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Sales Information Services is now Data Intelligence Solutions for Sales

by Adnan Zijadic  |  December 4, 2017  |  Submit a Comment

As part of an expanding CRM sales agenda under our application leaders team at Gartner, we have since undertaken the effort to cover a market we used to call “Business Information Services for Sales or Sales Information Services” which naming-wise did not really reflect the true nature of this market today. It is not just about obtaining the information that today’s sales workforce needs but more about what that data means in the hands of a salesperson, what can they specifically derive from the contact or company information? It is simply not enough to have contact information without some deeper insight into the account for prospecting purposes but also to complement the existing data about your customer profile. Therefore, we have since renamed this market into “Data Intelligence Solutions for Sales” because it simply does become about have “intelligent” data about your prospects and current customers.

Defining “Intelligent” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary:

a having or indicating a high or satisfactory degree of intelligence and mental capacity
b revealing or reflecting good judgment or sound thought skillful
Breaking down “Intelligence” further:
(1) the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations reason;also the skilled use of reason 
(2) the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one’s environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria (such as tests)
You cannot make good judgment about your contact or prospect if you do not have the right context, deeper insight about who you are targeting infront of you. You cannot learn or understand what is going on with your prospect or customer if you do not look for information, the right kind of information, which usually is a manually intensive process. Still to this day there are solutions that require you to manually do research on your prospects, most importantly it is on you to know about your prospect and be prepared for either a phone call, email, or a meeting. Yes, research is still required but a lot of solutions today are starting to making the information come to you instead of the other way around.  You cannot go into a meeting with a prospect without knowing all the latest about their company or them, or risk losing a deal because you came unprepared. Today’s world demands real-time data to be readily available, accurate, and useful going well beyond the scope of firmographics. Sales has to deal with more stakeholders than ever to get buy-in into the product they’re selling. It is becoming increasingly important to be able to connect the dots across stakeholders but not only using master data, but also second and third party data to gain a complete understanding of your target prospect.

 

With that, we have elaborated or redefined what this market means today:

Data intelligence solutions for sales offer customer/prospect master data and market insight information. They are used by sales and marketing organizations that are looking to improve their sales execution, by empowering their employees with real-time data but also any changes to the customer profile so to enhance the effectiveness of the relationship with the client. The most common products in this market may include services that:

  • Cleanse, append or augment internal customer master data with topical, timely information about customers, partners and prospective customers.
  • Collect and curate news from traditional and social channels, providing representatives with a personalized, real-time news feed about competitive, partner, peer or prospect organizations.
  • Provide intelligent selling capabilities using intent data driven by search, social media, or advertising engagement to help with current and/or future purchase needs
  • Provide relationship intelligence capabilities, which can enhance client profiles and connect sales and marketing to key buyers within an organization, i.e who knows who, key stakeholders,  company or line of business budget  etc.
  • Create prospecting lists based on firmographic data and/or social data
  • Deliver industry-specific research data for a discrete market, such as construction project and bidding or technology install base (technographic data) for tech sales

The key words are “may include” the above services because not all of the solutions have either caught up to the direction of the market or they do not compete with the same market players but do offer the most basic set of prospecting capabilities.

 

As a side note below, the old definition was as follows:

Sales Information Services

Sales information vendors offer customer/prospect master data and market insight information solutions. They are used by sales and marketing organizations that are looking to improve their sales execution. The most common products in this market include services that:

  • Correct, append or augment internal customer master data with topical, timely information about customers, partners and prospective customers.
  • Collect and curate news from traditional and social channels, providing representatives with a personalized, real-time news feed about competitive, partner, peer or prospect organizations.
  • Purchase intent data.
  • Create prospecting lists.
  • Deliver industry-specific insights for a discrete market, such as construction starts or technology purchases.

 

While a lot of the above was expanded or just left alone, some existing solutions have made enhancements to go beyond just basic prospecting abilities, to give a more well-rounded and complete view of the prospect and customer.

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Adnan Zijadic
Sr. Research Analyst
2 years at Gartner
3 years IT Industry

Adnan Zijadic is a Senior Research Analyst at Gartner, where he is part of the Customer Applications team. His research focuses on CRM software contracts and pricing strategies, in addition to negotiating CRM software proposals. Read Full Bio




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