Why your sales team needs better sales intelligence

No matter how convincing and compelling your workforce happens to be, they won’t achieve sales floor prosperity if pitching to the wrong kind of customer. You may think you’ve got a good idea of who your target market comprises of, but without using some sort of sales intelligence, this judgement could be way off the mark.

There is nothing particularly revolutionary or remarkable about sales intelligence, it is simply the technologies, practices and applications that can be used for the integration, evaluation and collation of customer data. This gives sales staff more information and better insights into who they are communicating with and how to increase the chances of favourable results.

However, when it comes to using content for sales intelligence purposes, the vast majority of data is far from revealing and not exactly beneficial either. A lot of the time, the so-called “intelligence” will be a name and email address. This does not qualify as a lead and cannot be capitalised on by staff.

Therefore, sales teams are in desperate need for better sales intelligence. But how can this be achieved through something like content?

Avoiding the common pitfalls of content

Despite the fact you can monitor how your best performing sales staff use, interact with and share content, which can then be adopted by other employees to make them more successful as well, this sort of framework doesn’t always get tapped into.

According to Sirius Decisions, 60 to 70 per cent of content produced by B2B marketing departments does not get used. IDC also believe this is the case after stating that sales staff ignore as much as 80 per cent of content generated by marketing departments for sales and channel enablement.

This can be because sales team members do not know that these resources exist, do not have the time to look for it or think there is simply too much content available and won’t be able to find the information they need.

But perhaps a more prominent issue is that the content isn’t detailed enough to provide sales staff with something they can truly benefit from. With all of these obstacles, content marketers and sales staff need to work together and strive for greater operational effectiveness and efficiency.

Boosting sales intelligence through better content

Although detailed content can improve the performance of sales staff, this strategy works in reverse too. Over time, more and more sales intelligence can be gathered up and used to provide content marketers with a precise view of customers. Content mapping and creation is enhanced as a result, which can start the whole process again and boost sales intelligence to a greater extent.

Through collaboration and cooperation, the following competitive advantages can be achieved through sales intelligence and content marketing.

  • Lead generation – You will no longer need to waste time testing targets, channels and technologies from scratch. Marketers can rest assured that their content will be seen in the right places, at the right time, by the right people, which provides sales intelligence with accurate and reliable data.
  • Lead nurturing – By implementing a comprehensive and coherent content marketing strategy, you can present sales teams with a proven track record of best lead nurturing practices. This also enables both departments to learn from previous mistakes and fully optimise future efforts. Fewer prospects will escape and better insights can be captured.
  • Up selling – Even after a lead converts, there is the opportunity to up sell with an appropriate personalised message, which can be shaped through content marketing and sales intelligence. This also means you can capitalise on a customer’s interest before they buy a similar product from your competitors.

But as we have already mentioned, information about the customer must be detailed enough to provide sales staff with actionable data, which is often the biggest challenge.

Several people are not willing to hand over their personal information due to fears about privacy and security. But at the same time, these very same individuals want to benefit from personalised and customised content that speaks to them and enhances their online experience. This contradiction is an onerous obstacle to say the least, but one which can be overcome.

Things like contextual marketing enable anyone to leverage the power of social media to identify interests, mobile technology to find out about location, and analytical tools to discover browsing behaviour. These are readily available metrics that can easily provide sales staff with in-depth intelligence about what the customer is already consuming and details on whether their requirements have already been satisfied.

However it is possible to take things further still by being explicit in asking your customers for information. Landing page forms can be used to gather up data in exchange for a free trial or promotional offer, but what about providing personalised content instead, which can bring about invaluable sales intelligence.

Personalised content means better sales intelligence

Here at Matizmo, we have developed a service that allows companies to dynamically generate PDFs based on user form submissions. This produces a piece of highly personalised content but also highly personalised sales intelligence too.

By asking a few simple questions about your prospect, such as their location, industry sector or company size, you can receive lucrative sales intelligence but also give the audience an engaging piece of content.

Rather than ending up with yet more generic content that can be found anywhere online, customers are being given something extremely relevant and personal, without sacrificing too many personal or obtrusive details.

What’s more, this service works in the cloud meaning nothing has to be installed, integrates with existing website templates and landing pages but allows for instant rendering on any device. It truly is a win-win situation, as your sales staff get the intelligence they so desperately need, while your audience receive the customised content they have been craving for.