B2B buyers don’t reach out to potential vendors accidentally. They conduct extensive online research and often make purchasing decisions based on their findings before contacting a salesperson. When they browse the web, they leave a trail of their behavioral data.
As a seller, you need to anticipate prospects’ intents to engage with them and keep their money from going to your competitors. That’s why having access to data about purchase intent is so important. It enables you to be the first to enter the conversation with ideal buyers.
B2B intent data reveals if a web user is ready to buy. It allows you to determine:
- what the user is interested in;
- what influenced their decision to purchase;
- whether or not a prospect is looking to buy your (or similar) products or services.
You can win more conversions, boost sales, and improve your customer relationships. Let’s look at the five ways to use buyer intent data.
Two Types of Intent Data
Internal intent data, also known as first-party data, is information your company gathers through tracking on your website and tools like your marketing automation platform. This information (sometimes referred to as engagement data) can be a good sign of intent. It includes examining:
- time spent on a page
- the topic of that page
- among other factors to determine interest, the buyer’s stage, and more
External data, also known as third-party data, is information from third-party sources (usually collected from cookies and IP). It allows you to gain insight into intent on other sites. It gives you a more comprehensive picture of a prospect’s online interests and the ability to highlight intent on specific topics and places important to your campaign’s focus.
Intent data providers sort through such data from websites and determine people and corporations with the greatest intent signals. Then, they send it to their users via a spreadsheet, a list, or a direct API connection. It usually happens once a month or once a week.
3 Examples of Buyer Intent Data Tools
The most prominent buyer intent data tools include:
- ZoomInfo. It provides filtered searches, notifications, and CRM integrations to focus on the ideal leads based on their buying intent. Here is how the tool looks:
- 6sense ABM/ABX platform. This tool leverages the power of big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning for the B2B revenue departments. 6sense identifies anonymous purchasing patterns and helps to create targeted and multi-channel campaigns.
- Bombora. Bombora’s service detects companies, topics they research, and how actively they are doing so. It then assesses these signals to assist sales and marketing teams in prioritizing target accounts and customizing communication.
Where do you integrate such technologies? They work together with the following software:
- account-based execution software
- marketing account intelligence software
After that, it’s up to your marketing and sales teams to make the most of that intent data. The majority of people use it for prospecting, but we’ll go through a few more applications.
Five B2B Intent Data Possibilities to Augment ROI
1. Discovering Potential Customers
Use third-party intent data to determine the relevance of your content and take further steps to optimize it.
How can you understand your audience’s preferences? Track how they interact with content on your site or headless commerce platform, be it on smartphones or laptops.
This information will help you create a demand strategy and focus on more relevant themes to site users, leading to the desired actions. It will also reveal the urgency behind their buying intent. In each of these scenarios, intent data can assist you in making better judgments that will boost your ROI.
2. Prioritizing Prospects
You know your prospects and create relevant content. Now it’s time to employ first-party data leads based on their conversion and revenue-generating potential.
Start by leveraging a strong lead scoring model. It means scoring visitors based on the kind of activities they perform, indicating whether or not they are ready to buy.
For example, if they browse a service page, add five points to their total. Do they download a PDF of your company overview? Add five more points. If they go to the costs and plans page, they can get ten additional points, signaling that they’re more interested in making a purchase.
Set a specific threshold. When your prospects pass it, the marketing and sales department will receive an alert.
By prioritizing your prospects, you get the following benefits:
- helping customers to complete the buying journey;
- concentrating your marketing investment where it’s needed most.
3. Hyper-Personalized Online Experience
B2B companies are gradually expanding the boundaries of personalization based on demographics and basic preferences. Now 62% of marketers consider hyper-personalization to be the next step in their strategies. And it’s a critical one.
How do they take personalization to the next level? It involves delving deeper into the core interests, needs, and behaviors of their target audience.
And that’s where intent data can come in handy. It reveals what your prospects are looking for or what topics they are currently investigating. These may, for instance, be pain points or problems your product or service could help solve. Your team can use this information to target prospects with hyper-personalized messaging at the most optimal time.
4. Improved Customer Service
Your B2B marketing team may use intent data to create exceptional customer experiences both before and after the sale. The vital insights it provides include:
- behavior patterns;
- online activity changes;
- potential customers’ research behavior;
- among others.
This implies that marketers have the opportunity to generate more valuable content and offer resonating messaging. It allows them to engage with customers more effectively across various channels, such as:
- social media;
- your website.
Plus, you can use intent data to predict churn and analyze retention, thus enhancing your brand’s interaction. Let’s assume clients start browsing for alternative options or competitors. Intent data informs about this event, so you can intervene and deliver a better customer experience.
5. Predicting Buying Behavior
Intent data provides a look at a prospect’s purchase behavior with precise context, relevance, and timing. It allows marketers to target potential clients when they’re interested in your services or even before expressing their buying intent.
Furthermore, intent data provides real-time images of prospects and detailed evaluations of their online behavior and activity. You can also anticipate where your potential clients will be in the conversion funnel.
It entails tailoring follow-up messages and monitoring the relevant KPIs to guarantee you’re on track to reach your objectives.
You can send automatic lead nurturing emails and perform other pre-programmed actions based on the prospects’ intent or level of interest by leveraging intent data. How can you accomplish it? Integrate intent data into your marketing automation platform or CRM.
Statistics show that 73% of B2B marketers employ intent data in email marketing. And 62% of the specialists say intent data helps nurture and personalize workflows.
When used appropriately, intent data impacts your overall marketing and sales operations. From top-of-funnel awareness to post-sales, it results in a more precise and dynamic process. Use intent data to make the most of your investments and gain a competitive advantage.
How can it increase the ROI? You can create and implement a solid company strategy, from planning to decision-making, where your team can save expenses and increase sales.
Kate Parish, chief marketing officer at Onilab, with 8+ years in Digital Marketing and eCommerce web development promotion.
Kate constantly upgrades her knowledge and skillset to stay fit in the progressing online world.
She always does exhaustive research in such spheres as SEO, branding, SMM, PPC, and Magento PWA development, before sharing her expertise with a wide audience.