Making Sales Intelligence Work for Your Business
Today’s B2B customer journey is said to be more complex. For most people who are not in sales, the whole process of making a few product pitches and booking demo calls or discovery calls to close deals might seem like a cakewalk. But for those who work in sales, the challenges that revolve around ensuring a steady flow of prospecting efforts and meetings while balancing the number of closed deals can come with its share of hiccups.
Today’s buyer journey is just more complex than before, it is constantly evolving as business and economic trends shift. This why for any marketing or sales teams – using the same approach for every prospect or campaign is not a solution anymore.
Sales reps of today are required to use better data, enriched prospect and account information and multiple sources of business intelligence to nurture and move leads gradually through the typical B2B sales funnel.
What does it take to integrate a good sales intelligence process into your sales methodologies to bring a more positive impact on your bottom line? And more importantly, why should sales teams ensure they have access to the right kind of sales intelligence depending to boost sales ROI?
To Address Changing Complexities in Customer Journeys
In a digital buying and selling environment, consumers across industries are exposed to what can be considered far too many touchpoints. To interact with a brand there’s now websites, social media, emails, online ads – and this is just some of it. Customers of today not only spend time doing their own research and reviewing peer feedback about products or services before making a buying decision, they use multiple channels to understand more about the brand or product before deciding to make a purchase.
Sales reps today can’t manually track their prospects journey and thoughts as prospects manoeuvre across these multiple channels. This is where sales intelligence platforms can help them determine more on prospects behaviors and what kind of messaging or sales pitch could work better with them because it helps them derive more on their prospects interest.
Customers Today want Relevant and Real-time Interactions with Brands
While customer journeys are evolving steadily on the one hand, so are their range of expectations. Take for example the experience of running sales and marketing through the 2020 (and still largely ongoing) Covid-19 pandemic. Brands who couldn’t cope with real-time changes to campaigns or those who couldn’t meet their customers queries and needs in real-time using human responses (not chatbots!) fell far behind those who managed to align their sales and marketing efforts to not only meet customer’s real-time challenges but also their changing expectations.
B2B buyers and customers across categories are digital friendly and more connected than ever before. Sales intelligence helps sales and even marketing teams collect more data and information about these real-time relationships or expectations while giving a better insight into what customers would expect or need in the near-future.
So how and why should Sales Teams Use Sales Intelligence to Boost Sales Wins and Close more Deals?
Let’s start with a real life example – If marketing gives sales a bunch of information on prospects who have visited their website without details on what those prospects did on the website, sales has as good as a blank canvas from which to start their prospecting efforts.
Sales and marketing leaders who use sales intelligence to breakdown prospect behavior across multiple online channels, even their own websites have access to better insights on what prospects were doing on the website, what articles they consumed, whether they were interested in a demo or not. Sophisticated sales intelligence that shows sales teams how prospects interacted with their company website can help them prioritize leads on the basis of their interest. Sales intelligence allows sales teams to understand more on which prospect to spend time on and which ones to give lower priority to.
Building Targeted Sales Cadences
Every marketing and sales team of today knows that without crafting personalized messages in today’s buying environment, prospects are less likely to continue showing interest in a brand. Buyers today expect better personalization across the channels that they themselves are most active on. This is where sales and marketing leaders have to come together to use their business intelligence and sales intelligence to not only identify what kind of messaging works with which kind of prospect, but to also plan complete cadences and campaigns that match their online activity, their need and present-day interest.
Buyers today are spoilt for choice and have access to limitless information on brands and their competitors. In a recent State of the Connected Customer report, 67% of those who responded said they would switch vendors if another provider gave them a more enriching online buying experience.
In a competitive marketplace, sales intelligence and business intelligence helps sales and marketing team to prevent customer churn by addressing these core challenges and expectations because its gives them the right context to help build relevant, personalized and more importantly aptly targeted messaging.
Shortens B2B Sales Cycles
B2B sales cycles have always been considered to be longer than a typical B2C cycle. Yet, sales leaders who have implemented stronger sales systems with sales intelligence have been successful at reducing the length and complexity of a typical B2B sales cycle.
Every marketing and sales leader understands that buyers today are not only spoilt for choice, they have their own access to data to feed their research. Sales reps don’t have the kind of time as before to stick to typical sales cadences and wait for customers to move from one buying stage to the next at their own pace.
Sales intelligence can provide information on not only the best leads to prioritize and go after first, it can help identify those prospects that would convert faster than others, thereby allowing sales reps to focus more efforts on this subset.
The right messaging, when used at the right time on prospects who are more likely to convert will eventually help shorten the sales cycle and lead to faster wins.
What does it take to drive sales with the sales intelligence?
The magic in sales intelligence lies in using it the right way to improve processes. But there was a few fundamentals that have to be adhered to, to ensure your sales intelligence works for your business’s benefit.
Before implementing a new sales intelligence platform, sales and marketing teams should work in tandem with each other to build their ICPs (Ideal Customer Profiles). This serves as a detailed description on the kind of prospects or audience the company as a whole is looking to target. A well thought out ICP typically includes information on prospects like their industry, annual revenue, budgets, location, immediate competitors, employee strength, customer base, etc.
Complimenting this information with sales intelligence to then identify key alerts on the company (for example funding news or other announcements about mergers, new hires to leadership, etc) further enables sales and marketing teams to identify buying triggers and work on crafting personalized messaging and campaigns.
In a data-driven marketing and sales environment, what sales and marketing teams need to always keep in mind is that they will always need access to multiple sources of data to better understand their customers. To drive better sales and marketing today, both teams need better data and proper data processes and customer data management systems in place to track, enrich, unify and then inform their own cadences and campaigns to create stronger business impact.
Sales intelligence provides sales teams with the actionable insights they need to thrive in today’s marketplace.