6 Ways to Arm Your SDRs to Use Intent Data

Are you looking for ways that your SDRs can use Intent Data to drive more sales conversations in Q2?

Join Jake Biskar and Tukan Das as they show you how to start using intent data for a competitive advantage.

In this this webinar you will learn…

  • Which Intent Data Triggers and Insights You Should Be Automating
  • How Do You Integrate Intent Data Into Your Current Sales Development Process
  • How to Use a Multi-Channel Approach When Using Intent Data
  • Sales Messaging Best Practices to Drive High Engagement Using Intent Data
  • What Are Some KPIs to Track for Outbound Sales Development
  • What Are Some Realistic Expectations for Intent Signals





Tukan: Thank you everyone. Thanks a lot for your patience for waiting with us. So, today’s webinar topic, which is actually a very, very relevant and a super interesting one. Is about, you know, how can you actually arm your SDR team to leverage intent data. My name is Tukan and I’m joined by Jake Biskar. Jake’s the Manager of Sales and Business Development at flurry. I believe Flurry is owned by Verizon. I’ll let Jake give a high level overview and introductions about himself. Without further ado, Jake, take it away.


Jake: Hey, so sorry again everyone. But, my background is primarily in sales development. I’ve done it at several different small companies, usually pre-series and up to about series B. The goal is always the same, get from about 1 million recurring revenue to 10 million recurring revenue and scale up a sales development team, as needed. Sometimes that requires more bodies, sometimes it requires more tech, and sometimes we’re sort of right in the sweet spot of doing both when we get the right tools and right people. And that’s always the goal. So, I’m a huge advocate for the SDR function and that’ll probably come through in more ways than one when we’re having this conversation today. So I love jumping on calls like this and just seeing, you know, what we can get into and what we can discuss and what people find helpful.


Tukan: Awesome. Cool. So to begin with, I guess what we’ll cover in this webinar, this session, would be the first thing is we’ll talk about, you know, can intent data help sales development reps, the wholesale development process they’re on, we’ll talk about actual actionable steps to implement intent in the whole sales development process. Third, we’ll talk about, you know, what kind of metrics should we expect, what kind of expectations should we have with intent? And then we’ll wrap it up by saying, you know, asking Jake three reasons why he thinks intent data should be used by sales development reps. So without further ado, I guess I’ll start off by asking Jake just this question. Intent data is one of the hottest buzzwords for the last year or so. This year more than ever. Every B2B SaaS company, we hear them talk about, yeah, we need to look at intent signals to figure out who to go after and all that things. Typically, a lot of that task is being tasked to the marketing teams, but at the same time, the majority of the times what we notice is marketers buy this intent tool, but it’s a lot of the legwork or heavy lifting is done by the sales development team. So with that being said, what has been your experience, Jake, with intent and your thought process around it, around the whole idea of intent and sales development? Where do you see that? Like, can it help SDRs?


Jake: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, as somebody that’s in sort of like the SDR space constantly something that we’re always talking about is conversion and, you know, how can we increase conversion? And it’s always this conversation that ends with like marketing getting a lot more money to spend on stuff that we think improves conversion. We just don’t have any other way to spend that money. Right. And I think as you take a step back and you start to think, okay, how can we make a SDR more successful? It’s really arm them with leads that we think are going to convert at a higher probability. And so marketing says, Hey, I think that if we, you know, improve our landing page, then we’ll start to see a higher probability and closing. Or if we start to, you know, spend some money on sales enablement tools, maybe we’ll do some training for the SDRs. I see that a lot, but what happens is we’re only as good as the leads that are in our funnel. And so SDRs spend a lot of time prospecting. You see companies try to outsource that prospecting. You see them do a lot of things to try to save the SDRs time on prospecting. For me, I think intent data sort of sits right there in the sweet spot where SDRs are still in charge of their pipeline. They still have leads that they’re going to be working, but they’re not going to be having to work leads that are MQL. They’re going to work leads that they decided that they want to put in their pipeline, meaning they’re not going to work eBook leads. They’re not going to work webinar leads. So they’re still too early on in the pipeline. They’re going to work leads that are a little later on in the pipeline and that’s what we would consider an SQL or something that the sales team has gone into qualified. So sort of in a roundabout way, the way that I view intent data is that we have something that comes in, you know, maybe we’ll get a list of 50 leads for that week. The SDRs can go out and they can pick the ones that they want. They can convert those to SQL and then they can work those and that’s a higher probability lead, right? We’re just trying to win the probability game. And if SDRs are cold prospecting versus getting some intent data, that’s usually the best way to win that probability game.


Tukan: That was great. So let me ask you a question. You mentioned something around working intent leads and generating SQL from it and versus, you know, working webinar leads or ebook leads, which are not necessarily… There is some form of intent because they came to your website and downward, but they might be very top of the funnel. In your role as a SDR lead, when you’re leading your team there, Jake, do you tell the SDR team to say, you know, this percentage of your time should be spent on the inbound leads we got versus your own prospecting, you intently there or is it one or the other?


