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Friday, July 15, 2022

On Intent Data

 Exploring Intent marketing data. 

Making Sense of Intent Data for Sales and Marketing Pros

Fiona O'Connor, Content Marketing Manager    in TechTarget

Intent data promises different benefits depending on how it’s made, how it’s sourced and how you put it to use. Companies are adopting it for different reasons and solution providers are touting it heavily. Some forms of intent may only help to increase your advertising efficiency. Others can give you a suggestion of who might be considering a purchase because of an upcoming contract renewal, a change in personnel, or similar indirect indicators. And a few can provide meaningful access to significant pockets of undiscovered demand that can even drive more real opportunities into your pipeline. While many users have adopted one or more of these signal types, many organizations haven’t yet realized the major differences that could be important to their getting the most bang for their buck.

We’ve created this guide to help accelerate your own journey with intent data – whatever stage you’re at. It walks through how purchase intent data can help support every area of your organization, from Sales to ABM and Marketing – and we’ll provide additional resources to further expand your knowledge.

What is real intent data?

As originally coined, “purchase intent data” was a category of behavioral data (data created by analyzing the behaviors of people) that provided a strong indication of an impending product or service purchase. Recently however, not only has the term been abbreviated to simply the word “intent” alone, but some vendor players have worked hard to broaden its meaning to include any “signal,” regardless of whether it can be reasonably associated to an impending purchase.

As we use the term, purchase intent data must be able to guide go-to-market (GTM) teams first to significantly more active demand than they could otherwise see, and then, very precisely to specific people whose behaviors have signaled an interest in buying a given product. In a nutshell, it’s about maximizing visibility into the totality of current market demand and then optimizing the focus and precision of your actions on the available insights. Among the many different types of data or data sources now being labeled as “intent,” our definition is quite specific. Depending on the sourcing and methods involved, a given resource will have very different characteristics, and therefore, very different utility in supporting a GTM.

For a clear framework you can use to evaluate intent data sources and types, read Making Sense of B2B Purchase Intent Data and Putting It to Use.

Like any data source, intent adds more value to your GTM if you can effectively put it to use in support of multiple use cases and user groups. Next, we’ll take a look at how real purchase intent data can be useful in various ways for specific GTM teams. From strategy optimization through to one-to-one sales personalization, the right intent source can quickly provide essential guidance that yields meaningful competitive advantages.

Intent data for Sales Development

Though Sales Development has exploded in popularity especially at enterprise tech companies, it’s still a relatively immature discipline at many of them. Sales Development organizations are often assembled in a rush with the expectation that they will mature themselves as they go along. But the reality at many companies appears to be that the build process is leaving a lot of important gaps which can easily become chronic points of failure. Today, we still see many Sales Development organizations where such gaps continue to cause underperformance in their companies’ sales development capability. While the majority of these teams’ time is intended to be spent on better qualifying demand for more effective sales follow-up, in a recent survey of Sales Development organizations, most companies reported that their teams still fail to hit their objectives. While a range of issues contribute to this, the quality of data resourcing stands out as a key point of failure.

While intent data has not yet become a staple for Sales Development teams, it is growing in usage. (Of course, as discussed above, the utility of intent for these use cases very much depends on the data source and its available insights). At the time of the research, less than 25% of all tech Sales Development teams were using intent data in a rigorous fashion despite the fact that the right type of intent source has been shown to yield substantial improvements in conversations, meetings and opportunities. When Sales Development teams are trained and enabled to use an appropriate source of purchase intent data, they are able to execute better outreach and more effectively deliver meetings that progress through the pipeline.

For more insights on the challenges facing Sales Development teams and how purchase intent data can help, read How Does Your Sales Development Program Measure Up?   ....' 

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