Understanding the intent of customers helps in driving future sales. The deeper you try to dive into and understand their behavior, the more relevant your lead generation efforts will be. But, what is the way to figure out what is the need of your customers? Intent data has an important role to play here.
Marketing and sales activities are driven by data, and without data, it would be impossible to accurately identify the target market.
Large datasets can be handled and a lot of data can be properly filtered through using an intent platform. Knowing the context in which a person’s behavior is displayed allows you to draw the appropriate conclusions from it. The entire process is made easier, quicker, and more successful with the aid of an intent platform, allowing the sales and marketing teams to see the data they require and concentrate on the critical task of generating leads.
What is Intent data?
Intent data is behavioral data that helps in verifying whether the business is interested in your product or services. So, let’s see how one can target customers using the right content and advertisements at the right time.
Whether a prospect is actively contemplating and looking to buy the same kinds of products and solutions, you can tell when this is the case thanks to the insights provided by B2B intent data. Intent Data uses data gathered from a variety of digital sources, mostly cookies, to track the key intent search items. This allows it to determine when the target account or prospect is actively in the buying path, enabling smart, timely advertising and answers.
Intent data is the next big step to pursue data driven marketing. It is behavioral information about users’ web content consumption that gives the insights into their interests. It assesses a potential customer’s intent to take a specific action. If businesses are able to harness this data then the results could be tremendous.
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How Intent data is helping?
Sales intelligence and intent data reveals which leads or accounts are looking for information on external websites. The account spikes on certain topics when research about them is more active than usual.
To begin with, it would help them determine who might be about to make a purchase decision or even the specifics of the best route to a sale or conversion. Consider it this way – Customers turn to the internet to find solutions when they encounter particular issues.
They are able to decide on their next course of action after using the information to assist them narrow down their possibilities.
Consider a situation in which you were aware that your potential customers were looking for a product or service such as yours and you were able to reach out to them before they even began their search.
Intent data plays a role in this. You can see which leads are presently exploring topics associated with your products on external websites. The important thing to remember is that the accounts increase when research on a given topic is exceptionally intense.
Utilizing this information will help you increase conversions and sales by giving priority to accounts that are spiked on pertinent themes. Product reviews and comparisons could be among these extremely relevant research subjects.
- Blog sites.
- Case studies
- forums similar to Quora.
It all comes down to being forward-thinking; business will go to the organization that can reach prospects the quickest using intent data.
Discovering In-Market Accounts
If you could identify the precise prospects and accounts in-market for your solution and target them with right messages on the specific stage of the buying cycle, it would improve your overall activity.
B2B intent data, which locates precisely when someone is in-market or contemplating a certain solution, offers an accurate and efficient answer as B2B marketers struggle to connect with and engage with the correct audiences in a sea of competitive noise.
In other words, B2B buyer intent data enables you to pinpoint whether and when a B2B prospect is actively thinking about or looking to buy your product or solution, enabling wise, timely campaign selections.
More specifically, intent data is information gathered about a company’s activity online to reveal information about customers’ intentions to buy and their online research patterns. This insight enables sales and marketing teams to create a complete picture of a target’s challenges and buying motives, topic searches, intent velocity, how active they are around that topic, and other account intelligence across time and connected to the buyer’s journey.
Should You Consider Intent?
It can be challenging to optimize the value of sales and marketing activities because only a tiny portion of any possible market is actively in the buying path at any given moment. This is especially true for high investment products like B2B technology solutions, which lack buyer intent knowledge. The last thing a marketer wants to do is waste all of their money trying to sell something to someone who isn’t interested or won’t be able to buy for a while.
However, it is possible to identify purchase intent at precisely the right time and target your engagement accordingly for optimal outcomes by combining intent data into sales and marketing initiatives. So it is best to consider Intent data to make better sales and marketing decisions.
How is Intent data different from other web tracking data?
Whenever prospective buyers visit the website then you can track the activity and also find some lead sources or in case someone fills the form and submit on your website then you can nurture the lead with the right advertisements and email and hence convert them.
At times the prospects are researching not on your website but on other websites and you have no visibility about their activity or implied intent- what can you do?
When potential customers visit your website, you may monitor activity and discover lead sources. Alternatively, if a visitor fills out and submits a form, you can nurture that lead with the appropriate email and advertising, resulting in a conversion.
What about those people, though, who are researching the problems that your proposed solution can solve? When prospects are conducting research not on your website but on other websites and you are unaware of their actions or inferred intentions, what can you do?
Make use of B2B Intent Data:
For essential and effective go to market strategies there is a requirement of accurate segmentation and personalized outreach to the right people. So, companies who do not make use of predictive intelligence are actually limiting their response to data from their own website while the potential buyer has been trying to solve the pain point for weeks.
Intent data use cases for sales and marketing teams could be categorized into five categories:
1) You Should determine the interest of early buyers: Before a client fills out a form on your website or contacts your sales or marketing teams, purchase intent signals can assist you identify which businesses are currently investigating your solution.
2) Build Targeted Account Lists: For accounts who have expressed an interest, sales and marketing teams can constantly refine outreach lists.
