Making a sale is a gradual process, especially in the B2B space. Salespeople work tirelessly to establish relationships with prospects, build trust and demonstrate their company’s ability to solve a problem with its products or services. The step-by-step approach isn’t quite an exact science. It takes time to nurture a lead and pinpoint the best time to start pushing a bit more. One way to move leads forward is with insights tied to the prospects’ needs. Insights don’t just appear. They, much like eventual B2B sales, come from a gradual process. In this case, the process starts with data and moves to intelligence before becoming actionable insights that B2B salespeople can act upon and use.
We all have access to more data than ever before. Just having big data isn’t a competitive advantage, nor is business intelligence. Databases with granular bits of information are a good starting point. The information needs analysis, though, to apply the proper context and become intriguing talking points that appeal to decision-makers. Insights change the paradigm of sales conversations and inform salespeople when it’s time to act. How, though, do we define data, intelligence and insights?
Data is where it all starts. Every basic piece of information related to prospects is an example of data: the regions in which they do business, company size and annual revenue or profit. Raw, hard facts are all pieces of data to inform the approach to a sale with a specific prospect. Firmographic and demographic data needs to be collected and available to salespeople. However, it’s only a starting point. Data needs context to be of any value.
As sales departments gather data on a prospect, combining bits of information will offer some conclusions about the organization. This is intelligence. Business intelligence, for example, takes disparate data points, such as a recent series of hires and some IT infrastructure upgrades, and helps salespeople glean a relevant frame of reference about the prospect.
Insights developed from data and intelligence tell salespeople when to target certain prospects and how to compel sales. Insights lift the veil to major market trends and behavior and inform sales strategies. From the timing of outreach to the specific product or service specifications likely to appeal to the prospect, insights are the product of data and intelligence.
Insights make sales team work efficiently
Integrating a platform for managing data and using analysis to process it helps glean relevant insights. Solutions designed specifically for these tasks help keep sales teams free to target their prospects most effectively. Salespeople don’t want to spend hours trying to extrapolate meaningful intelligence and insights from data; they want to be speaking with prospects and nurturing relationships. As important as the information is to the sales process, businesses need to arm their development teams with the tools that automate some of this work. That said, salespeople need to actively leverage their insights, whether it’s a fact-based conclusion or predictive analytics, to keep prospects engaged and close deals. Moreover, insights make teams more efficient. There’s no time wasted throwing irrelevant information at prospects, hoping it’s what will make them convert. Insights make conversations more meaningful and cut down on unnecessary phone calls to prospects.
B2B buyers have come to expect blindly made sales calls that offer no valuable information. With real insights, salespeople stand out from the pack, effectively controlling the sales process and demonstrating a commitment to working with a prospect as he or she makes a decision. Insights reveal sales triggers and concepts most relevant to individual targets.
Sales executives and team leaders like to talk about building relationships. Selling isn’t just about money, especially in the modern economy where customers have so many options. Insights don’t just tell salespeople how to close deals – they help salespeople understand the best way to nurture a lead, close a specific deal and foster a customer relationship.
Want to give your sales team more insight? Check out Avention’s blog to learn more about arming your team with the right information.