Sales Intelligence: The Key to Revenue Growth
It’s 2023, and your buyers can smell your generic outreach from two inboxes away. They expect personalization at every stage and step of your sales cycle. Your sales reps need accurate and relevant data to draft personalized outreach in terms of priorities, pain, and authority. This is where sales intelligence steps in as a Robin to your Batman sales reps. In this ultimate guide to sales intelligence, we walk you through what is sales intelligence, its importance, leveraging it in your lead generation process, and so much more. Let’s get right into it.
I. What is Sales Intelligence?
Sales intelligence is the process of gathering, analyzing, and utilizing data from a variety of sources generally with the help of sales intelligence tools, to improve sales efficiency and drive more revenue. The components of sales intelligence are:
- Firmographics: This involves data about organizational attributes like industry, number of employees, headquarters, capital raised, annual revenue, and ownership type.
- Demographic Data: This involves information about the decision-makers with whom your sales team will interact along the purchase journey. This includes their name, role, and purchasing power, indicating whether they're the right person for your sales teams to engage with.
- Psychographics: Prospects’ personality traits, behaviors, beliefs, and preferences.
- Technographics: The tech stack that the prospect company uses, including their CRM and marketing and sales automation platform.
- Persona maps: The titles of buyers, the people in different departments, and the level of engagement with an account.
- Intent data: Accounts interested in your product, reasons for their interest, and their likelihood of purchasing soon.
Sales teams leverage sales intelligence to:
- Identify new markets in terms of leads
- Optimize sales strategies
- Build stronger customer relationships
- Boost customer experience
- Better meet the needs of their target audience
- Keep track of competitors and their efforts
How is sales automation different from marketing automation? Understand the differences between marketing and sales intelligence here.
II. Identifying and Accessing Sales Intelligence
A. Internal Sources: CRM Data, Billing Data, and Product Usage Data
CRM data, which gives you the information you have internally about a prospect stored in a single space. This includes contact details, demographic data, purchase history, engagement history, and other data, helping to build a sales pipeline and keep track of a lead throughout the sales cycle. Billing data provides insights into who’s converted from a free to a paid plan, customer churn, monthly variance, and revenue growth. Product usage data shows how your users are engaging with your product. This can range from users viewing your pricing and integrations page to the number of downloads made on the platform and users who engage with your in-product nudge messages.
B. External Sources: Third-Party Enrichment Data
While your CRM, billing data, and product usage data provide a pretty comprehensive view for your sales teams. It is essential that they have access to other information related to the organization and the buyer. This ensures your sales reps are targeting and reaching out better. Your CRM and internal data can integrate with third-party enrichment tools like Apollo and Clearbit that offer real-time data about firmographics, demographics,technographics of a company, and other business intelligence. Data enrichment provides a well-rounded view of your sales pipeline.
C. Sales Intelligence Tools and Platforms
Popular sales intelligence solutions include HubSpot, Zoominfo, Toplyne, Gong, and Apollo. Some use machine learning and natural language processing to extract data and target high-value prospects. Sales intelligence platforms allow sales teams to personalize outreach, close more deals and hit that sweet, sweet quota.
III. Leveraging Sales Intelligence for Prospecting and Lead Generation
A. Defining Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs)
A sales ICP is a cornerstone of your sales strategy. It provides high-level information about leads most likely to buy or spend more. It helps salespeople understand which leads they must spend time on and tailor messaging that resonates with them, to close deals quickly.
B. Customizing Outreach and Messaging
Firmographics, demographics, technographics, and intent signals help sales teams craft personalized messaging. With all this information when put together, sales reps have a better view into how their outreach should speak to their buyer’s pain, priorities, and how their product fits right in the buyer’s tech stack. This also ensures that sales reps act on time to customer buying signals.
C. Conducting Targeted Account Research
Sales intelligence allows sales teams to create structured strategies for targeting a set of highly qualified leads. The goals can be to sign new accounts, upsell to existing accounts, cross-sell different products to different teams within the company, or close deals quicker.
