Home > Software Categories > Best Sales Intelligence Software 2024

Sales intelligence software enables companies to gather internal and external data from multiple sources to help salespeople better understand their prospects so they can boost sales and enhance sales processes.

It can offer insights on potential customers, such as demographic data, buying behaviors, company information, and engagement history with your brand. Additionally, this software often includes data on market trends, competitor analysis, and customer feedback, all of which are critical for tailoring sales approaches and improving conversion rates.

Our team of experts has curated a list of the top sales intelligence software for 2024 so you can focus more on closing deals and less on sorting through mountains of data:

Also read: 5 Best Revenue Intelligence Software 2024

Our top recommendations

LeadFeeder — Best for identifying anonymous website visitors


Pros

  • Lead identification
  • Real-time updates
  • Extensive integrations
  • Customizable reporting
  • Advanced sorting and filtering

Cons

  • CRM Integration issues reported
  • Limited historical data access
LeadFeeder logo.

Our Rating: 4/5

Visitor identification: Uses reverse IP tracking to identify the companies that visit your website, even if they don’t fill out a form or leave any contact information.

Lead scoring: Assigns a lead score to each identified company based on various factors, such as the number of visits, pages viewed, and engagement level, helping you prioritize the most promising leads.

Company information: Provides detailed information about the identified companies, including company size, industry, location, and contact details.

Real-time notifications: Receive real-time notifications when a tracked company visits your website.

Website activity tracking: Tracks the pages and content that visitors interact with on your website, giving you insights into their interests and pain points.

Integration with CRM and marketing automation: Integrates with popular CRM and marketing automation platforms such as Salesforce and HubSpot.

14-day free trial available

Free

  • $0/month
  • No time limit on free plan
  • Unlimited users
  • Data from last 7 days only
  • Max 100 identified companies

Paid

  • Starting at $99/month (paid annually)
  • For sales & marketing teams
  • Pricing based on companies identified
  • Unlimited visits data storage

LeadFeeder leverages reverse IP tracking to identify companies visiting your website, even if they don’t leave any contact information.

This capability gives LeadFeeder a significant advantage over competitors like Zoho and LinkedIn Sales Navigator, which primarily focus on existing contact databases or social media profiles. LeadFeeder’s ability to uncover previously unknown website visitors opens up new opportunities for sales teams to engage with prospects who have already shown interest in their products or services.

The lead scoring system and detailed company information provide insights into the potential of each lead, allowing sales teams to prioritize their efforts more effectively. While tools like Zoho and LinkedIn Sales Navigator offer similar features, LeadFeeder’s relatively seamless integration with CRM and marketing automation platforms streamlines the lead management process.

  • Pricing: 3.3/5
  • Data quality and coverage: 4.2/5
  • Advanced features: 3.8/5
  • Usability and interface: 5/5
  • Support and training: 3.8/5
  • Integration and compatibility: 4.2/5
  • Security and innovation: 3.8/5

LeadFeeder is a sales intelligence software that helps businesses to identify and engage with their website visitors more effectively. Leveraging advanced reverse IP tracking technology, LeadFeeder unveils the companies behind anonymous website traffic, even when visitors don’t fill out forms or leave any contact information.

According to the company, LeadFeeder’s mission is to “help sales and marketing teams uncover valuable leads and streamline their prospecting efforts.” By providing detailed company information, lead scores, and real-time notifications, LeadFeeder enables teams to prioritize and pursue the most promising opportunities with precision.

LeadFeeder is particularly well-suited for businesses in industries with complex sales cycles or high-value transactions, such as B2B software, manufacturing, and professional services. By unveiling previously unknown prospects, LeadFeeder empowers sales teams to expand their reach and engage with a broader range of potential customers.

In recent updates, LeadFeeder has introduced enhanced lead scoring algorithms that incorporate machine learning techniques. This enhancement enables more accurate lead prioritization based on a company’s behavior and engagement levels on the website. Additionally, LeadFeeder now offers advanced reporting and analytics capabilities, providing valuable insights into website visitor patterns and sales pipeline performance.

Also read: Best 6 Sales Management Software & Tools

HubSpot Sales Hub — Best for integrated CRM


Pros

  • Comprehensive CRM and lead management
  • Integrated marketing automation
  • Detailed contact and company insights
  • Sales productivity tools
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Integration ecosystem

Cons

  • Limited lead scoring capabilities
  • Data quality reliance
HubSpot logo.

Our Rating: 4.5/5

Timeline: Provides a comprehensive view of a contact’s or company’s interactions with your business, including emails, meetings, and website visits, enabling sales teams to build better context and tailor their approach.

