Overcome Your B2B Intent Data Anxiety: A Five-Step Plan

Overcome Your B2B Intent Data Anxiety: A Five-Step Plan

According to our report, 56% of sales and marketing professionals often feel overwhelmed when using B2B intent data, with 21% always feeling overwhelmed.

Do you fall into either of these camps?

If the answer’s yes, check out our on-demand webinar, “Trendspotting: Recent Shits in B2B Intent Data,” hosted by DemandScience’s Jane Dubzinski, AJ DeMarco, and Adrianna Shukla. They guide you through the most common uses of intent data and the challenges it poses.

They also advise you on how to overcome intent data anxiety, providing a five-step plan to help you do just that. While you can find a rough outline of that plan below, be sure to check out the full webinar itself to take advantage of all the valuable insights our trio of in-house intent data experts have to offer.

A Five-Step Plan to Overcome Your Intent Data Anxiety

1. Do Your Vendor Homework

The B2B intent data provider that’s right for you isn’t necessarily the best-known brand in the business or the most budget-friendly option. Instead, seek out a vendor that can meet your specific set of needs. Make this process as easy as possible by defining what you hope intent data can do for you before you even begin your search. Once your needs are set and you’ve identified potential vendors, ask questions such as:

  • How do you collect your intent data?
  • From which sources do you collect intent data?
  • How do you identify businesses/individuals consuming content?
  • How do you measure level of intent?
  • Is your data GDPR/CCPA compliant?

Remember: there’s no such thing as a stupid question, and you should ask absolutely everything you can think of…even if you think it’s rhetorical. It’s best if you can keep these questions the same for each vendor you speak to. It will help when it comes time to do a full vendor analysis and comparison later later in the process, and make it easier to choose the perfect intent data partner.

B2B intent data strategy
Picking the right vendor is critical to the success of your B2B intent data strategy.

2. Define Your Intent Scores

Not all intent is equal. To translate B2B intent data into actionable information, you must define the intent scores that make the most sense for your business. Consider different types of buyers, for instance. Some will be super decisive, and ready to get down to business after researching your company for several months. Others will simply be curious, possibly checking out your brand for the very first time. Both are demonstrating a level of purchase intent, but clearly the intent of one is much higher than the other.

Using DemandScience as an example: a customer searching online for “B2B content syndication” or “ABM marketing” is expressing interest in the product categories we offer. This indicates a low level of intent. They’re interested in topics strongly related to our business but are unlikely to be interested in us specifically at this stage of their journey. On the other hand, a customer searching for branded searches such as “demandscience content syndication” demonstrates a much higher level of intent, and a direct interest in our company specifically. 

Sales and marketing must develop a shared understanding of these levels of intent. This way, both teams can prioritize prospects with the highest propensity to buy. Translating these levels of intent into an overall lead score can help with this process.

Bonus tip: don’t draw the line at customers searching just for your business—customers searching for your closest competitors are demonstrating intent, too.

3. Align Sales and Marketing

We touched on it briefly in the previous step, but unless sales and marketing align on intent levels, your intent strategy is guaranteed to fail. Without alignment, your marketing team inevitably end up feeding the sales team with unworkable leads. In turn, your conversion rate and overall B2B intent data ROI suffers. To succeed, sales and marketing teams need a shared understanding of:

  • Target accounts and customer personas—who are your buyers?
  • What constitutes an in-market prospect?
  • Go-to-market messaging
  • Procedures for tracking, measuring, and reporting—without this it’s impossible to know if intent data is working for you.

Both teams must put the strategy into practice to ensure intent data works efficiently. For example, marketing must work on nurturing prospects with high levels of intent to generate quality leads for the sales team, while the sales team look at prospects already in the pipeline to see which are expressing the highest intent and adapt their focus accordingly.

Without sales and marketing alignment, your intent strategy is likely to fail.
Without sales and marketing alignment, your intent strategy is likely to fail.

4. Consolidate Intent Data Sources into a Single Martech Stack

Managing multiple data sources is complicated. Having disparate streams of data that require manual consolidation only makes things harder. Instead, seek to integrate all first-, second-, and third-party intent data sources. An ideal solution is a unified collection of real-time data that’s visible across the organization.

Benefits of consolidation:

  • Limits data silos and duplicated efforts 
  • Allows transparency across sales and marketing teams 
  • Exists as a single source of truth for all aggregated data
  • Allows sales reps and marketers to prioritize efforts and engage with customers more effectively 

5. Practice Makes Perfect!

As with anything in life, only with continued practice can you overcome your intent data anxiety! But by taking the time to define your intent data needs, selecting your vendor accordingly, and aligning sales and marketing teams on intent levels and best practices, you’re off to the best start possible.

Looking to raise your intent data IQ even further? Check out our on-demand webinar “Trendspotting: Recent Shifts in B2B Intent Data,” where you’ll discover the most common use cases for B2B intent data, challenges posed by intent data implementation and application, along with a detailed walk-through of everything discussed in this blog post.