Jake: Yeah, that’s a good question. Like how should you spend your day to get… To me, I leave that up to the SDR. Like the number one thing that you want to optimize for as an SDR manager is how do you motivate your SDR team, period. What are you doing as a leader to motivate them? A lot of times that means introducing a new tool that shows that you kind of have their back, that you’re going to go to bat for them at the executive level and you’re going to say, Hey, we’re going to introduce this tool right now. And I think that with this tool, you’re going to get some leads that, you know, in our mind have a higher probability of closing. I think the fastest way to discourage an SDR team is to give them leads that they have to work or a lead inside of Salesforce to say, Hey, these are actually MQL leads. We spent a lot of money on them as a company, we need you to go through and qualify or disqualify them. To me this is just a breeding ground for creating a very demotivated SDR team, which is the worst thing and the recipe for disaster when you’re trying to scale a business. So, to take it one step further. I sort of view the SDRs, their time. That’s their time, right? And what am I doing as a manager and what are we doing as an executive team to make sure that we’re empowering them to use their time the most effectively. And using their time doesn’t mean that you’re putting calendar like call blocks on their calendar. It doesn’t mean that you’re putting lead views that they need to work through on their calendar. It means that you’re saying, Hey, I think that we should explore this, explore these leads that we think have a higher probability of converting, and then let’s have a conversation about it at the end of the week and run some reports and see what we find. I think that’s a good way to keep an SDR team motivated.


Tukan: That’s great. Cool. So we answered this question that, you know, yes, you’d think as intent signals can help SDRs. Now that was sort of a given, given what we know. But now the biggest challenge that we see is how to implement this intent. So the executive team, whether it’s marketing or the sales development leading team, leaders say, alright, we have implemented this tool. We have purchased this tool which is going to on a weekly basis or a daily basis feed me a list of leads that are showing intent. That’s just one piece. Can you walk us through some actionable steps of, you know, how can then an SDR team, take those leads and work it?


Jake: Yeah. So this could be a wordy answer because I want to add context please, which seems to be the theme thus far. But, so for me, when I’m thinking about how I want to use this data, again, as an SDR, you’re just trying to humanize yourself, period. You do that primarily through email. At least a lot of the SDR works that I’ve been running. Email is sort of the foundation. And so to humanize yourself through emails is really tough, especially as it gets a little bit noisy. People want to put you in this bucket as just another person that’s sending spam into their inbox. So we use intent data to kind of humanize that first line, right? That’s sort of like your lead in and if you sat there and you’ve written an email copy, you know how tough it is to write a good intro first line. It’s really easy if you’re happy with Hey, hope Tuesday or insert date variable is treating you well or Happy Valentine’s Day, then it’s easy, right? But if you’re really trying to go in and you’re trying to prove some value and you’re trying to tie that initial line into the value prop for your company and what you offer, intent data for us has been really, really valuable. We use whatever signal we have. Maybe it’s showing that they’re evaluating some type of software or something and we put that in the first line. It doesn’t need to say specifically, but it is something along the lines of like, you know, I noticed that you may be in the market for blah blah blah or you know, congrats on the recent acquisition of blah blah blah. And then, and then you use some other intent data signal to go off. It really depends on what your company is doing and how you get creative around that is how you’re going to make your money as a SDR and SDR leader. But that’s sort of what we use the intent data for is that first opening line.


Tukan: To add to that, what would the theme of messaging, because I think that is one of the most important things. You might have the best signals, but if your email copy or your phone call script is awful then you’re not getting a response back. I totally get that. One question that comes across as let’s say, you know, using an intent tool, likely LeadSift or something else. You figure out that they are evaluating or they’re engaging with a competitor or top competitor of yours, how do you approach that? Like do you take the approach of saying, Hey, notice you are talking to competitor X or would you say something like what you mentioned, think you might be evaluating a new automation tool?


Jake: Yeah. And again, this comes with sort of humanizing yourself. And I think that if you talk about that trigger just very blatantly I think that’s fine. And, and you kind of tell people, you say, Hey, we, we have some pretty cool software that says that you may be evaluating blah, blah, blah. Is that accurate? And then I think people will be very candid with you. We’re in this day and age where, you know, if you just so happen to reach out to somebody while they’re sort of evaluating stuff with cookies and the way that people are being tracked on the internet to not be straight forward and no one to one human interaction, I think is so disingenuous that it could kill you right from the jump. So, being as genuine as you possibly can, I think is the fastest way to humanize yourself. Maybe a little self-deprecation here and there. I think that’s going to get you a long way with your buyer much more so than you have in some really crafty lead in that’s a little bit ambiguous in several different areas. That kind of leads them to being more curious and not really understanding what you’re selling and just saying, Hey, like, are you really evaluating JP or did you really sign up for a free account or interact with some of their content on, you know, whatever Avenue. To me I think it is much more informative.


Tukan: That’s brilliant.


Jake: We can argue about that.


Tukan: I think that there’s merit to it. I think being transparent makes total sense. There’s a fine line between I guess transparency and being creepy. But, I absolutely agree with your point.


Jake: I think you walk that every day as an SDR already, you know, in several different areas. Especially like when you call, people know, how’d you get my direct dial? You know, just tell them the software that you’re using to get direct dials. You know, and then that’s going to go a lot further than saying, Oh, I looked at the website and then I went down the phone chain and whatever.


Tukan: Yeah, sure. No, that’s, that’s great. So let me ask you another tactical advice from there. So you get the leads, you craft out your email copy, but let’s say you found out, you know, you’re selling to the IT team, or software engineering department, and let’s say it’s as a director of software engineering was showing intent signal. Do we just go after that person? Because you know, that person was talking to a top competitor showing intent or how do you go about that as an SDR?