Prospects tool: Allows sales reps to track and prioritize leads based on their engagement levels, ensuring they focus their efforts on the most promising opportunities.

Built-in calling: Enables sales teams to make and receive calls directly within the platform, streamlining their communication efforts.

Sequences: Allows sales reps to create and automate personalized email and task sequences, helping them stay organized and consistent in their follow-ups.

Data-enrichment integration services: Integration with data enrichment services like Clearbit and FullContact provides sales teams with up-to-date and comprehensive contact and company information, enhancing their ability to qualify and prioritize leads.

Sales analytics dashboard: Offers customizable reporting and visualization tools, allowing sales managers to track team performance, pipeline health, and other key metrics in real-time.

Free: $0/user/month

  • This plan includes basic CRM, contact and company insights, email tracking, and limited integration capabilities.

Starter: $45 per month (paid annually) or $50 per month (paid monthly). 

  • Includes unlimited users, 1,000,000 contacts, lead management, email scheduling, and integration with Gmail and Outlook.

Professional: $450 per month (paid annually) or $500 per month (paid monthly). 

  • Includes all Starter features, plus advanced lead scoring, call tracking, meeting scheduling, sales automation, and revenue tracking.

Enterprise: $1,200 per month (paid annually) or $1,400 per month (paid monthly). 

  • Includes all Professional features, plus custom event automation, multi-currency support, hierarchical teams, and advanced reporting and analytics.

*In addition to these Sales Hub plans, HubSpot also offers Marketing Hub, Service Hub, and CMS Hub, which can be purchased separately or bundled together for a discount. Pricing for these additional products varies based on the specific plan and features required.

Unlike standalone sales intelligence tools like Apollo.io and ZoomInfo, HubSpot offers a unified solution that streamlines the entire sales process, from lead generation to deal closing.

One key advantage of HubSpot over its competitors is its strong marketing automation integration. This tight coupling allows for a smooth handoff of leads from marketing to sales, ensuring sales teams have access to comprehensive lead data and engagement history right from the start. This level of integration is often lacking in standalone sales intelligence tools, leading to potential data silos and inefficiencies.

HubSpot’s CRM and sales productivity features, such as email tracking, meeting scheduling, and automated sequences, provide sales teams with a full set of tools to manage their pipeline and workflows. This comprehensive approach reduces the need for multiple disparate tools and ensures a consistent user experience across the sales process.

While Apollo.io and ZoomInfo may offer stronger lead prospecting and data enrichment capabilities, HubSpot’s wins when it comes to combining sales intelligence with marketing automation and CRM functionality. This integration, combined with its user-friendly interface and scalable pricing options, makes HubSpot a compelling choice for businesses seeking a comprehensive sales intelligence solution and more.

Pricing: 2.9/5

Data quality and coverage: 4.2/5

Advanced features: 4.6/5

Usability and interface: 5/5

Support and training: 5/5

Integration and compatibility: 5/5

Security and innovation: 5/5

HubSpot is a leading CRM and marketing automation platform that offers powerful sales intelligence capabilities. Its sales intelligence features revolve around a centralized CRM system, providing rich contact and company data enriched through third-party integrations. Key strengths include the comprehensive Timeline view for tracking interactions, advanced lead scoring, automated email and task sequences, and tight integration with marketing automation for seamless lead handoffs. Recent updates have enhanced data enrichment, sales analytics, and reporting features.

HubSpot’s unified approach, combining sales intelligence with CRM and marketing tools, makes it well-suited for businesses seeking a cohesive sales ecosystem to optimize their processes and drive revenue growth.

Zoho CRM — Best for affordability and customization


Pros

  • Affordable pricing
  • Strong lead management capabilities
  • High degree of customization options
  • Mobile accessibility
  • Sales forecasting

Cons

  • Limited reporting and analytics
  • Data quality largely depends on user input
  • Limited automation capabilities
The Zoho logo.

Our Rating: 4/5

Sales forecasting: Provides sales managers with data-driven insights into projected revenue and pipeline health.

Integration with third-party applications: Email clients, social media platforms, and marketing automation tools, enhancing data accessibility and streamlining sales processes.

Customizable dashboard and reporting capabilities: Enables sales teams to tailor their view and track key performance metrics relevant to their specific goals and objectives.

Mobile apps for iOS and Android: Sales reps have access to up-to-date customer and deal information while on-the-go, promoting productivity and responsiveness.

Workflow automation: Allows sales teams to automate repetitive tasks and streamline processes, improving efficiency and reducing manual effort.

Free trial available

Free plans available for Mail and Projects

Standard: $14/user/month

Professional: $23/user/month

Enterprise: $40/user/month

Ultimate: $52/user/month

Zoho CRM makes the list due to its affordability and flexibility, making it a top choice for businesses of all sizes, particularly small and medium enterprises. 

