Industry researchers have found that a typical salesperson only spends about a third of their time actually selling. The rest is typically spent researching prospects, logging activities, and organizing to-do lists.
When time is money, sales professionals can’t afford to waste precious hours doing something that could be automated. They need information about their customers fast — with enough time to act on it in meaningful ways.
Companies are investing billions in business intelligence (BI) to help solve this problem. But turning data from an asset to a business outcome takes a special strategy. We interviewed three UK-based technology companies — Red Sift, ActiveOps, and Stone Group — as they implemented high-quality BI tools and achieved results that went beyond expectations.
Investing in Business Intelligence
The world of sales has changed. With shifts in buyer behavior and advancements in sales and marketing technology, it’s reported that over 70% of UK-based salespeople feel BI tools are critical to closing deals.
In this era of insight sales, as buyers do more research online, a “rinse and repeat” selling model is far from effective. Modern sales teams need to meet customers where they are in the buying process, and they’re using BI to do it.
For sales professionals, BI finds the company and contact information that fuels personalized sales prospecting, accurate territory planning, and more efficient customer upselling. BI defines a clearer picture of where a prospect is in their buying process, enabling sales reps to engage in a more personalized way and increase their chances of closing the deal.
A Comprehensive View of Prospects
If you sell to a broad audience, the challenge is not about finding enough prospects, but rather narrowing your focus and prioritizing which ones to pursue first. That’s precisely where London-based cybersecurity firm Red Sift found itself. The company’s sales team wanted a better understanding of their total addressable market (TAM) to avoid wasting time reaching out to incorrect or irrelevant accounts.
Instead of focusing on specific industries, Red Sift’s strategy focused on using web-based signals to identify which accounts to prioritize — a job that was previously done with manual research. They were able to fully automate the process of data gathering, cleansing, and delivery by using ZoomInfo’s Enterprise API in Europe. The system enriched Red Sift’s Salesforce data in real time, giving the entire sales organization an instant boost in productivity.
“If we can spend 30% more time preparing our approach than our competitors, because our competitor was spending that time looking for contacts, then we’ll win more often,” says Nadim Lahoud, vice president of growth at Red Sift.
After automating the process, Red Sift’s team was able to access reliable data on companies and contacts directly in Salesforce, plus intent signals when an account showed coordinated interest and updates from the web when companies were making news. With a more complete picture of each account, the team engineered a sophisticated lead-routing system that automatically sent the most relevant accounts and contacts to each rep.
Relevant Messages at the Right Time
Most sales teams want to reduce any hurdle a buyer may face so they can close the deal faster. Reading-based tech company ActiveOps is no exception. As they planned for their next phase of growth, the sales leaders realized they needed an outbound sales strategy that was as seamless and efficient as possible.
ActiveOps understood the importance of reliable business intelligence, especially after having previously used a tool that offered poor-quality data, which led to high bounce rates and low engagement. By integrating high-quality business intelligence from ZoomInfo’s SalesOS platform into its tech stack — including intent data, firmographics, and corporate hierarchy — ActiveOps enriched its database and each engagement platform with accurate information. This ensured that every contact record was segmented properly, allowing the sales team to send highly relevant communications to each one.
“We identified the right accounts and connected with key prospects, using strategic and tailored messaging, at exactly the right time,” says Michael Cupps, senior vice president of marketing at ActiveOps. “We wanted to push highly engaging content out to prospects from our frontline sales reps, with our reps being in control, and they can do all of that from within the platform.”
Since ActiveOps began investing in high-quality business intelligence, the company’s lead-to-opportunity ratio grew by 27%.
Expand Globally with Confidence
Go-to-market success in one country doesn’t always translate to the next. When your plans involve international expansion, business intelligence about each target audience is essential.
Already strongly positioned in the UK, Stone Group was eyeing expansion across EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) when the company realized there were significant gaps in its existing customer database. To understand the total addressable market in each target country, Stone Group turned to ZoomInfo, whose breadth and depth of intelligence proved unparalleled.
“We realized very quickly that ZoomInfo was leaps and bounds ahead of the competition,” says Jack Woolman, director of sales operations and business intelligence at Stone Group. “We not only have insight into our total addressable market, but advanced filters and search capabilities that allow us to narrow down our target audience to who is truly the best fit and most likely to buy now.”
The results? Stone increased its UK customer base by 10%.
As these examples show, the power of modern data can quickly help businesses worldwide simplify their sales processes, prospect with greater relevance, and scale into new markets. In an economic environment where growth counts more than ever and efficiency is at a premium, the smartest leaders are increasingly looking to data and automation to set their businesses up for the next generation of success.