• sales intelligence
  • sales intelligence software
  • sales intelligence tools

Unlock your B2B growth potential with sales intelligence

  • May 9, 2022
  • By Shapnila Nath

Real-time and precise data is the oil that drives the sales engine. However, as a salesperson, it would be challenging for you to manually collect, analyze and utilize heaps of data and meet your quotas simultaneously. In addition to relying on your sales experience and gut instinct, you need an intelligent approach that offers customized services to your cohort of well-informed buyers.

Enter sales intelligence! 

This article will help you understand what B2B sales intelligence stands for, where it comes from and how it helps boost your sales performance.

Let’s get cracking!

What is B2B sales intelligence?

sales intelligence definition sirius decisions

To put it simply, sales intelligence refers to the data insights collected from multiple sources that help you discover your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile), analyze their behavior, and tailor your offerings to address their pain points. 

B2B sales intelligence spans way beyond the generic company and contact data. It offers you ingenious information about your prospects like their digital footprint, business goals, purchase records, current contracts, and much more. Sales intelligence marries prospect data with real-time buying signals that help you approach the right buyer at the right time. 

The data utilized by sales intelligence is generally segmented into the following categories.

Fit data

It helps you gauge your ICP’s requirements based on firmographic (company size, structure, etc.), technographic (prospect company’s technology stack), and demographic data.

Opportunity data

This data type highlights the set of conditions within a prospect company that indicates an ideal time to seek a sale. Some of these events may be corporate restructuring, company events, product launches, etc.

Intent data

It informs you about your prospect’s buying intent. This can be indicated by their social media activity, web page visits, etc.

What is sales intelligence software?

Here’s how software and sales marketplace G2 defines it.

sales intelligence definition G2

Sales intelligence software automates your sales processes, which allows you to spend more time closing deals and less on research- whether it is related to discovering your ICP, lead qualification, or gathering buyer insights. When exploring such tools, it is crucial to review your goals and ensure your chosen platform aligns with them.

Based on application, sales intelligence software can be categorized into two types – Account-based and lead-based tools. In today’s data-driven world, account-based tools trump their lead-based counterparts to offer instantaneous, customized, and fitting insights.

Here’s why.

account based vs lead based sales intelligence

Where does sales intelligence come from?

We have established that sales intelligence is primarily about gathering intelligent insights from data. These intelligent tools or platforms use crawler technology that scours the web for publicly available information, which is then fed back into the tools.  

Below are some of the principal data sources used by sales intelligence tools.

 data sources used by sales intelligence tools

Why do you need sales intelligence?

The global sales intelligence market is projected to reach $7.35 billion by 2030. The accelerated adoption of advanced solutions for enhanced customer targeting, increased demand for content optimization, and data enrichment tools have bolstered its growth exponentially. With a host of versatile features, sales intelligence has found its way across various stages of the B2B sales process.

Determine market potential

Inability to find potential ICPs may often give you the impression of a saturated target market. However, that may not be the case always. Sales intelligence offers you a detailed market overview and helps explore untapped opportunities by discovering your TAM (Total Addressable Market)

TAM is the amount of possible revenue for your B2B offering and is also indicated by the number of potential customers (companies) in the market. By inspecting your existing clientele, these efficient tools develop trends that fit your buyer personas and then identify companies or contacts that match those personas.

Identify  ICP

In sales, prospect research can be very time-consuming, precisely when done manually with insufficient resources. Sales intelligence software can analyze your existing customer profiles and search vast data sets to furnish targeted lists that fit your ICP. These tools compare fit data (prospect demographics, company details, etc.) with real-time insights like news articles, social media, contracts, etc., to make this happen.  

Lead qualification

Not every contact that fits your ICP is a potential client. You can spend a lot of time in a wild goose chase if you do not qualify prospects early in the sales cycle. 

Using sales intelligence gives you access to accurate and real-time lead data. These platforms can implement an effective lead scoring model by tracking your communication with prospects, their engagement rate like emails opened, content downloaded, etc., and then assigning scores to each contact. It also helps you gauge what works and what does not – when it comes to identifying your prospective customer.

Locate decision-makers

A prospect without buying power can cause delays in sales closures. Most sales intelligence tools have the option to filter contacts by designation. This way, you can make sure you reach out to the right person with buying authority, customize your outreach, and shorten the sales cycle.

Data hygiene and enrichment

Sales intelligence tools play a crucial role in maintaining and enriching your CRM data. The B2B business environment is ever-changing. Hence, you need a system that updates missing contact details and does that in real-time.

Furthermore, such software can provide additional information like industry updates and financial numbers, which are vital to tailoring your services for each prospect.

Capture buying signals

The ability to approach a sales-ready lead at the right time is no longer a far-fetched dream. Sales intelligence captures critical buying signals that identify prospects in the market right now, looking for services you offer. To gather such intel, it monitors multiple sources like news sites, social media activity, company websites, and industry news. Thus by capturing opportunity and intent data related to prospects, it gives you the correct window to approach them. 

Sales outreach

Sales intelligence elevates your sales outreach approach by offering contextual data about your prospects. As it creates your ICP based on existing customers, you are better placed to address their concerns. Additionally, it also analyzes customer behavior by monitoring their search patterns and reduces customer churn rate.

Automate sales processes with CRM integrations

Efficient sales intelligence tools can be easily integrated with CRM systems to automate non-revenue generating tasks. This provides a host of benefits.

