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Sales Intelligence 101: How it works, What it is, and Why you need it.

Sales Enablement Platform March 10, 2023

Sales Intelligence 101: How it works, What it is, and Why you need it.
Anubhav Bhatt

Content Developer


  • Sales Intelligence refers to the collection, analysis, and interpretation of prospect and market data to help salespeople make informed decisions.
  • It has many facets including Buyer Intelligence, Industry Intelligence, Account Intelligence, Cost intelligence and more.
  • Sales intelligence combines the intelligence of AI with the data handling capabilities of Big Data and delivers personalised insights.
  • Companies using sales intelligence report generating 35% more leads and 45% higher-quality leads.
  • In the last six months, we’ve read several headlines about economic slowdowns, layoffs, and recessions. The market dynamics of 2023 have made capturing and engaging prospects more challenging than ever. To stay ahead of market trends and competition and maintain a smooth pipeline, sales teams need sales Intelligence.  

    In 2023, a buyer’s journey has evolved. For instance, prospects now expect personalization at every step of the sales cycle, but delivering it is impossible without accurate data.  

    Even sourcing, organizing, and using data is challenging, considering the vast volumes of data in circulation can cripple any organization. With sales intelligence, everything from finding prospects to engaging them and closing the deal comes in a package.  

    Fortune 500 enterprises realize the importance of sales intelligence in achieving their B2B sales goals, and many have already deployed multiple software to work.  

    What is Sales Intelligence? 

    Sales Intelligence refers to the collecting, analyzing, and interpreting of prospect and market data to help salespeople make informed decisions. This data is gathered from a variety of sources and is often aided by technology like AI. 

    It supports salespeople with all sorts of intelligence, including buyer, account, and industry intelligence. It is instrumental in micro-targeting prospects, developing engagement strategies, and generating leads.   

    The data on any sales intelligence platform comprises prospect data, competitor data, market trends map, emerging technologies, and much more. 

    When delivered in a single dashboard, all of this information gives a snapshot of the market dynamics, which helps salespeople micro-target and engage their target buyers. 

    How Does Sales Intelligence Work? 

    We’ve established that sales intelligence is a powerful tool to have in your arsenal, but knowing how it works is critical to judge the accuracy and relevancy of its data. 

    Sales intelligence works with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and combines it with technologies like Big Data and more to surf seamlessly through millions of data points. 

    It utilizes crawlers that scan the internet for all available information about markets, customers, technologies, and geographies. This information is then sorted, analyzed, evaluated, and presented to the user by a sales intelligence tool. 

    Since it’s all about data, you can be assured that you’ll never miss out on any critical information. Be it prospects, trends, technology stacks, or regional insights, sales intelligence delivers it all with accuracy and in real-time. 

    A sales intelligence platform like Draup analyzes over 16 Mn+ data points every day across 33 industries, 280k+ companies, 2 Mn+ executives, and 19k+ digital tools and platforms. 

    All of this is happening 24×7 in real-time, which gives users access to market data before it becomes too mainstream. Thus, providing a competitive advantage. 

    Elements of Sales Intelligence 

    Stakeholder Intelligence 

    Acquiring, analyzing, and presenting relevant data about stakeholders at the right time is critical. Stakeholders have influence over your deals and knowing them and their objectives should be a priority. Sales intelligence segments stakeholders based on multiple attributes and identifies information that helps you convert them into clients.  

    Technology Intelligence 

    Identifying emerging technologies and obsolete technologies and knowing who is using them is essential before your first approach. There are vast numbers of technologies worldwide, making it critical to understand what your prospect is working with and what they might need.  

    This helps you identify critical pain points and align your solutions to their use cases, which is the primary goal of sales intelligence in general. 

    Content Intelligence 

    With the right content, it’s possible to approach your target audience in the simplest manner. Content marketers often deploy sales intelligence to create content that is valuable to your target prospects.  

    Understanding what type of content to focus on by analyzing prospect accounts is one of the principal elements of sales intelligence. 

