5 Steps to Getting the Most Out of Your Sales Intelligence Data

Author: 
Jean Chen and Carter Young

There are many intriguing sales intelligence tools available and almost all of them promise a competitive advantage for your sales team. It’s true that sales intelligence is becoming a game-changer for successful sales and marketing teams, but only if that tool is used.

When researching sales intelligence tools, it’s critical to consider how it will be integrated with your sales development team’s existing workflow. Follow these tips to make your sales intelligence solution become a part of your team’s day-to-day activities.

1. Integrate into existing systems
No matter how great your sales intelligence tool is, it’s useless if your team cannot easily incorporate it into their day-to-day workflow.

Let’s say you purchase a new tool that provides market alerts to your team. If your sales people have go outside their current CRM system to access this data, the adoption rate will most certainly be low because you are asking them to work outside of their standard workflow. However, if you can ingest the data directly into the CRM system, engagement will go through the roof.

2. Assign a program owner
A critical component for making sure your team gets value from a sales intelligence tool is assigning an owner to oversee deployment. Designate a program owner representing the sales and/or marketing teams – even if it’s only during the onboarding process – who will be responsible for integrating the data, developing program metrics and making program tweaks.

3. Train according to use
Training your teams on how to use sales intelligence is just as important as reducing workflow friction. Sales intelligence is only valuable if your teams can act on it effectively and in many cases, this type of data will be new to them. The value of the data may seem obvious, but you should provide your teams a step-by-step guide on “how to be intelligent” with the intelligence, pairing different types of intelligence with a specific sales approach to increase success.  

For instance, having the intelligence that a target account has received funding doesn’t mean this fact should be incorporated immediately into the “opening” pitch. Instead, your sales development reps could ask a series of discovery questions that uncover the goals of this funding and how your company can help.

4. Be flexible with success metrics
Many of today’s sales intelligence tools provide new data that companies have not had access to before. As such, the impact on the pipeline is unknown and success may have to be defined differently.

For example, one of our clients who uses BuyerSignals – a SaleScout Data Solutions product that provides triggers on target accounts – found they had to implement more comprehensive metrics to measure the impact of this intelligence. Since these “signals” generate a different workflow than typical leads, they could not be measured with standard funnel metrics like lead-to-opportunity conversion rates. Instead, the company looked at more advanced revenue-based metrics such as lifetime-value per close-won, opportunity-to-close rates, and fully loaded cost-per-opportunity. This approach helped them analyze how this data contributed to the overall pipeline, at both the top and bottom of the funnel, over the course of time.

5. Look for opportunities to use sales intelligence data elsewhere
Understanding how sales intelligence fits within your tech stack can open new doors you didn’t even realize existed as there may be other opportunities for you to use this data in different ways.

For example, SaleScout’s BuyerSignals intelligence is traditionally used by SDRs and sales teams, but what if your marketing team could use this same data for scoring to better qualify and nurture leads? What if marketing cadences were built around signals instead of audiences, focusing on commonalties in buying behavior?

When considering a sales intelligence solution for your team, make sure the data can be integrated smoothly and completely into your team’s workflow. Following these steps will go a long way to ensuring your sales intelligence investment adds value to your sales pipeline.

Jean Chen is vice president of marketing and Carter Young is director of sales training at SaleScout Data Solutions, a B2B sales and marketing solutions provider.