Sales Intelligence Tools: Helping You Boost Your Revenue

Illustration of a sales software dashboard displaying different types of charts.
Sales tools leverage modern data analytics and communication tools to keep your sales team in the know.

Trade and sales are a staple of any society. Yet, in order to get a sale, you’ll first need a buyer. Sales intelligence tools can help with that. For years, many sellers have been trying to meet demand by speculating the market demand, as well as the consumer.

This method is great for local markets. However, today, we’re all part of a global economy. Large sellers can afford to undercut smaller sellers. To bypass this, smaller sellers have tried to sell in smaller markets or provide offerings that aren’t practical for larger sellers. 

No matter your business size, you need as many advantages as you can get just to turn a profit. To this end, many turn to intelligent tools to stay ahead of the competition. A business must always know who the buyer is. Sales intelligence tools can provide all the answers you’re looking for.

In this article, I’ll discuss the top sales intelligence tools you need to boost your revenue. But first, let’s discuss what sales intelligence is and what it can offer you!

What Is Sales Intelligence?

Sales intelligence is any sales advantage achieved through access to sales-related structured information. You’ll note that the term ‘structured information’, meaning information that is in an unpalatable form, is effectively useless. You can liken this to receiving pure binary data from a data source. In that case, you can’t use it because it wasn’t compiled into a human-friendly format.

Sales intelligence tools take data from the marketplace, businesses, or clients. Then, they present it to your sales team after processing it into a usable format. Today, sales intelligence tools leverage the latest technology to process large quantities of repetitive data in real-time. Most sales intelligence platforms use artificial intelligence (AI) to process big data. In essence, AI enables you to conduct repetitive tasks on complex data much faster than a human. 

Now that you know what powers sales intelligence solutions, let’s take a look at how they’re used.     

How Can Sales Intelligence Benefit Your Business? 

Sales intelligence tools are a real asset to any organization. Below, I’ve listed 6 key business benefits sales intelligence tools can provide you:

1. Enhanced Sales Visibility

You often see sales intelligence platforms integrated into your customer relationship management (CRM) platform. These are cloud or cloud hybrid solutions that enable all users to see current information about a client or business. This ensures both in-house and onsite teams know the status of the client or a sale. You can also access CRMs using mobile phones. In turn, you can check for the latest information before stepping into a meeting. 

For example, if you’re scheduled to be onsite to speak to a CEO about a sale, you’ll need to know if your sales team logged a support call. This support call would tell you if an existing offering wasn’t working properly. Not knowing the current state of that company means that you won’t be able to propose your next sale to them. The last thing you want to do is sing the praises of the first offering and then try and use that to drive the sale later.

2. Improved B2B and B2C Sales Targeting

Businesses are either business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-customer (B2C) solution providers. B2Bs need different sales intelligence upstream from a downstream B2C in the value chain.

For instance, CRMs are excellent tools for gauging when the next sale may occur for B2B sellers. They enable a sales team to keep consistent contact with the client. The idea here is to achieve repeat business, as clients could be finite in your market or industry. As such, losing a client to another business could do significant damage.

On the other hand, B2Cs don’t care if they lose customers. They can easily replace them with new customers. Instead, they use CRMs to periodically send marketing content to the consumer. That way, B2Cs can start a click-funneling process. For this reason, sales intelligence helps you understand when to send out marketing material

3. Better Outreach Timing

Contacting a potential buyer too early results in them being not ready to buy. Conversely, contact them too late and they may have bought the offering from another business. 

Sales intelligent software analyzes the client’s data from a previous sale. Then, it works out when they need products. This also occurs in B2B companies. However, it’s less automated. That means you’ll have more personalized approaches toward the client.

4. Boosted Revenue

When dealing with clients or consumers, you must ensure that your business remains ‘relevant’ in the marketplace. This means you’ll need to continue developing your brand. You’ll also have to consistently expose your business to as many consumers as possible. In short, you need to keep prodding individuals with the brand to store it in their memory

Unfortunately, a business has finite money for marketing. You can use sales intelligence tools to help boost your revenue. They help determine when a person has dealt with your company previously. After that, they calculate what the best time is to send them promotions.

Furthermore, it’s wise to implement a filtering process for your client list. Without this process, you can end up sending a client information about all your products. This can irritate them and push them toward your competitor.

