If a consumer searches online for a $10 item, they’re inundated with highly personalized ads, outreach, and predictive recommendations. But if that same person tries to purchase a million-dollar technology solution as a B2B buyer, they’ll face salespeople who show up to calls with a blank slate asking “What keeps you up at night? What challenges are you facing? Who do you currently use?”

It’s no wonder B2B technology buyers are frustrated.

Study after study makes the case for revenue teams to leverage meaningful insights with the right sales intelligence(E.g., McKinsey, Gartner, DemandGen.) Those who know their accounts, markets, and buyers consistently outsell less informed competitors.

If the payoff is so high, why the gap?

Your teams lack the right sales intelligence resource.

Realistically, most revenue teams actually can’t “do their homework.”
Your organization likely has a ton of sales intelligence tools. But those platforms are populated with publicly available summaries, scraped from the internet. With less than 30% of a salesperson’s time spent actually selling, no one has time to waste wading through generic information.

Revenue Teams HaveRevenue Teams Need
10-Ks, company websites, and scraped info.Insights into the specific pain points and business strategies that actually are driving technology purchases.
Account/territory lists.Insights to qualify and prioritize accounts within a list/territory.
Contact names and emailsInsights into which teams to target and what to say to buyers to engage them.
Account planning templates Insights to fill them in —before client “discovery” meetings. E.g., business drivers, decision-makers, buying processes, competition and more.
Preferred vendor checklistsInsights into how an account actually makes technology purchasing decisions.

What to look for, and where to find it.

Instead of going on research scavenger hunts or waiting for discovery calls (if you earn one) to learn about accounts, narrow the task. Arm sellers and marketers with a narrow set of specific sales intelligence resources, to quickly collect a targeted set of account insights.

Get up to speed on the basics with the right sales intelligence tools.

You’ll need to understand how the account does business and how it makes money. Start by looking at the market overall (regulations, economic factors, etc.) and then gather insights into the account’s financial performance and its growth strategies (M&A, reorganizations, new markets, cost reductions etc.)

  • Emissary Knowledge:
    Explore account insights into Selling Tips, and Annual Budgeting for insights into key business cadences.
    Explore Industry Profiles (found within the vertical insights section) to uncover trends impacting tech spend.
  • Public Statements:
    Set up a Google Alert for news stories relevant to the account.
    Use ChatGPT to summarize 10-k reports and analyst call recordings.

Uncover technology needs and pain points.

The basics won’t give you enough to craft messaging, develop pursuit strategies, or prep for sales calls. The next step is to identify specific pain points that are driving tech spend and that have a direct connection to your solution set. These sales intelligence insights are several layers deeper than public statements.

  • Emissary Knowledge:
    Look for needs and pain points in these sections: Selling Tips, Tech Budget Trends, Risk Tolerance for Tech Investments, Digital Transformation Progress, and Cyber Resiliency Maturity.

Clarify technology landscape, biases, and preferences.

Now, take stock of what platforms, tools, and capabilities the organization uses to solve their challenges today. You can use this information to uncover beachheads where your technology solutions will naturally fit, potential competitors, and possible alliance partners. As you build a picture of the account’s technology, be sure to uncover the underlying biases and preferences that drive architecture decisions and vendor selection.

  • Emissary Knowledge:
    Explore the sections on Perspective on Open-Source, Cloud Approach, Preferences for Broad/Narrow solutions, and Preference of Build vs. Buy to see how well your solutions align to existing biases and preferences.Explore the Tech Alignment: Elements and Partners section to identify potential alliance partners, complementary solutions, and competitors.

Uncover entry points and identify contacts.

Finally, work to identify roles and people central to decision-making in each of the buying centers. Cast a wide net. When we surveyed our Emissary executive buyers about their recent technology purchases, 85% leveraged a cross-functional buying committee of both business and technology stakeholders.

  • Emissary Knowledge:
    Use the Tech Strategy Ownership section to clarify if/how corporate IT and the business work together. The Tech Buying Roles and Buying Process Steps sections will explain how it works. And don’t forget the section on Procurement Influence which will help you decide when to engage this group.
  • 1:1 Coach Calls:
    Talk live with an Emissary advisor, a former executive in your target account, to identify specific contacts and gain insights into their decision-making style, and personal wins. These advisors can also collaborate with you to co-develop access and messaging strategies.
  • Contact Databases and Data Append tools:
    Use tools such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator, ZoomInfo, SalesIntel, and Lusha to get emails, phone numbers and validate spellings and titles.

Using Emissary’s primary-sourced sales intelligence, you’ll be able to grab these insights in minutes. As a result, you’ll make better decisions on whether to chase an account, how to do it, and what to say. Not only will you be more likely to earn a call with a coveted prospect, but you’ll also be able to invest that time exploring mutual value versus a one-sided ‘discovery’ call.

When to do it.

When meaningful insights are easy to access and consume, sellers and marketers don’t have to carve out “research days” in order to get up to speed on their accounts, markets, and buyers. You can efficiently fit this kind of research into just about any part of your workflow with the right sales intelligence tools on your side.

The key is to resist the urge to only do it once. Insights are a huge differentiator when you are trying to get into an account. But they become increasingly important as you move down a sales funnel and the stakes for each interaction rise. Be sure to do your homework both periodically (e.g., once a quarter) and ad hoc, in advance of key milestones.

Explore Emissary’s Strategic Sales Intelligence

Help your team do their homework with the right tools on their side. Emissary’s unique primary-sourced sales intelligence will better equip your teams with the meaningful insights necessary to make a better impression with their target buyers and win the sale. Talk to us today to learn how our offerings can support your growth.

1 Salesforce State of Sales Report 2023

2 For Government organizations, you’ll want to understand the mission of the organization, its scope of operations and how it goes about addressing the mission. Often, these will be spelled out in formally documented multi-year plans.