    Account Intelligence 

    Understanding accounts and leads better helps craft hyper-targeted pitches and convert prospects into customers. Account Intelligence collects data points of every account and presents you with a summary of it.  

    This helps you make an informed decision on each prospect you encounter. This data can include everything from outsourcing engagements to internal digital stack and more. 

    Buyer Intelligence 

    In a nutshell, buyer intelligence provides you with insights into buying behavior. It tells you why a prospect buys, how they make purchase decisions, and what messages will likely resonate with them.  

    It unravels your ideal client’s challenges and needs, which help you shape your strategy accordingly. This is one of the most vital elements of sales intelligence. 

    Industry Intelligence 

    This is a perfect resemblance of “AI at work” because it provides qualitative and quantitative data that is accurate and real-time to make quick decisions.  

    Industry Intelligence is the extraction, analysis, and interpretation of data spanning across technologies, outsourcing deals, business intentions, and regional/global trends. 

    Benefits of Sales Intelligence 

    While there are countless benefits of sales intelligence depending on levels of customization and user abilities, some of our top picks are: 

    Identifying a Trigger 

    There’s always a trigger for a prospect to think about your business. You can leverage these triggers or buying signals to convert a lead into a sale. If you’re capable of offering solutions that precisely match your prospect’s needs, the prospect will be more receptive.  

    Reach out to the right customers 

    Salespeople know that everyone is not their customer. They need to find specific prospects whose objectives they can address. As a result, sales teams will often create Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs). 

    Using this, sales intelligence can identify and list out prospect goals and pain points that you can micro-target and offer your solutions for. You can also use sales intelligence to reach out directly to key decision-makers who have an influence on your deals. 

    Proper Timing is a must for a win 

    Even your dream customer who admires your product will not buy if the time isn’t right. This could be for multiple reasons, including not feeling the urgency or not having the budget for the year. 

    However, instead of trying to win an uninterested prospect, it’s far better to look for prospects already seeking a solution like yours. Sales intelligence tracks millions of account signals daily and allows you to identify the correct time to approach a prospect. 

    Improving Accessibility 

    Sales intelligence saves your sales team’s time and effort by keeping updates about the market, prospects, and any organizational changes. The time spent in research takes time away from the sales process. Research should not be the biggest thing on their minds. 

    Personalized Messaging is Key 

    The more you learn about your target prospects, the better you can fine-tune your outreach. This doesn’t mean just using their first name or company name in an email. This means addressing their key concerns and adding genuine value to their business instead of sending out generic messages. 

    When a personalized message is combined with an outreach campaign at the right time, the results of it can be unbelievable. Sales intelligence allows you to dive deep into the buyer persona and understand all critical aspects of how they conduct business. 

    Shorten your Sales Cycles 

    Having access to accurate information on hand can speed up every step of the sales cycle. Instead of contacting prospects and going into an arduously long nurture sequence, you can save time by approaching prospects who’re actually interested in your product. 

    Combine additional insights provided by sales intelligence with your inbound leads and enrich their quality. You can then qualify inbound leads and respond with personalized messaging. 

    Spot Upselling/Cross-selling Opportunities 

    The sales cycle doesn’t even after a closing deal. For most service providers, upselling, cross-selling, and renewals are crucial generators of revenue. Cross-Sells and Upsells boost sales by 30% and are relevant to businesses.  

    Sales intelligence helps you identify buyer journeys and pain points, multiples of them at times which opens a window for you to propose related solutions.  

    Sales intelligence tools like Draup work in real-time to extract, process, and present data in an understandable manner. This means you get to know what your competitors don’t, making you ready to approach your prospect before anybody else. 

    With intelligent real-time insights and data, sales teams can – 

    • Access filtered data by shortlisting their deal size influence, budget control, personality characteristics, sales engagement guidelines, etc. 
    • Hyper-target prospects by breaking down searches based on location, funding status, company size, leadership changes, etc. 
    • Track key signals with alerts and build more explicit pictures of their target prospects. 
    • Generate B2B leads with an ML-based recommendation engine.