5. Better Lead Quality

The aim of the game for sales is to secure better leads. When many think of click-funnels, many novice salespeople think the idea is to get more people in the funnel. In fact, the sales funnel helps filter out people that aren’t ready to buy yet! Sales intelligence tools tell you when a client becomes a potential qualified lead. This is thanks to the solution tracking previous sales. It’ll also help you predict expectations on their future needs. 

You can also use sales intelligence tools to conduct website analytics. That way, you see what products clients are interested in, and not just what they’ve bought. This data can go into your CRM in a usable format. 

These analytics can work in two main ways. The first is to collect cookies to reverse engineer where the user has been, based on these cached cookies. The second is to use cursor trackers that monitor a user’s location and relate it to what’s on the webpage. Both modern solutions use AI to process this raw data.  

6. Current Industry Insights

One technology you may not associate with sales is a web-scraping tool. You can find these tools in many sales intelligence solutions. They help get the processed information into your CRM. Furthermore, they’re very useful because they’re directly applied to a target client’s social media accounts, corporate websites, and any other digital outlet. 

Many web-scraping tools have AI functionality for processing text written by the client. This text gets cross compared against keywords related to products or sales activities. If anything matches, this information gets relayed to the sales team through the CRM.

You can also use this type of technology to continuously process a large number of companies to try and predict their needs based on their posts. Before AI, many sales teams would need to scan each company or client manually. This was time-consuming and didn’t necessarily result in a sale. However, sales intelligence software verifies that you have a valid lead to add to your call list. This means you don’t need to call everyone and waste time getting rejected. As a result, your performance as a salesperson should skyrocket!

Now that you know how you can benefit from sales intelligence tools, let’s take a look at the desirable features these tools should have. 

What to Look For in a Sales Intelligence Tool

As previously mentioned,  you normally see sales intelligence tools integrated into a CRM solution. One of the key things to check is whether the tool works with your CRM and business workflows. Next, you’ll need to find out if the sales intelligence tool is capable of:

In addition to these initial requirements, you’ll need 5 more things. Let’s start with lead generation!

1. Lead Generation

Sales Intelligence tools should work with your CRM to help you automatically generate lead lists for your sales team. It generates these lists using a variety of data sources, such as web-scraping, sales history, or assessing the company’s website usage. Cross-filtering is then achieved using the CRM’s database that stores this collected data. 

2. Lead Qualification 

Qualifying a sales lead is important before contacting them to start the sales process. If done poorly, your sales team ends up wasting time calling uninterested clients. Even worse, they may feel you’re hounding or cold-calling them. Boost your sales with lead qualification through a sales intelligence tool. 

3. Lead Tracking

After a sale, the sales software assesses the client’s future needs. A future date gets added to the CRM to ensure a follow-up event isn’t missed. If you don’t initiate contact, the client could go elsewhere. In addition, if the client has reservations about the sale, you can use lead tracking to keep them on the backfoot in communications. 

4. Data Enrichment and Maintenance

You have to ‘enrich’ data to make it useful. Don’t just process it to make it more user-friendly. Instead, cross-compare it with other relevant sources. In addition to that, you must have current information. Old information is useless for making decisive conclusions on what the client wants.

5. Sales Enablement and Sales Engagement

Some sales intelligence tools have templates to help produce marketing content that is generated and sent automatically. For example, if you run an online casino company and a user is not frequenting your site as much, it could be that they’ve found another site with a better incentive. Your analytics will then flag the user and suggest you send this user a template that could match their next deposit, or another offering entirely. 

You could also create templates that act as a call-to-action and start a click-funneling process. These tools are invaluable for efficiently targeting clients and engaging them in any sales process.   

You now have an idea of what to look for in a sales intelligence tool. Let’s have a look at a few potential candidates worth considering!

Top Sales Intelligence Tools to Consider

You have many sales intelligence tools to choose from, and they’re all unique in the features they offer. In this section, I’ll be discussing the features of 5 sales intelligence tools and what they can offer you.

1. FirstRain 

Image showing the IgniteTech logo with their slogan underneath: "Where software goes to live."
IgniteTech is the company behind FirstRain!

First on our list is FirstRain, and rightfully so! It offers a total solution for your sales team to increase their performance. It enables you to create a go-to-market sales strategy with real-time insights on clients, territories, and verticals. Every sales team needs this when they start a sales campaign, as it ensures you’re not wasting time phoning unqualified leads.