The platform allows businesses to tailor the software to their specific sales processes and workflows, ensuring a seamless fit with their unique requirements. This level of customization can be challenging to achieve with more rigid solutions like HubSpot or LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

While HubSpot and LinkedIn Sales Navigator have strengths in marketing automation integration and social selling respectively, Zoho CRM integrates with a wide range of third-party applications and services. This flexibility enables sales teams to seamlessly incorporate Zoho CRM into their existing tech stack, enhancing data accessibility and streamlining processes.

Another key advantage of Zoho CRM is its mobile accessibility. With dedicated mobile apps for iOS and Android, sales reps can access and update customer and deal information on-the-go, promoting productivity and responsiveness. This feature can be particularly valuable for sales teams that operate in the field or have a remote workforce.

Zoho CRM’s sales forecasting tools provide sales managers with data-driven insights into projected revenue and pipeline health, enabling informed decision-making. While HubSpot and LinkedIn Sales Navigator offer similar capabilities, Zoho CRM’s forecasting tools are often praised for their accuracy and ease of use.

Pricing: 2.5/5

Data quality and coverage: 4.2/5

Advanced features: 4.2/5

Usability and interface: 4.3/5

Support and training: 4.6/5

Integration and compatibility: 4.2/5

Security and innovation: 4.2/5

Zoho CRM is a flexible and affordable sales intelligence platform that offers lead management, sales forecasting, customization options, and seamless integration capabilities. 

Key strengths include capturing and nurturing leads through structured processes, providing data-driven forecasting insights, tailoring the software to specific workflows, integrating with third-party apps, and enabling mobile accessibility for on-the-go sales teams. 

Recent enhancements focus on reporting, analytics, and workflow automation to streamline sales processes further. Zoho CRM’s balance of features and cost-effectiveness makes it well-suited for small and medium businesses seeking a comprehensive yet accessible sales intelligence solution.

Apollo.io — Best for extensive contact data


Pros

  • Extensive contact database
  • Lead generation capabilities
  • Chrome extension
  • Email validation and verification
  • Sales cadence automation
  • High data quality and accuracy

Cons

  • Limited CRM integration
  • Pricing structure can be complex
  • User interface not as intuitive as competitors
Apollo.io logo.

Our Rating: 4.1/5

Extensive database: 200 million professional contact records enables sales teams to access a vast pool of potential leads and prospects.

Advanced search filters and data enrichment capabilities: Allows sales reps to identify and target their ideal prospects based on specific criteria and firmographic data.

Chrome extension: Seamlessly integrates contact information and insights directly into the web browser, streamlining prospecting and research workflows.

Email validation and verification features: Ensures the accuracy and deliverability of contact email addresses, improving email campaign effectiveness and reducing bounce rates.

Sales cadence automation: Sales teams can create and automate personalized outreach sequences.

Prioritizes data quality and accuracy: Regular updates and validation processes, providing sales teams with reliable and up-to-date contact information.

Free Plan: $0

  • Email Credits: Unlimited (10,000/month per account)
  • Mobile Credits: 60/year
  • Export Credits: 120/year
  • Features: Basic sequence automation, filters, LinkedIn extension, send 250 emails/day, limited API access, and more.

Basic Plan: $49 per user/month, billed annually

  • Email Credits: Unlimited (min. 120,000/year per account)
  • Mobile Credits: 900/year
  • Export Credits: 12,000/year
  • Features: All features of Free plus advanced filters, email tracking, job changes, outreach integration, and more.

Professional Plan: $79 per user/month, billed annually

  • Email Credits: Unlimited (min. 120,000/year per account)
  • Mobile Credits: 1,200/year
  • Export Credits: 24,000/year
  • Features: All features of Basic plus advanced reporting, no sequence limit, AI-assisted email writing (300k words limit), and more.

Organization Plan: $119 per user/month (minimum 3 users), billed annually

  • Email Credits: Unlimited (min. 120,000/year per account)
  • Mobile Credits: 2,400/year
  • Export Credits: 48,000/year
  • Features: All features of Professional plus call transcriptions, advanced security configurations, SSO, and more.

Apollo.io offers a more comprehensive feature set than Zoho and Leadfeeder, including advanced CRM integrations with bi-directional syncing capabilities that outperform those available in Zoho and Leadfeeder. 

Its unlimited email credits, even in the free plan, provide significant value for extensive outreach campaigns, a feature neither Zoho nor Leadfeeder matches. Additionally, Apollo.io supports extensive customization and scalability, allowing our team to tailor the platform to our specific needs as we grow. 

