In sales, knowing your customers is crucial to success. To deliver everything they need—and anticipate what they may require down the line—sales reps need to stay on top of a wide range of news. Not just about their customers, but about their customers’ customers, their competitors, the supply chain, and the overall business sector in which they operate. Plus, keeping up with the global economic and political shifts that play a key role in determining whether markets are calm or turbulent.

Managing this is no easy task in today’s information-oriented, big-data-centric economy. News travels at lightning speed, and a tweet or an offhand comment in a blog could carry as much weight as an article from a major news outlet. Keeping track of all the information regarding even one customer or prospective customer requires constant vigilance. Since most sales people have a slate of these customers in their pipeline, the difficulty becomes compounded—especially because the number of news sources has grown exponentially in recent years.

All this news appears in real time — not hours later, or the next morning, as was the case when traditional print media ruled the roost. That means sales reps can’t afford to snooze, lest they fail to anticipate or react to a game-changing event. This never-ending news cycle goes hand-in-hand with today’s technological landscape, in which innovation is ongoing, meaning customers are likely purchasing goods and services year-round. A sales rep may have just closed a deal, but another could already be on the horizon. Without vigilance, competitors may gain the upper hand.

Mergers and acquisitions are a good example of the kind of business events that can present opportunities—and difficulties—for sales reps. Deals can transform a sector overnight, elevate a company’s position vis-à-vis its rivals (or just as easily bring it down a few notches), and create the potential for new and innovative products. Companies want to know which of their rivals are in play, who is angling to make a move, and who might come out of the blue as a wild card to shake things up—and successful sales reps need to know this too. Those who aren’t on top of every move on the chessboard risk walking away empty-handed from potential opportunity.

How can today’s sales reps digest and understand all this information amid their already hectic daily schedules? Is there a reliable system for separating the signal from the noise? With the recently announced Thomson Reuters and Salesforce partnership, sales reps will soon have the most relevant financial intelligence, delivered directly to them inside of Salesforce.

Thomson Reuters is one of the world’s most trusted news services—we’ve been transmitting market data since the era of the carrier pigeon. Our teams cover technology, telecommunications, financial services, industrials, airlines, and just about anything else imaginable. Using our data, you can create a 360-degree, three-dimensional view of any company or industry.

With deep insight into companies and their competitive landscape, sales reps can better understand customers’ current and future needs. When the time comes to call on an established account or a prospect, nobody wants to be caught off-guard or appear unknowledgeable about product releases, executive hires, or other news. Business is hugely interconnected these days, and what happens at one company can quickly have a ripple effect. Timeliness is crucial: old information won’t offer you much benefit if your rivals have already acted on it—so you need the right information at the right moment. The goal is to be at the center of the web, staying on top of everything that relates to your customers. Something that seems small at first could turn out to be huge down the line. Better to anticipate it than be forced to react to it.

Thomson Reuters provides actionable data sales reps can leverage to help customers realign priorities, shift strategies, and meet their goals.