Sales intelligence

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Sales intelligence (SI) refers to technologies, applications and practices for the collection, integration, analysis, and presentation of information to help salespeople keep up to date with clients, prospect data and drive business. In addition to providing metrics for win-loss and sales confidence,[1] SI can present contextually relevant customer and product information.

The 2008 survey of 300 companies by the Aberdeen Group [2] show that the recent economic downturn has lengthened traditional sales cycles. As businesses have been forced to reduce spending, sales representatives have been challenged to meet quotas. Top performing companies have implemented sales intelligence programs to improve the quality and quantity of sales leads. SI contextualizes opportunities by providing relevant industry, corporate and personal information. Frequently SI's fact-based information is integrated or includes Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

Although some aspects of sales intelligence overlaps business intelligence (BI), SI is specifically designed for the use of salespeople and sales managers. Unlike customer relationship management (CRM) and traditional business intelligence (BI) applications, SI provides real-time analysis of current sales data and assists with suggesting and delivering actionable, relevant information.

Sales intelligence solutions are predominantly designed for companies in the manufacturing, distribution and wholesale sectors. These are highly competitive markets, where volumes are high, margins are low. (SI) solutions provide unique insight into customer buying patterns. By automatically analysing and evaluating these patterns, Sales Intelligence pro-actively identifies and delivers up-sell, cross-sell and switch-sell opportunities.

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