Unlike Leadfeeder, which primarily tracks website visitors, Apollo.io enhances direct sales efforts with features like AI-assisted email writing and detailed analytics on lead behavior and preferences. 

Apollo.io’s clear and scalable pricing structure offers a cost-effective solution for our diverse needs, making it a more economically viable option than Zoho and Leadfeeder. 

Pricing: 2.9/5

Data quality and coverage: 4.6/5

Advanced features: 4.6/5

Usability and interface: 3.3/5

Support and training: 3.3/5

Integration and compatibility: 4.2/5

Security and innovation: 4.6/5

Established with the aim of optimizing sales workflows, Apollo.io integrates directly with CRM systems, providing tools for lead scoring, targeted outreach, and performance tracking. It caters primarily to sales and marketing professionals seeking to enhance lead generation and conversion rates through more efficient and effective practices. 

Users range from startups to large enterprises, making it versatile for various business sizes and industries. Key features include advanced segmentation, email automation, and detailed analytics that support personalized marketing and sales strategies. 

Recently, Apollo.io has introduced updates that include improved AI-assisted email writing tools, which now support up to 1 million words monthly, and more robust integrations with major CRM platforms such as Salesforce and HubSpot.

Linkedin Sales Navigator — Best for network-based prospecting


Pros

  • Advanced search capabilities
  • Up-to-date information on leads and companies
  • Comprehensive integration with CRM
  • InMail allows direct communication with anyone on LinkedIn
  • Lead recommendations
  • Custom lists and saving searches

Cons

  • Dependence on LinkedIn data
  • Limited email functionality
The LinkedIn logo.

Our Rating: 4.2/5

  • Advanced search: Offers detailed search filters that allow users to precisely identify and segment potential leads based on specific criteria such as geography, industry, company size, and job function.
  • Lead recommendations: Utilizes user preferences and interaction data to recommend relevant leads.
  • InMail messaging: Provides the ability to send direct messages to anyone on LinkedIn, enabling users to reach out to prospects outside their immediate network without requiring a connection.
  • CRM integration: Seamlessly integrates with popular CRM systems, enabling the synchronization of lead data and activities.
  • Real-time updates: Delivers timely alerts and updates about key changes and activities related to saved leads or accounts, such as job changes or company news.
  • Custom lists and saved searches: Allows users to organize leads and accounts into custom lists and save search parameters for recurring use, enhancing lead management and follow-up strategies.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator Core: $99 per user/month. Annual Pricing: $959.88 per user/year (save 20%). 

Key features:

  • 50 InMail credits per month
  • Advanced and saved search
  • Relationship Explorer & Relationship Map
  • Buyer-persona segmentation
  • Lead/account recommendations
  • Who’s viewed your profile (last 90 days)
  • Integration with SNAP, Outlook Web, and mobile app

LinkedIn Sales Navigator Advanced

Monthly Pricing: $149 per user/month. Annual Pricing: $1,300 per user/year (save 20%). 

Key features:

  • All Core features plus:
  • Buyer Intent signals
  • Account IQ
  • Smart links
  • TeamLink and TeamLink Extend
  • Usage reporting
  • Dedicated relationship manager
  • SSO, SCIM, and Employee Data Integration

LinkedIn Sales Navigator Advanced Plus

Annual Pricing Only: Starting at $1,600 per seat/year

Key features:

  • All Advanced features plus:
  • CRM-generated lists for Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales
  • CRM data validation and activity writeback
  • Champion’s list
  • Opportunities at-risk
  • ROI reporting
  • Advanced enterprise integrations

This platform is particularly valuable compared to competitors like ZoomInfo and HubSpot due to its direct linkage to LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network. This connection offers real-time insights and updates about companies and professionals that other platforms can’t match, enabling sales teams to engage with prospects at opportune moments.

Unlike ZoomInfo, which relies heavily on broad data scraping techniques, Sales Navigator provides more personalized data points and networking opportunities, allowing for highly targeted outreach. Users can leverage LinkedIn’s detailed user profiles and engagement metrics to tailor their approach, making interactions more relevant and effective.

While HubSpot uses inbound marketing and CRM functionalities, Sales Navigator specializes in lead generation and relationship building. It offers features like InMail, advanced search filters, and lead recommendations that are specifically designed for outbound sales strategies, making it a better choice for teams focused on direct sales initiatives.

For businesses looking to capitalize on deep network insights and forge meaningful professional connections, LinkedIn Sales Navigator offers an edge with its sophisticated, network-driven functionalities that go beyond the capabilities of traditional sales intelligence tools.