You can also use this tool to get detailed market trends and product insights to uncover new opportunities before the competition does. FirstRain is also a full CRM integration and enterprise collaboration platform. This helps enable seamless adoption across your teams.

In addition to sales, FirstRain can help you produce your own marketing templates. This is great for B2C businesses. Interestingly, FirstRain allows you to conduct risk management of sales and marketing strategies. This ensures you’re not putting too much effort into an activity while risking the performance of others. This can be useful when dealing with multiple marketing and sales campaigns. For example, it can warn you if you’re financing one campaign over another that could yield better returns.

Overall, FirstRain provides you with everything you need to improve your sales in one integrated solution!

2. Apollo.io

Screenshot of Apollo.io software.
Apollo.io provides you with an immersive interface.

Next up is Apollo.io, which has a great UX enabling your sales team to get around fast. It also has an integrated database for managing sales activities. The tool claims that it can increase your productivity by ten times. This is roughly the type of productivity you should expect with these sales intelligence tools.

Interestingly, Apollo.io gives you access to 220+ million contacts and 30 million companies to help your B2B sales. It’s a little questionable how useful this is depending on how up-to-date the details are for you to use. You’ll also likely organically grow your own information for many contacts. 

In addition, Apollo.io allows you to web-scrape information and can integrate with Agile. With this integration, content from websites, such as LinkedIn, is automatically pulled from the site by Apollo.io. This ensures your CRM always has the latest contact information.  

Finally, Apollo.io has automatic list filtering generated by the software. That makes it highly useful for improving sales through qualification automation.

3. Echobot

Illustration of a folder on a shield with a padlock connected to users in bubbles.
Echobot boasts the highest security standards.

Echobot is well designed to optimize B2B sales activities. One of its main features is its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) security compliance. It protects users and personal details. This is important for companies, as any data leak can lead to reputation loss, which in turn reduces sales.

GDPR in European countries is also important for some sectors such as healthcare. Businesses in this sector cannot trade with healthcare providers without following this standard. For some businesses, this requirement is due to regulations. For others, it’s the de-facto industry standard.  

One of the great features of this tool is its 30+ trigger events. These alert users on events such as changes in management and secured financing. It also provides data on a business’s financial health and assesses shop and payment solutions. This gives you a detailed picture of what the business is doing, its financial health, and what offerings it’s adding to the marketplace. From this, Echobot can collate the data and assess possible purchasing opportunities

The biggest challenge with this sales intelligence tool is that it’s only available in some parts of Europe due to its limited EU business contacts. Its business database also has only ~20% of businesses listed in each country. That said, it has a deep dive function that essentially web-scrapes each business for linked contacts. This type of feature has been around for years, but it’s great to see it integrated into a sales intelligence tool.

4. Outreach

Screenshot of the Outreach solution.
Outreach has a simple user interface, but this doesn’t detract from the lack of sales features!

Outreach is a sales execution platform that uses proprietary AI to convert sales data into usable sales information. This solution helps automate sales workflows. It provides you with predefined playbooks to manage end-to-end outreach activities. 

Teams can assess their productivity through AI-driven team analytics that provides managers with real-time sales data. This is important for companies that need to predict their sales revenue. It also helps determine whether they’ll need additional financing to cover their overheads and existing debt. 

You also get a sentiment tracker for sales to help sales professionals overcome objections during the sales process. In addition, you can use integrated A/B testing for messages to work in your sales strategies. Both CRM and Galaxy integration is also possible with Outreach.

The tool is scalable and allows new staff members to quickly get onboard. It manages sales opportunities and provides quick visibility to see the state of a sale. This is possible as all the ingenuity of the software comes from its backend AI solution.

That said, this tool is solely focused on sales activities for sales teams. This is a potential issue as you have to rely on your existing CRM data and Outreach’s database to create sales lists. You also can’t leverage tools for data collection such as web-scraping for targeted clients. This puts it on the backfoot compared to other solutions in our list.    

5. Yesware

Screenshot showing an example of a Yeswares sales templates.
Yesware allows your sales team to use email templates.

