Having accurate, verified sales intelligence can be the life blood of a reseller; having the names and contact information for key decision makers should enable them to quickly and effectively close deals.
The problem is that sales intelligence can mean different things to different people. Some may view it as simple list building and data collection, while others have much more complex systems to help them identify, target and close sales prospects.
Sales reps can spend a lot of time seeking quality leads and trying to determine the right contacts at their target accounts. Yet spending money on data sources only to be disappointed by the quality of said data is a common experience.
Selling IT has become far more complicated, due in part to the distributed nature of technology used by target organisations today. Key stakeholders may boast a wider variety of titles and hail from a more diverse range of departments. Purchasing has become decentralised.
Salespeople do not wish to waste their hours trying to navigate phone trees or get past gatekeepers. Salespeople should not be cold-calling an organisation to talk to "whoever is in charge of technology purchases" or databases, or whatever, but this still happens every day.
A quarter of sales time can be spent on prospect research.
Sales reps therefore need insight into prospect organisations that enables them to understand the reporting structure, gather contact information on targeted employees, and learn what relevant projects might be under way. This is the difference between real sales intelligence and merely buying or creating lists.
Sales cycles spent on research are not very rewarding. When sales reps have access to accurate, relevant data – without spending hours of frustrating research time – it will leave them feeling much less burdened and able to focus on what they do best: selling.
Using knowledge of the prospect company's current environment is always a good way to start a conversation. With comprehensive, current sales intelligence, approaching prospects will be calculated and timed to the prospect's needs, not the reseller's.
Reps could make calls knowing that they are not only phoning the right contact but also offering something tailored to answer an identified gap within the company. It can help sales reps spend more time selling, shorten the sales cycle, and close more deals. They can target and focus their efforts in a practical way and finally break out of list hell.
Henry Schuck is chief executive of DiscoverOrg
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