Since the dawn of time when people bartered their way through society, the art of selling has been reactive and predicated on assumptions, rather than concrete facts about potential clientele. But this off-the-cuff approach doesn’t bode too well anymore, because clued-up customers are all too familiar with this selling game and are hungry for something more meaningful to them. 

This is where b2b sales intelligence comes in to flip the script, making the overall selling process more proactive. And despite being a relatively new field, it’s swiftly carving its niche in the business landscape,  allowing businesses to capture customer data to inform a better, more personalised sales experience. 

What is b2b sales intelligence?

At its simplest, b2b sales intelligence is the collection and analysis process of customer data. It can improve lead generation, increase conversions, help you close additional deals, and give you a clearer picture of your sales process.

With b2b sales intelligence, the days of blindly tossing your products or services into an abyss of potential customers, hoping that your offer strikes a chord, are gone! With the right sales intelligence tools, you can learn exactly what prospective customers want and craft unique proposals tailored to their needs. 

Sales intelligence is also a great way to align your sales and marketing. According to HubSpot’s latest Sales Trends Report, 77% of sales professionals say that marketing and sales are somewhat or not aligned at their company. To solve this problem, both teams can use a sales intelligence tool to create content, align on data, and make more strategic decisions. Win-win for both teams!

How can b2b sales intelligence tools help close more deals?

From optimising interactions to fostering deeper customer engagements, b2b sales intelligence can accelerate deal closure rates. Providing a panoramic view of the prospect landscape, including their needs, pain points, and historical interactions, sales intelligence helps you tailor your highly relevant and customer-specific approach. This personalised touch not only establishes credibility but also aligns solutions more tightly to your prospect's requirements by providing the following:  

 A clear understanding of your Total Addressable Market (TAM)

Your TAM is the sum amount of revenue you make from your product or service and is critical in defining budgets, predicting growth, and segmenting your audience. Having a clear understanding of your TAM can keep your team on track and ensure you don’t waste time on the kinds of prospects who aren’t the right fit. 

B2b sales intelligence can give you an accurate snapshot of your TAM so you can analyse your clients, look for patterns and better inform the background of your buyer personas

Better detection of buying signals

If your buyer isn’t ready to take the leap, there’s no point going in for the hard sell. So how do you time your run-up perfectly? And how do you know what behaviours to look out for? B2b sales intelligence tools enable you to monitor websites, social media platforms, publications and news sources to help pinpoint trigger events that sound the buyer-ready alarm.

Through buyer intent data, you can see when a target researches your product or service and how they consume your website. This real-time information enables your team to know when a prospect will be most receptive to your outreach.

Synchronised sales and marketing teams

Marketing and sales departments aren’t always aligned. And this can cause communication falters between the two, setting the stage for confusion not only internally but among customers too. With sales intelligence tools, both teams have a greater vantage point of customer behaviours, preferences, and trends, creating a better understanding of the ‘why’ behind the buy.

This shared insight allows marketers to craft more targeted and compelling campaigns, armed with a holistic understanding of what resonates with different segments. Simultaneously, sales professionals leverage this intelligence to tailor engagement with prospects to improve their pitch and build trust. This results in a shorter sales cycle and more closed deals when well-executed.

Enhanced customer experiences

Customers don’t respond well to in-your-face, over-persistent salespeople these days. In fact, more and more customers enjoy doing their own research and formulating their own opinions before they make a purchasing decision. Similarly, businesses can use sales intelligence for doing some digging on customers to understand their expectations and enhance the customer experience.

Because the more you know your customer, the better you’ll be at demonstrating how you can solve their specific problem, interact in a way that resonates with them and connect on a meaningful level. 

What are the best b2b sales intelligence tools?

While b2b sales intelligence can be a powerful tool, not all sales intelligence platforms are created equal. Here are just a few options that can help you to improve lead generation and close more deals:

1. HubSpot

HubSpot Sales Hub fuses sophisticated tech with an intuitive design crafted to help sales teams do their jobs better. It’s a sales automation and customer relationship management (CRM) tool that simplifies managing a sales pipeline, automates sales tasks, streamlines prospecting, and can track all customer interactions. 

Every touchpoint and conversation can sit in HubSpot’s intuitive interface and keep the wheels of customer relationships in motion. Plus, the platform provides critical data and analytics that can translate into insights to optimise sales activities to beef up those figures. 

2. Apollo 

Data-first platform, Apollo, has a mammoth database with millions of verified contacts which makes it a useful tool, particularly for prospecting and lead generation. With access to information such as decision-makers in organisations, email addresses, contact numbers and more, it can enrich your customer data. 

One of its greatest selling points is that your sales team can see when an email has been opened, which is brilliant for prospecting.

3. ZoomInfo 

This sales intelligence tool is good for maintaining customer data quality, by ensuring that all names, numbers, email addresses, and so forth are correct and up-to-date. ZoomInfo uses routine surveys and research to make it easy for your sales team to identify who needs to be contacted - so everyone’s time and effort is used appropriately. 

Plus, with ZoomInfo, you can segment contacts to create specific messaging and ideal customer profiles (ICPs) for more direct targeting. 

4. LinkedIn Sales Navigator

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is another tough contender in the ring of b2b sales intelligence tools, providing advanced search and filtering options for LinkedIn outreach. This lets you narrow your search based on industry, location, company size, job title, and more. 

It can help you prioritise the accounts boasting the biggest and likeliest opportunities so you can use your time wisely. It also has a cool relationship explorer feature that helps you discover the right approach to prospecting so you’re not cross-selling to target accounts.  

Blending the right tools with a strategic approach, you can use b2b sales intelligence to your competitive advantage to help personalise your messaging, engage better with prospects, and build a long-lasting relationship with your existing customers. To learn how you can maximise your business potential with an effective b2b sales intelligence strategy, get in touch with us here

Brand chemistry is a b2b marketing agency winning your customers' hearts and minds through inbound, brand, content, lead generation and digital strategy. Our marketing specialists achieve stellar results with the latest lead generation techniques.

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