Evalueserve's "Competitive Intelligence Spotlight" series puts different competitive intelligence (CI) professionals in the limelight to share their experiences and unique perspectives. In this edition of the series, we put Smriti Singh in the spotlight and learn how sales and marketing teams are relying on CI, and how Sales Radar will empower teams.
EVS: Before we jump into your exciting new project, please tell me about your background and current role at Evalueserve.
SS: At Evalueserve, I am an Associate Vice President, Operations and Digital Solutions – Insightsfirst that cater to our TMT clients (such as Telcos, Software, Network equipment firms). From an operations point of view, I manage our clients’ overall research and delivery, be it Market Intelligence, Competitive Intelligence, GTM Support, Sales Intelligence, and others. From a Digital Solutions point of view, I predominantly work with our product team to build and introduce various research solutions to our platform that empowers our clients with actionable insights leveraged by our mind+machine approach that brings efficiency to the overall research delivery process.
Overall, I have about 17 years of experience, mostly focusing on research and sales intelligence. Prior to Evalueserve, I worked with research and tech firms, be it IDC India, Oracle, and Brickworks. During my stint in these firms, I have worked with marketing & sales teams, product teams, and strategy teams of clients.
EVS: Within Competitive Intelligence, what drove you to focus on sales?
SS: While interacting with various clients and marketing & sales leaders, I learned about the challenges faced by sales organization which were hindering the overall sales performance – few of these challenges being:
- Sales reps spending a lot of time on non-sales activities - researching about their customers & competition rather than spending time on customer meetings.
- Lack of rigorous processes to keep marketing & sales assets or content up to date.
Also, to add to these challenges, COVID has disrupted the B2B buying and selling process. As the uncertainty continues on the impact and duration of the Covid-19 outbreak, and with employees shifting to remote working and training, organizations are working towards ensuring that their employees remain sales-ready to face unique challenges at each step of the buyer’s journey.
By focusing on Sales Intelligence Program, such as what Insightsfirst offers through the “Sales Radar” solution, we are aim to provide proactive insights on the market, competition, and customers to nurture leads and accelerate sales.
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EVS: With your experience in the competitive and market intelligence space, what are some changes you have seen?
SS: The MI/CI space has greatly evolved in the last few years. Some of the noticeable trends or changes are:
- MI/CI support is no longer limited to strategy or product teams. It has become relevant for the entire organization, and that means all functions – strategy, product, marketing, sales, customer success teams are leveraging MI/CI in their day-to-day process.
- More and more organizations are becoming open to sharing their internal data with their external research partners, since integrating insights from both external and internal sources will help them to make more informed decisions.
- Technology has started to play a critical role in enabling MI/CI. Players in the market have already started to leverage AI, ML, and NLP to automate their MI/CI process. This has also led to more players entering the MI/CI delivery space and carving out their own niche area. For example, technology companies that have a highly sophisticated automation process and offer standardized content, and database providers that focus more on content and are delivered through a platform.
EVS: How will Sales Radar empower CI teams?
SS: Market dynamics are ever-changing, and organizations need to respond to these changes at an even faster pace to gain the first-mover advantage. For example: With the entire workforce shifting to remote working due to the pandemic, technology firms immediately grabbed this opportunity to reposition their offerings, introduce new services, and even change their marketing messaging under the broader themes such as “Future of Work”, “Enabling Remote Workforce” and others. Therefore, CI teams need to be proactive (rather than reactive) in identifying/developing joint business opportunities with/for sales and generate revenue.
Evalueserve’s “Sales Radar” solution powered by the Insightsfirst platform integrates insights on the market, competition, and customers from external and internal sources. Therefore, the platform provides timely and actionable insights focusing on competitors, targeted industries/markets, and customers.
Leveraging our mind+machine™ approach, where machine helps track, tag, and summarize relevant data. Our analysts provide actionable and forward-looking insights through – competitor deep-dive analysis, benchmarking, battle cards, etc.
Furthermore, keeping in mind that sales representatives also gather many CI insights through their customer meetings, there is a need for a mechanism that can help sales to record and provide this information to the CI team on time. Through features such as comment, share, and download, Sales Radar helps users from different teams collaborate and share insights from any part of the world.
EVS: There is a lot of sales enablement technology available, how does this one stand out?
SS: Yes, I agree there are a lot of sales enablement technology/ players in the market. However, most of these players are addressing only a part of the puzzle – as mentioned earlier, for example, the technology players are capitalizing on technology which is their strength and are not focusing on customized insights.
Evalueserve’s Sales Radar solution offers a unique proposition of leveraging technology and combining frameworks with custom analysis. Based on the DART framework, Sales Radar provides relevant insights throughout the sales cycle.
From Discovering the impact of competition, emerging trends & disruptions on target industries and assessing opportunities, to Aligning the account strategy by gaining insights on the account’s strategic plans, IT decision-making process and priorities, Reaching out and nurturing the right lead by presenting the right content at the right time to improve conversion rate, and finally Tracking and measuring sales effectiveness through continuous KPI monitoring. The platform, therefore:
- Provides efficient data gathering and smart dissemination
- Leverages deep domain understanding and provides business context-specific insights
- Integrates seamlessly with client’s internal CRM and KM workflows for allowing uninterrupted access to data and intelligence
- Enables users to collaborate and search a comprehensive historical repository for data and insights
EVS: And for a final question, what are you looking forward to this year?
SS: Well, I am looking forward to taking our Sales Radar solution to more and more clients with the aim to enable and set up their sales intelligence program. And in the process, I will be able to learn and grow in the area I am most passionate about, “Sales Intelligence”.