Sales intelligence is an asset for any business to make their sales more efficient. It includes various tech solutions that help sales and marketing teams gather, analyze, present and utilize their B2B data with the goal to get more insights about potential customers to help decision making. But what is sales intelligence, how does it help shorten your sales cycle, what are the best sales intelligence tools, know more below.

What is Sales Intelligence?

Simply put, sales intelligence refers to any information that businesses collect or collate to simplify their sales processes. It's not only about collecting business data, like company names or contact details. Today revenue teams need more extensive data to get a better picture of their prospects. Also, sales intelligence uses software and data to help in tasks like creating an Ideal customer profile, calculating your TAM, maintaining data quality and more.

A well-rounded sales intelligence platform keeps your team abreast with up-to-the-minute details about your prospects and your accessible market. It should integrate effortlessly with your existing sales enablement and marketing software, as well as the rest of your business intelligence data stack.

The Power of Sales Intelligence Platforms

Sales intelligence tools equip your team with insights about your prospects and the total addressable market to facilitate efficient and effective communication. They integrate into the sales and marketing software you're already using, complementing your overall business intelligence stack.

Sales intelligence can provide details into the who, how,when, and why of purchasing decisions. The more information your sales development teams have about prospects, the better they can craft personalized outreach that resonates with potential customers and stand out amongst others.

Why B2B Sales Intelligence Tools Are Essential

Keeping a tab on an ever-evolving market requires proactive intelligence that is frequently updated and brings prospects directly to your sales team's workflow. Sales intelligence uses advanced prospect data with real-time buying signals, thus empowering sales teams to connect with the right buyer at the right time.

In fact, Forrester analysts found that companies that implemented a B2B sales and marketing intelligence solution saw a 35% increase in their pipeline leads and a 45% improvement in lead quality, which subsequently led to higher revenue and growth.

Key Attributes of a Sales Intelligence Software

When evaluating a sales intelligence tool, it's important to look for certain attributes. Here are six key features a robust sales intelligence tool should offer:

1. Comprehensive Prospect Intelligence

A good sales intelligence tools should get you detailed and accurate information about the prospect, including contact information, job level and function and firmographics.

2. Tech Stack Data

A very effective way to prioritize prospect accounts is to analyze their tech stack i.e. the sales or marketing software their company uses. Getting insights into a company’s technographics can help you run a targeted displacement campaign and provide ice breakers for starting conversations.

3. Intent Data

Intent data is up-to-the-moment information that can help infer a prospect's likelihood to purchase. It can include a sudden increase in web searches or multiple content downloads on a particular topic. Intent data provides a stark advantage against competitors, allowing you to time your outreach to align with your prospect's needs.

4. Real-time Alerts

Unlike humans, technology doesn't need breaks. It can continuously monitor contacts and companies, keeping you informed about buying signals as soon as they occur.

5. Robust Integrations

Key intelligence is only as good as where and how it's delivered. Your chosen sales intelligence tool should integrate with common sales applications, such as customer relationship management, sales automation tools, and prospecting environments, including company websites and social media platforms.

6. Data Enrichment

The best sales intelligence tool should enrich existing data by appending additional information such as contact details, firmographics, technographics, and behavioral insights. This enriched data provides deeper insights into target accounts and enhances lead qualification and segmentation processes.

7. Data Accuracy

The quality of your data directly impacts your sales and marketing effectiveness. Inaccurate data wastes time, burns out salespeople, and hampers your campaigns. Your sales intelligence tool should provide both breadth (lots of contacts) and depth (detailed information about those contacts).

The Benefits of Leveraging Sales Intelligence Tools

Strategic use of sales intelligence, backed by accurate data, can impart insights into who, how, when, and why customers make purchasing decisions. The more information your business development teams possess about prospects, the better they can craft outreach that resonates true value and stands out from the crowd.

Here are some reasons why sales intelligence tools are becoming indispensable for revenue generating teams:

1. Data Quality Enhancement

Imagine not having to hit a dead end and being able to reach the right people in one attempt. That's the power of accurate data that sales intelligence brings to the table. With call intelligence solutions like SMARTe, Cognism or ZoomInfo, you can ensure your teams aren't wasting time on dead leads.