Jake: Yeah. Without trying to go down the account base rabbit hole. Which I definitely don’t want to do. I think if you reach out to an account, you need to be reaching out to, you know, three or four people within the account. I think that that is key to you being successful. What you’re trying to do is create conversation internally. Period. You’re trying to have one or more than one. You’re trying to have two or three people say, Hey, this is a pain point within our organization. How can we fix this? If you just have one person, that’s not going to be a very good deal cycle and it’s probably going to be a very slow deal cycle. That other person has no accountability. It has to be an internal initiative. So that starts with them having conversations internally and stuff. For that reason, I think that you should chat with three or four people and it doesn’t need to be you sending the same message to every single person. You can even talk about the fact that you are trying to reach out to other people within the company and even drop names if you want. I think that that again goes along with transparency and that’s gonna create the conversations amongst the right people. Because as SDRs, if you’re a good SDR, you can go in and you can build that org tree in your head and you can say, okay, here’s the VP of it, here’s director of it. Oh, here’s the manager of procurement. He’s probably to those guys as well. Let’s try to get these guys all conversing with each other. That to me is critical.


Tukan: No, that’s brilliant. So now the next piece is, okay, now you know who you’re trying to reach out to. Your four or five. How do you, and you have the copy written, the messaging. Do you, how do you go about, what channels do you go about engaging them with? Is it just email or a combination of email with LinkedIn, phones? Like what, what is it, what’s the Flow?


Jake: Yeah. I mean I think phone, so emails are based just to get that out of the way. Email is sort of like the basis, that’s the summit for the foundation. It’s everything that we do. And a lot of our follow-up, we use outreach for that now, which is a great tool. A lot of our follow-up is through, you know, manual emails or automated emails if we don’t deem them as you know, a level one. And then from there it’s really, you know, get as creative as you possibly can. If you see that your buyer is on Twitter, I’m not saying go on Twitter and tweet at them, but liking stuff that they post, sharing their stuff that they post on LinkedIn. Again, you’re trying to humanize yourself and then recognizing your name is going to be far better than you sending somebody tweets to them, trying to get on their radar. Because really we’re still in a business conversation and people want to communicate. In my opinion, people want to communicate through email. And that goes with the phone as well. So even on the phones we’re saying, you know, Hey, it’s not even, is this a bad time? It’s just not sure if you saw my email, would love to get your thoughts. If you have a second go through and put a few links in there that I thought could help you kind of educate yourself on the space. Considering it seems like now might be a good time for X company. Something like that, you know, and we’re trying to personalize the call as well. But again, I think people really prefer to educate themselves these days much more so than you’re going in and value propping. Because again, that’s the fastest way to dehumanize yourself, period. If you start value propping, in my opinion, unless you have a, maybe like your average deal size is, you know, around five to 10K, and you’re trying to get a quick close, I would stick away from the value propping unless it’s through email where they can sort of click on some links. And see what you’re all about.


Tukan: Got it. Okay. Oh, that’s great. So now one thing that we notice as, so let’s say you followed up with 50 people that were showing intent and you went and got them to a sequence email and multiple touches. But let’s say they, none of them, well, a certain percentage that didn’t open them or certain persons have clicked on the links but didn’t reply to you, didn’t book that meeting. If that is primary, the call to action, like that’s the goal. What do you, what do you do about it? Do you just say, you know, screw this, these intent signals are bad, or like what’s the process then? Like what would you suggest as a best practice?


Jake: I guess this is much deeper than just intent data. It Is sort of like, I guess, pipeline theory. I don’t know. Let’s give it a fancy name to make it sound superficial. For me, the number one job that you’re trying to do again is humanize your company, humanize yourself and move people down the funnel. Again, sales development teams, they’re up against timing, period. They’re constantly trying to figure out, you know, when is the best time for this company to buy? And you’re just trying to stay relevant. You’re trying to stay top of mind to them. So that’s why intent data comes in helpful at times because it implies timing, but also it doesn’t, right? Like it may just implies that this person might be very early on in the discovery process, but regardless, you need to have a really good clear sales operations and revenue operations structure so that you’re able to keep following along with these leads. So for us, we’re putting leads in what we call SDR working. So maybe we reached out to them with some intent data and they said, Hey, this is a good email, but now now’s just not the right time and you’re not going to be pushy. You just say great. Like, well, if you don’t mind, I’ll just keep you updated with relevant information within our company. And maybe when the timing’s right, we can pick up the conversation. And so monthly because you have a really good flow, you have them in SDR working. And so what I say to my SDRs is initially you’re going to get, you know, five to six meetings a month through email, right? And this is different for every company starting with numbers. You know, you’ll get a percentage from your email that’s going to be your largest percentage, net new leads going into sequence. That’s your largest percentage of meeting set. And then you’re going to maybe get a couple that come in through marketing that may be as a SDR, you’re lucky enough to be on the company chat or maybe somebody comes in that’s in your territory through an inbound and you work them through the process, qualify them, but then there’s going to be this other chunk of people that you’re just constantly following up with right there in SDR working. And we see that a lot. You know, I’d say about 30% of a SDR’s quota is coming from leads that are in SDR working, meaning you sent them a compelling enough email that they granted you the privilege to continue following up. And that to me is the most powerful thing about intent data. You’re just filling your pipeline with the leads that you know, you’re not wasting your time on. Because I think the reason that, and I see it a lot now is that the usage of SDR time is a huge conversation right now. Right? It’s like what should SDRs be doing? It’s because so much time is being wasted with leads that we shouldn’t be going after. And how are we to know, you know, there’s no way to tell. It’s just, we call it like a numbers game, which I do agree with to some extent, but it’s also sort of like an organization game. And I think that’s where it comes in really handy to, to tag your leads and all that good stuff.


