â€œIf you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.â€ It’s a concept that makes sense to me and countless others who deal in sales every day.
Why? Before a sales call, you research your prospect, explore their competitors, learn more about their company, industry, and team, and ultimately determine where your services best fill a need. Those are essential steps â€” after all, discussing a prospect’s recent company news is more effective than talking about the weather. However, this information gathering takes time and effort, and the task is made even more difficult when you’re under pressure to reach many prospects as quickly as possible.
This is where sales intelligence tools come into play. Today’s best solutions handle much of the preparation behind successful sales interactions and ensure you’re always ready for the next opportunity.
Life Is Easier With Better Sales Interactions
As a former sales leader, I know how daunting it can be to reach out to prospects and repeatedly tailor messaging to connect with their goals.
When using a sales intelligence tool to stay ready, you can leverage real-time customer data and push insights directly into your CRM. This approach empowers better prospecting and more thorough research, which saves time and dramatically increases the number of sales opportunities, insights, and improvements available to you and your team.
- Reduce energy and effort: Sales intelligence tools save time and resources. Rather than manually sifting through reams of information, sales intelligence solutions gather all available customer data, synthesize the information, and provide a comprehensive snapshot of your client (pain points, needs, opportunities, etc.). These insights prepare you to handle all elements of customer engagement, and you can open new sales conversations with greater speed, personalization, and confidence.
- Improve outreach timing: There’s a lot to be said for reaching prospects at the perfect time. As sales professionals, we’re constantly working to find the sweet spot. Top sales intelligence tools dynamically share news and insights with you, usually through a daily email summary, an updated news feed, or real-time push news alerts. These tools also track breaking news so that you’re the first to know about a potential opportunity and can immediately engage a prospect when they need you most.
- Build happier teams: There’s an underlying benefit of faster and simpler sales pipelines many organizations overlook â€” happy sales teams. By reducing sales-cycle stress, sales intelligence tools help employees feel capable, engaged in their work, and proud of their efforts. We all enjoy closing a deal, and employee happiness and retention rates improve when our teams can reach that milestone with less friction and more fun.Â
- Find top prospects: Sales intelligence tools help you determine where to go next once you’ve made headway with your intended prospects. For example, you can generate lists of new targets with similar qualities and needs to your existing roster based on available firmographic data or key organizational and operational insights like company size, locations, and verticals. This holistic prospecting approach makes it easier to quickly cover many new companies and identify strong candidates, which is a highly effective use of your time and resources. Leading tools help you prospect at scale and without limitations on public versus private sectors.
- Evolve into a trusted partner: When we go the extra mile for our customers, we build better relationships, and sales intelligence tools help us accomplish this goal. For instance, sales intelligence tools offer insights beyond sales conversations that prove extremely valuable when speaking with clients or prospects. You may be able to alert your client to a recent and essential acquisition in their industry or call out a timely opportunity around notable business events, such as the Cannes Lions Festival or Salesforce DreamForce. This depth of information sharing builds trust and helps customers think of your team as a valued partner, not just a vendor.
- Support other departments: Sales intelligence adds value beyond the sales team. Consider how your marketing counterparts can leverage prospect and client insights to learn more about content asset effectiveness, spot messaging improvements, and more. Over time, access to these findings helps your entire organization contribute more deeply to your success. Look for a sales intelligence solution that integrates with popular CRMs such as Salesforce to make information sharing across teams as easy as possible.
- Bridge geographic gaps: Now that sales teams work remotely, there’s a renewed emphasis on sharing information and keeping teams organized. You can no longer walk down the hall, poke your head into someone’s office, and quickly run through a prospect â€” at least not every day. Thankfully, sales intelligence tools facilitate the same level of collaboration, increase connections by storing helpful information in one place, and surface insights regardless of your location, time zone, or language. For example, if you found specific marketing materials helpful when interacting with a customer, you can quickly pass along those resources to the rest of your team, so they’re prepared to engage similar businesses in the future more effectively. Knowledge is preserved and shared regardless of where or when you log on.
Keeping Your Sales Team Ready Requires Some Work
Sales intelligence tools offer countless benefits and opportunities for your business. However, those strengths are less impressive when you have to start from scratch each time you’re ready to connect with a prospective customer.
The best way to avoid this outcome is through ongoing education or partnering with a sales intelligence provider that offers this service. It’s essential to continue building knowledge within your sales team about how to best use sales intelligence investments. This effort could include training around navigating the tool’s dashboard, connecting with customer service teams to dive deeper into new insights, or learning how to present sales information in easy-to-understand ways.
Staying ready will always require a little effort on your part. Thankfully, it’s no longer a chore with a modern sales intelligence tool in your corner.