Pricing: 3.8/5

Data quality and coverage: 5.0/5

Advanced features: 3.3/5

Usability and interface: 4.6/5

Support and training: 4.2/5

Integration and compatibility: 3.3/5

Security and innovation: 4.2/5

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a sales intelligence tool tailored to enhance B2B sales activities. Leveraging LinkedIn’s extensive network, Sales Navigator offers a suite of features designed to optimize lead generation, relationship management, and strategic outreach. It operates as a standalone platform separate from the regular LinkedIn interface, providing deeper functionalities and customized tools for sales professionals.

Key features include Advanced Search capabilities, which allow users to finely tune their prospecting efforts using detailed criteria such as company size, industry, and role. The platform also offers InMail credits for reaching out directly to potential leads, even if they are not connected, and Lead Recommendations that are algorithmically tailored to the user’s preferences and past interactions.

Updates to LinkedIn Sales Navigator have focused on enhancing integration capabilities and user experience. The latest updates include improved CRM integration features that allow for smoother synchronization with platforms like Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365. This integration supports activities such as CRM-generated lead lists and data validation. 

Also read: How to Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator (2024)

ZoomInfo Sales — Best for detailed B2B data


Pros

  • Rich data cloud
  • Advanced search capabilities
  • Integrates with many major sales and marketing platforms
  • Trigger event alerts
  • Chrome extension

Cons

  • Premium and complex pricing
  • Requires active management and customization to maintain relevance and efficiency in lead handling.
The ZoomInfo logo.

Our Rating: 4.1/5

Advanced search filters: Allows users to conduct highly targeted searches using a variety of criteria such as industry, company size, revenue, and specific keywords, enabling precise market segmentation.

Scoops and sales signals: Offers actionable intelligence leads, called “Scoops,” which include insights on projects, leadership changes, and other trigger events that facilitate timely and informed outreach.

Integration capabilities: Seamlessly integrates with CRM systems and sales engagement platforms like SalesLoft, enhancing the utility of existing tools and streamlining workflows.

Chrome extension: Provides quick access to ZoomInfo’s rich database directly from the web browser, allowing sales professionals to gain insights while they browse corporate websites.

Customizable alerts and notifications: Users can save searches and set up subscriptions to alerts, ensuring they receive real-time updates about changes and opportunities in their target markets.

Comprehensive data cloud: Provides access to extensive B2B data, including detailed company and contact information, which is continually updated for accuracy.

Professional Plan: Annual Cost: $14,995

  • Includes: 5,000 annual bulk credits
  • Additional User Cost: $1,500 each
  • User Discounts: Available for groups larger than 20 users

Advanced Plan: Annual Cost: $24,995

  • Includes: 10,000 annual bulk credits and 1,000 monthly user credits
  • Additional User Cost: $2,500 each
  • User Discounts: Available for larger user groups

Elite Plan: Annual Cost: $39,995

  • Includes: 10,000 annual bulk credits and 1,000 monthly credits per user
  • Additional User Cost: $2,500 each

Add-ons and other costs:

  • Bulk credit prices decrease with volume, starting at $0.60 per credit for 5,000 credits down to $0.20 for over 2,505,000 credits.
  • Optional add-ons include Worldwide Data, FormComplete, InboxAI Premium, and various engagement and compliance tools, which can significantly influence the overall cost.

*ZoomInfo does not offer monthly subscriptions; all plans are based on at least one-year contracts. The cost per contact and the total expense will vary based on the chosen plan, the number of users, and the specific needs for credits and add-ons.

ZoomInfo’s edge lies in its proprietary data cloud that offers unmatched coverage and updates. This ensures sales teams always have access to the most current and detailed B2B data, including direct contact information, which often surpasses LinkedIn Sales Navigator’s network-based data limitations. Additionally, ZoomInfo’s integration capabilities, particularly with CRM systems, streamline workflows more effectively than many competitors, facilitating a seamless transition of insights into actionable sales strategies.

The platform’s advanced search capabilities and “Scoops” feature—providing timely alerts on relevant corporate changes and opportunities—further enable teams to engage with the right prospects at the right time, considerably enhancing lead generation and conversion processes. 

Pricing: 2.8/5

Data quality and coverage: 4.6/5

Advanced features: 4.6/5

Usability and interface: 4.1/5

Support and training: 4.2/6

Integration and compatibility: 4.6/5

Security and innovation: 4.6/5

ZoomInfo Sales has established itself as a pivotal resource for B2B companies seeking to optimize their sales processes. Originating from the acquisition and rebranding of DiscoverOrg, ZoomInfo leverages a vast database of business contacts and companies, enhanced by sophisticated AI-driven algorithms, to deliver high-quality, actionable data to sales and marketing teams.

