What if you could predict what your customers would do before they did it? With intent data, you can.

Having access to the right data sets lets B2B companies make predictions and better decisions. Both about how to target users and what information to provide them in order to drive more sales.

Intent data offers a way for marketers to make data-backed predictions so they can positively impact campaign results, sales teams, and their company’s bottom line.

What is intent data?

Intent data is behavioral information collected about a prospect. Marketers use it to determine the likelihood of a contact making a purchase.

Today, most B2B buyers begin their customer journey by researching products and services online before speaking to a sales representative. They review products, read blogs, download whitepapers and post questions on forums like Reddit and Quora.

Average B2B buyer consumes 13 pieces of content before deciding on a vendor (Intent Data)
Source: MarTech

This behavior provides a pattern that can be used to predict buying intent.

Intent data can also help to determine the general actions a typical buyer takes before they purchase, which can be extrapolated and used to predict details about other future prospects.

Where does intent data come from

Certain buyer behavior shows clear interest. For example, filling out a form asking a sales rep for more information.

But, this type of data doesn’t paint always the complete picture. There could be buyers out there that are a great fit for your business and nearly ready to purchase. But, they might not have discovered your company yet.

Gathering intent data lets you proactively tap into these buyers and get your brand and solution(s) in front of them.

Types of intent data

There are three types of intent data: first-party, second-party, and third-party.

First-party

Data that comes from your owned channels and systems. Your website, social media channels, marketing automation, CDP, CRM, and other tools are where first-party intent data might be located.

Second-party

A subset of third-party data. Second-party data refers to data sourced from a third party’s first-party data — for example, product review websites and media publications.

Third-party

Data from outside sources, such as those bought from B2B publishers or those found on public data sources.

Keep in mind that only you can access your first-party data, but your competitors might have access to the same second or third-party data sources.

How to use intent data in your business

Intent data offers several benefits that businesses can capitalize on. It helps to:

  • Understand buyer interest earlier on in the customer journey
  • Improve audience targeting
  • Enhance personalization offers
  • Improve lead scoring
  • Avoid wasted time on uninterested prospects

Benefits for your sales team

Sales teams are key beneficiaries of intent data and the insights it provides.

Get there earlier than the competition

If you predict where buyers will be, you can get to them faster. Intent data allows sales teams to do this and get ahead of their competition. Instead of waiting for prospects to find them.

Prioritization and lead scoring

Intent data helps sales teams score prospects and prioritize resources better. For example, leads that look at pricing and onboarding content should be prioritized. Or Leads that compare one vendor with another on a product review site. Why? These leads are at a late stage in their buyer’s journey.

On the other hand, visitors who only focus on non-product-related content on the website, like career or events pages, shouldn’t be prioritized. They’re still in the beginning stages of their buyer’s journey.

Cold outreach context

Targeting leads that are ice-cold usually doesn’t get sales teams anywhere. But, intent data can help identify warmer leads so that sales teams know who is more likely to convert.

By analyzing what content warm leads are looking at, sales can understand what type of questions or objections the prospect has. Then address them head-on.

Save yourself from churn

Intent data can help identify if any of your current customers are shopping around for another solution. If we see the signs of churn early enough, then you can take action to prevent it.

Benefits for your marketing team

Marketing teams also gain several advantages from intent data.

Improved targeting

Access to intent data improves how a brand targets prospects. It helps provide a better understanding of ideal customers so marketers can adjust the profile and deliver the right content and messaging to the right people at the right time.

Account-based marketing (ABM)

With intent data, marketers have more ammunition for account-based marketing. You can see which accounts are currently looking for the solutions you provide. If intent data is used to support ABM, you can prioritize prospects and adapt messaging accordingly. Marketing teams can build better customer journey maps and dial-in targeting on social media platforms like LinkedIn.

Improve your content

Intent data helps marketing teams create better content for websites and campaigns. It provides context for an ideal customer’s pain points. This information can be used to improve messaging and attract the right prospects, encouraging them to purchase.

Is intent data right for you?

Intent data can be the right fit for your business if you:

  1. Have long or complex sales cycles.
  2. Have tools like marketing automation and CRMs in place to act on the data gathered.
  3. Have sales and marketing teams that regularly collaborate.

However, intent data can also do you more harm than good if you don’t:

  1. Have a plan for how to use it.
  2. Align your sales and marketing teams.
  3. Use all types of intent data.

Conclusion

Intent data can undoubtedly improve how your organization works, allowing you to beat out your competition and reduce churn. It can also enhance targeting and account-based marketing efforts.

However, you must use this behavioral data correctly and have the right tools and workflows to capitalize on it.

If you need help deciding if intent data is right for you or getting intent data and putting it to good use, then Reel Axis can help.

Request a sample intent data report to get started.