Lead generation strategies are in place in businesses of all sizes around the world, or at least, they should be.
Whether you generate leads through an internal new business team tasked with sourcing opportunities or you use a platform like Meet Hugo to find opportunities, we’re going to take a look at the value of sales intelligence in the modern market so you can understand not only what it is, but how to use it to your competitive advantage.
Generating new leads is one of the most difficult and important roles in a business, and it often falls on members of the management team or dedicated new business teams to find those opportunities.
That’s what makes sales intelligence platforms so beneficial. Rather than spending time searching around contact lists and social media platforms in search of leads they can simply log-in to their sales intelligence platform and get all they need to reach out and start a conversation.
The role sales intelligence can play in your business
In the early days of a business it’s natural that it falls to the management and company founders because they’re the ones who know what they want the company to be, the types of work they want to go after and feel that they’re the ones in the best place to ‘sell’ the company to prospects. However, finding those prospects in the first place can be incredibly hard when you’re a fledgling company trying to bring in some new business in order to grow.
Even when the company has grown and developed to a position where lead generation is handled by new business teams, sourcing opportunities and arranging meetings is still incredibly difficult. It takes a great deal of experience and expertise to start conversations with strangers and to provide them with the kind of information that can open doors for you and get your team around the boardroom table. With sales intelligence at your disposal, however, you can whittle down the opportunities to find those that are most relevant to you, and even cut out great amounts of legwork by finding leads that are actively advertising work opportunities so you can reach out and get started on your pitch.
So the question is, why are so many people still failing to implement market or sales intelligence platforms into their growth strategies? When you can save so much time it’s pretty baffling, especially when time is at a premium and you need to start looking for leads to replace expiring contracts or to keep those leads trickling in to keep you all busy.
5 reasons to invest in sales intelligence
When you’ve employed a new business team or are coping okay with bringing in new leads it’s natural to question why you might change your approach to lead generation, but industry-leading technology can always help improve your processes and help to take your efforts to a whole new level, giving you the upper-hand over your competitors in the process.
We’ve already touched on some key benefits of sales intelligence, but here are five practical benefits to the invaluable information it can provide you with, just in case you need any final convincing why you should be investing in it and incorporating it into your lead generation plans:
- Contact details for decision makers in the business
One of the biggest challenges when reaching out to a prospect is getting through to the right person in the company. A lot of businesses will advertise their generic contact address, such as a contact@ or info@ email address, and this stops you from speaking to the all-important decision makers within the business.
With sales intelligence, however, you can get straight in contact with the people advertising the opportunity, or the person you need to speak to in order to start building your relationship. This is a great way for you to speak personally to those who have influence within the business, and you can even start following them or connecting with them on social media to find something in common that you can talk about besides work as you build that relationship. It’s the personal touch that can make all the difference.
- Specific requirements and project information
When you make initial contact with a prospect it’s hard to know what, if anything, they’re actually looking for or interested in. It might take a number of calls, emails and social media conversations to establish a relationship that opens a door for you to learn more about what they need, but with sales intelligence you can receive valuable, time-saving information that tells you all you need to know.
You can find out key information about the type of services a prospect is looking for, including any vital requirements or a summary of the needs and objectives of the business so you can decide whether or not this opportunity is worth pursuing and, if so, how you can help them.
- Where the prospect is based and who they want to work with
A lot of businesses like working with local agencies and partners, others are interested in spreading their wings a bit more and working with the best for their budget regardless of their location or even if they’re in the same country. It’s the personal touch and the ability to pop-in to their office to say hello or hold regular meetings that some business owners really like.
At the prospecting stage it’s vital to learn exactly where the prospect is based and whether or not they’re looking to work with an agency in the same city, region or country so that you aren’t wasting your time reaching out to a prospect from overseas or from Manchester or Leeds when you’re based in London.
- The potential value of the project
One of the most important considerations, especially when you factor in how much time, resource and company funds you would be investing into the pitch process, is the potential value of any work. When you reach out to a prospect initially they might give you an indication that they are looking for a particular service, but they might not know how much of a budget they will have until they look a little deeper into the potential opportunity.
With sales intelligence you can get a good idea of the potential value of the work because each opportunity is listed with either an exact or estimated budget. What this means is that you can assess whether or not it is financially viable to pursue the opportunity, or whether it will cost you more to pitch for the work than to actually win it and carry it out.
- The type of opportunity
Finally, and one of the most important benefits of sales intelligence, is the type of opportunity that is available. When reaching out to a prospect you might find that they are interested in particular services, but not actively advertising a contract or seeking a vendor at this stage - unless your pitch is particularly good, of course!
Sales intelligence can tell you that a business has put a contract out for tender, or when a business hires someone new in a particular role which might mean that they are looking to re-evaluate their current partner agencies or bring in a particular service to help put their stamp on things.
By knowing the type of working opportunity you can assess your approach to the lead. For instance, if it is a buying signal you might reach out to a new marketing manager to introduce yourself and congratulate them on their new role, building a relationship over time. However, if it is a tender you’ll want to think about how you’re going to structure your pitch to meet their brief, and how your services will meet their exact needs.
Every business is different and every new business team will have its own approach. So, whether you’re the Founder actively pursuing opportunities yourself or part of a ten-strong business development team, make sure that you’re open to the possibility - and opportunities - of utilising sales intelligence to not only save you time, but provide you with incredibly value insights into the quality of the lead you’re pursuing.
Not only that, your lead generation efforts could be ramped up significantly with a wealth of new leads in your account each week for you to analyse, discuss and pursue.