Tukan: I love it. That’s great. So moving on to the next item that I have is, and this is something that we come across, we chat a lot, is what kind of metrics should we expect? There is, I say this, there’s a silver bullet kind of theory. Sometimes customers haven’t and for good reasons because they would come in and saying, cool, so you’re telling me these people are showing buying intent, meaning they’re looking to buy my solution or one of my competitors right now, obviously if I’m following up with them, you’re going to buy it from me. And they would reach out and let’s say they did buy them within the next 30, 60, 90 days. Then there’s this saying, well this is, this is not right. So with that being said, if someone is trying to implement intent data, what kind of metrics should they be looking at? Some realistic numbers? Like what is a good number or what should they be looking at?


Jake: Yeah. So first and foremost, as a manager, as a director, you’d go to bat for a piece of software. It usually requires a couple of, not necessarily arguments, but you’re trying to make some value props and you know, with that you’re going to, you know, make some promises and then you want to have quick results. And don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen that when we’ve implemented LeadSift within 60 to 90 days, we’ve had a couple of leads that we’ve tagged, LeadSift as as delete source, convert into closed one deals and then, and then everyone’s happy and no one really cares about the ROI for their own. To me, I think the most intriguing thing is again, the time saving. So I’m looking at conversion rate and usually in a pretty heavy outbound shop, our conversion rates around 1.8% to, you know, maybe 2% and a lot of that’s product market fit. A lot of that is sort of, you know, who the SDR is working. There’s, there’s a lot of variables in there. But just roughly speaking about 1.8% to 2%.


Tukan: And conversion, what do you mean by conversion Jake?


Jake: Reaching a conversion means that a lead turns into a sales qualified opportunity. So that’s purely what I mean.


Tukan: Something we would assign a dollar value to that would contribute to the pipeline.


Jake: Yeah. Well actually I’m sorry. So the way that I define conversion is we have a sales qualified opportunity and then that’s in stage zero. They get a dollar dollar value once they go into stage one. Yeah. So it is a little wonky the way I describe it, but we do that so that we create an opportunity for everything. So again, we have a pipeline that we can keep nurturing. So, that would be a sales qualified opportunity in terms of converting to a dollar value. I think that that’s a variable that’s much more in the account executives hands than it is in the SDR hands. So I try to keep the top of funnel a little more fragmented in that area.


Tukan: Stage zero is a conversion for you?


Jake: Stage zero would be a conversion. Yeah. They agree to a meeting. And you know, as the SDRs, we’re vetting them out and they’re in our company ICP. It’s not just like we’re throwing crap over this app. They’re in ICP. So, for me, about 2%. What I saw with LeadSift at at a couple of different companies, one I think where it was extremely successful, a rainforest QA, we use you guys and we went from a conversion with any thing that said LeadSift on it, it’s as the lead value or lead source, I’m sorry, it was around like 3.5 to 3.8, which was just awesome. And that’s on the account level. So I’m not saying this, we put in a hundred leads that you know, like 3.8 of them took that initial meeting. I’m saying that at the account level, so if we have a hundred accounts in there that we knew that, that in that initial swing that it was at, so I think that was actually at the lead level of 3.8%, now to think about it because we’re at 1.8. Yeah. So that was at the lead level. At account level. I think it was even higher. Well, but we didn’t have clear companies now.


Tukan: Okay. That’s great.


Jake: So yeah, at the lead level, because 1.8 at the lead level, is I think pretty typical and a lot of people see that.


Tukan: Cool. This is brilliant. Awesome. So those are very good metrics. I’m going to clip this and share it moving forward.


Jake: Yeah, and I think the big thing about that too is that was, that’s always in like a net 90 days when we would run that report. And then you see leads in your pipeline, you know, a year out that are still converting. So, but that’s just net 90 what to expect.


Tukan: And that’s something that we hear from a lot of our customers are saying is like, in the net, there’s a 90-day window where you’re tracking this conversion. The impact line, however you measure it. And then, they were saying, Hey, there was an account that you picked up a signal eight months ago, I just created an opportunity last week and I close them this week. That always happens. Attribution quickie, which is a 90-day window or is it forever? So that’s a whole different question there. So with that being said, that is the final thing and we’ll do a little bit of a Q&A if we have time and people are asking questions. So if you have to say, Jake, you know, three reasons why a sales development leader should be considering ruling out intent data for their sales development team. What would be those three reasons?


Jake: Yeah. So number one is saving SDR cycles, period. Like you’re hiring humans who are very skilled, usually college educated, awesome at their job. How can we save them cycles and keep them happy. Right? And number two keeps them motivated in my opinion. And that one and two are kind of combined. So say cycles keep motivating. And then three is just increasing the conversion rate. Like if you take a step back and you say, what would it do for my business to go from like a 1.8 conversion rate to 3.5 conversion rate on the lead? That’s a massive impact on the business. And to get to those conversions, right, you have to be pretty detailed in the way that you’re sort of building out your triggers that you want to go after and you have to be a focused sales team. But if you can actually focus as a sales team, you will increase the conversion. So yeah, again, like SDR cycles, keep them motivated and then increase the conversion on the pipeline.


Tukan: Awesome. So any sales development leaders listening to this, you have your three reasons why you should deploy intent data. Let’s see if there are any questions? We’ll just open it up for any questions. Folks that are in there. Are there any questions from the attendees? Let me see. There’s a dozen of them. Any questions from anyone before we wrap it up?


