During my now 3+ year engagement with InsideView, I’ve had the opportunity to connect with dozens of InsideView customers, explore their business drivers for selecting a sales intelligence solution and discover benefits realized.   As I listened to success story after success story from both large and small organizations, trends began to emerge on what is driving sales productivity for this diverse group of companies.   I have consolidated my learnings, and would like to share them as a multi-part blog post on the “Top 10 Sales Productivity Tips” from some of the most successful sales organizations in the US. [tweetmeme source= “insideview” only_single=false]

Tip #1: Improve efficiencies by consolidating multiple data sources into one

Given the explosion of data about customers and prospects, the biggest impediment to sales readiness is not a lack of access to information, but an intelligent method of consuming it all to uncover and close the most sales-ready opportunities.   There are literally tens of thousands of business news publications available online, as well as SEC filings, press releases and an array of other business information.   Add social media to the mix, and it becomes practically impossible to decide where to start!  To make matters worse, the problem of looking for a needle in this ever growing haystack is exasperated by the difficulty of assessing the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of all of this information.

Reliance on prospect data from multiple commercial sales database subscriptions – or on “free” Internet data – results in excessive account research time, taking away from rep productivity.  And not only do the reps waste precious selling time trying to cobble together account information manually from disparate sources, they may completely miss significant opportunities due to inaccurate, aging, or conflicting information.

The sales productivity challenge can be addressed by putting in the right sales intelligence infrastructure in place to discover the relevant pieces of the prospect puzzle from all of these available sources, including social media.  A single “go-to” intelligence source helps sales professionals identify the most relevant, up-to-date and actionable insights about their prospects and customer with ease and efficiency –  driving sales productivity throughout the sales cycle.

Cases in point:

“Our decision to switch to InsideView was driven by our desire to consolidate multiple data sources into a single stream as well as improve the quality and relevance of the intelligence our business development team relies on daily to formulate target account strategy,” said James Warren, director, global business development at RightNow Technologies.

“InsideView has eliminated the haphazard nature of sales information-gathering, a huge part of our productivity,” said David Fitzgerald, EVP sales, marketing and services for Brainshark. “Now prospect and company intelligence (rather than data) provide a single source of truth within our CRM, and the result has been significant efficiency increases through this proactive and structured sales intelligence tool for our entire sales organization.”

Of course where and how this intelligence is delivered is critically important to sales productivity as well– a topic I will explore in my next post.

“Pelin Thorogood, principal at Schulman+Thorogood Group. Helping B2B companies drive ROI through creative go-to-market planning and focused marketing optimization”

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