Finding out that one of your accounts is already deep in conversation with a competitor ranks high on the list of the “oh no!” workplace scenarios. That’s exactly what happened to ZoomInfo account manager Katelyn Boutelle.
Boutelle’s job includes developing, defending, and growing close to 60 ZoomInfo clients. Part of her account management involves actively scouring Scoops — a deal intelligence feature within ZoomInfo’s SalesOS software platform that offers bite-sized actionable insights about accounts, culled from ZoomInfo’s proprietary research.
Far from just scraping publicly available information about mergers and acquisitions, or the latest funding round, the updates in Scoops come from continuous surveys conducted by ZoomInfo’s more than 300 data researchers.
That’s how Boutelle learned that one of her clients — a growing software company — was in the market for a website chat product. Here’s what she did next, and why her story is a perfect lesson for account execs who find themselves in the same position.
- Lean on a business intelligence partner to deliver data and deal intelligence so you can focus your time on making a human connection instead of scouring the web for tidbits of timely information. Salespeople spend too much time doing things other than selling, but a revenue-focused tool like ZoomInfo gives you time back.
- Don’t be discouraged by being the last to pitch your client or prospect. In fact, the hard part is over — your client already knows they want a solution. All you need to do is show them how yours is the best.
- Explore lateral needs by opening up the conversation to a wider view of the client’s business. What else can you solve for them?
How Deal Intelligence Solves Sales Challenges
Challenge #1: Reaching clients and prospects at the right time
In an account manager’s dream world, their clients would simply reach out and offer to spend more money. But as organizations scale and become more siloed, the buying committee you’ve worked so hard to build a relationship with could be completely distinct from the team looking for an additional service. Even worse, your customers might not even know you offer what they’re looking for.
Beyond that, as your company grows its account base or total addressable market, it becomes more difficult to stay on top of everything that’s happening with your accounts. Without becoming full-time snoops, today’s salespeople can get left behind when they miss small but salient bits of information — like the fact that a client is shopping for a competing service.
You can’t know everything but, with a sales intelligence platform, you don’t have to. This is where Scoops gives Boutelle — and busy account executives like her — a tremendous edge.
“Using Scoops is part of my day-to-day workflow. I set up alerts for accounts that are assigned to me, and I can narrow them down to what I care about, like new project initiatives, surging priorities, pain points — information that isn’t public knowledge, that only we have because of our research team,” Boutelle says.
Instead of waiting for her client to call her about adding ZoomInfo’s chat solution, the Scoops alert prompted Boutelle to call them. Good thing, too, because her client wasn’t just in the market, they were in final negotiations with a competitor.
Challenge #2: Client is ready to buy — from someone else
Already having a call on the books, Boutelle jumped on the opportunity to dive right into an upsell conversation. “I wasn’t shy about mentioning that I saw they were looking for a chat feature through ZoomInfo’s Scoops. I think it’s a huge value-add that we have this information and if anything, it builds our case. I use intent data all the time,” Boutelle says.
When the client informed Boutelle that they were in the final stages of signing with a competitor, she leveraged the health of the relationship to get a last-minute pitch for ZoomInfo’s offering.
“Even though they were close to signing, we had a significant existing relationship, so I asked who I could talk to anyway — and they gave us a chance,” Boutelle says.
Instead of giving up on a deal that looked lost, Boutelle was able to swoop in at a time when the client had already involved internal stakeholders and allocated a budget to acquire a chat solution.
“Initially, it looked like a bad time, like we might have missed our chance,” she says. “But it turned out to be the perfect time, because we didn’t have to convince them they needed a chat feature or to find a budget for one, they were already there.”
Challenge #3: You’re the last one at the bake-off
Is it better to be the first sales pitch to a potential customer or the last? While most salespeople will allude to an advantage of being first through the door, there is a huge potential upside to coming in right at the end.
“I thought it was going to be a challenge because we were coming in so late in their process. But it meant that the client’s team knew exactly what they wanted and the questions to ask about whether our solution could fit their needs. We were able to have very efficient demo calls and hit on every point they were looking for,” Boutelle says.
Boutelle and her team of demo specialists didn’t have to help her client figure out what their problems were and how ZoomInfo could solve them. Instead, they had tightly focused meetings with stakeholders who had a clear vision of what they wanted and were ready to buy.
Challenge #4: Using a conversation to uncover other business needs
Timing is everything. Boutelle was able to get her foot in the door about the chat solution, but if there’s an opportunity to cross-sell, why stop there?
“As we’re talking about chat, our teams started talking about the client’s website and what they’re trying to accomplish from a demand-generation perspective. Being curious about their business opened up the conversation about how ZoomInfo’s MarketingOS platform could help them increase conversions from the web,” Boutelle says..
In another plot twist — because why would it be easy? — the client was also about to sign with a competing demand-generation platform when ZoomInfo got a chance to present MarketingOS. Boutelle and a cross-functional team of account executives emphasized the benefit of ZoomInfo’s single platform that offers a seamless, centralized solution and integrates with the client’s other business tools, including Salesforce.
“From an end-user perspective, having everything in one place and our easy integration is a huge benefit, but there’s a major upside for decision makers, too. One platform that can solve for multiple business needs means fewer vendors to manage and it’s more cost-effective,” she says.
What could have been a complex, drawn-out process of need discovery, product demos, and budget negotiations turned into one of the fastest-closing deals in ZoomInfo’s history — 10 days and just three conversations. And it was all triggered by a timely piece of actionable business data sourced with intention by ZoomInfo’s researchers, without which Boutelle might have found out about WalkMe’s need too late or never at all.
By leaning on a data engine that’s being fueled by fresh deal intelligence daily, Boutelle doesn’t need to get lucky.
“Using our platform to create my own opportunities just shows the power of ZoomInfo,” Boutelle says. “This isn’t just a product we sell, it’s a tool we use to source and close our own deals, based on the strength and timeliness of our data collection. It works.”