Leveraging Sales Intelligence Tools to Drive Pipeline Revenue

5 Questions with Nishit Asnani

At any given time, 98% of your audience is “out of market.” That means even if you find the right person and deliver the right message, they won’t always be ready to take next steps.

And that means pipeline management is that much more important. Knowing what buttons to push and levers to pull when the timing is right can make or break an SDRs comp.

Realistically, the biggest impact SDRs can have on the business (from an outbound perspective) is pushing prospects from their personal pipeline (as we call it, the ISQL) into the company’s pipeline (aka, a sales opportunity).

The more efficient they are at that process, the better.

Be it through productivity hacks, building compelling nurture campaigns, or leveraging sales technology, your SDRs can (and should) methodically convert their prospects into pipeline, and pipeline into sales opportunities.

We grabbed Nishit Asnani to talk about the technology portion of that equation. What insight can these tools derive? Can they help reps pull more relevant information on their prospects? What can they do during and after the conversation to help move prospects down the funnel?

Let’s find out.

Realistically, the biggest impact SDRs can have on the business (from an outbound perspective) is pushing prospects from their personal pipeline (as we call it, the ISQL) into the company’s pipeline (aka, a sales opportunity).

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Key Takeaways

  1. Let’s start with a definition – broadly, what is a “sales intelligence tool?” If we niche down, what are “emotional intelligence” tools?

  2. One of the key “buzzwords” over the past few years has been empathy – and for good reason. Understanding your prospect’s goals and challenges and how you can help them is key to success. How can emotional intelligence tools help in this capacity?

  3. What is the sales intelligence space going to look like 5-10 years? What role will technology play in the lives of sales reps?

  4. The role of AI in sales is growing quickly as well – and it promises a lot. Is it smoke and mirrors, or will AI have more of a prominent role in the next few years?

    • Follow-up, will we even need SDRs in a few years?

  5. When SDRs convert pipeline, they contribute revenue. It’s as simple as that – yet, a lot of SDRs struggle with the act of pipeline management. Tactically, how can they leverage emotional intelligence tools to make that process more efficient?

Highlights, Notes, and Resources

(5:11) “Emotional intelligence tools are trying to bridge that gap, and provide you with enough context so that you’re able to still understand the other person as a human and not just an opportunity.”

Good reminder that sales is, and always will be, a human-to-human profession. It’s easy to get lost in the weeds. These tools help pull you back out.

(6:41) Some people say 80% of communication is non-verbal. Some say it’s 93%. There’s the 55/38/7 formula…

Either way, it’s a hefty majority, and unless you’re meeting with someone in-person you aren’t experiencing the full brunt of it.

(11:15) AJ goofed up his definition of tactical empathy! It’s not “fake” empathy like he implied, it’s more of a “strategic” emotion. More on that here.

(12:31) Cat meme, anyone? The journey to understanding your prospect starts as a solo mission (researching their LinkedIn, using tools like CrystalKnows, etc.) but has to evolve into a 2-person job. The best way to understand someone is to talk with them.

(13:59) A big, and very important, difference between understanding the external problems a prospect is facing vs. the internal problems they have. To Nishit’s point, that’s usually where prospects take action. And that’s what empathy is.

(14:57) Here’s Nishit’s Nespresso affiliate link…just kidding 😆

(16:30) We’ve been talking a lot about empathy – why it’s important and how you can tap into it. Here, Nishit ties it back to technology. “Being attuned to the way a person is reacting to what you’re saying or what you’re pitching is key to that.” Without emotional intelligence tools, you’re at a disadvantage when it comes to understanding your prospect.

(17:21) Alex taps into another benefit of emotional intelligence tools – note taking. Not because reps take bad notes, but because they aren’t comprehensive enough. Capturing sentiment in notes isn’t taught or really expected, but it should be.

(21:21) The sales intelligence space is exploding. There are new technologies cropping up (what seems like) daily. Our friends at Tenbound developed a Market Map to help visualize the scope of how many tools exist. So when Nishit talks about this space growing even further, keep that in mind.

(22:31) Phew, our jobs are safe. Even though the number of tools and their sophistication is increasing year over year, there are certain aspects of the sales job that are innately human. Robots won’t be taking our jobs anytime soon (or potentially ever).

This tech is used to assist, not replace. AI should be used to enable humans to do more meaningful work.

(26:17) Alex notes the shift in the responsibility of the SDR over the past ~5 years. Previously, it was very numbers-driven. Now, the role is focused on building relationships. And tapping into that emotional intelligence is more important now than ever.

(29:42) We finally get to the “meat” of the topic here. Just like a radiologist specializes in detecting tuberculosis in their test subjects, SDRs specialize in generating pipeline for their company (ok very different but you get the idea). And both specialists can be aided by technology in some capacity.

(30:53) And that assistance for SDRs is commonly found in tools that help you deepen your understanding of your prospects. Not just from a qualitative standpoint, but from a quantitative one as well.

(32:18) Some easy-to-adopt intelligence tactics here that any salesperson can try today. They’re possible from a manual perspective, and scalable from a technological perspective.

(34:16) Emotional Intelligence tools can impact your demo process & post-demo follow-up. And as you gather more and more data, you improve the process as a whole.

(33:11) Sales development shouldn’t be a binary outcome. You can broadly bucket your outcomes into “yes” or “no” but there are countless buckets within those 2 that hold immense value for SDRs and their managers.

(35:13) SDR feedback loops! Very important, and often overlooked.

(36:47) We’ve seen this scenario with product analytics and marketing in the past. Product teams and marketing teams test everything to see what works and what doesn’t. Now, it’s time for sales to undergo a similar change.

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