Yesware allows you to manage email outreach, and it can scale to meet your needs. The great thing about this tool is that it’s free! It currently helps 5,000+ sales teams send out promotional material. It stops teams from manually creating and managing client lists, and you can integrate it into your CRM.

One of its strengths is that it prioritizes clients according to the amount of contact they’ve had with your company. This stops the client from getting overwhelmed and irritated by a seemingly hard sales strategy, or underwhelmed and going elsewhere.  

This is another sales intelligence tool that needs more features to justify its use. Most of the features in this software are part of a larger sales intelligence solution, yet you’re getting it for free. Yesware also has an extensive paid version. You can see the differences between the two here.

If you’re using/considering this software, you’ll likely need the paid version, but at least you can try some of the features until you’re ready to purchase it. 

And there you have it; those are 5 sales intelligence tools that you can leverage to boost your company’s revenue! Let’s wrap up.

Final Thoughts

In this article, I’ve gone through all the features that a sales intelligence tool should have. I also showed you a few contenders. Some of these solutions have the capability of collecting data through processes such as web-scraping, while others rely on your existing CRM data and sales history. Ideally, you should look for solutions that provide data collecting capabilities to improve your sales campaigns. Not having this can mean you’re working with out-of-date information.

If you choose a sales intelligence tool that requires you to add client data to your CRM, you may also have challenges with each sales member’s input format. This could mean that after a few months, you’ll need to go through and clear client details, wasting all the time saved by the solution. 

When using a solution that uses only the vendor’s database for contacts, it could be out of date and not personalized adequately to meet your sales needs. For example, if your sale depends on a project champion in one or more divisions, can you customize the vendor’s data to make it your own contact? The last thing you want to do is call a switchboard each time you need to call stakeholders in the company. What happens if the phone number has changed since the database was last updated? 

No matter what solution you pick, ensure its features are robust enough to meet your business needs including where it gets its data from.    

Do you want to learn more about sales intelligence tools? Check out the FAQ and Resources sections below. 

FAQ

What is a sales intelligence tool?

A sales intelligence tool takes raw sales-related data for each target client. Then, it determines, based on purchase history and perceived future needs, when a client is ready to buy. After that, it makes the company’s customer relationship management (CRM) tool flag a member of your sales team to contact the client. In essence, sales intelligence tools reduce the risk of a sales member wasting time calling unqualified sales leads.  

What do sales intelligence tools do in B2B sales workflows?

In business-to-business environments, clients are finite. Once lost, they may never come back. Sales intelligence tools help stop this from occurring. They predict the best time to contact them and target sales strategies to maximize long-term relationships. These solutions work by web-scraping social media posts, running analytics on previous sales, and monitoring website searches. Sales intelligence tools also collate data sources and flag potential sales leads. 

Are sales intelligence tools used by B2C companies?

Business-to-customer companies are at the end of the value chain. They include retailers that have a large number of consumers to target sales toward. Sales intelligence tools can assess existing customer purchase histories and website usage data to create sales lists. These lists help sales teams to send out templated offers, deals, and other enticements.

How does a sales intelligence tool improve sales performance?

Sales intelligence tools that are fully integrated solutions often produce a 10x sales performance. Obviously, this performance varies between companies but it does improve call lists by automating the qualification process, and using more data to do so. This saves the salesperson from conducting their own qualification process and wasting time on unqualified leads.

Does a sales intelligence tool work like a click-funnel?

Sales intelligence tools allow you to create a list of qualified sales leads based on web-scraping client social media posts, analyzing website usage data, and checking previous sales histories. In essence, a click-funnel helps to qualify and filter users to create a sales list. The difference is that business-to-business (B2B) companies use sales intelligence tools because it’s easier for them to find targeted clients. Conversely, click-funnels are often used in business-to-consumer (B2C) organizations where the consumer isn’t known to create an automated buy event or sales list.  

Resources

TechGenix: Article on New Artificial Intelligence

Learn how 4 startups are changing the face of artificial intelligence.

TechGenix: Article on Salesforce and Microsoft

Find out what’s happening with Salesforce.

TechGenix: Article on Salesforce Alternatives

Learn about 6 alternatives to Salesforce.

TechGenix: Article on Using AI in the Workplace

Discover how businesses are using artificial intelligence in the workplace.

TechGenix: Article on AI and Customer Service

Find out how artificial intelligence is changing customer service.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Scroll to Top