Sales Intelligence: Your Guide To Closing More Deals With Data

May 15, 2021

The buyer’s journey is changing faster than ever. Prospects expect customization at every stage of the sales cycle but, as every salesperson knows, customization is impossible without accurate and relevant data. That’s where sales intelligence comes in. 

Sales intelligence can help sales teams automate research and customize outreach to book more meetings with qualified prospects. 

In this article, you’ll find answers to all of your questions about sales intelligence, including:


What is sales intelligence?

Sales intelligence is the collection of prospect data from a variety of sources (often aided by sales software), that enables sales teams to better understand their prospects and track critical buying signals.


Where does sales intelligence data come from?

Sales intelligence data is compiled from many different sources (often by software), but not all software works to compile data in the same way. Here are just a few of the many ways automated sales intelligence software collects data:

  • Crawling websites and social media for publicly available information
  • Analyzing website usage data
  • Using cookies to track web activity

Here are a few examples of B2B sales intelligence data collected through these processes: 


What are sales intelligence tools and how do they work?

Sales intelligence tools are software that compiles data from a variety of sources to automate prospect research.

Many sales reps spend a majority of their time researching leads to try and determine if they fit their ideal customer profile, are ready and able to make a purchase and are worth putting time and energy into trying to close.

Thankfully, sales intelligence tools now exist to automate this research, which is often the most painful and time-consuming part of the sales process. These automated sales intelligence tools enable salespeople to spend less time researching and qualifying leads, and more time closing deals.


Automate account discovery and qualification with Crunchbase software – try it free


Account-based vs. lead-based sales intelligence tools

When you’re looking for a sales intelligence solution, one of the most important things you should consider is if the tool starts at the account level, or at the lead level.

It’s harder to break through to prospects now than ever before. Buyers expect outreach to be timely, relevant, personalized, and impact-driven from the get-go. If your solution only has information about leads (individuals) rather than accounts (companies), your chances of breaking through are slim.

In the next section, we’ll explain the difference between lead-based tools and account-based tools and why account-based selling is more important than ever.


Lead-based tools

Sales intelligence tools that focus on lead information will give you lists of individual contacts. But, if you’re only supplied with limited information and context (like a name and job title), how do you know if a lead is at a company with buying power? 

Short answer: you don’t.

Without company-level information from the get-go, you have to backtrack to discover if the company each lead is at has buying power in the first place. You’re left to do more work researching and qualifying a massive list of leads. Then you’ve got to do even more research on each lead before reaching out to determine how to personalize your outreach.


Account-based tools

Account-based selling is all about quality over quantity. Instead of sending thousands of spammy emails, an account-based approach will help you send targeted, customized emails and close more deals.


Crunchbase automatically surfaces new accounts that match your ICP – try it free


With an account-based strategy, your first step is to identify companies that match your ICP and are more likely to be responsive to your outreach. Then, you go on to find contacts at those companies. 

The best part is, if you start at the account level you’re already armed with loads of company information you can use to customize your outreach. You have relevant buying signals to reference and information about how your solution can help leads solve their current pain points based on their size, funding stage, recent leadership hires, etc.


Who should use sales intelligence?

According to research by Forrester, companies that implemented a B2B sales intelligence solution reported having 35% more leads in their pipeline and 45% higher-quality leads. That means sales intelligence data can be extremely useful for any sales team.

That said, those who get the most out of sales intelligence tend to be sales development representatives (SDRs), business development representatives (BDRs), and account executives (AEs). These sales team members are generally those who perform the initial research to find leads, qualify them as prospects, and customize their outreach to book meetings – all aspects of the process that sales intelligence can help with immensely.

In the next section, we’ll walk you through exactly how sales intelligence can help you at every step of the sales process.


How can sales intelligence help you close more deals? 

The days of opening a million tabs to find information about one prospect are over. Sales intelligence collects and consolidates prospect data in a single platform, helping salespeople easily find better-fitting prospects and customize their outreach to close more deals. 

Here’s how Crunchbase’s sales intelligence software can help you through every step of the sales prospecting process:


1. Generate B2B sales leads without lifting a finger

Crunchbase Pro’s recommended companies feature automates account discovery. All you need to do is make sure your territory is up to date, and Crunchbase’s machine-learning-powered recommendation engine will automatically comb through Crunchbase’s database to surface new opportunities that match your ICP.

Crunchbase platform recommended companies GIF

2. Easily find new accounts that match your ICP

Within Crunchbase you can easily search for accounts that match your ICP characteristics. Narrow down your search results by filtering year search based on HQ location, funding status, company size, recent leadership changes, and more.

Screenshot of Crunchbase platform search feature

3. Quickly qualify new accounts

Scan facts about companies you discovered in search and companies recommended to you (location, company size, revenue, and industry) to quickly qualify new accounts.

Crunchbase platform recommended companies feature GIF

4. Save new accounts that match your ICP directly to Salesforce

When you find new accounts that meet your ICP in Crunchbase, push them directly from Crunchbase to Salesforce. You can also see which accounts are already in Salesforce and avoid record duplication. When you find and save a new account from Crunchbase to Salesforce, we’ll also save the basic company information you’ll need to personalize your outreach.

Crunchbase platform CRM connected feature screenshot

5. Track key company buying signals with automatic alerts

In addition to recommending companies that match your ICP, Crunchbase’s sales intelligence data can help you know exactly when you should reach out to your prospects with automatic alerts about key buying signals like new leadership hires or funding. All you need to do is save the accounts you find in Crunchbase to a custom list and select the alerts you’d like to receive.

Crunchbase platform screenshot with automatic alerts selection

Already have a prospect list, but wish you could keep track of key buying signals in real-time? Here’s how you can easily import an existing list of prospects to Crunchbase and set up automatic alerts to stay in the loop.


Close more deals with Crunchbase

Crunchbase’s sales intelligence software surfaces information about the millions of companies in Crunchbase to help you target the right prospects, at the right time, with the right outreach. 

Want to learn how Crunchbase can help you close more deals? Check out these resources: