerce can also provide insights into companies, though again, the data they provide can prove somewhat limited.
- Reports, studies etc – These are a good place to look for trends and opportunities in your industry, or if you’re considering expanding into a new market, for example. Of course, scouring the net on the hunt for the right reports and then compiling the information will undoubtedly take up a lot of time.
- Direct contact – Sometimes, the best way to get an answer to a specific question you have about a prospect is simply to reach out directly and ask them. The obvious drawback here though is that they’ll be curious – and potentially suspicious – about your intentions; not the best way to begin a sales relationship.
As you’re probably painfully aware by now, all of the above will take a lot of time and resources to carry out – particularly when you bear in mind that truly effective sales intelligence makes use of multiple sources in order to gain a complete overview. A very viable alternative here is to use a reputable business intelligence provider, such as Global Database.
Far from being just a list of names and email addresses, Global Database compiles data on companies across 195 countries worldwide, from a wide range of sources so your sales team can use their time more effectively. Having access to accurate, high quality data is vital for effective sales intelligence – and thanks to consistent checks and updates our database has one of the highest accuracy ratings on the market.
Using Sales Intelligence
However you decide to collect your information, once you’ve done so it can be used in several different ways in order to achieve the main goal of getting more sales. For example…
- Qualify leads – Why waste time pursuing leads that are never going to convert? By gaining a deeper understanding of a company you’ll find it much easier to determine if they’re worth your resources.
- Prioritise leads – Similarly, it’s important to put some prospects ahead of others – for example if they’re further down the sales pipeline, or are likely to make higher value purchases.
- Personalise sales messages – Whether you’re calling, emailing, or targeting a prospect on social media, you’ll find it much easier to engage them if you’re focusing on a specific need or pain point that they have. Sales intelligence, e.g. revenue, company size and website traffic and ranking is vital in this process.
- Market research – Knowing exactly what’s going on in your industry will always give you a better chance at winning deals; you can find new opportunities and gaps in the market, or even enter a new market that offers good potential for your product or service.
- Checking out the competition – Find your competitors’ weaknesses and use them to your own advantage, compare website stats and see what technologies they’re using. All of this data can be found quickly and easily using a B2B company directory, as mentioned earlier.
Sales intelligence is an extremely valuable yet often underused asset for driving more sales. Approaching a prospect unprepared not only looks bad, it could also end up costing you time and money by chasing after dead ends. With so much data now available it simply doesn’t make sense to rely on hunches – sales intelligence helps you avoid risks and ultimately make much better business decisions.
Ready to give your sales a boost with better sales intelligence? Try our platform at www.GlobalDatabase.com