  • It gives you more bandwidth to focus on closing sales.
  • CRM integration allows having all data insights in one place, which helps organize data and increases productivity.
  • Sales intelligence systems can automatically update missing contact details in your CRM.

Boost sales engagement

Relevant and up-to-date content is key to building engaging relationships with your prospects. Being able to provide meaningful insights to customers makes them feel heard. By applying sales intelligence you can automate and track your prospect communication via emails, phone calls, and social media engagement which helps you drill down the strategies that offer better results.

Sales forecasting

It brings better accuracy to sales forecasting, thus strengthening your sales strategy and accelerating growth. The data insights offered by sales intelligence help you understand who your prospective customers are, what they need, and how you can fulfill their business requirements. It also tracks your team’s performance so you can allocate resources strategically.

Competitive analysis

They say keep your friends close and enemies closer. Tracking your competitor’s behavior is key to gaining market share and closing maximum deals. However, this process can be time-consuming. Sales intelligence automates competitive analysis by tracking competitor behavior extensively.

Top sales intelligence platforms

sales intelligence tools

Listed below are sales intelligence platforms in no particular order, along with their  USPs. Most of these tools come with a  free trial which is a great way to understand their efficacy.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator

The sales navigator gives you access to its full range of expansive database of 810 million members in more than 200 countries. This sales intelligence platform features powerful search capabilities and personalized algorithms and is also easily integrable with other CRMs.

Cost: Starts at $79.99 per user per month (billed annually). 

HubSpot Sales Hub

It is a sales CRM that offers sales engagement, configure-price-quote(CPQ) functionality, and sales analytics for growing teams. It automates your sales process using information from your sales intelligence data with in-depth analytics and reporting.

Cost: You can access its free CRM functionality that offers up to 1,000,000 contacts and no limits on users/customer data with no expiration date.


Its account engagement platform provides rich account insights to engage with the right buyers at the right time with the right message. It allows you to prioritize the best accounts with in-market and ICP fit predictions and gauge your engagement rate with the buying team.

Cost: Book a demo for pricing options.

Demandbase Sales Intelligence Cloud

The platform offers account intelligence to spot opportunities earlier, engage intelligently, and accelerate deal closures. It provides precise company data, native intent data, expansive technographics, curated content, relevant news, and social insights – all in line with security practices and data privacy.

Cost: $150 per user per month


Its SalesOS helps you maximize productivity, accelerate pipeline, and achieve your revenue potential. It offers comprehensive contact and company data, insights into buyer intent, website visitor tracking, and contact tracking.

Cost: Get customized pricing for SalesOs based on your requirements


Apollo’s sales intelligence and revenue platform claims to increase your revenue tenfold. It allows you to search and engage over 220 million prospects, make data-based prospecting decisions based on split tests and sales analytics, enrich your CRM in real-time, and obtain verified emails and numbers directly from LinkedIn.

Cost: Starts from $39 per user per month (billed annually)


It provides complete deal visibility to identify spot risk, view deal inventory, and for accurate sales forecasting. It helps you view real-time data and AI-driven predictive insights.

Cost: Price available on request


Vainu’s sales intelligence platform connects with your CRM  to find prospects quickly and visually. It lets you narrow down your search with 100 + company filters and instantly adds prospects to your CRM. You can also track your target companies and eliminate hours spent on tedious research with relevant information on your target accounts.

Cost: Starts from 6600€ per year with a one-time onboarding fee of 750€ 


The platform helps increase your conversions with fresh B2B contact data along with actionable insights like hierarchy, company size, and industry. It ships prospect info directly to your CRM, enabling you to build complete contact profiles with contact info, demographics, and firmographics.

Cost: Get a quote on request


Echobot’s sales intelligence software helps identify your prospective customers. It provides intelligent sales support, reduces preparation and research time, automates CRM data management, and promotes up-selling and cross-selling with relevant insights.

Cost: Get a price list by filling up their contact form.

Summing up

Sales intelligence is your one-stop solution to discover your ideal customer, engage them with intelligent and relevant content, track buyer behavior for the perfect sales window, and increase your win rate. It helps you keep pace with the changes in the high-powered B2B environment. Sales intelligence is the ultimate tool to transition from hard work to smart work while augmenting your sales performance.

Related: The compelling impact of artificial intelligence in sales

Written by Shapnila Nath

Shapnila is a content strategist, writer, and editor. With a cumulative experience of over a decade in Sales/Client Services and a solid background in Research & Analysis, she is currently spearheading content ideation and execution at Prospectly.

Related Stories

  • September 29, 2022
  • By Amen Mpofu

17 Critical Sales KPIs Every Business Should...

  • key performance indicators
  • KPIs in sales

Sales KPIs are vital for your business. If you can’t measure success, you can’t know whether you’re on track to achieve your strategic goals. To... Read More

  • September 23, 2022
  • By Amen Mpofu

How-to guide: Solution-selling essentials for beginners

  • solution selling
  • solution selling benefits

Selling your ideas and products to customers has never been easier. With the rise of Digital Transformation, it’s harder than ever for e-commerce businesses to... Read More

  • September 15, 2022
  • By Shapnila Nath

Deciphering the classic conundrum: “Sell me this...

  • sales interview
  • sell me something

“Sell me this pen!” Does this question automatically transport you to the scene from The Wolf of Wall Street with Leonardo DiCaprio holding up a... Read More