Primarily, ZoomInfo Sales excels in providing detailed company insights, contact data, and actionable sales triggers such as leadership changes and funding events. This enables sales professionals to identify and connect with potential customers more effectively, tailor their outreach, and close deals faster.

Recent key enhancements include deeper CRM integrations, particularly with platforms like Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics, making it easier for users to synchronize data and manage customer interactions seamlessly. Additionally, the introduction of features like Intent Signals and Scoops provides users with real-time updates on prospective buyer interests and critical company events, further sharpening their competitive edge.

Find your new Sales Intelligence software

How does sales intelligence software work?

Sales intelligence tools can take many different forms, but they all share a common aim: to increase lead quantity and quality — quantity by tapping social streams and directories for new leads, quality by segmenting those leads based on their data profiles, and suggesting follow-up activities.

A good sales intelligence tool should address the “three Ps:”

  • Provide intelligence about true prospects
  • Prioritize follow-up activities
  • Present a prospect’s interests to the sales rep

Sales intelligence isn’t a single tool so much as a pervasive approach that affects multiple data systems. A lead profile is captured and tracked through a marketing automation platform, transferred to the sales rep’s CRM, and analyzed using business intelligence.

In its simplest form, sales intelligence can be a built-in feature of CRM software. The CRM may use social integrations or other connectors to pull in data and provide a 360-degree view of each prospect and lead (Nimble’s “intelligent relationship platform” is a great example of this).

In other cases, a business may use a BI application such as LiveHive or Tableau to translate prospect data into sales insights: Based on what we’re seeing in the buyer journey, attending a webinar is correlated with middle-funnel interest.

Finally, there are a handful of standalone SI applications that focus on building and managing an accurate database of sales-ready contacts. Examples include Zoominfo, InsideView, and Discoverorg. LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator has been a wild card in this category, but continues to see more use as a source for lead data.

Benefits of sales intelligence software

Organizations must have strong sales teams to remain competitive. Sales intelligence software gives salespeople the information they need to be successful.

Here are five ways sales intelligence software can help salespeople make better use of their time:

Better access to customer insights

By analyzing sales data, sales reps can better understand their customers’ needs and concerns. They can use the insights from this data to adapt their sales pitches and hit their sales targets. Additionally, using insights provided by their sales intelligence tools, salespeople can send prospects more personalized messaging.

Sales reps who use stagnant CRM data to identify potential customers are probably working with out-of-date information, making it difficult to contact them. However, sales intelligence software aggregates up-to-date information from numerous sources, ensuring accurate data and providing sales reps with a complete view of each prospect.

Salespeople with access to accurate information on each prospect, including job, budget, buying power, and concerns, can be sure they’re contacting the right individuals at the right times and with the right messages.

Improves customer prospecting

Based on their companies ‘ criteria, sales intelligence software can identify which leads sales reps should target. Some tools prioritize leads automatically based on preset rules.

Most sales reps understand not every prospect will become a customer. As such, salespeople need to find prospects who will really benefit from their goods or services and can afford to pay for them. Consequently, sales teams typically spend too much time working on the perfect customer profiles and buyer personas.

Using sales intelligence tools, salespeople can quickly identify prospects, meaning they can spend less time talking to people who are unlikely to purchase their products or services and more time with high-value prospects. Additionally, salespeople can use contact information about potential customers provided by their sales intelligence software to ensure that they’re reaching out to the decision-makers at those companies.

Increases close rates

Sales intelligence doesn’t just mean salespeople should amass as much information as possible. Rather, they should collect relevant, actionable, accurate, and up-to-date data. Sales intelligence tools give reps access to up-to-date and accurate information about prospects to help them acquire more opportunities.

The best sales intelligence tools also provide sales reps with real-time updates to their information, combining data from various sources into one main location. This ensures salespeople are always reaching out to the right individuals with relevant information.

This helps enhance the customer experience, contributing to higher-performing sales teams and improved close rates. As a major part of sales enablement, sales intelligence ensures reps do their best work.

Shorter sales cycles

Having access to the right information can speed up just about every part of the sales process. For example, sales reps won’t have to spend hours researching leads and looking for information about prospects and their companies as the software does that for them. This enables salespeople to spend more time crafting relevant and compelling messaging. They can also save time by reaching out and talking to prospects who are looking to buy immediately.

Sales intelligence tools can also help sales reps with inbound leads. Inquiry forms and/or emails typically only give salespeople the names and email addresses of potential customers. On the other hand, sales intelligence tools can offer additional insights into prospects to help sales reps qualify inbound leads and respond effectively.This creates more productive salespeople who make more sales in less time.