Jake: Well, Oh man, we laid it all out there too much, man. We should have been more intriguing.


Tukan: Fair enough. No, I think there was a lot of actionable value. That’s what I was expecting from a practitioner like you. So this is brilliant. One question that I have for you, Jake, is in terms of bare minimum tech stack that sales development team, that is trying to reach from a million to 10, 20 series A, series B, what would be a minimal tech stack that they should have?


Jake: To me, I think, I think the first one is going to be outreach. I think that’s really good. I think the second one, I think list buying is super overrated unless it’s a good targeted list. Meaning some people just want access to like Zoom info or something. And I think that that, I’ve always said it, I think that’s sort of the Trojan horse to any good SDR team, right? You’re thinking you’re getting this like a beautiful package of data and then it comes in and just like implodes you from within because you have SDRs just wasting all this time on data that’s not that great. So something to prospect off of LinkedIn with, very important. Usually the Salesforce is already in place when I get there, but it just as you mentioned Salesforce is a good one. Obviously. And then, yeah, so that’s the minimum and then maybe something to make some phone calls with something super lightweight. Kixie. I’m a big fan of kixie. If you guys haven’t heard of Kixie. Yeah. So, it just gives you a little bit more functionality than like the outreach styler and then, yeah. And then if you’re really taking it to the next step, we’re doing gift cards and stuff with Sendoso. And then, yeah, man, and bringing you guys in.


Tukan: Awesome. So a couple of questions we have. So one question is, do you use a tool to avoid contacting the same lead in terms of different salespeople working on different intent data sources?


Jake: Yeah. So I think everything should be done by territories. And so territories are sort of like the easy answer to that. I get that some companies like to verticalize a little bit more. And so I think that’s kind of where this question is coming from. But to me, creating a territory is probably one of the most critical parts that you do early on. And not by region, usually just by alphabet. And then as your team gets a little bit bigger, then break up by alphabet and region. It’s pretty easy. But once you start getting into like California and stuff, the lowest common denominator for it becomes zip code. And then all of a sudden, like, you need a sales ops person and you only have four SDRs. So you’re like, Oh, what do we do? So anyways, hopefully that answers your question.


Tukan: That makes total sense. There’s another question that someone has asked saying, are you layering in the reference of intent in all of your follow-up emails? Meaning you mentioned that in the first email when you’re reaching out, you mentioned the intent in the follow-up. Do you layer in the reference to intent?


Jake: No. So again, you’re just trying to humanize like, I guess I think I said that word too many times, but the initial one, is just a lead in and that’s sort of, that’s the real time, that reason to trigger. The second one, you’re just trying to talk about them pretty much. Nobody really cares about the company they work for just as something I’ve found over time, unless, you know, maybe it’s a founder and you’re talking to about the success of LeadSift, but, to me, just talk about other people. So like, like I said, the first customization is going to be the intent data. It’s the lead in. And then the second one is usually just about them, you know, Hey, you know, given that you’ve been at the company for X amount of time or you know, whatever you want to talk about with them is shown some relevant articles.


Tukan: Cool. Well that’s great. I think that those were the two questions we had and I think we a little over time. Jake, thank you so much.


Jake: Yeah, thank you. I’m sorry. Sorry, I was just having technical difficulties.


Tukan: No worries. No worries. It’s all good. Hopefully for the audience that attended, hopefully this was helpful. We are going to record this and share it internally, you know, with you people, everyone that attended and Jake, I thank you again. Thanks a lot. I’ll, I’ll follow up with you later. I have to cancel a meeting. But, okay. Thanks a lot man.


Jake: Thanks guys. Appreciate it. That was fun. Bye bye.


Tukan: Bye.

7 Reasons Behavioral Intent Data Is Your Sales Team’s Competitive Advantage in 2020

It is no secret that it is getting harder and harder to reach new prospects in the digital age. There are so many stats out there that back this statement. Whether it is cold calling or cold outreach through email, the world of sales is getting harder by the day. That is why it is imperative sales teams stay ahead of the curve and look for any type of competitive advantage available to drive more sales conversations in 2020.

In this article, we are going to break down seven reasons behavioral intent data is your sales team’s competitive advantage! Let’s get started!

#1 Optimize Your Dialing Time

Did you know it takes an average of 18 calls to actually connect with a buyer? That means you have to spend the majority of your day dialing and crossing your fingers that you get lucky to connect with someone to start a conversation.

If you’re spending your time calling on static data from a cold list, you are going to be wasting a lot of time. Sales teams using behavioral intent data are able to turn static data into behavioral data to maximize the success of the phone conversations that you are able to connect with.

You don’t want to get stuck talking to a bunch of people who aren’t interested. Behavioral intent data will allow you to speak to those who are interested!

#2 Personalize Your Talk Tracks

Let’s say you have been dialing a list of cold static leads throughout the day. What happens when you get someone on the phone?

I don’t know about you but there is nothing worse than that awkward pause in the beginning. What do I say? How do I find a common interest to keep the prospect on the phone?

Don’t worry, if this is you, you are not alone!

This is where behavioral intent data comes in to save the day. Start to dial lists based on real-time actions that your prospects are taking online. Example: did they follow one of your competitors? If so, that is a great way to start some conversation.

Did your prospect download an eBook on a certain business subject that could be a possible pain point? If so, there is your personalized talk track to get started.

