Between volatile markets and increased innovation, keeping up with industry trends this past year has likely been both more important and more exhausting than ever before. If you’re not working with the most up-to-date information, you run the risk of missing important insights and building your marketing strategies and lead generation campaigns on a faulty foundation. However, continually updating data and analyzing trends can be cumbersome and time-consuming — keeping your team away from work that directly generates value.
Luckily, with artificial intelligence (AI), you can leave much of the work to your software. Today, AI-enabled solutions can scan large amounts of data in real-time, identify trends and draw conclusions from them. Automating your market and competitive research with AI-enabled software takes out the guesswork and sets you up for sales and marketing success.
Market intelligence (MI) and competitive intelligence (CI) describe the kinds of information and insight about direct competition and the industry as a whole that business leaders use to make their decisions. While both utilize AI technology, MI/CI is different from business intelligence (BI), which examines internal processes. All three types of solutions are important for enterprises because they go further than analysis and actually turn data into actionable conclusions. Many of today’s enterprises use MI/CI systems to store, collect and analyze market and competitive information.
While MI/CI has long been an important piece of the puzzle for enterprises, it’s grown in importance in recent years. Back in 2019, McKinsey found that top-performing organizations were more likely to attribute recent revenue to improved data and analytical capabilities. The uncertainty caused by COVID-19 has only accelerated this trend - with the kinds of initiatives that industry leaders have long relied on becoming commonplace. In fact, according to Forbes, organizational spending on analytics projects has stayed strong throughout the pandemic, even when costs in other areas were cut.
While software that assists with market and competitive intelligence has been around for some time, today’s programs use AI technology to automate and simplify the process of gathering intel, allowing your team to skip repetitive tasks and focus on the important work.
One of the major benefits of AI is that it ensures that everyone on your team has access to the information they need, when they need it. This smooths out the decision-making process and helps foster confidence in its outcomes. In addition to getting leadership on the same page, a BI system can take much of the guesswork out of the equation for sales reps — resulting in increased efficiency and better outcomes.
Understanding the state of the market is the key to making decisions that steer your organization in the right direction. An AI-powered intelligence system can identify trends and offer insights on customers, competitors and the market as a whole, all automatically delivered at the right time.
As the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated, the market can turn on its head almost overnight. Having the insights you need to react to new realities gives you a leg up on the competition. In more stable times, up-to-date trend reporting prevents complacency and assists with risk mitigation.
Ultimately, this will build trust throughout the organization in the decisions your leadership team is making. With that kind of impact, it’s no wonder that a global survey from Deloitte found that businesses that increased their analytical capabilities reported improved decision making and an increased ability to implement key initiatives. In other words, improving your software could mean an improved business from the top down.
AI-powered intelligence also increases sales rep efficiency — offering real-time insights on accounts, territories and verticals. This means that reps can focus their energy appropriately instead of spending time on research. With the most up-to-date insights on the competition and more time to talk to potential customers, you can truly walk into your next sales meeting feeling like the smartest person in the room.