The value of B2B intent data

Thursday, April 29, 2021

As sales and marketing evolve, prospect intelligence will be the primary driver of sales efficiency

For the past few years sources as varied as Gartner, marketing software vendors, and business school publications, have cited statistics that 50%, 60%, even 80% of the B2B buyer journey is completed before a buyer reaches out to vendors.

In addition, published reports indicate that many B2B buyers prefer to purchase with minimal involvement from a sales rep. Obviously, the amount of sales rep’s involvement depends upon the complexity, risk, and specificity associated with the buyers needs. While we might wish this were a linear process:

In reality, this is not a linear at all, but has loops, pauses, different people and teams entering and exiting the process, and looks more like:

Your active prospects are searching online, reading content, and comparing options. In many cases, this process takes months and years. However, one element is clear. --Throughout all these steps, prospects are identifying and rejecting potential suppliers --therefore, connecting with active prospects who are actively searching as soon as they begin is the key. That is the promise of Intent Data..

What if you could get ahead of this process?

That’s the goal of in market buyer intent data, cutting edge sales intelligence that cues you into a prospects’ subtle buying signals, positioning you to be first in the door to make your pitch and get your business into the consideration set.

What is Intent Data?

Intent data shows which leads or accounts are actively conducting research online. The more signals from the same person or company, the higher the intent signals. Intent data observes online users’ behavior and can indicate what products and services they are interested in.

This information is highly valuable to marketing and sales leaders because it allows them to more effectively target the best prospects and avoid wasting time and money on those who are not ready to buy.

Sales and marketing teams can then prioritize accounts that are flashing these intent signals to dramatically boost sales and reduce sales cycle times.

What types of Intent data are there?

Any form of behavioral data can be used to derive Intent signals, which includes both first-party and 3rd party sources.The principal difference between the two types of data, is the ability to achieve scale.

First-Party (1P) Intent Data

  • Behavioral data, actions, and interests shared across digital environments such as your brand’s website or app
  • Data collected in your CRM
  • Data from subscription campaigns
  • Information collected from social media
  • Offline surveys, forms, and questionnaires
  • Behavioral data shared across your brand’s website or app
  • Limited to properties you control and measure

Third-Party (3P) Intent Data

  • While 1st Party tracks your own business’ website user activity, 3P data collects information across a myriad of websites within a specific category
  • Covers a broader spectrum of activity at scale
  • Is most readily available at the account level
  • Information collected across a myriad of websites within a specific category
  • Less limited, allows for signal capture across the open web.

With intent data arming your sales and marketing efforts, you focus your people and investment to get to those in market, regardless of where they are in a chaotic buying process. Once you know them, you can get your brand in their mind and your sales org on thier calendars.

Next: be on the look out for suggestions on how to use intent data...

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