Here are 10 blog posts on some numbers and practices about sales intelligence.

  1. Analytics in Action – The B2B Sales Intelligence Blog
  2. 6 Ways Advanced Market Analytics Can Predict Better Results – Studio PMG
  3. Sales Intelligence Is More than Smart Selling – Destination CRM
  4. Sales Intelligence – Kaleidico
  5. Sales Information is NOT Sales Intelligence – Partners in Excellence
  6. A Dip Into Sales Data vs. Sales Intelligence – InsideView Blog
  7. Improve Sales Results with Better Forecasting and Sales Intelligence in CRM 2011 – Microsoft Dynamics Blog
  8. Sales Intelligence – Benefits of Sales Intelligence Solutions – EzineMark.com
  9. Best Practices in Sales Intelligence featuring Aberdeen Research (Webinar) – Aberdeen Research
  10. Sales Intelligence in B2B Lead Generation – Vendere Partners

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Sales and marketing generally finds significant number of startups and solutions coming up every year. Question generally that we encountered is: is there a true case of artificial intelligence in sales and marketing? Here is a quick analysis of status quo.

Analytics driven Use cases in B2b marketing are put in two categories from my side of the world.
1. External Data driven 2. Internal Data Driven and a combination of those two.

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Marketing AutomationDays of cold calls in marketing domains are numbered. How many times do we respond positive to a cold call when the person on other side does not know us at all? Outbound lead generation is not an easy task. I have seen people performing exceptionally well when message is clear, some degree of intent is there on the other side. Question is – How do we know the intent on other side.

We (OceanFrogs) took data science approach to solve the problem. Wait a minute? What is the problem? It is not easy to identify who to send an email or a phone call and try to start a useful conversation. There are three questions to answer?

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There are two problems that Industry still wants to solve efficiently.

1. Are you engaging (with) the right buyer ? In other words, Is buyer engaged in solving the problem that you want to solve ? How do we answer that question. One can check the following:

Is potential buyer hiring resources in the problem space that your product/services?

Is potential buyer investing in tools that are pre-requisite to your software ?Is potential buyer investing in center of excellence relevant to the areas ?

Is potential buyer building platform similar to the solution that you do offer ?

Is potential buyer using technology that is the precursor to your technology?

There are other signals to check.

Is potential buyer financially stable ?

Is potential buyer active in the market out there doing partnerships, acquisitions, appointments ?

These signals tell us about the intent. Intent is all we need to know at this stage.

2. Who should you engage with ?

Its humanely impossible to keep an eye on high number of target accounts, spread in various geographies. That is where sales intelligence tool and predictive marketing tool come in handy. This tool category provides you with relevant information about target accounts that you can use to focus and run your marketing campaigns on. There are B2B companies where number of target customers is limited (less than 100). It is possible for marketing and sales department to know all of them, do research on them on google. I would still argue that its efficient that a sales intelligence platform keeps an eye on these accounts.
Airline Industry Insights

I do see that B2B software companies have hundreds of unqualified leads in their CRM database but dont have enough insights on those accounts and hence are not able to make a decision to pursue them or not. B2B software and services providers have spent good money on collecting email addresses and list of companies. Some have gone further and collected quantitative information such as number of stores, revenue, growth. B2b companies have built good foundation. My proposal is that B2b companies should take the next step and save insights on target customers (financial, growth, production, software, and decision makers). Intelligence on customer is becoming available. Tools to fetch more intelligence on customers through their website is also becoming maintsteam.

There are many sales intelligence and predictive marketing products that solve it in bits and pieces. I believe that these are the holy grail use cases of marketing function.

Furthermore, you have to be engaged with potential customer at the right time. Customers also do expect that you have done good home work about them before you call them for a discovery call. Marketing domain focused on these two problem statements will be well for themselves and the industry.

Job of a marketing professional is not easy these days. There is significant activity and noise on all marketing channels. It is not easy to be visible anymore. Is it due to marketing automation?

It is true that marketing automation has taken us to another level. Marketing teams have embraced or are embracing automation at unprecedented level. We do see increase in marketing budgets over last few years. Marketing teams have been fairly willing to experiment with new technologies and don’t mind spending some bucks at new software or practice.

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CRM systems and sales intelligence tools have made marketing automation field quite competitive in last few years. Everyone has a campaign management tool, a subscription to the list of organizations, list of email address, and Linkedin Subscription. Use of Search engine optimization techniques has made sure that inbound leads are increased.

There is an increasing use of intent data by marketing teams at the same time. Intent of the potential customer is identified by various means such as webinars, news, twitter post, and linkedin postings. There are other data sources that have shown good signals on prospect’s                                                                                           behavior.

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Information is key to B2B sales and marketing folks. This is one of weapons sales and marketing depends on. Keeping an eye on prospect customers is important and it is something that every marketing professional seeks. This information is used to win clients, build marketing strategy, build sales goals and provide inputs to productteam. OceanFrogs platform helps you provide you signals that one can use to target customer, have a well-informed conversation, and analyze industry trends.

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