Automates manual, repetitive tasks

Sales intelligence tools can automate the time-consuming, manual sales tasks that sales reps and managers perform daily, weekly, and monthly. Automating repetitive sales tasks, such as sales data entry and generating reports, lets salespeople focus on more important work, such as building customer relationships, selling, and closing deals.

For example, sales intelligence tools can send automated email follow-ups to keep potential customers engaged. This aids sales reps in reminding customers about goods or services they have shown interest in and encouraging them to buy immediately.

Four categories of sales intelligence software

1. Data enrichment and maintenance

As lead generation found its place in the digital world, the CRM database quickly became the most important tool for B2B sales. Several sales intelligence vendors now offer services designed to help you clean or supplement your lead data or add new contacts entirely. These vendors all use different terminology and bill their services differently to distinguish themselves from competitors, but the focus is always, in some way, on your sales database.

The benefit of working with these vendors is that you can cut down on wasted sales efforts by targeting buyers with the highest potential and purging unqualified, unmatched leads from your programs. According to a 2015 study by Integrate, 40 percent of all B2B leads suffer from poor data quality.3

While many providers offer a web-based platform or customer portal, your evaluation process should focus more on services than “features,” per se. Here are some examples of common services found in this category of sales intelligence:

Data enrichment/appending

Adding new firmographic and/or demographic data points to your existing contact profile. Many of these services pull from a central directory or parse social data from the web.

List-building

Delivering lists of cold leads that match a few of your basic targeting criteria. These leads will not be “qualified” or aware of your brand, so expect high attrition.

Data verification

Checking your contact profiles for information accuracy. Data verification vendors may use an outbound calling team or automated processes to verify phone numbers, email addresses, and names.

Data scrubbing/cleansing

Similar to data verification and sometimes used synonymously. Data scrubbing may also include a “deduplication” component that removes redundant entries from your database.

Lead generation

Although less directly associated, some lead generation providers label themselves as a “sales intelligence” service, since they directly serve the needs of client sales teams. Here, you’ll get varying levels of qualified, warm leads that match your criteria. TechnologyAdvice is one of the top lead generation providers in the B2B technology space.

As you can see, the term “sales intelligence” is used quite liberally among data service providers. No one knows your leads better than your own sales reps, but a small boost in pipeline and productivity can be just enough to give you a competitive edge.

2. Sales reporting and forecasting

In this category, you’ll see a lot of overlap between “sales intelligence” software and traditional business intelligence software. In fact, many business intelligence vendors offer dedicated dashboards and analytical tools for sales use. Other vendors have built entire platforms dedicated to monitoring and reporting on sales data.

The focus here is less on client/prospect-level data and more on high-level insights that support decision-making. For example, if your average deal size for leads that originate in search and social is lower than other channels, you may need to sit down with marketing and discuss ways to improve inbound lead quality. Or if your forecast for Q4 predicts a shortage in revenue for the year, you might decide to comb through your database and identify cold leads that warrant a second follow-up.

The modus operandi of business intelligence has always been to mine raw data and derive actionable intelligence. The same applies here, just with a unique focus on sales.

Here are some of the most common features you’ll see in this category of sales intelligence:

  • Real-time, interactive dashboards
  • Data import/export
  • Data mining
  • CRM integration
  • Sales forecasting
  • Predictive modeling/analytics
  • Performance management
  • Pre-built reports (for common sales metrics like revenue, cost-per-lead, win rate, time-to-close)
  • Custom reporting (drag and drop your own metrics from different data sources and build a custom chart of dashboard)

3. Pipeline management

Pipeline management solutions are designed to help your sales team stay organized, efficient, and prioritize development activities based on the unique characteristics of each lead. As they say, work smarter, not harder. Instead of rushing as many leads as possible through your pipeline, these tools will help you focus on the best opportunities or the ones at risk for churn.

That may not mean you may close more opportunities, but it will mean less slip through the cracks, and the ones you do close will provide more value. Think of pipeline management solutions as a kind of project management platform for your sales team — designed to keep them on track with tasks, schedules, assets, and communication and keep your throughput moving. Again, since these solutions focus on improving the sales process through insight and automation, they are a type of sales intelligence.

If you decide to implement a pipeline management solution, make sure you choose a vendor that offers plenty of customization options. If the reporting and automation features don’t match your existing sales workflows, you could be dealing with more hassle than improvement. Many CRMs offer their own built-in pipeline management tools, although these will be more limited in scope than a best-of-breed application.

