There are many possible Intent data use cases a single business can implement throughout the entire marketing funnel. Some activations are more complex in nature, taking up to a few months to see results, but we often suggest starting with these ‘low hanging fruit’ applications that can begin to show results in as little as one week.
With the over-saturation of advertising, B2B buyers are losing trust in marketers and are taking it upon themselves to analyze their endless options without the help of vendors or salespeople. Most buyers will be nearly 60% through their purchasing decision before reaching out to a salesperson, making it increasingly difficult for sales representatives to influence a buying decision early on. Because interested buyers are staying quiet in their discovery phase, B2B sales and marketing teams are taking to Intent data to help identify when prospects are beginning to research and form buying committees.
Intent data is applicable in many ways, from low-effort use cases that take less than a week, to more complex ones that might require several months to get into a smooth workflow. But, buyers and revenue opportunities don’t wait! So we suggest that our customers take a ‘crawl, walk, run’ approach for the quickest upstart and to create a proof of concept that builds advocacy first.
Here are the most common use cases that require the least effort and drive the quickest results:
Intent data use case #1: Outbound sales prioritization
Note: if your organization does not practice outbound sales, skip to use case #2!
We feel for the SDR and BDR teams out there. This Intent data use case is to help those who have the higher volume sales scenarios, where each sales development team member has a dizzying list of 500 or 1,000 accounts to sift through each week. In this case, Intent data helps those folks prioritize the top (say, 50 or 100) accounts that are ready to engage and are researching your product or service category. It’s a quick way to drive alignment, see measurable results, and build advocates internally.
Some tips for a quick start:
- Upload an account list – Start with that too-long list of accounts that fit your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), and Company Surge® will narrow it down to the ones that are ready to hear from you.
- Start with a spreadsheet! Our Company Surge® output is an easy-to-use tool for a sales professional at any level.
- Remove accounts that are already in your pipeline – To truly prove the concept and value of Intent data, remove any accounts that are already in the works. This way, any wins that are driven from the account list will be a net-new deal.
Outbound sales prioritization is the ‘lowest hanging fruit’ use case for Intent data that really makes deploying Intent data simpler on a larger scale. Once you gain some traction (better meeting scheduling rate, more engaged prospects, etc.), then you will want to do away with the spreadsheets and start planning for an ongoing, automated workflow that works directly in a system like your CRM.
Intent data use case #2: Digital advertising through LinkedIn
A challenge with account-based advertising is that it’s often required to work with an agency or platform for ad campaigns to be manageable. Resources and budget aren’t always available for that, but there is still an opportunity for advertising. This Intent data use case is for those who want to deploy ad campaigns to pass off some warm leads to their sales teams that focus on fielding inbounds.
Here’s how to get started quickly:
- Create a LinkedIn ‘Matched Audience’ – Upload your list of target accounts that have high Company Surge® Scores, select additional attributes such as job title in LinkedIn, and ‘matched audiences’ will deploy sponsored updates or Inmail messages to that audience.
- Compare the results – The open rates and response rates can be tested against a control group, or compared to normal engagement rates if you know them. Another way to measure the results is to see how many leads become sales or marketing qualified.
When the results are beginning to shine, scale and automate this process by using a marketing automation platform (like Marketo) to connect a list of contacts to who work at high-intent businesses showing interest in a certain topic, flow them into a campaign identified for LinkedIn targeting, and it will update every week. ‘Set it and forget it’ so you can move on to finding new ways to put Intent data to work.
Intent data use case #3: Contact acquisition for lead generation
Sometimes you’ve got to go beyond your contact database to share a message. For example, when there is an important event, webinar, or a new piece of content coming out, all interested parties deserve to know about it. This Intent data use case is to help those who want to generate broader interest and leads around a specific initiative to get new contacts.
Become an Intent-based lead gen machine:
- Generate a list of high-intent accounts – Start with accounts from your ICP or target list, then select an Intent topic or topics that relate to the promotable content. Company Surge® will output a list of businesses that are researching content related to those topics, and therefore might be interested in your content or event.
- Save money on your contact acquisition – Take your target account list to your contact provider (such as DiscoverOrg) and get contacts for a much more focused list.
- Measure the power of the leads – Track your promotion’s click and open metrics to know how engaged the audience was, and of course registered contacts if your promotion is associated with a call to action.
This Intent data use case is also often helpful for field marketing. Locate the geography of prospects most interested in a certain topic, and/or businesses in specific geographies that are researching your topics.
Once a few small wins take place from these quick Intent data use cases, the barriers for upscaling your programs and delving into more complex use cases (such as data science or customer success) will go down. Take the next steps on scaling by automating the process and building an ‘Always on’ account-based Intent data-driven ecosystem.
If you’re an Insight Venture portfolio business, we’ve partnered with them to offer unique pricing on a strategic partnership with Bombora using Intent data for the first month. Check out the webinar we co-hosted with them to get started.