Behavioral intent data will arm you with talk tracks based on the prospect’s online behaviors. It doesn’t get any easier than that!

#3 Using Real-Time Buying Signals

Most likely you are building static lists for prospecting. Now, let’s say the static list you built is a total of five hundred prospects. Each one of those prospects is building a digital footprint daily. They are googling certain search terms, tweeting to other people, engaging online in various chats, and leaving reviews on sites.

Imagine if you could be alerted when any of these behaviors were happening. Imagine your target prospect follows your competitor on Twitter and then downloads an eBook from another competitor on the exact topic your product solves a business problem for, and you got an alert real-time.

Behavioral intent data is your real-time alert for monitoring your target list of prospects!

#4 Identify Multiple Decision Makers

Have you done any account mapping around your key target accounts? If not, you might be in trouble.

Did you know, the typical buying group for a complex B2B solution involves six to 10 decision-makers?

Behavioral intent data will allow you to monitor multiple decision-makers at one time. Imagine if three top executives inside your account followed one of your competitors on Twitter in one day and then simultaneously left a bad review for another competitor? Then you got a real-time alert as this was happening! Now, that is a competitive advantage!

#5 Identify Competitive Deals

Do you ever feel like you are late to the party when it comes to sales? You are cold calling a static list and finally, someone on the other end picks up the phone. They say, “I wish we would’ve connected a few weeks back, but we are already moving forward with one of your competitors!”

This is the worst thing ever, but it happens to the best of us in sales.  

Behavioral intent data will help mitigate your risk from this happening again.

Don’t believe us, sign up here to test FREE behavioral intent account insights!!

#6 Content Engagement

The digital age has really turned sales and marketing upside down. Content is the new gold rush and salespeople are trying to figure out how to capitalize on this new way of selling!

This is where behavioral intent signals come in. Start monitoring and building lists based on how your prospects are engaging with certain types of content based on keyword research.

Do you sell a niche product? This is where your competitive advantage comes in. Start monitoring your prospect’s content engagement on the web and social sphere in real-time!

#7 Monitor Reviews Real-Time

The 2nd new gold rush on the web is online reviews for B2B. Now, with sites like G2, Capterra, and TrustRadius to name a few, there is a goldmine of data straight from your prospect’s mouth!

Imagine being able to set up real-time alerts as these reviews are happening and being able to be the first competitor to reach out. Now, this is a real competitive advantage that you need to start taking advantage of in 2020!

In Conclusion

Most likely, you are already spending thousands of dollars inside your sales organization on data every year. And the question you need to ask yourself, is that data actually giving you a competitive advantage in 2020? If the answer is NO, go ahead and start here!

How to Use Intent Data to Kickstart Your New Year

A New Year means new goals. With the rate of technology adoption, what worked last year is not guaranteed to work again. It’s essential to stay open minded to opportunities to help dominate your 2020 goals to keep pushing your business forward.

Intent Data is taking sales and marketing teams to new levels. We are here to show you how you can utilize intent data to kickstart your New Year and knock your goals out of the park.

Before We Dive In 

The average B2B buyer is usually 67% through their customer journey when they get in contact with a salesperson. So by the time they slide into your lead form requesting more information, they have likely already formed a strong opinion of what they need. Meaning your competitors may already be out to an early lead, and your sales team has that much more work to do before they can convert them into buying customers. 

If you could find those leads sooner, you could potentially win that lead before the buyer even approaches your competitor. You don’t need your sales team to sit idle and wait. They can get in contact with those buyers earlier in the buying journey by leveraging the power of intent data.  

With Intent Data, you can acquire leads earlier in their buying journey than you would by using more conventional strategies. So rather than re-actively engaging with buyers once they have identified the solutions they want to evaluate, you can enable your sales team to be proactive. You can help position your company as the best fit to help them solve their pressing need.  

What Is Intent Data and Why Does It Matter?

So, what is Intent Data? We have another post that explains it in more detail, but we have broken down the basics for you here.

Intent Data represents all of the data gathered on someone’s publicly available web behavior that is used to gain insight into what they want and need. It provides you with information about buyers, including the likelihood that lead will purchase your product or service.

Knowing that Intent Data provides you with rich information about leads and their priorities, you can see that it is one of the best ways to find high-quality leads that have high chances of converting to being one of your customers. 

With only 25% of B2B companies have previously used Intent Data and 35% planning to use it, there is still a massive competitive advantage available to the early adopters. As with all good things, this competitive advantage won’t last forever. Intent Data will become more popular with this year’s marketing trends; the numbers will only increase, which in turn provides you with the opportunity of getting ahead of your competitors.

How to Use Intent Data to Get More Qualified Leads

Focus on Leads Who Engaged with Competitors.

One of the benefits of using Intent Data is that we can find leads who are researching your industry and use that information to predict where they are in the buyer journey. We analyze data like the competitors they are researching but also includes when they are engaging with your competitors’ sales teams or their content, looking at industry events, and more.

By knowing when your potential leads are actively searching for what you offer, you gain the advantage of being able to reach out to them at the right time. In turn, you can nurture those leads to become your customers and beating out your competitors.

You can hypothetically task a team of researchers to go out and find some of this information manually. But that is time-consuming and costly. Or you can look at an intelligence system such as LeadSift. By using our software, we can help you automate the process of identifying leads showing intent. 

