What if you could know who was hunting for your solution? Maybe even researching your competitors?
How much would that help fuel your marketing and outbound team?
Now you can find those people and reach them on all channels. Right away.
With contact-level intent data plus direct dials, you can receive phone numbers, emails, and LinkedIn profiles of the 7% of your market that are actively in the buyer’s journey.
So you can call them before your competitors.
How to make a great cold call
Timing. Depending on your average sales cycle, nailing time is key to getting ahead of competitors. Use every tool you can to prioritize who’s looking now, and reach out to them first. This could be based on web traffic, content downloads, or signals of buyer intent. Timing means you can get to them first, and with relevant messaging.
Targeting. You have to know who you should be talking to. Go deeper than just knowing thier job title. What’s their role? What type of tasks are they working on? Are they at a large enterprise or a small startup? Are they working in a specific industry? Figure out the type of persona that sees the most success with your solution, then make sure those people are where you focus your efforts.
Messaging. Relevant messaging means everything. Once you’ve nailed down who to target, take time to understand them. What does their day-to-day look like? What are their pain points? What would make their life easier? This helps you make your calls conversations instead of pitches, and means you can pinpoint how you can help right away.
Touchpoints. It typically takes more than one call or email to get the ball rolling. Get in touch on multiple channels, multiple times. Stats used to recommend a 5 email sequence, but when it comes to a multi-channel approach, 20 touchpoints isn’t off base. Of course, test what works for you, iterate, and optimize.
Why does intent matter?
There are literally thousands of people you could be calling every day. But only 7% of them are actually looking to buy.
When you know who those people are, and which signals of intent they’re showing, your team reaps the benefits.
A morale boost – confidently reaching out to more people who want to hear from you feels good and builds momentum.
Higher conversion rates – isn’t of dumping time into leads that don’t even have your solution on the radar, focus on the ones who do.
An edge on competitors – know when people are looking into your competitors and talk to those leads before they do.
LeadSift identifies B2B prospects based on intent signals, qualifies them, and delivers them to your inbox. Whenever a prospect engages with your competitor’s content, or content published within your industry, LeadSift will discover and deliver them directly to you – complete with verified and accurate company and contact info. LeadSift data can now be enriched with direct dials so you can reach the right people, right away.
Eighty-one percent of marketers predict that the majority of their decisions will be data-driven by the end of this year. Big data drives marketing strategies in every industry. But with big data flooding in every day, marketers are still learning how to make sense of it all and use it in the cleanest and most productive ways.
The data you work with should help you refine your targeting strategies and develop actionable insights for your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). Ideally, it connects you with customers who are ready to purchase your solution and prepares you for what to do when you meet them.
Enter Intent Data. Intent Data provides high-quality information about buyers and accounts already in the buyer’s journey. Sales Hacker* magazine calls Intent Data one of the “hottest topics in the B2B sales and marketing space.”
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Intent Data: What is it?
Your potential buyers are out there right now searching for products and services you provide.
They’re consuming content and speaking with competitive representatives. Intent Data captures the information of target customers who are already inching their way through the buyer’s journey. Exactly what information Intent Data provides you depends on the source.
Businesses can track B2B Buying Intent across multiple different sources both online and offline. Software vendors rely on three sources of intent.
Picked up from your owned digital properties. First-party intent includes website visits, asset downloads, email engagements, product usage. First-party Intent Data could live in HubSpot or through visitor id companies like Lead Forensics. This data includes: contact name, company, job title, email, and phone number.
Second-party Intent Data is when a company sells their first-party data. They collect information on their users and then package it for other companies to buy. G2Crowd and Tech Target are examples of second-party Intent Data providers. This data includes: contact name, company, job title, email, and phone number.
Third-party data is intelligence mined from up-to millions of sources, websites, publisher networks, public forums, SEC filings, data co-ops, Ad networks, social networks, etc. The data collected isn’t specific. Usually this data includes only the knowledge that someone at a company has engaged with specific content, it’s up to you to guess who.
LeadSift’s Third-Party Intent
At LeadSift we take a fundamentally different approach in identifying Intent signals. We crawl and mine the public web and provide you with detailed contact level signals. Our team will tell you a contact’s name, company, job title, email, Linkedin profile URL, phone number, what tools they/their company uses, what intent signal they showed and what keyword that might be associated with, and more. 
We know B2B buying behavior is extremely complex so we cross-reference intelligence from multiple-sources to infer Buying Intent. It goes way beyond just content consumption on the Internet, some of the strongest Intent signals are actually latent or indirect. If we notice a company hires a new Director of Culture, that might be a signal of intent for an employee engagement company. Or if we learn from a SEC filing or podcast recording that a company is going to double down on IT security and compliance for next year, that could be a good indicator for a cyber security company.  [MOU6]
Making Intent Data actionable, measuring success, and developing appropriate programs are the top challenges B2B marketers face, according to TOPO’s Eric Wittlake [reference]. Treating Intent Data leads the same as every other lead is a mistake. Ask yourself how you can use these insights to supplement what you’re already doing to make your strategies more effective.
Leverage Intent Data for a competitive advantage in campaigns like ad buys and email nurtures. With Intent Data, you don’t have to wait for potential buyers to visit your site and give up their contact information before generating a lead.
Intent Data provides you with information about companies and the contacts within companies who are already actively searching for solutions, engaging with relevant content, and moving through the buyer’s journey across the entire web. Intent Data provides a whole picture of buyers including what they care about, the languages they speak, how they prefer to receive information, and what prompts them to act or buy. Then you reach out at the perfect time with the content and solutions they’re seeking.
