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5 Questions B2B Trade Media Should Ask Before Choosing an Ad Sales Intelligence Tool

5 Questions B2B Trade Media Should Ask Before Choosing an Ad Sales Intelligence Tool

Ad sales intelligence tools are a smart investment for any company looking to arm its sales team with the actionable insights necessary to close deals. They can help sales reps determine who to contact and when. Plus, ad sales intelligence software gives insights to help reps guide the conversation in an effective direction. 

These tools can be your secret weapon, but it’s important to remember that they’re not all cut from the same cloth. 

So, what should you do? Simple—when looking for an ad sales intelligence tool, ask the vendor these questions. 

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Choosing an Ad Sales Intelligence Tool

When starting your research, keep the following considerations top of mind.

Question #1: Is the data fresh? 

Ad sales intelligence tools aren’t helpful if their data isn’t fresh and granular. To make informed decisions and determine the best path forward, you need a tool that can deliver actionable insights on prospects on data that is accurate today, not from more than three months ago. 

B2B sales planning stages can move slowly—but sales cycles are getting shorter as buyers have more information on their hands and sales intelligence tools offer more real-time data on customers. To stay ahead of competitors, you need the most relevant and timely data.

For example: 

  • Is your prospect buying programmatic ads this quarter? 
  • How have they recently shifted their investment in print, digital advertising or a combination of the two?
  • Which DSPs, SSPs and exchanges are they using? 
  • Do they have any MSAs in place?

You need to be able to trust the timeliness of the data because if it’s not up to date, you won’t be able to make an informed pitch.

MediaRadar updates its data daily—using a combination of AI and human verification. With the most accurate, relevant and recent data possible, you can make informed decisions regarding your prospects.

Recent data is important but access to historical data is essential too. The right tool will allow you to see how spending has changed and how prospects have shifted their buying strategy, which can be valuable given the fast-paced and ever-changing nature of digital advertising. 

Know When To Pitch Chart

Question #2: Is the tool easy to use? 

It’s natural to steer away from something hard to use. An ad sales intelligence tool is no different. If you don’t understand it, you won’t use it—or at least not as intended. 

This starts with an intuitive user interface (UI) that makes researching and pulling data simple. 

Whether you’re researching ad spend by product line, comparing historical figures or doing competitive analysis, it’s important that you can go into the tool and extract easily digestible insights at the snap of a finger. 

Product Lines Image

The tool should also work seamlessly with other technology and data sources. Specifically, ask about its ability to integrate with your CRM and other data sources you use during the sales process. 

Today’s ad market is fragmented and complex, so the thought of adding another tool to your tech stack probably isn’t super appealing—even if it is helpful. When you do add another tool to the mix, you want it to be frictionless.

Question #3: Is the data detailed and can I customize it?

There are plenty of ad intelligence tools that can provide data and insights, but are all the metrics relevant, granular and in the correct context? Not necessarily. 

Benefiting from an ad sales intelligence tool hinges heavily on whether or not you can customize the insights to your account lists, sales territory and other specifications. If the tool can only return one-size-fits-all data, keep looking.  

To get the perfect prospect list, you need the ability to customize it to your needs. For example, you may want to filter data by peak spending months, overall spending, media format, location, product category, etc. This ability ensures that you always have access to the unique data and insights necessary to have strategic conversations with your ideal prospects. 

Try Shifting Print Money to Digital Image

Question #4: Does the tool provide talking points that include creative insights? 

Most ad sales intelligence tools have large datasets and a seemingly endless stream of insights. 

However, many of them cannot take those insights and turn them into actionable talking points you can use to steer the conversations with prospects. 

Direct vs. Programmatic Microsoft Chart

Why is this important? Because the tool does a lot of the heavy lifting. There’s no need for you to spend hours sifting through data that won’t necessarily move the needle. Instead, the tool will tell you precisely what to say, why to say it and when. It’s like bringing a cheat sheet to a meeting. 

When you ask about talking points, see if the tool can include insights into the prospect’s creative strategy. Ideally, you want a library of print, digital and TV ads that you can filter by advertiser or brand, giving you a preview of ad spots in the context that illustrates how and where they ran. 

Understanding creative strategy is an oft-overlooked element of a pitch, so coming to the table with these insights can add an extra layer of value. 

Question #5: Are they my partner?

Features and capabilities are important, but if the vendor doesn’t act as an extension of your team, you won’t realize the full benefit of the tool. 

Ask them: 

  • Will they provide ongoing training resources specific to our needs? 
  • Will they assign a dedicated account manager who understands our business and industry? 
  • Will they keep us up to date on product updates so that we can keep benefiting from the tool as it evolves? 
  • Will someone be available to respond to our questions in a timely fashion? 
  • If we’re running into challenges, will someone be available to help us navigate them? 

Their answers to these questions will help you understand whether or not they’re truly your partner or if you’re going to be left treading water after you sign the bottom line. 

For eight years in a row, MediaRadar has been awarded the Stevie Award for Customer Service. We strive to exceed our clients expectations every day.

Choosing the Right Ad Sales Intelligence Tool

An ad sales intelligence tool is a crucial part of your tech stack that helps you maintain momentum with prospects. But here’s the thing: They’re only helpful if you pick the right one. 

With so many tools on the market, this can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. 

The trick? 

Ask pointed questions that give you a clear understanding of whether or not the tool in question can really provide you with the data and insights needed to close more deals.