Gaining Leads Through LinkedIn

Social media has become a popular platform for advertising. And if you are looking to step up your game on LinkedIn or Facebook, Intent Data can do just that. LinkedIn already has Matched Audience Targeting options that help marketers target their ideal audience; the shortcoming is that these audiences are built only from their platforms. With the help of Intent Data, you can take your targeting to the next level.

By creating audiences from across the web, you are aggregating the most relevant leads that have been engaging with your industry topics and competitors. You’re bringing them into your funnel to help redirect their attention towards your brand and solution. 

Key Takeaways

  • With Intent Data, you are more likely to increase the number of quality and quantity of leads in your funnel. 
  • Intent Data will help you learn more about leads in the earlier stages of the customer journey or buying cycle.
  • Intent Data is continuously updated. This means you will be able to keep reaching out to potential leads at the right time.


If you are ready to begin increasing your qualified leads with LeadSift’s Intent Data, you can get started by receiving a free report that includes account insights to see how it works.

Analysis of Dreamforce 2019: An Event Marketing Infographic

Dreamforce. It’s the center piece on the events calendar for thousands of North American companies and their sales reps. Tickets are expensive, keynote speakers are in high demand and San Francisco Bay hosts the biggest and best in sales. With all of this in mind, is it worth going? You’ve got to be sure that with the investment and total costs on time and money, your buyers are going to be there. Dreamforce is very different now to how it started out, so it’s worth sanity checking this to make sure you’re not putting effort into places where it could be better used elsewhere.

Events cost too much to get wrong. You shouldn’t have to find out the hard way, if they’re good or not for you to exhibit at. So if you’re looking at a busy events calendar for next year or thinking about attending a couple, use this analysis as food for thought. They may be worth your expense tenfold, or not at all. We’ve done this before by analyzing SHRM, a Human Resources event. But this is the biggest event we’ve analyzed yet…

Dreamforce 2019

So, here’s what we analyzed.

  1. Industries the attendees are from
  2. Company sizes of the attendees
  3. Countries attendees are based in
  4. Attendee job roles
  5. Surprises we found in the data

With this data, you can review if the event attracts enough of your target accounts and buyers.

Attendee Industries

Dreamforce industry attendee

Considering that Salesforce is a huge IT software company and the event centers around their connected apps and system, it’s not surprising to see IT industries as the most prominent here. Internet, IT, Computer Software and Information Services all mix and overlap. Together they made up 68% of the Dreamforce field. It’s surprising to see Non Profit and Higher Education in the top 10 industries here, but the dominance of the IT space has left the other industries out there all down to a very low percentage each.

If you sell to IT, SaaS and software companies, this is the right spot.

Attendee Company Sizes

dreamforce company sizes

The dominance of the 1 to 10 employees range surprised us. However, we expect to see the startup companies with lower headcount to come out in force at events like this. It’s not a surprise to see the 11 to 50 employees range come in as the 2nd biggest segment here. Not many enterprise companies attended, in comparison to the startup companies. You could say that the SaaS market is made up of tons of these smaller companies and some growing to have big headcount, with that in mind it makes sense. Remember 68% of the attendees came from IT and SaaS companies, so the companies sizes of the attendees will reflect this.

Attendee Countries

dreamforce attendee location

Considering the event takes place in San Francisco, you’d expect the majority of the field to be coming from America. Canada isn’t too far away so it’s a surprise to see that 8% of people flew from the UK and only 3% came from Canada this year. We know that India is very up-and-coming in tech right now so it’s not a surprise that India is part of the list here, but maybe a surprise that it’s as much as 6% given the distance.

Attendee Job Functions

This is where we found the most surprising data. We expected huge dominance from sales and business development reps. But if you look back at the company sizes who attended, many 1 to 10 employee companies came this year. You’d expect their C level or Founder/Owners to attend if this is the case. And many times, SaaS or tech companies hire a lot of development or product people first.

With this in mind, we can start to see how the product, IT and marketing people made up a larger part of the field than we expected to see. So if you sell to sales teams, maybe Dreamforce wasn’t as full with out and out sales team this year as we thought it would be.


dreamforce data surprises

We reviewed the data ourselves over a period of a few days and thought about if Dreamforce would have been a good event for us this year. In actual pact, 8% of our current customers and pipeline attended. We’d love to hear if you expect higher or lower turnout from your customers and prospects.

Also, our last Infographic analyzed Hubspot’s Inbound event and we spotted that over 10% of the attendees there came to Dreamforce too. If you want to sell to the biggest and best in tech and SaaS, these 2 events seem to be where the money is right now.

Download the infographic here if you want to take a closer look. Drop us an email or a message on LinkedIn if you want to have us review an event you’re running or interested in…

Download Infographic

Driving Content With Intent: Testim.io Marketing Strategy Analyzed

We recently sat down to talk with Francis Adanza from Testim.io about his marketing strategy and to find where new opportunities for content or event marketing he’d not thought about lay. To do it, we looked at what content and events his ICP care about, what his competitors are doing in the same regard and then pulled out the overlaps.

When we’ve ran this type of analysis before, we usually find it can go one of two ways. First, there are tons of surprises and new opportunities for the company we analyze. This doesn’t mean that they’re off target in what they’re currently doing, but it means there is content that their ICP wants to consume that they could experiment with. The same goes for events, there may be events you’ve not heard of that the buyers in the space love. It doesn’t mean you’re doing a bad job at all, it means you’re looking at a golden opportunity.

