This is part 1 in a 4-part series on B2B buyer intent data. See also Part 2 (All Intent Data Is the Same, Right? WRONG!), Part 3 (5 Ways Sellers Can Leverage Intent Data to Hit Their Quota), and Part 4 about how marketers use intent data to drive pipeline (coming soon.)
We’re excited to announce today that we’ve integrated Bombora’s Company Surge® intent data into our world class B2B data and intelligence platform. This takes buyer intent data to the next level in several ways. First, we’re bringing together the leading B2B data and intelligence with one of the industry’s leading intent data solutions, so you can take advantage of the best of both worlds in a single platform. No need to settle for inferior solutions to get integrated intent data.
But that’s not the only way we’re taking intent data to the next level. InsideView has long provided buyer intent signals through our news and social insights that tell you what your prospects are talking about. Now, with integrated Bombora intent data, you’re able to see when your prospects are actively researching products and services like you sell. It’s like the difference between me saying I want to get in shape and actually going to the gym. My actions are a stronger indicator of my intentions.
What is Intent Data?
Let’s start with a definition of intent data. Buyer intent data is information about web users’ behavior and content consumption that suggests they’re in the market to buy particular products and services. For example, a company might be reading articles and whitepapers, listening to podcasts, and consuming other web content about data management topics — data management best practices, data management strategies, data management technologies, etc. If you’re a data management technology provider, like we are, you would be interested in knowing who these companies are.
More importantly, when a cluster of people who work at that company show a sudden spike in activity around that topic, that’s an even stronger signal that the company is shopping for a data management solution, and you’d be very interested in knowing who they are. That’s the definition of intent data, at least that’s the definition of Bombora’s Company Surge® intent data. They track company research behavior over time and look for increases or “surges” that indicate when buyers are “in market,” so sellers and marketers know precisely the right moment to reach out with messaging that speaks directly to their needs.
What are the Different Types of Intent Data?
Even if you’re not familiar with what intent data is, chances are your marketing team already leverages first-party intent data.
First-party intent data comes from your own company’s digital assets, such as your website, online events, and social profiles. If you keep track of people who visit your website, download whitepapers, attend webinars, fill out contact forms etc., you’re tracking buyer intent. These “leads” are showing interest in whatever your company has to offer, and enough engagement from an individual could indicate their intent to buy what you’re selling.
The problem is first-party intent data has limited value. For one thing, it only allows marketers to gauge the level of interest from a single person, which doesn’t necessarily reflect the company’s goals and buying intent. For another thing, it only measures the behavior of people who have found their way to your assets. There are two challenges with that. First, it’s expensive to drive demand to your website (and other assets) through advertising, email campaigns, social, and such. Secondly, you’re probably reaching those buyers when they’re well into the buying cycle, so it’s harder to influence their decisions and get ahead of the competition. Analysts at Gartner estimate that of the total amount of time buyers spend considering a new purchase, only ~17% of that time is spent talking to potential vendors, meaning that you’re missing the boat if you’re waiting for those buyers to come to you. If you really want to get ahead of the curve — and the competition — you want to track third party intent data.
Third-party intent data comes from external sources, but is similar to the type of information you get from your first-party intent data. When a person attends your webinar, you know that they are interested in the subject matter. If that same person and several of their coworkers attend your webinar, download whitepapers, view infographics, and/or read blogs on the same topic across the internet, the company they’re working for likely has a business initiative related to that topic and thus an interest in what you have to offer.
There’s more than one methodology for sourcing intent data (and we’ll talk about that in a separate post), but the third-party intent data providers who are the most successful collect data from thousands of reputable sources, aggregate user consumption patterns at the company level, and compare activity against a baseline to identify when a company is showing a change in behavior and thus a real intent to buy now. That’s the essence of Bombora’s data methodology and it’s a key reason that InsideView has partnered with Bombora.
Why Use B2B Intent Data?
The 2020 pandemic changed everything in our daily lives, including the ways and frequency with which we interact in the digital world. We have more data than ever before right at our fingertips and with that comes even more noise to wade through. Buyer intent data enables you to take advantage of the increase in digital activity while simultaneously helping you cut through the noise to get to real buying signals. Businesses’ goals and objectives are constantly evolving; B2B intent data helps you stay abreast of your buyers’ ever changing needs.
For marketers, B2B intent data can contribute to:
- Higher lead-to-opportunity conversion rates through more refined targeting, timing, and talk tracks
- Budget savings by eliminating or reducing costly lead generation “spray and pray” campaigns
For sellers, B2B intent data can contribute to:
- Higher sales productivity by focusing sellers on the best prospects
- Shortened sales cycles by reducing research time and enabling sellers to reach out at the moment of buyer interest
- Increased win rates by engaging with prospects who are ready to buy now
For account managers, B2B intent data can help:
- Mitigate risk of customer churn by identifying when customers are researching competitors
- Grow accounts by identifying upsell opportunities
What’s the Return on Investment (ROI) of B2B Intent Data?
Suppose you could win one more deal per sales rep per quarter by reducing wasted time and focusing on buyers who are pulling out their virtual wallets to buy what you sell. The return on your investment could look something like the calculation to the right.
And because every business has unique metrics, you can use our ROI calculators to customize the numbers to see how buyer intent data can help increase your bottom line.
How does Buyer Intent Data Enhance Marketing Intelligence?
Simply put, B2B buyer intent data sharpens marketing intelligence, enabling marketers to refine and streamline all of their processes.
For marketers who do lead scoring and follow the MQL (marketing qualified leads) process, buyer intent data delivers a strong signal to qualify and quickly move leads through to sales. Marketers can also sharpen account-based marketing (ABM) lists with buyer intent data to focus on the “hottest” prospects for targeted ads and outbound campaigns. Buyer intent data lets them know when to reach out and what to say, so that they’re reaching their ideal prospects at precisely the right moment in time.
Instead of spending money on expensive demand generation campaigns to draw buyers to your website, marketers will be better served by using buyer intent data to capture the demand that’s already out there. And finally, marketers need both to craft personalized, relevant messages and reach people at scale. Buyer intent data enables them to do both without sacrificing the quality or efficiency of their outreach efforts.
How Does Buyer Intent Data Accelerate Sales Intelligence?
Sellers are always trying to find that perfect confluence of companies who need their products and services and are ready to buy. If you already have a list of named accounts, you can use buyer intent data to refine your list and prioritize those who are currently “in market.” If you need to find new prospects within your territory, you can build lists based on characteristics of your ideal customer profile (ICP) and add buyer intent data to narrow the list to those who meet your ICP and are ready to buy.
InsideView’s B2B data and sales intelligence, coupled with Bombora’s intent data, gives sellers a holistic view of their accounts so that they’re better informed. Our firmographic and demographic data are the first filter to know who to target, based on company size, industry, geography, and more. Layer on news and social insights to discover a compelling event, such as a CRO who is looking to expand international operations. Then add InsideView intent data to see when a target has a surge of research activity around topics related to what you sell and you’ve spotted the right buyer at exactly the right time.