A well-drilled sales team understands the needs of their warmest prospects intuitively. Any great salesperson will make it their priority to do enough homework on a prospect to really understand their pain points or ambitions for the future.

However, what’s really setting some companies ahead when starting these conversations is the use of data. It’s a better time than ever to learn some of what a business really wants to procure before a phone is dialled. The result is a sales team that is well-equipped to positively influence conversations, create engagement and drive real perceived value to a prospect.

As forward-thinking companies are leading the charge with qualified sales data, there’s also an increasing sense that some others are playing catch up. At present, 4 in 10 B2B Marketers aren’t confident in the intelligence they have available to engage with their leads effectively.

There are other drawbacks of not using a data-led approach, too. As discussed, a sales/marketer may initially feel that they are behind the curve because of a lack of intelligence on the prospect. More so, there’s the element of time being poorly spent.

Being exposed to a lack of information (or old/misinformation for that matter) is only one of several issues for businesses that find themselves in this situation. There’s a real time-related cost to working with less information about a prospect. Take a typical list of companies that were found on the internet. You usually serve their sector and there’s a guess that they might need your service. You could call through a list of 1,000 businesses to learn that some businesses already have a provider, some businesses are too small and some businesses have ceased trading altogether. All in all, this approach is a massive time sink. Ultimately, we all want our teams to be spending less time doing sales admin and more time on business development calls.

This is where intelligence comes in. Sales data that considers a few more aspects of your prospect’s situation and need is always bound to be more fruitful. When looking at your historical client sales data, it might become apparent that your service is most applicable to companies with a certain headcount, revenue, geography, or a combination of all of these factors. Add in the time a salesperson would need to find all of this data, plus the contact details of the key decision maker, and we can begin to see how a targeted sales list really can help to qualify needless phone calls out of the funnel.

This is repeatable, too. By examining and interrogating your sales data, there will be patterns that be learned from the metrics within your call list. This will help your priorities to evolve over time to help transform more of your initial calls into more engagements, and more engagements in sales closes.  As a result, it’s always worth considering how targeted sales data can save your team time at the top end of the funnel, and equip them with cues to strike real engagement with a prospect.