IV. Utilizing Sales Intelligence for Effective Customer Engagement
A. Personalizing Sales Outreach, Messaging, and Demos
Sales intelligence can be used for personalized outreach by focusing on high-opportunity buyers. It is also essential in creating personalized demos that speak to a prospect’s use case, timelines, and budget. Additionally, sales intelligence data can be leveraged to craft different types of sales messaging which can be A/B tested with a set of buyers and help create a refined sales playbook.
B. Identifying Key Decision-Makers and Champions
The firmographic data and account-level information that forms part of sales intelligence points sales teams to the key stakeholders and decision-makers. Product usage data reveals users who can champion your product internally and sell in a bottoms-up motion. This visualization is useful in planning sales messages targeted to specific personas that have purchase and decision-making power and also nurture champions who then sell internally to stakeholders.
C. Tailoring Sales Messaging to Pain Points and Priorities
Sales intelligence data on how customers interact with a product, what they like or dislike about it, and churn survey responses help frame messaging that speaks to your buyer’s pressing use cases. With the required data at their fingertips, sales teams can save time manually sifting through the information, spend hours adding a layer of personalization to sales messaging, and target prospects without a pressing pain to solve.
D. Leveraging Competitive Insights for Differentiation
Competitive insights tell you which features and benefits the market values. A clear idea of market trends and competitors’ strengths and weaknesses can inspire actionable insights on several aspects of the sales experience.
V. Enhancing Sales Intelligence with Technology and Tools
A. CRM and Sales Enablement Platforms
A sales enablement platform integrates with a CRM to:
- Automate selling actions, such as sending email follow-ups and sequences
- Engage leads and users over their preferred channels
- Organize daily sales activities and tasks
- Analyze sales data and generate reports for better decision-making
B. Sales Intelligence Software and Data Providers
B2B database providers collect contact information from credible public sources and provide firmographic, technographic, and demographic information about your prospects. They help find new opportunities for sales reps and sales teams to capitalize on. Companies leverage sales intelligence software to use internal and external data to increase deals closed and improve sales processes.
C. Predictive Analytics and AI-Driven Behavioral Lead Scoring
Predictive analytics helps sales teams analyze their pipeline better in terms of forecasting, where a lead is in terms of a sales cycle, and the right time to message them, through the right channel. Artificial Intelligence (AI) lead scoring is an algorithm-based machine learning lead scoring strategy that uses all historical customer data to continuously calculate a score for each lead in real time.
Tools like Toplyne, continuously segment and score your leads to surface conversion and expansion pipeline in your CRM for your sales teams to go after.
Here’s how companies like Canva and Vercel generate sales pipeline from their self-serve funnel using Toplyne:
- Step 1/7: Create monetization playbooks to surface conversion and expansion opportunities (leads most likely to convert to paying customers, and teams most likely to grow into larger teams)
- Step 2/7: Choose the right leads to target – users (individual users) or accounts (a group of users with an organization).
- Step 3/7: Select the frequency at which you would want leads synced in your GTM apps.
- Step 4/7: Define how many leads you want by either the number of leads or your expected win rate, depending on your sales capacity and GTM strategy.
- Step 5/7: Build custom segments - Build custom segments based on And/Or logic at the deepest level of sub-properties within your product analytics.
- Step 6/7: Validate your GTM strategy - Hold back some users as a control group to test your GTM strategy.
- Step 7/7: Sync your product qualified pipeline into your GTM destinations - CRMs, sales & marketing execution tools, and customer engagement platforms.
D. Go-To Market Touchpoints and Outreach Automation
There are several GTM touchpoints, including blogs, social media posts, email newsletters, landing pages, and customer reviews. Outreach automation software automatically builds outreach lists based on predefined criteria like industry, location, company size, role, technologies, and more. Automated sequences help your sales team reach out to prospects at scale across different channels.
Discover top 10 sales intelligence tools that you need in your sales stack for effective outreach campaigns and better conversion rates.
Sales intelligence makes sales prospecting more reliable, helps reps personalize their outreach, improves efficiencies, which results in accelerated sales cycles, and ensures better identification of lead-product fit. With the right sales intelligence tools, you can enable your sales team to hit their quota efficiently