Questions this article answers:
- What is sales intelligence?
- How to leverage sales intelligence better?
- How to include sales intelligence in your plan?
- How to include data in your sales strategy?
You’ve gone and bought lumber, bricks, mortar, drywall, and everything else you might need to build the house of your dreams. You’ve even hired a builder to put them all together. Easy, right? After all, you have all the pieces of a house. But there’s just one problem — you don’t have a house plan!
That’s the predicament too many enterprise sales teams find themselves in when it comes to sales intelligence. You can have all the sales intelligence data in the world, but if you don’t have a plan in place to use it—you can’t expect it to take you very far. You need a blueprint to show you how the pieces fit together to form a greater whole.
What is sales intelligence? Sales intelligence is leveraging new-school software and technology with old-school best practices and human insight in order to take advantage of uncovered opportunities for your sales.
If you’ve done your digging and found what sales intelligence tools are right for you, then it’s time to put it all the data together into a plan of action that can grab your prospects’ attention—and win their business. Here’s how to get started.
Sales Intelligence Strategy #1: Pitch Perfectly
Avoid running off half-cocked at the first sign of insight. Maybe your prospect is entering a buying cycle or you got word that they had extra quarterly funds to burn. But if you don’t take a step back to prepare, you could find yourself stranded later on in the sales cycle when a curveball gets thrown your way.
Executives find a majority of their sales meetings to be a waste of time, so take time to immerse yourself in all the information you gathered to gain a deeper understanding of the bigger picture. Use the iceberg principle as your guide. Even if you only end up using a tiny fraction of your research, your overall strategy will be stronger for it.
Once you’ve distilled all the information into a cohesive message, craft your pitch and practice repeatedly. Share it with insiders who have familiarity with the account. If you’re in contact with a former buyer who used to work at your prospect’s organization, even better. Ask for feedback and incorporate their suggestions when refining your pitch’s message. If common issues seem to arise, refer back to your data pool to look for a different angle.
Sales Intelligence Strategy #2: Ration Your Resources
To get the most mileage out of your data, make sure you’re steering it toward the accounts with the greatest revenue-generating potential. Look for the 20-50 businesses that best fit your ideal customer profile (with plenty of revenue and headcount to support expansion), and place them on the top tier of your list. This will be the category that gets the lion’s share of attention.
Next, look to the remaining accounts and divy them up between two final tiers. Place up to 200 accounts in a moderate priority range: businesses that still have good potential to close but are maybe not as high profile as your biggest accounts. While they may not be your main priority, these accounts still need plenty of love, and will require a decent amount of your resources, sales intelligence tools and SDRs along with a good degree of personalization.
For the accounts that remain, place them in the lowest tier. The odds that business here will be won are slim, so direct your resources toward better bets.
Sales Intelligence Strategy #3: Turn Insight Into Action
With all your accounts now neatly segmented by priority you can begin to craft a plan of action appropriate for each one. To help you start distilling all the information you’ve gathered into an informed messaging strategy, think like your prospect and ask yourself three types of questions: whats, whos, and hows:
- What does their tech stack look like?
- Who’s the main decision-maker?
- How do internal conflicts play out at the account?
Ask yourself more than just these three, of course, and group your responses by category. Now, examine your answers. You should find that the list of responses has revealed the best course of action and what needs your solution should strive to address. Only 13 percent of buyers believe sales people understand their needs. So if you can solve this riddle, you’ll be way ahead of the pack.
To make sure you’re aligning the information correctly, and really getting a clear picture of your prospect’s needs, ask yourself three final questions: How does your solution address these pain points, what sets it apart from others on the market, and what messaging will make your pitch resonate the most?
In many ways, these questions should come as no surprise. They were probably on your mind at the start of the sales process. But now, with ample data, the right tools, and a sound strategy in place you’re better equipped to answer them and deliver maximum value to your buyer.
If you want to get the most out of your sales intelligence data, you need to distill it into a single, cohesive strategy and aim it directly at your target accounts. Once you’ve gathered the right data, use it to inform your first pitch. To help you understand where you should be directing your resources, break down all your accounts by priority, and target them accordingly. To finally translate your information into an actionable strategy, ask yourself questions about your prospect, their pain points, and the major players you’re likely to encounter along the way. How does your solution address them? Your answers here will show you the way forward.
For more insight on gathering and aligning your sales intelligence data, as well as more information on what intelligence tools are right for you, check out our latest guide: “The Expert’s Guide to Sales Intelligence” today.
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