3) Personalization: Initial outreach can be more successfully tailored by the marketing and sales teams while using resources that are in line with what the accounts are currently looking for.
4) Prioritizing accounts and lead scoring: Weight your lead score model using predictive purchase data. Give preferential treatment to businesses who express interest and a desire to buy before starting a transaction with a competitor.
5) Evaluate and keep your consumers: Discover in real-time which customers are looking up topics and solutions. Find out in real-time the topics and solutions your customers are searching for. Prior to being surprised by consumers who have not renewed the offer or purchased a new one because they were unaware that you had that from a rival, the insights about the existing customers assist you sell pro-actively and identify the pain points.
Why is the use of predictive data analysis important?
According to the TOPO’s latest Intent Data Market Guide, B2B intent data has emerged as the fastest growing data category over the last three years changing how the teams will be prioritizing their time and gathering insights about the accounts.
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Different types of Intent data:
Intent data uses the activity indicators like the browser cookies to track customer activity and the two main types are first party and third party intent data. It’s critical to recognize how each category differs from the others because they each offer varying degrees of information into consumer behavior.
1. First Party Intent Data:
The term “first party intent data” broadly refers to any intent data that you are gathering from your website. It covers the most elements when you are tracking the key buyer activity insights. IP addresses and restricted content are two examples of this. If you have been keeping an eye on your website’s stats and making judgments using analytical software or automation platforms, you are already tracking first party data.
To that end, first party data might seem to be anonymous if you can’t link it to a single customer or determine when you can identify a company or a specific person using IP information from previously submitted forms.
It has been shown that first-party intent data is quite helpful. The drawback of relying only upon it is that you can only collect information about your customers’ journeys in one area. As a result, you might be overlooking ideal customers who never visit your website in the first place.
2. Third-Party Intent Data:
Any intent data that is gathered on another website often falls under the category of third party intent data. While it also includes the IP addresses and completed forms that are typically gathered by intent data providers to clients.
The reason for this is that third-party intent data tracks consumer research everywhere and provides a comprehensive picture of your prospects’ activities. The information is highly helpful because customers frequently check multiple websites before making complex purchasing decisions.
There are typically a number of steps that must be taken, the majority of which take place before the customer even views your website. Leading businesses utilize first- and third-party data to enhance their understanding of the buyer’s journey.
The theory behind this strategy is that whereas the latter shows us the full path traveled and every mistake or backtrack along that course, the former provides visibility at a pivotal point in the buyer’s journey.
3. Search Intent Data
Search Intent data is captured when someone enters the phrase or keyword into a search engine like Bing or Google. This data can be used for identifying the kind of queries your target audience is searching for and hence you can offer the most relevant answers to their questions.
For example, you sell health and fitness packages online and if the target audience is searching how to follow a keto diet then you should use this data to create the content which meets the needs of your audience.
So you will research the keywords that your target audience is searching for and use them in your website content and social media posts and blog posts among other online content. Advertise with these keywords using Google AdWords.
To learn how the amount of searches for particular keywords varies over time, use Google Trends. Also, you must keep an eye on your SEO efforts to make sure your website shows up in the search results for these keywords.
4. Engagement data
Engagement data reveals how involved users are with a piece of content, including whether they read, share, or comment on it. The majority of this data is collected through blogs, email marketing platforms, and social media sites (like Facebook and Twitter).
For instance, it may be an indication that an individual is interested in your product or service if they share a blog article on social media and say they found it to be helpful. You can target people with this data in order to turn them into customers.
Look for ways to interact with your target audience on the social media sites where they are engaged. Apply subscriber list categorization and content targeting by using engagement data from email marketing campaigns.
Use social media networks to provide tailored advertisements to users who have shown an association with your content.
5. Firmographic data
A prospective company’s firmographic data includes details like its size, sector, location, and revenue. Business directories, online forms, and third-party intent data providers are frequently used to collect this kind of data. Your marketing and sales efforts can be more effectively directed at businesses with a higher conversion rate by combining firmographics and ABM.
For instance, you can use firmographic data to focus your marketing and sales efforts on businesses with comparable demographics if your ideal client is a small business in the healthcare sector.
To learn more about the businesses in your target market, use business directories.
Make use of this data to categorize your marketing and sales activities. Publish content which is designed as per the needs of the specific industries and company sizes.
6. Technographic data
Technographic data is the information about a prospective company’s technology infrastructure like the software it uses and the hardware it has and the network to which it is connected. This is the type of data which is attained with the help of questionnaires and surveys and it helps to understand the target companies and the technical capabilities along with the needs.
So, if you’re selling software, it’s a good idea to find out if your potential clients are still using an antiquated system or if they’re utilizing a competing tool from one of your competitors. This information is incredibly helpful in figuring out how to provide your product distinctive qualities and emphasize these qualities to complete the most sales.
Employ questionnaires, online scraping, and surveys to find businesses that use the software you sell. You should use this information to focus your marketing and sales activities more effectively. Finally, make content that is suited to the requirements of particular industries or business sizes.
