Advantage You: How to Baseline Business Intelligence Tools

Serving up leads and sales is easy with the right sales intelligence. Knowing what you want in a platform, however, can prove to be a bit more challenging (think trying to take down Serena Williams or Andy Murray: Not an easy task!). We thought we’d break it down a bit, giving you the top four tips for finding your must-have sales resource. Human-verified data While a machine can serve you tennis balls to help up your game, one thing technology can’t do accurately is verify data for prospecting. The people checking the data in your business intelligence solution should understand how you’re going to use the information to ensure the data they gather is up to date and useful. Some providers data-scrape websites or social media communities for contact information. But if there’s no verification by actual humans, then the contact information you get could be out of date, inaccurate, or just wrong. Like strawberries and sour cream, or cucumber sandwiches in principle. Relationship mapping The ideal business database contact platform needs to break down the who’s who for you in a way that’s accurate, valuable, and easy to understand. You shouldn’t have to guess which agency and marketing contact is working with which brand. Bigger corporations often have multiple marketing divisions, each dealing with individual brands. Sometimes getting the contact information for the CMO of Nissan UK will be less helpful than getting the contact information for the SVP of marketing for the Nissan Micra team. Unless you’re looking for a conversation that ends with “you cannot be serious,” let your sales intelligence platform serve up something you...

Sales Intelligence Must-Haves to Find Decision Makers

Regardless of industry, sales intelligence resources provide background data on contacts, companies, and industries. The idea is that rather than spending hours researching and vetting contact information for decision makers – that may or may not prove fruitful – sales professionals can use these resources to easily access what they need. But do they actually work? The right sales intelligence tool for your company can turn prospects into leads faster, shorten your sales cycle, improve conversion rates, and free you up from the tedious stuff so you can focus on the meat of what you do – building relationships and closing deals. If you’re targeting national marketers and/or their agencies, there are specific features and functions that the highest-performing new business teams consider must-haves – in other words, the boxes that must be ticked to make it a worthy investment. In our 20+ years working alongside media, marketing, and agency new business teams, we’ve cultivated an acute understanding of what these particular groups need to succeed. After listening to our clients and conducting extensive research, from surveys and focus groups to beta tests and everything in between, these are the five must-haves our most successful clients tell us they need: 1) Human-Verified Data for Prospecting If meaningful sales intelligence could be scraped from the internet, it would be a brilliant investment to pay someone to write a script that could collect it for you. But the information needed to engage the right people at the right companies is not something that’s conspicuously floating around the web, or accurately crowd-sourced in any other way. That’s not to say that technology and...

Why Sales is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

On Sunday morning, thousands of serious runners and fun runners will gather in Blackheath to begin the 37th London Marathon. Some will be dressed in running shorts and vests, others as superheroes or Teletubbies. On the surface, running and selling might not have very much in common, but as you explore the ways prospecting, sales and running are similar, it’s very clear that sales is definitely a marathon, not a sprint. It’s about endurance and persistence You’ve probably heard that it takes somewhere between 8 and 12 “touches” to get a prospect to understand what you offer and how it will benefit them. As a sales professional, you know that it makes sense to spread these points of contact out over a few weeks because the timing matters. If you called and emailed the same prospect every hour for a day there’s a good chance you’d ruin your chances of ever making the sale because that kind of behavior is irritating. But if you wait too long between contacts you might have to explain yourself from the beginning again to help them remember you. It can take a while just to get to the starting line As you watch the marathon on television this weekend you’ll notice that the fastest runners (usually professionals and Olympians) get to go first so they don’t have to fight their way through thousands of tubby amateurs in fancy dress. That means most participants have a slow trudge just to get to the start line. In sales, you might have a long stretch of fruitless outreach before you finally get your prospect on the...

Is Your Sales Crew Pulling Together?

On Sunday, Oxford and Cambridge students will gather at Putney Embankment to contest the 163rd Boat Race. The crews have to work together, synchronizing their sweep speeds, drive, and recovery, to power their team’s boat to Chiswick Bridge finish line, 6.8 km away. If you’re a sales team manager, you can probably relate to the focus and exertion required. Making sure your sales team are all rowing in the same direction can be the difference between leaving your competitors in your wake or running aground. There are three key areas where managers can influence their team’s performance, and there are more nautical puns ahead, so let’s get to them… All hands on deck! Communicating your vision and expectations is one of the most important things you can do as a manager. If your team doesn’t know what you want from them, they can’t possibly deliver it consistently. Your expectations are informed by your department’s sales goals, which hopefully help the company meet revenue numbers. As those expectations trickle down to your team members, it’s imperative that you do a few things: Take them on a fantastic voyage Christopher Columbus somehow managed to persuade three boatloads of sailors to embark on a voyage that, by contemporary understanding, would sail them off the edge of the world to certain doom. Think on that for a moment when you’re wondering how you can motivate your team to make a few more calls every day. If you can visualise a destination your team wants to go to, where untold riches await them (maybe actually untold riches if that’s how you structure their commission),...
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