2. Quality Lead Generation

The lifeblood of B2B sales is a robust pipeline. However, you can't scale your pipeline without quality leads. Sales intelligence tools can help you grow your pipeline by identifying potential customers who fit your ideal customer profile.

3. Fast, Predictive Prospecting

Sales intelligence tools are renowned for assisting teams in prospecting better and faster. They follow stringent data compliance laws to ensure your teams aren't contacting anyone who has opted out of calls.

4. Identifiable Buying Intent

Sales intelligence lets you identify accounts actively searching for your product or service via intent data. With the right tools,you can target potential customers at the right time, significantly improving your sales outcomes.

5. Accelerated Sales Cycles

Sales intelligence arms you with everything you need to make fewer calls, contact the most relevant individuals and reach quotas faster. It provides you with the most detailed picture of your prospects, helping you connect with them on a meaningful level.

The Working Mechanism of Sales Intelligence Software

Sales intelligence software operates by continuously scanning millions of publicly accessible websites, gathering relevant data, and matching it to profiles in its database. It enables sales people to search, analyze, and evaluate sales data.

When you integrate sales intelligence into your B2B sales team, it aids you in performing most tasks more effectively, such as:

  • Lead Generation: With sales intelligence software, you can use data to create lists of individuals that align with your ideal customer profile (ICP).
  • Sales Trigger Alerts: Sales intelligence provides real-time data about your prospects, notifying you about key events such as mergers, VC funding and more.
  • Data Enrichment: Sales intelligence refreshes the data in your CRM and append and enriching any missing gaps.
  • Personalized Sales Strategy: The more you know about a prospect, the more you can tailor your sales approach. A personalized sales strategy often yields higher-quality leads and increased conversions.
  • Market Research and Insights: By knowing how many potential leads there are, you can accurately forecast and allocate resources. You can also keep an eye on your competitors.

How Sales Intelligence Interacts with Your CRM

Your customer relationship management (CRM) system plays a crucial role in maximizing the value of your sales intelligence software. Your CRM serves as the digital filing cabinet that makes storing and accessing this data possible.

It's essential to distinguish between sales intelligence, CRM software, and business intelligence. While they work hand in hand, they are distinct from one another.

Sales intelligence tools assist sales and marketing teams in discovering, analyzing, and utilizing data related to prospects and customers. In contrast, customer relationship management (CRM) helps businesses log and administrate customer interactions.

Business intelligence covers software and other tools companies use to gather, store, and analyze data on their business and their industry. It's employed to make better short and long-term business decisions.

Selecting the Right Sales Intelligence Tool

The marketplace is brimming with a myriad of products, making it challenging to find the right B2B sales intelligence product for your needs. Here's a mini guide to help you get started:

1. Understand Your Goals

The first thing to do is to evaluate what you want from your new sales intelligence tool. Different solutions work slightly differently, so it's crucial to know which features will offer the most significant benefits.

2. Investigate the Market

Once you've understood your needs, it's time to start narrowing down your options. Begin by visiting sales software review sites such as G2, Capterra, and TrustRadius. You can also visit the websites and social media feeds of the tools you're interested in. Utilize your network and ask your industry contacts about the tools they use.

3. Ask the Right Questions

Once you've shortlisted your options, it's time to engage with sales teams. Ask the right questions based on the outcomes you want to achieve.

  • How accurate is your data?
  • What can I do with your data?
  • What insights can your data give me?
  • How complete is your data?
  • Is your data compliant?
  • How much does it cost?
  • On average, how soon do your customers see ROI?

Conclusion

Sales intelligence, when used strategically, can help you connect with the right buyer at the right time. It can be the difference between a successful sales campaign and a failed one. The key is to choose a sales intelligence tool that aligns with your business needs and leverages accurate, up-to-date data to drive your sales strategy. By investing in sales intelligence, you can boost the productivity of your sales teams, generate high-quality leads, and ultimately, drive business growth.

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Vikram Maram

Vikram is VP, Growth & Strategy at SMARTe and is actively engaged in marketing, selling and solution-ing. Here he writes about everthing Sales Intelligence.

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