The article “9 Sales Apps to Help Small Businesses Sell Better” demonstrates how small businesses can sell better by taking the phrase “knowledge is power” to heart.
Now, take your sales results to the next level by focusing your efforts where they’ll have the greatest effect.
The Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said, “To attain knowledge, add things everyday. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.”
In the context of sales, you can read this quote as follows:
- Using one or more of the sales apps listed in this previous article, you can gather lots of knowledge about your prospects and customers and that will help you sell better.
- To really get the most out of that knowledge however, you need to discover and focus your efforts on the prospects and customers that are most likely to buy from you and remove, or at least deprioritize, the rest.
Welcome to the age of sales wisdom, otherwise known as sales intelligence (SI).
According to Brent Leary, Partner at CRM Essentials, SI “helps you leverage the huge amount of information from customers and prospects gathered on other platforms by aggregating and analyzing that data and then telling you what’s important for a specific contact in real time.”
“In other words,” Leary continued, “SI helps get you to the right person at the right time with the right message to increase the likelihood you can move the sales cycle forward.”
How do you attain sales wisdom? By finding a guru, of course!
No, that’s not a reference to a man in a long flowing robe. In this case, your sales guru will be an online sales intelligence solution.
These solutions collect prospect and customer data from hundreds and even thousands of sources and, after analyzing all that information using complex proprietary algorithms, they score each contact or organization so you know which is most likely to buy right now. In other words, those are the leads you should focus on next.
SI solutions don’t just analyze and predict. They also help you take the actions most likely to lead to sales by pushing their recommendations back to your customer relationship management (CRM) system. So you know when it’s time to make your move and what move you should make (e.g. phone call, email, etc.).
In many ways, SI solutions are analyzing data in the same way a human would, finding connections between behaviors from both internal and external sources:
- Internal sources can be contacts in your in-house CRM system, transactions from your ecommerce solution, website behaviors from your marketing automation system (e.g. submitted forms, downloaded documents, webinar sign-ups and attendance) and much, much more.
- External sources can be social media updates, employee counts, open job listings, Web presence beyond a website, technology vendors used, patents and trademarks filed and much, much more.
Here’s a representative example of data sources from Infer, one of the SI solutions discussed below:
The coolest part of all is the fact that sales intelligence systems are always learning from your business’s past performance. Yes, by looking at whether its suggestions were successful when acted upon, these systems can adjust the suggestions they make in the future.
Now that’s a lot of power in one package.
Ready to get wise? If so, here’s a list of the top four sales intelligence solutions available for you to use right now.
The Top 4 Sales Intelligence Solutions
SalesPredict uses its sophisticated predictive technology to not only rank your leads but to calculate a “conversion probability” for each:
Infer starts with your data, adds thousands of attributes mined from the Web and then crunches through all that data to create an “Infer Score” that indicates the likelihood of a sale at this time:
Lattice Engines uses a balanced mix of data points to calculate a score that indicates which of your leads are most likely to convert:
InsideSales approaches lead scoring differently than the other solutions on this list. This solution constantly collects transaction information from its many partners. (You can see how many of those there are designated by the huge number at the top of the graphic below: Click here to see it increasing by the second.) InsideSales compares the contact data in your CRM system to the demographic data collected with each transaction to calculate a score that indicates each lead’s likelihood to convert into a sale.
Sales intelligence solutions take selling to a higher level by enabling small businesses to leverage not only their own prospect and customer data but also thousands of additional data points collected separately.
Sales intelligence solutions take selling to the next evolutionary step by analyzing all that data to create actionable scores and recommendations that help small businesses sell better.
Matt: I didn’t know about these sales intelligence tools. Do they belong to the business intelligence field?