They say that a successful car salesperson can sell just about anything under the sun. Selling cars is so challenging that, according to a Gallup poll, it is one of the least ethical white-collar jobs in the US.
The pollsters lumped car sales executives alongside lawyers, ad professionals, and bankers and slightly below congressional representatives. In automobile sales, a car is worth the amount a customer is willing to pay for it.
Consequently, the car lot is like a coliseum where salespeople battle it out for survival. On that lot, a marketer becomes so adept at selling cars that they can tell in an instant what the need and wants of their prospective customers are. The most battle-hardened of them all can gauge your willingness to purchase a vehicle sans any verbal feedback.
As an illustration, a customer that pulls in with a quarter tank or less of gas is ready to buy. Cutthroat competition amongst co-workers here is often brutal. On a day off, an opportunistic worker can sell a car to your main lead and keep the commission. The car lot mode of selling vehicles has, however, gone the way of the dodo as online selling takes root amongst consumers.
Intent Data in Account-Based Marketing
Customers do not have to walk to your office anymore to make a purchase. Every single day, your prospects flock various internet sales lots looking for solutions to a problem that your product can solve. Your prospects will spend hours on end consuming information and forming judgments on solutions and other options that can solve their trouble.
Here the brutal tactics of the car salesperson are harder to employ. There is a barrier between you and the customer. For this reason, the first salesperson that communicates with the online buyer will win the sale. So how do you ensure that you are the first marketer through the door? Access buying intent data or indicators and seize the lead before your competitor does.
One mark of successful car salespersons is their gift of gab. A vibrant and busy dealership lot might lure in new prospects, but it is their knowledge of their customers that makes the sale. While knowledge of the product is essential, the art of listening and understanding what is in the mind of your customer is the golden goose that lays the golden eggs.
Intent Data is The New Art of Listening
The successful salesperson will tell you that your job is not to persuade the inexperienced or uninformed buyer to make a sale. They do not trust you anyway and have a variety of information sources at their fingertips. Your task is to personalize and optimize the customer’s journey to your product through their choices. Settle on a package that satisfies both your goals.
This ability to see and to listen to the customer has been made easier by intent data. All you need to do is to interpret the signals that they are sending and deliver the product that your customer has in mind, speedily.
The average online buyer has already gone through most of their buyer journey before they are ready to talk to a marketer. Data shows that 81% of all customers perform pre-sale research before buying an item. If you can intercept this buyer as they dig up product or service information, then they can end up in your sales funnel rather than that of your competitors.
The content consumed and web searches performed by customers online are robust buyer signal intent sources. Intent data is, therefore, online behavior-based actions of customers spilled across the internet that can link a buyer to your account-based marketing strategy.
Sources of Intent Data
When buyers have challenges, they will rack up tons of digital footprints in search of answers. They will leave behind their intent data as;
- Reviews of products
- Webinar attendance sheets
- Website visit analytics
- Case study, whitepaper, or tech publications downloads
- Time spent on particular topics while on a website
- Infographics views
- Subscriptions to updates or newsletters
- Sudden spikes in interest or topic consumption
Marketers that collect and analyze this data can access buyer behavioral signals early and guide them in their decision-making. Intent data, therefore, offers a massive opportunity to forward-thinking account-based marketers. Unlike lead scoring on your website or social media handle, lead intent data brings in prospects searching for information on other business’s websites.
So if you want more customer data than what is housed on your corporate websites, contact third party intent data vendors. Their specialization is in the collection and aggregation of online behavioral data from data sharing co-ops and events.
Use Intent in Your ABM Groups
The targeting of key accounts has always been the most effective B2B strategy. The concept of account-based targeting pioneered by ITSMA in 2004 is now all the rage with over 92% of all B2B marketers agreeing that ABM is an invaluable tactic for the marketer. More studies show that 97% of marketers say that account-based marketing can bring in a higher ROI than all other forms of marketing.
There is an immeasurable amount of data available today that can supercharge account-based marketing strategies amongst groups. Data from IBM shows that humans put up over 2.5 quintillion data bytes online each day giving the ABM groups more insight into their prospects.
This intelligence has become more sophisticated and its coverage has widened over the years. Your ABM strategy can now access crucial behavioral data on prospects, their actions, timeframes, and exclusions.
Intent Data Benefits in Account-Based Marketing
#1. Demand Generation
Intent data can enhance demand generation by assisting marketing teams in the identification and planning of events for prospective accounts. This research will result in high attendance rates and conversions. The team will have an easier time budgeting and will boost the event turnout via personalized ads and emails as per interest shown by the intent data.
#2. Optimized Content Strategies
A prospect’s behavioral data can have a positive on your content marketing strategy. Intent data can put a spotlight on the questions that a prospect has. This data will also show highlight the competitor product or service in the mind of the prospect. Using this information, you can tailor your content strategy to target any buyer in any stage of your sales funnel.
#3. Lead Generation
Account-based ads are great for branding objectives but they rarely do generate sufficient volumes of hand raises. If you want more interest in your sales pipeline, use the prospect’s online behavioral data to drive your lead generation strategy. By working with an intent data supplier that allows you to target specific accounts based on intent, your cost-per-lead (CPL) budget will be lower.
#4. Enhanced ABM Partnerships
The success of ABM strategies is highly dependent on the implementation of cumbersome and complex channel marketing solutions. Intent data can assist ABM groups to develop manageable processes with clear program intentions and objectives. All partners will be more incentivized and equipped to engage the prospects and sell your products.
This data can also help your team to prioritize ABM partners’ account-based leads for higher revenue. The increased return from group efforts will multiply your partner’s focus on the marketing of our products. Your business will enjoy a successful ABM group channel program.
#5. Reduce Churn
Intent data can reduce customer churn by ensuring that marketers can monitor the research activity of their accounts. A savvy marketer can utilize customer behavioral data to identify the likelihood of churn and pick out prospects that are ready for a sales speech.
Like the competitive car salesperson, your marketers will know of instances where a customer is researching a competitor’s offering, allowing them to address the issue before the sale is lost. You can also utilize this information to make custom offers to prospects.
How Companies Showing An Increase in The Intent Signal During the Pandemic
There have been concerns that social distancing and remote work measures of combating the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic will lessen the accuracy of intent data. Is intent data less effective now that most companies have moved online for research in the absence of in-person events? The pandemic has indeed affected all businesses, but positive trends are lighting up the intent behavior charts.
First, intent data has become as effective and valuable as ever as web research activity increases. Nevertheless, intent data research has been changed by the ongoing dynamics.
Our data here at UnboundB2B shows that there has been a drop in intent signals in some sectors. In contrast, research around news, entertainment, healthcare, energy, mining, and mobility has spiked. Check out our graph below:
Since some of these signals received are not an intent to purchase at all, behavioral data users have to adjust their analysis of the data as well. Marketers have to interpret intent data alongside other additional signals that show whether businesses are still executing their marketing strategies as usual.
Current intent data under the pandemic is showing an increased content consumption of mobility, virtual environments, and data storage. Activity around topics such as unified communication and telemedicine has also piqued. Interest around business-related topics such as business intelligence or data management platforms is slightly down or flat. All tech communications companies are receiving massive traffic surges.
Intent data will get you in front of your buyers early in their decision-making process, giving you an upper hand in ABM. Use this predictive data to intercept prospects rather than awaiting them to stumble across your landing pages.
Customers do not want speeches. Gone are the blunt sales tactics of old. The in-thing is data from the internet – the perfect referral source. Marketing is now much less a human interaction art and much more an intent data-driven science.