Wouldn’t it be great if your prospects sent you an email, or gave you a call, when they were ready to make a purchase? Or, failing that, filled out a form on your website requesting pricing information the minute they felt a need for your product?

Some prospects might do this… but chances are, the majority won’t. The buyer’s journey is increasingly complex, with consumers using all the digital tools available to research a purchase before they make one.

With the rise of big data comes a deeper understanding of this journey, and more emphasis on understanding where exactly a prospect is within it at any given time. However, unless prospects are tweeting directly to your brand about wanting to make a purchase, their true intent can be difficult to uncover.

Here are 3 ways that your prospects are signalling their intent to purchase right now, that you probably are unaware of:

1. They are engaging with content – but not your content

Before a buyer is fully committed to making a purchase, they did their homework, especially in the B2B space. They downloaded a few ebooks, read a white paper and browsed some blog post archives.
If they are engaging with this type of content, they are in the early stages of intent signaling. However, many brands miss out on these juicy prospects because the content they are engaging with comes from the competition. Using tools like LeadSift, businesses can now identify these consumers based on the content they consume, no matter the source.

2. They are trying to solve an immediate problem

Consumers have grown accustom to finding immediate answers to their problems. Not sure how to measure something? Google it. Can’t figure out the best method of bookkeeping? Ask your network on Twitter.
Google has dubbed these “How do I…” moments micro-moments, and they’re happening on search and social. If your brand can leverage data immediately, tapping into these intent cues as they happen, you will capture in-market consumers ready to make a purchase.

3. They are using multiple devices to do their research

Too many brands overlook the fact that the buyer’s journey is a complex phenomenon that often takes a customer from desktop to tablet to phone and back again.
When exploring a need, consumers may start by doing some casual Google searches at work. Then, they might log into LinkedIn from their tablet while commuting home and read a related white paper shared by a colleague. A few days later, they sign up for a webinar from their phone. Each of these actions tells the story of a consumer moving closer towards a purchase, and the business that can fit the data together to tell the full story will be the one to ultimately satisfy that consumer’s needs.

Intent signals are valuable pieces of data that can help increase leads and generate more sales. If your business is not listening for them across a variety of platforms, devices and behaviors, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.