Your target market is researching problems you solve all the time. By collecting and analysing a vast number of data points, it is possible to predict changes in buyer intent, and therefore target individuals with content or an experience that encourages conversion.
Jon Clarke is the Founder and Chief Product Officer at Cyance. With over 30 years of experience at the confluence of sales, marketing and tech, Jon drives the innovation within our platform that results in capital efficient growth for our customers.
For example, signals from the online activity of a target account may suggest their company is in the early stages of their buyer journey – researching ways in which they can solve their problems or attain their departmental goals in certain areas. Armed with this knowledge, you can reach out to them via paid/earned/owned channels and deliver a whitepaper or guide to assist with their research, or provide helpful suggestions with which they can resolve their problems, positioning you as a thought leader in the area. Equally, if signals from their online activity suggest they are further ahead in their purchasing journey, you can target them with more relevant information, like a case study.
This level of precision and insight makes intent data an incredible asset for technology and SaaS sales teams looking for an edge in highly competitive markets.
Sales leaders are using intent data to guide their teams towards success. But how exactly is it being leveraged by those leading the way? How can intent data be used to inform strategic decision-making and accelerate growth?
Intent data is at the heart of ABM (account-based marketing), a process used by almost all successful tech sales teams to target and maintain the right accounts. By identifying changes in intent and acting at the right time, sales teams close deals more quickly, land bigger clients, and hold on to existing clients for longer.
But the use of intent data has broader implications for sales leaders. How to unite and propel teams, allocate resources, and prepare for the changes to buyer behaviour brought about by technology are some of the complex problems sales leaders are using intent data to solve.
Motivating and uniting teams
Confidence gained from insight
Having to guess what a prospect might do next can be difficult, subjective and even demoralising. When the data is out there to be gathered and understood, objective insights about interests as well as firmographic and technographic requirements lead to better decision making and increased sales confidence.
The inclusion of first party data (which of your prospects are actually visiting your site or engaging with your outreach) can enhance this even further. When the intent of a prospect is seen to be surging you can be confident that a successful interaction, lead or sale will be on the cards.
Tech sales teams can also be motivated by using the intent data provided by Cyance to increase the power of the tools they use every day. Users of Sales Navigator (SN), for example, can use Cyance intent data for segmentation and selection, before uploading to SN for account or territory planning (a use case that comes in this detailed article about why Sales Navigator is such a powerful tool).
Cyance also has a direct integration with LinkedIn Campaign Manager, so that sales leaders can create audience segments showing intent for various topics and stages of the buying cycle. These segments can then be linked to a campaign in LinkedIn, targeting them with context, relevance and timing.
Working with marketing
It’s becoming a truism that ABM is the way that marketing and sales teams might finally be united. Marketing and sales must work harmoniously when the target is an individual account, and messaging and content must be properly strategized and deployed at the right time to achieve its aims.
This starts with building a detailed picture of target accounts and personas, moving on through content strategy, with intent data influencing every stage. Marketing needs the insights from sales as to pain points, demographics, and competitors — as well as some of the more intuitive ideas sales will be getting from previous prospecting.
Sales on the other hand needs marketing to bring this information together into a coherent persona, as well as provide them with the collateral needed to target users at various funnel stages. Both sides need each other to truly cut through the noise. The best sales leaders connect with other departments, giving them a 360-degree view of the impact they have on their organization. Using intent data with an enterprise software marketing strategy requires the expertise of both marketing and sales for its value to be realised — a fact that the best sales leaders will be using to their maximum advantage.
Using intent data to plan the future
Intent data offers tech sales leaders essential information when it comes to the question of allocating resources and how to lead a team successfully into the future.
This happens day-to-day in deciding which prospects to target and how to marshall resources towards executing a strategy. But importantly, it also involves viewing the changing sales landscape, as technology and market forces pull buyers in new directions and sales teams must adapt to meet them.
This means that tech sales leaders are leveraging intent data to prepare for the future. According to Gartner, “by 2025, 60% of B2B sales organizations will transition from experience- and intuition-based selling to data-driven selling”.
Sales leaders, in order to stay ahead of the game, will need to spearhead the creation of “adaptive systems that are based on hyperautomation of interactions and transactions between sellers and buyers, digital scalability for sellers and artificial intelligence (AI)”. Virtual selling and the growth of digital commerce are progressing alongside the advance of predictive analytics — i.e., intent data — towards a synthesis of people, process and technology that even in the context of post-pandemic operations will look very different to the way things are today.
At the heart of this will be intent data and the way technology and SaaS CSOs and other sales leaders choose to use it.
Making an impact
Ultimately and most importantly, tech sales leaders are leveraging intent data to make a direct, measurable impact on their business.
It is close to universally acknowledged that intent data increases sales and ROI. It does so by reducing friction at every stage of the sales process, from finding the right leads to closing, via providing the right customer experiences.
Using intent data reduces churn and creates more opportunities for upselling — the things that lead to a healthy, lasting business as well as more eye-catching logo acquisition.
The best tech sales leaders inspire teams, come up with innovative futureproofing strategies, and ultimately guide their businesses towards success. As intent data establishes itself as the core of B2B selling it is being leveraged in multiple ways all the time, as the focal point of ongoing campaigns as well as the driving force behind large-scale, complex operational change.
Download our eBook on Accuracy & Intent Data to learn more.