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What is intent data? 6 best ways to leverage it for B2B sales and marketing growth

Updated: Feb 15, 2022

Marketing meeting about how to get more customers

If you are a b2b sales, marketing or revenue professional, you know buyer behavior has changed. Modern buyers stay anonymous, work from home, prefer researching for technology solutions on their own and don’t like to speak to sales until the very end if at all. Selling and marketing has become increasingly difficult and highly competitive. But what if you knew which business or individual was in-the market looking for a product or service like yours, regardless of whether they had visited your website or not.

If you have ever wondered - What is intent data?

This is what it is - Intent data sheds light into a buyer’s intent and their online research behavior.

Let’s look at some definitions -

Bombora describes it as -

Intent data is information collected about a web users’ observed behavior - specifically web content consumption - that provides insights into their interests. This insight often indicates potential intent to take a specific action. For businesses, that means understanding who might be inching closer to a buying decision or the nuances of the most common path towards a sale or conversion.

According to Cognism -

Intent data is a behavioral dataset that indicates what a business or individual is interested in

How is intent data collected

Intent monitoring solutions typically use browser cookies and IP addresses to track online buyers and collect intent data.

First- party data - When a visitor visits your website, spends time on pages, engages with content, data collected can give insight into their interest in your solutions. Depending upon the kind of content they download or read, one can determine where they are on their buyer’s journey. For example if you are Saas Ecommerce business, you know that if they have scheduled a product demo or downloaded a vendor comparison, they are likely close to making a decision. If they are viewing your webcast or reviewing whitepaper on say - Ecommerce software comparison guide, they are likely in the consideration stage. And if they are reading educational content such as an ebook on - What is composable commerce, they are in the awareness stage. Analyzing their activity via Google analytics can give a clear picture on where they are.

Third- party data - When a web user is not on your website but browsing the internet or other websites, third party providers can gather data to get insight into their intent. Topics searched and context searches are conducted in can provide a clear view on what their interests are. IP addresses can be collected and mapped to their company name.

When internal intent data (first party) and external (third-party) data are combined, it can shed light on a user’s pain points, what they want to accomplish and their readiness to look for solutions.

6 best ways to use intent data in your B2B sales and marketing

Leveraging intent data can help you spot new opportunities, get a leg up on your competition, close more deals and boost your revenue.

6 Best ways to use intent data -

  1. Expand a healthy pipeline

  2. Convert higher

  3. Lead Scoring

  4. Better ICPs

  5. Superior digital customer experience

  6. Reduce CAC

Expand a healthy pipeline - With intent data you can know what business could potentially be in-market looking for a technology solution like yours. You can identify your prospects. Perhaps your competition doesn’t know about them yet and the potential client doesn’t know your brand, but just by having that intel can help you become aware, connect and start engaging with them sooner.

Convert higher - Why allocate resources to a brand that isn’t ready to buy yet or may take longer to close when you can spot low hanging fruit in terms of an active company that is ready to convert sooner. Intent data can help you determine who is active and ready for solutions and who is not. Further, your sales people can have more meaningful conversations by factoring in buyer’s intent and challenges. They can build better relationships and more trust leading to higher conversions.

Lead Scoring - if there were 2 companies on your radar, one that is just learning about their pain points and another who is in the Decision making stage, where will you allocate your resources? Intent data can help you know where your existing clients are on their buyer’s journey so you can prioritize your efforts.

Better ICPs - If you have been considering developing an account-based marketing strategy or reviewing ABM platforms, the starting point is developing a detailed list of best-fit accounts. Leveraging intent data can help you gain deeper insight into your target companies and develop a more detailed Ideal customer profile.

Superior digital customer experience - A secret of closing more deals is providing your customers with a superior digital experience. By tailoring precise, personalized messages and engaging where and when they are ready is key. With the help of Intent data you can understand specific pain points of individual stakeholders in the buying group and deliver an experience that moves them along their customer journey rather than deter them. Whether it is social advertising or content piece or a nurturing email campaign, you can get in front of your target companies/right people and engage with them in the right moments.

Reduce CAC - Spending time, money and resources on poor-fit customers keeps your customer acquisition costs high. Intent data can help you better allocate your sales and marketing spend on clients that show the propensity to buy from you than those who won’t. Quality engagements will lead to better relationships, lower churn rate and happier customers. Loyal customers in turn write reviews (important in B2B sales), become brand advocates and help you gain new customers - lowering your CAC.

Staying ahead in the game is any Saas business’s ideal outcome and intent data can help deliver on that and more.


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