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How to use sales intelligence in outbound prospecting

When it comes to optimizing your team’s outbound prospecting efforts and closing more high-value clients, data is king.

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Simply making a list of potential clients and sending them a generic email (or cold calling them) to see if they have any interest in your services won’t get you far. There are too many competitors out there, and the best businesses are taking a more personalized approach with the help of powerful sales intelligence tools.

Sales intelligence enables you to leverage data to identify the most valuable prospects and close repeatably and consistently.

But first, what is sales intelligence, exactly?

Sales intelligence tools

Sales intelligence tools enable your team to conduct in-depth research across a prospect’s marketing channels, from their reviews to their SEO efforts and digital advertising and more.

For example, Vendasta’s Snapshot Report tool generates a Google-powered report over 24 hours analyzing how a prospect is currently performing across 7 categories. This enables salespeople to identify the largest gaps in a prospect’s current strategy so that the most appropriate solutions can be presented during outbound prospecting.

Research that would be very challenging and time consuming to conduct without a tool that can aggregate information can be completed with a few clicks. This gives your team more time to focus on closing.

Here’s how sales intelligence tools can help with every step, from identifying top prospects to getting the sale.

Personalize your communications

Without sales intelligence to identify prospects’ real needs, salespeople resort to generic outreach. Businesses are pitched marketing services all the time. An outbound prospecting message that simply lists your capabilities without regard for the prospect’s unique requirements has no chance to stand out.

From the first introductory outbound prospecting email or phone call through the rest of the sales process, sales intelligence ensures the conversation is centered around offering solutions that will make the most meaningful impact for your prospect.

Do they have favorable reviews but poor SEO performance? You can now show them, with data, that their SEO rankings are well below those of their competitors. You can discuss how improving these rankings can dramatically increase organic traffic and conversions. This tailored approach is compelling and difficult to ignore, especially when competitor analysis is included.

Use sales intelligence insights in your initial outbound prospecting email to grab attention and secure a meeting, then use the full report in your subsequent communications to guide your conversation.

Get insights by marketing channel

Before your salespeople even start outbound prospecting, they can evaluate data-driven insights across a range of key marketing channels to see if there are meaningful opportunities to sell services and deliver measurable results.

Doing this without a sales intelligence tool would require long research hours, and even then, it would be difficult to analyze all of the information uncovered. The best sales intelligence tools combine the functionality of multiple channel-specific software tools so that data for multiple channels can be seen at a glance.

With insights by marketing channel, your reps can present solutions that are most likely to deliver results that keep your clients coming back.

These include:

Business listings

Business listings are essential to SEO success, especially for local businesses. If your prospect scores poorly in this channel, they have a low number of listings, inaccurate listings, or missing listings on important sites. In this case, you can recommend local listing management services to develop their listing profile, making them more discoverable online.

Reviews

The best sales intelligence tools will pull data from a wide range of review sites to analyze the number, recency, and average score of reviews. Recent, positive reviews are essential for customer credibility. If these are lacking, your agency can focus on selling review and reputation management solutions.

Social media

Your sales intelligence tool can reveal how consistently your prospect is publishing content and how good their engagement is compared to industry averages. Many local businesses struggle with this important but time-consuming task, creating a great opportunity to position your social media management services.

Website

Your prospects may have no idea that their website lacks mobile responsiveness, has slow loading speeds, or has out-of-date content that is turning customers away.

Your website solutions can help get their site in top shape to ultimately get more conversions.

Digital advertising

Help prospects improve their return on ad spend with insights into the keywords they should be targeting. Look for a sales intelligence tool that makes it easy to compare your prospect’s efforts against their competitors and to gain insights into how much competitors are spending per month. This makes it easier to convince prospects that their ad budgets, and their spend on digital advertising management, may need to be bumped up to compete.

SEO

Use your sales intelligence tool during outbound prospecting to open up the conversation about which keywords a prospect should be targeting, and how their current SEO efforts compare against others in their niche. Then, guide the discussion toward your SEO solutions.

Ecommerce

Gather data on your prospects’ ecommerce presence, using this as a starting point to discuss your web design and ecommerce capailities.

Build trust

Using sophisticated needs assessment tools is a good way to establish your agency as the local marketing expert to trust. Instead of throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks, overwhelming prospects in the process, you can use sales intelligence to demonstrate a vested interest in their success.

An agency that has taken the time to analyze a prospect’s unique digital marketing requirements will come off as more customer results-oriented.

Save time

All you need to generate a comprehensive report using an effective sales intelligence tool is one piece of identifying business info, such as a name or phone number.

The time salespeople might otherwise spend pouring over websites, social media channels, SEO analysis tools, and review websites to generate the same information would drastically cut into what they should really spend their time doing: selling.

Get a competitive picture

A competitor analysis makes it easier to create actionable goals for prospects. By benchmarking against their main competitors, not only will they be more motivated to buy your services, but you’ll both be able to gauge what realistic metrics for each marketing channel look like for your prospect based on the performance of others in their industry.

Make outbound prospecting easier

Outbound prospecting without the help of sales intelligence slows down your sales team and makes it more difficult for them to present your solutions in a compelling way.

Add an automated sales intelligence tool to their outbound prospecting workflow, and watch your bottom line grow as more prospects become paying clients.

About the Author

Solange Messier is the Content Strategy Manager at Vendasta. Solange has spent the majority of her career in content marketing helping companies improve how they connect with their prospects and customers. Her diverse background includes magazine publishing, book publishing, marketing agencies, payment processing, and tech. When she's not working, Solange can be found spending time with her family, running, and volunteering.

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