Defining sales intelligence and a bunch of other ‘intelligences’

Christopher Dalley, at Primary Intelligence Inc., recently offered the following (tentative) definitions for various types of corporate intelligence:

Competitive intelligence: Gathering information and answering questions that are influenced by the presence of competitive forces.

Market intelligence: Understanding the market, value proposition, opportunity and forces in play against your company and product which aren’t influenced by the competition.

Sales intelligence: Intelligence (competitive or otherwise) that can and will be used by a sales individual or team to increase the chances of ultimately winning a quality sales opportunity.

Regarding the latter — sales intelligence — Dalley added:

In other words, bits of competitive intelligence, market intelligence, general market research (branding, pricing, value, etc…) can all be included in sales intelligence. If the information can be used to help sales people sell more, I think it can properly be classified as sales intelligence.

Dalley suggested that sales intelligence is potentially the most important information a company can generate, because it leads directly to revenue.

I’ll offer my own definition of one other sort of intelligence:

Business intelligence: The use of data mining and analytics to make better business decisions. (For the history of the term, see this interview.)

Agree? Disagree? Improvements? Click on the Comments link and let me know!

One Reply to “Defining sales intelligence and a bunch of other ‘intelligences’”

  1. Update: Burkhardt Research Services (, in a recent newsletter, offers the following definitions:

    Intelligence occurs at the micro- and macro- market levels.

    Competitive intelligence occurs at the micro-level and studies individual competitors within the market environment (immediate and evolving sales
    volume, market share/market niche, corporate structure, managerial composition, market strategy, operations activity, etc.).

    Market/business intelligence occurs at the macro-level and studies a broader (but inclusive) range of competitive market forces that affect a firm (individual competitors, the dynamics between firms, economic trends, government legislation, etc.).

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