Common features of pipeline management tools include:

  • Sales activity management
  • Custom fields and custom workflows
  • Lead tracking
  • Goal setting
  • Timelines
  • Task management and scheduling
  • Reports and dashboards
  • Email integration
  • CRM integration

4. Behavioral analytics

Our final category of sales intelligence software revolves around client and lead-level analytics — tracking the actions of specific customers, leads, and prospects to identify new opportunities faster. Software tools that serve this function typically use a mix of firmographics and behavioral data to either determine a lead’s qualification level or point out upsell and cross-sell potentials. Some in the industry refer to this as “prescriptive analytics.”

Interestingly enough, a great deal of this type of “sales intelligence” is collected during the marketing-owned portion of the buyer’s journey, but it is nonetheless important for sales reps to have access. When they can see beyond name, company, and email address down to qualitative data about the buyer’s journey, salespeople will be much better equipped to start meaningful conversations and speak directly to each buyer’s needs.

Common features to look for in this category include:

  • Lead scoring
  • Automated follow-ups/email automation
  • Engagement analytics (email opens, link clicks, page views, etc.)
  • Call tracking
  • Scheduling and task management

At the crux of behavioral sales intelligence sits the integrated CRM/marketing automation suite — one of the most powerful inventions to have graced the B2B stage in decades. This integrated system lets marketers log behavioral data about prospects during inbound campaigns and the nurture process, then pass that data to sales when the prospect becomes an MQL (marketing qualified lead). There are also standalone tools that help sales reps track and analyze lead behavior after the handoff.

Embracing sales intelligence

In 2024, sales intelligence software is essential for enhancing sales strategies and customer engagement. Tools like LeadFeeder and HubSpot offer advanced capabilities such as visitor tracking and comprehensive CRM integration, highlighting the shift towards sophisticated sales enablement solutions. These platforms equip sales teams with deep insights into buyer behaviors, leveraging technologies like AI and real-time analytics to improve lead prioritization and personalization.

The integration of these tools with existing business systems underscores a trend towards more interconnected sales processes, reducing data silos and boosting efficiency. As the market evolves, sales intelligence software not only streamlines operations but also enables personalized customer interactions, critical for driving revenue growth. For any forward-thinking sales organization, adopting these advanced solutions is crucial for success in 2024 and beyond.

At TechnologyAdvice, our evaluation process involves a detailed assessment that includes a broad spectrum of factors, which ensures that our recommendations for sales intelligence software are both reliable and tailored to the specific needs of our readers. By synthesizing information from extensive research, product data, vendor details, competitor analysis, and first-hand user experience, we deliver a nuanced view of each software platform.

Defining business needs:

To effectively identify which solutions best meet customer-specific requirements, we start by defining the essential features needed by organizations across various industries. This helps in selecting platforms that offer comprehensive functionality.

Research and analysis:

Reputable platforms known for their user-friendliness and customer satisfaction are shortlisted for further examination. We then meticulously evaluate each solution based on the following categories:

  1. Pricing:
    • Includes an assessment of transparent pricing structures, discounts, free trials, and free plans. We analyze the “value for money” by comparing the feature set offered in each price tier against competitors.
  2. Data Quality and Coverage:
    • Evaluates the accuracy, depth, timeliness, and regional reach of the data provided by the software, ensuring that users have access to reliable and current information.
  3. Advanced Features:
    • Considers the availability and sophistication of features such as automated data entry, predictive analytics, and lead scoring, which are crucial for improving sales efficiency and decision-making.
  4. Usability and Interface:
    • Examines how intuitive and easy-to-use the platform is, its scalability, the security of data, and the quality of customer service.
  5. Support and Training:
    • Looks at the quality and availability of customer support, the extent of training resources provided, and the level of community engagement among users.
  6. Integration and Compatibility:
    • Assesses how well the software integrates with existing tech stacks, including API availability for custom integrations, pre-built integrations with common business tools, and the ease of data management through import/export functions.
  7. Security and Innovation:
    • Reviews the software’s adaptability to market changes, the security protocols in place to protect user data, and the frequency and impact of innovative feature releases.

User reviews and first-hand testing:

User reviews from trusted third-party platforms like Capterra and G2 play a crucial role in our evaluation, particularly focusing on software that achieves a user rating of at least 3.5 out of 5 stars. Additionally, our writers often utilize free trials and demos to gain a personal understanding of the software’s capabilities.

Continuous reevaluation:

As the market evolves, we continually reassess our recommendations to ensure that they remain relevant, providing our readers with the most current and effective solutions available for their sales intelligence needs.

This methodology ensures that our evaluations are thorough, up-to-date, and most importantly, useful for making informed decisions about which sales intelligence software to implement.


Aron Vaughan Avatar

About the author


TechnologyAdvice is able to offer our services for free because some vendors may pay us for web traffic or other sales opportunities. Our mission is to help technology buyers make better purchasing decisions, so we provide you with information for all vendors — even those that don't pay us.
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