Business Intelligence: the strategy beyond prospect lists



Business Intelligence

Generating Qualified Leads

Business Intelligence is a process that few of the “Gurus” in Marketing and Sales adopt in their speeches.

In particular, I have never seen such a detailed description of an intellectual process as the one Renato did here at Outbound Marketing.

In my opinion, this was our “tipping point”.

We were already facing many issues and had a clear need for strategic and tactical alignment, but no one had that responsibility within the business process.

Expecting other areas to bring such input was too much of an illusion, in addition to the fact that much of the knowledge gathered by each team member was not well shared.

This Business Intelligence class is the exclusive content of our free certificate – Outbound Go!

The main delivery of this new process was the contact lists, already pre-filtered and aligned with the sales strategy (taking into account seasonality, priorities, average ticket, among other factors).

As it was a necessary input to keep the Marketing and Sales teams running, our initial focus was to understand how to generate the most assertive contacts, those that every salesperson would like to have on hand.

A great example of this is the famous scene in the movie Glengarry Glen Ross, in which the character played by Alec Baldwin presents what he calls Glengarry Leads, or Premium Leads, which would be contacted with a greater possibility of purchase and, consequently, greater return for the company and the seller’s pocket.

When oiling this step, that of generating the pre-qualified lists, we realized that it was possible to greatly automate the task through tools such as Salesloft and Datanyze.

The Business Intelligence analyst was not a professional with an operational profile, he needed a brain that could think clearly about which lists to generate.

Even so, downtime began to appear.

At the time, Renato was responsible for implementing the process and evolving it. In some conversations, we realized that their activities could go far beyond supporting the commercial team, with the generated lists.

We knew it was important to continue generating lists and contacts at the right time, ensuring that the team of Prospectors, SDRs, and Sellers was always productively busy.

Only then would we have real predictability about the business process (if you want to know more, we’ve also talked about the importance of predictability ).

The strategy beyond the lists

To take advantage of the remaining time, we could create programmed actions that would help increase the team’s knowledge, whether about process, product or market.

How to do this?

I will analyze here the three main deliveries of the Commercial Intelligence team and the impacts on the entire sales process:

Competition Analysis

One of the most interesting activities that we started to carry out was aimed at analyzing our competitors.

When starting a sales pitch, our prospectors and SDRs, for example, would need to position themselves clearly.

One of the main inputs for this positioning was to address the strengths of our solution, compared to what the market could offer.

Through different actions, we gathered information about our competitors’ sales discourse, the prices they practiced in the market, discounts they offered during negotiations, online positioning (on social media, website, and forums or discussion groups), and, in some cases, interviews with customers of competitors.

We often had  Hidden Customer or Mistery Shopping, the days focused only on simulating the purchase of a competitor’s product, the famous.

In some cases, we acted in a clear way, prospecting a competitor’s customer and, in a transparent way, we asked for feedback on the current product, price, among other important factors.

Sometimes we were refused to open such information, but there is always someone willing to share topics that may be of interest to you.

Still, the main strategy we used to fully understand our competition was even more complex.

Based on all the data you can gather about your customers, you can build a matrix of advantages and disadvantages, taking advantage of it in your sales pitch and even helping to drive your product roadmap in order to meet the real needs of the market.

With an increasingly fine-grained pitch, you can compile your competitor’s customer lists and launch a massive attack.

The Brazilian market does not digest this type of activity very well, either because it is considered too aggressive or unethical, but it is very common to see specific actions of this type, especially abroad and in emerging markets, where market share is intensely disputed, as there are no companies that are very consolidated yet.

So imagine that you are able to convert a competitor’s customer. What is your first action? Celebrate?

Not!

You should learn, through your new customer, as much as you can about the product he used previously, seek comparative feedback after implementing your tool, understand the weaknesses in service and relationship.

All of this serves as input for you to correct structural problems in your company, such as failures or gaps in the product, errors in the Customer Success team, among other points that are vital and affect the company’s main indicators.

Try taking time for a day to get to know your direct competitors better and you’ll see the amount of relevant information you can gather.

Opportunity Analysis

The Commercial Intelligence team can also think about the future and not just the present.

In some companies, there are inter-departmental committees created with the sole responsibility to analyze new opportunities. What would these opportunities be? I divide them into three big blocks.

  • Entry into New Markets;
  • Complementary Solutions or New Partners;
  • Innovations in the Area or New Products.

In the first case, Entry into new markets, we would have an analysis of channel expansion, markets with a greater possibility of adoption, less competitiveness or other relevant factors for decision making.

The person responsible for Commercial Intelligence leverages his knowledge of the product and processes plus sales pitch to deliver an analysis that is consistent with the company’s reality.

For Complementary Solutions or New Partners, we have deliveries related to your solution’s delivery chain.

If you are a CRM, for example, why not join with other essential tools for the sales process?

A great example of a company that managed to attract several partners to its ecosystem is Salesforce, which through an open solution and a dissemination network, allowed other complimentary products to integrate with its CRM platform, adding value in delivering to customers and tying further its value proposition.

This type of strategy increases the customer’s dependence on your product and, consequently, decreases your churn.

Lastly, there is the search for innovations and new products.

It is not necessary to find ready-made solutions, just point out trends. Many companies are not large enough to acquire others or the effort is not cost-effective.

Soon, they start to internally develop solutions or functionalities that have great synergy with their current offer.

A cool example was the launch of Resultados Digitais’ Marketing BI, which joins the RD Station, a marketing automation tool and the company’s flagship, becoming a differential for the company’s customers.

Indicator Analysis

To close, a very strategic function with a direct impact on results is the analysis and collection of indicators.

As it represents the beginning of the process, it is important that the Commercial Intelligence team can analyze the entire sales “production line” and understand the real impact and use of the generated contacts.

It is this type of action that allows a definition of seasonality, in addition to helping to prioritize certain personas or optimize the speech used.

In general, your Commercial Intelligence team collects and carries out the first analysis of the indicators, together with the area manager, presenting the gaps and strengths found, comparisons with historical results and benchmarking with the market.

Based on this information, the IC team can act directly at the root of the problems, either by improving the profile of the contacts delivered, proposing new qualification parameters, changes in the sales pitch, among others.

Furthermore, he will be responsible for monitoring the results after the changes, ensuring the ROI on the time or money invested in the improvements.

I want to structure my Commercial Intelligence team

If you realize that the Commercial Intelligence process can add to your Marketing or Sales team, but would like to exchange an idea on how to do it, you can contact us through our consultancy page.

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