On the flip side, sometimes the company we analyze are doing a stellar job of focusing on the right areas for content and events already – and anything their competitors are doing that’s too different doesn’t help the company we’re looking at. That’s a great sign, it means you’re on target and there may be a couple of small things to pay attention to and experiment with. But largely, these companies can just focus on execution, because their strategy is on target.

Let’s see how Testim.io’s marketing strategy is working…

Testim.io’s Marketing Strategy Breakdown

Testim.io’s marketing strategy is pretty light on events currently, but they’re looking at going bigger on events next year. The majority of their content strategy works around how they embed and get their content shared on sites like Quora and other 3rd parties. There are a lot of broad keywords that Testim.io and their competitors could talk about, but Testim.io prefer to stick to some of the more targeted ones than the overarching themes in some cases.

“DevOps” for example is a prevalent theme across their competitors’ content and webinars in particular, but it’s not as common in Testim.io’s marketing strategy.

So now we know how Testim.io see the lay of the land, what do they make of how their competitors are creating content?

Competitor Content

Testim.io’s competitors are producing content on some slightly different topics. Of course, you’d expect this as every company has a slight differentiation on what they do and how they see the market. It was interesting to hear why Francis thought that the competitors we analyzed were talking about these different topics and why he may experiment with some of them, but not all.

In some cases, competitors are talking about completely different topics compared to the company we analyze. In this case, the data shows that the vendors are talking about pretty similar topics.


Content Sub Topics

The key lesson here is how Francis wanted to explore the intent behind each content sub topic. This is so he can balance how much content his team should create around each topic.

For example, if his ICP love one topic they should probably create content on it. But they definitely should if the competitors aren’t talking about this topic very much. It depends on how much interest there is from the ICP.

On the flip side, topics the buyers show a little interest in could be worth exploring. But if the competitors rank well for it, it may be better to focus elsewhere.

Event Marketing

We found out early in the interview, event marketing will  be a bigger part of Testim.io’s marketing strategy next year. When we revealed the events their competitors go to and the events buyers attended, there were not many surprised. However, there was one event that the competitors were not going to and the buyers attended in their masses. This presents Testim.io with an opportunity to visit the event and get face-time with buyers without competitors around…

If you want your marketing strategy analyzed, talk to us. We do this for the fun of it. That, and the process of understanding the gaps in a marketing strategy. To understand where the opportunities are. Visit this page to watch the full webinar any time and fill out the form at the bottom if you want to do this with us.

Interview with Mark Colgan of TaskDrive: The Intent Data Action Plan

You may have heard, but we recently had Mark Colgan from TaskDrive join us on an un-gated webinar. You can watch it anytime here, but we wanted to gain insight on some fresh ideas to use intent data from Mark, who had not seen our data before. He had some awesome ideas after quickly reviewing the data we ran on his company TaskDrive, their competitors, industry events and keywords related to their offering.

In many ways, this conversation is very similar to every kick off conversation for new users of intent data. We went over what data was collected, what it means, but most importantly what we should do with it.

The data is most useful when you take action on it. So, here’s Mark’s plan…

3 Keys To An Intent Data Action Plan

Mark immediately covered 3 key pillars to any intent data action plan. Regardless of your industry, deal size, location or target market, you need to start with the planning of which touches you’re going to carry out and on which channels. After that, Mark suggested the first segment of intent data leads he would approach (which is very consistent with what we see and advise) along with why he would target this segment first. And lastly, Mark dropped his ideas on how to engage the large number of leads who engaged with content in a way that doesn’t turn those leads off. So, now let’s get into the specifics.

Planning Prospecting Touches

This is the single most important thing you can do to make a raging success of your use of intent data. Pre-planning what your specific touches will be, which channels they will be on and crafting that message is the biggest factor in your success here. Mark mentions below that he plans to use social, email and phone which may be exactly how you would plan to use intent data too. A great exercise to put yourself through before reaching out is to map your content against which keywords and competitors you’ve tracked. Work out in advance which pieces of content you can send to prospects that will catch their interest based on what you know about them. Or better yet, use Mark’s idea about pre-targeting…

Go Closest To The Money

Where should you pay the most attention? Look for the leads closest to to closing. Follow the money first. In Mark’s mind, this means you look at the people who engage with competitors first. If they engage with or follow competitors, they’re raising their hands to get information. To get content, blog posts, videos, educational material. This is an opportunity to send people your informative content too. Over to Mark to explain…

In our experience, this is the best way to go for most B2B companies. It’s pretty rare to find a company who have circumstances and a strategy to focus on other leads first. Although if this ever happens, it’s usually because they have a heavy emphasis on event marketing and choose to focus their energy towards leads at events.

Leads Engaging with Keywords

This is where things get interesting. There’s no throwing blankets over every lead and sending them the same content. You’ll need to be smart about what you want to show leads who engage with any keyword you track. Their interests and needs will be different. So how do you start that process? Begin with mapping out what content you have and which mediums you want to use as mentioned in the planning stage above. Then, go one level deeper with your content when you come to approach the intent data leads that engaged with keywords.

You may have some content around how to achieve a great result with X practice, but if you have a lot of intent data leads that engaged with this keyword it would be smart to test different pieces of content related to this on the leads. Think about what options you have and find the best route to generating engagement for your sales team to pick up and run with.

If you want your marketing strategy analyzed, talk to us. We do this for the fun of it and the process of understanding the gaps and overlaps in a marketing strategy. To understand where the opportunities are. Visit this page to watch the full webinar any time. And to try out some intent data leads of your own for free, try LeadSift Buzz (It’s free!)