I have heard the story repeated many times, a young start-up receives Series A funding and excitement is running through the company. Their ideas and hard work have been validated, but now the pressure is on to do two things: Improve the product and grow. Fast.
The founders have clear ideas on how to the improve the product, but what is the best way to grow? That answer isn’t clear because there have never been more options or more complexity in marketing. Inbound marketing, marketing automation, programmatic, account-based marketing, demand side platforms, CRO, content, influencer outreach etc… the options are overwhelming. Take a look at Scott Brinker’s marketing technology landscape for a sense of the choices available in technologies alone.
We have developed a unique expertise in how to do marketing for B2B sales through our product position at the intersection of sales and marketing and the fact that our research team talks to thousands of sales and marketers a month about their challenges and successes.
We learn directly from people actually in marketing and sales about what works and what doesn’t.
At the end of the day, the best option to invest in may be one that you have never heard of: Sales Intelligence.
What is sales intelligence?
Sales intelligence takes basic data such as simple contact information and expands upon it exponentially. It is the ultimate combination of data aggregation and integration, analysis, and predictive analytics. Sales intelligence also provides detailed and accurate forward-looking insights, which can then be integrated into workflows to drive more business, faster. Through sales intelligence, industry trends can be surfaced, along with sales cycles, buyer behavior and decision-makers to provide sales and marketing teams with information on whom to target and when. When leveraged, this information can be used to target the highest value accounts, market to each prospect based on specific needs and preferences, and produce more qualified leads.
Now that you know what sales intelligence is, here are five reasons why I recommend sales intelligence as your best early marketing investment.
5 Reasons to Choose Sales Intelligence
1. Qualified leads
First and foremost, a great sales intelligence solution will generate qualified leads at a fraction of the cost of many other marketing efforts. You can find businesses with open projects related directly to what your business offers and then have accurate contact information for those businesses. With DiscoverOrg you can even create your ideal buyer persona and our platform will find those prospects most likely to convert based on that buyer persona. We are huge fans of inbound marketing, but there is simply no faster way than sales intelligence to gain access to qualified leads.
You are a start-up and you have a small team. Now that you have funding, time is your biggest constraint. DiscoverOrg’s sales intelligence makes each member of your team more efficient by surfacing open opportunities and actual contact information with just one click. With sales intelligence, you can see immediate returns while doing the more involved work of creating marketing plans, finding new technologies and top of the funnel lead nurturing. Those are all important tactics that have critical long-term benefits, but when looking at your early marketing investments you can gain a higher and faster ROI through sales intelligence.
3. Competitive advantage
With sales intelligence you will simply know more than your competitors. You will know who has open projects, what other technologies your prospects are using, organizational structures and how to find like businesses that are likely to convert. When you are small, nimble and growing, this competitive advantage is necessary to get ahead of larger and more established players. Plus, through the platform, you can get inside information on what projects have your competitors’ focus .
4. Customer experience
Account-based marketing is a very popular topic right now, but fundamentally account-based marketing is about knowing your prospects better, building relationships and addressing the organization as a whole. What’s great about account-based marketing is that it creates a better selling experience because it is focused on educating the customer and developing stronger relationships. Sales intelligence enables this better experience because you will know more about your customer, who you should be speaking with and their pain points.
It can be very difficult as a start-up to establish the right messaging for selling to your target companies. Your sales intelligence database contains real information from real companies, so you know how your potential customers are speaking about their pain points and how they are hoping to address those challenges. Getting this messaging right can save you hundreds of wasted hours on ineffective marketing, calls, visits and emails. When you speak the language of your customer you will get sales because they know you understand their challenges.
There are plenty of marketing options available for a start-up to invest their dollars in, but only a few can have immediate substantial impact on growth.
Sales intelligence is one of those options. I have spent 20 years in marketing and have tried almost every tactic to drive growth for both start-ups and enterprise companies. I am also a strong proponent of inbound and content marketing which drive sales through education and relationships, but for a B2B startup, a quality sales intelligence solution gets results faster and with less effort.