SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

Aberdeen Group

February 11, 2009 11:00 ET

Sales Intelligence: The Secret to Sales Nirvana

Best-in-Class Companies Are Three Times More Likely Than Laggards to Convert More Than 50% of the Leads in a Sales Pipeline

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - February 11, 2009) - The traditional sales pressures of lengthening sales cycles and low quota achievement have only been exasperated by the recent economic downturn. Many businesses have been forced to cut cost, eliminate waste, and often freeze spending. The hardened reality for sales representatives is that the time-tested practice of "putting the right message in front of the right person at the right time" is becoming more of a challenge. In order to meet the demands of this new selling environment, top companies are implementing sales intelligence initiatives as a way to improve the effectiveness of the sales force and enrich the quality leads in the sales pipeline. A recent study, "Sales Intelligence: The Secret to Sales Nirvana," conducted by Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), finds that 76% of respondents believe the use of sales intelligence, such as prospecting tools or industry news sources, is a priority for improving sales effectiveness in 2009. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com//summary/report/benchmark/5379-RA-sales-intelligence-nirvana.asp.

"As organizations strive to distinguish themselves in a crowded marketplace, sales representatives are typically the ambassadors of that message," explains Alex Jefferies, Senior Research Associate at Aberdeen Group. "Best-in-Class companies incorporate sales intelligence initiatives and solutions into the sales process as a way of preparing reps for success before the first call is placed. By contextualizing a lead with relevant company, executive, or industry information, top performing companies are better suited to distinguish themselves from the competition and better articulate how their products and services can help combat the business challenges the prospect faces."

"The phrase 'sales intelligence' refers to the various sources of information a company can collect and use to improve the performance of the sales department and enrich the leads in the sales pipeline," says Jefferies. "This includes, but is not limited to, news on industry trends, consumer generated content, analyst reports, prospect lists, trigger events, and general company and contact information. The successful use of sales intelligence, however, depends on how well an organization can aggregate relevant information and deliver it to a rep in a manner that is unobtrusive and within the daily workflow."

The report demonstrates the value of collectively leveraging organizational practices in process, performance measurement, knowledge management, and technology to provide a foundation for sales success. By combining organizational capabilities and technologies, such as lead management solutions or triggered alerts, Best-in-Class companies are able to positively affect bid-to-win ratios and market share.

The research educates readers about the various aspects of sales intelligence. The report also identifies Best-in-Class performance as a result of sales intelligence initiatives and the use of key sales solutions, compared to the Industry Average and Laggards. A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part to the following underwriters: OneSource and SalesGenie.com. Furthermore this research is being disseminated to the market through the support of various media outlets, such as the ECT News network and ITO America. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com//summary/report/benchmark/5379-RA-sales-intelligence-nirvana.asp.

For additional access to complimentary Customer Management Research, please visit http://research.aberdeen.com/index.php/Customer-Management/

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen™ for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

© 2009 Aberdeen Group, Inc., a Harte-Hanks Company
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Boston, Massachusetts 02210-1928
Telephone: (617) 854-5200
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