The importance of intent data in sales and marketing:
Intent data signals have become an important thing in today’s sales and marketing for two reasons:
- The rise in acceptance of account-based marketing (ABM): In ABM, the focus is on targeting specific high value accounts that have the most potential of converting into sales. Here the approach is to understand the target accounts including the business needs, pain points and purchasing power. Intent data helps you gain these insights and tailor your outreach accordingly.
- The growing demand for inbound marketing: In inbound marketing, the emphasis is on obtaining new visitors and converting them into devoted customers. By giving them the internet search engine answers they need and resolving their issues, this is accomplished. With the aid of intent data, you can discover the kinds of content that are most popular with your target audience and produce more of those types of content.
Read More: Why Customer Success Is a Revenue Driver—and How to Drive More of It
Advantages of intent data
You have a large list of obligations in addition to many other things. You are in charge of creating and analyzing market data, creating and maintaining stable conversion pipelines, and defining buyer personas. One advantage of leveraging intent data for marketing is making the most of your buyer personas. So, let’s look at the advantages shared below:
1. Successful Prospecting
Wouldn’t you want to connect with customers who are actively looking for your product or service, participating in the marketplace for your industry, and devoting all of their energy to finding the answer you have? Intent data prospecting not only makes it easier for your sales team to make a sale to the right customer at the right time, but it also shortens the sales cycle by accelerating the qualification of SQLs.
Marketing can adjust its content in response to data on buyer intent based on what the data has indicated you are willing to take part in.
2. Reduce the noise
If you eliminate the distractions and concentrate on businesses that have visited your website or have begun investigating your field of expertise, you will have a better opportunity of outperforming your rivals. You can enhance your advertising value and accuracy while also increasing conversions.
3. Reduce the disparity between marketing and sales.
It’s not surprising that there is a gap between marketing and sales when 27% of salespeople spend over an hour per day on administrative, data-logging tasks rather than selling and only spend 34% of their time doing so.
Losing valuable time to administrative tasks is a sign that your funnel needs to be more effective and that you need to stop salespeople from claiming they can find leads on their own. You have the ability to accurately predict customer purchasing intent thanks to intent data. You can score your leads for actions that take place outside of your platforms rather than using the conventional method of adding points based on the actions of your leads.
Thanks to more precise lead scoring, your sales team can spend more time prioritizing interested leads and getting in touch with those who are ready to buy.
4. Individual outreach
If you personalize your outreach, your commercial will be more effective. If your prospects are researching a topic before opening an email or picking up the phone, your sales team will be prepared with pertinent information to help them convert. Knowing your prospective customers’ purchasing habits can reduce the number of hours you spend chasing dead ends and make the process of converting leads into paying clients much more efficient.
5. Produce useful, impactful content.
You cannot ensure that the content you produce will relate to those who view it without conducting thorough research into the interests of your target market. Intent data can help you analyze the subjects and environments where your prospects are engaged.
For instance, if you are aware of the topics or questions people are researching in your industry, you can better tailor ways to improve the efficiency of your content to address those issues as soon as a potential customer brings them up.
As a result, your content narrative will be stronger, and you’ll get more qualified leads coming to your website.
6. Cold-calling situation
You will have a more fruitful conversation with a prospect if you are aware of the kinds of businesses they are considering as well as the kinds of businesses you are.
You will gain an understanding of the factors that led them to consider your solution. This means that when you first make a cold call, you are not looking for pain points. They are people you already know.
When you are aware of the prospect’s purchase intention, you will also do a better job of developing rapport.
7. Increasing the number of potential clients you have
Building prospect lists with businesses that fit your ideal customer profile (ICP) will help you maximize the results of your sales and marketing efforts. High-intent leads can be tracked and scored using customer relationship management (CRM) applications from intent sources like your website and marketing campaigns.
Utilize B2B intent data to identify contacts that are most interested in your item or service and use that information to create an ICP-based list of companies to target. Therefore, your outreach will be more efficient and effective if you focus your marketing and sales efforts where they will have the greatest impact.
8. Reduce churn while increasing sales.
It goes without saying that keeping customers is more cost-effective than acquiring new ones, so this might be one for the Customer Success team.
Businesses can see the options their current clientele is considering thanks to intent data. They might offer extra features you don’t currently offer or different solutions from your own.
You now have the choice of adding the requested feature or attempting to save the client. It’s a great way to identify product gaps so you can gradually fill them and keep customers from switching to competing products.
Understandably, given the huge growth of Salestech and Martech, there are many intent platforms available to aid in prospecting and filtering massive datasets. It can be really challenging to figure out which ones to employ and which ones are best for your company. There are many intent data platforms and tools that can help you streamline your B2B sales and marketing activities.
Quality intent data may speed up the process and make it simple to bring in high-value leads. You can develop powerful AMB campaigns and enhance your targeting. Therefore, start using intent data in a powerful way and include it into your marketing and sales strategy for the greatest results in order to have complete control over your campaigns.
**The primary author of this article is our contractual staff writer – Sakshi John.