Intent Data revolutionizes marketing strategies like inbound marketing because you’re moving from a place of reactivity to joining your target customers when and where they are on the buyer journey.
Actionable Marketing Strategies:
Custom ad audiences: Use contact-level Intent Data for more targeted and efficient ad strategies by creating custom audiences and target leads already in the buyer’s journey. On average, a person needs 7 impressions to make a buying decision. Intent Data shows you prospects who have already had a few impressions. You can then step in when the lead is warmer and have a higher chance of getting in the door.
Content strategy: Use Intent Data to see what your ICP is actively engaging with so you can tailor your content marketing to topics your target audience cares about.
Marketing nurturing: Segment and customize marketing nurture by intent signal and keyword for more meaningful and personal marketing touches. By the time a prospect reads your message, they’ll feel like you’re speaking directly to them – which you are.
Use Intent Data to supplement lead scoring models, prioritize sales leads, and improve personalization. Your current scoring models rely on user behavior on your own website, third-party data will arm sales representatives with a more accurate score of prospects. Then, they target leads early in the buyer journey and personalize the prospect’s experience based on their behavioral intent.
Actionable Sales Strategies:
“One of the biggest difficulties in outbound prospecting is targeting people and companies who have active initiatives related to our solution. The sales intelligence provided by LeadSift helps solve this problem since the prospects they deliver are engaging with industry content. This gives confidence to our SDR team that their messaging will resonate with LeadSift prospects, and confidence to our Account Execs that this company has a need Looker satisfies and represents a viable sales opportunity.”
Kyle Coleman, VP of Revenue and Growth at Clari (ex-Director of Sales Development at Looker)
Personalized solutions pitches: Use Intent signals to create personalized outreach based on the terms, competitors, events, and content that a prospect is engaging with. This helps boost conversions because your outreach is tailored to what the prospect cares about and isn’t just a generic sales email.
Prioritized leads: Focus on the warmest, most relevant leads to close sales more quickly. Since these leads typically fit your ICP and are showing interest in purchasing, you know they should be reached out to first. Most Intent Data providers also offer lead scoring models based on levels of intent.
Segmentation: Match prospects intent information with the right sales rep to ensure they have the best chance of conversion. Knowing what they’re looking for as well their personal interests allows you to match them with most qualified sales representatives.
According to Gartner*, 80% of a company’s future profits come from 20% of its existing customers.
Creating a positive customer experience is critical to your future growth. Use Intent Data to help customers address pain points and get the most out of your product. This ensures their loyalty, reduces churn risk, and identifies customers that would welcome an upsell or cross-sell.
“Finding intent-driven undiscovered leads. The data was strong. In more than one scenario we found current clients who were researching potential competitors. This allowed us to connect with them in a timely manner from a customer relationship-building perspective. Which opened doors for upselling.“
– Customer quote on G2
Actionable Customer Success Strategies:
Reduce churn risk: Identify when current customers are engaging with competitors. Intent Data provides an early warning system to alert you to existing clients that are looking at other options to your products and services so you can step in and formulate a strategy to keep them.
Identify upsell opportunities: Intent Data gives you a window into which offerings or expanded versions of your solutions that customers are engaging with. When you can make customers happy by identifying their needs and providing services they can use, you can upsell or cross-sell them on
McKinsey* noted in one survey that “happy customers are also willing to add services or upgrade their existing package.”
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Define your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). Who do you want to sell to? Once you define that, then you can use intel data to determine what leads are relevant to your ICP.
Audit your internal scoring criteria to determine which criteria triggers specific actions. Your marketing and sales teams should agree on lead definitions and the prospect journey. Otherwise, you’re at risk of losing the bulk of your prospects, according to Industrial Marketing Today. Marketing usually focuses on website engagement, social media interactions, content engagement, and similar behaviors. Sales focuses on company size, industry classification and other demographics. You have to join forces and resources.
The following lead criteria are widely used:
Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL): A MQL lead has been identified as more likely to become a customer based on their engagement with your content, including visiting your website or downloading resources. They’ve expressed interest, but they aren’t ready to buy yet.
Sales Accepted Lead (SAL): A SAL is ready to be handed off from marketing to sales. We know this because they have engaged with content in a predefined way as well as fit industry, company size, job title, etc. to be a fit for the sales process. They are ready to move to the next stage in the sales funnel. The sales team will do more research and look at more data.
Sales Qualified Lead (SQL): A lead that is ready to talk to a sales rep. An SQL has shown purchasing interest in the solution you offer. The goal is to complete the sale
Develop specific content for each stage of the funnel. This could be segmented by persona, industry, geography, company size, or intent signal.
Extract the core topic themes from each stage. Use this information to set up your intent triggers.
Gather actionable insights and craft your campaigns to match, including email, ads, and SDR outreach.
As with any marketing and sales strategy, it’s important to track how well Intent Data is working. Use the following metrics to continue adapting your strategies.
An increase in qualified leads
Higher close rates
Shorter sales cycle
Increased revenue per new customer
Improved pipeline velocity: Number of SQLs X current close rate X average revenue per new customer / total sales cycle days. Increasing your pipeline velocity is one of the secrets of revenue growth.
Intent Data in Practice
“Intent marketing is the life-changing magic of giving people what they want.”
Intent Data helps you understand your prospects better so that, suddenly, an account you would have otherwise ignored comes front and center to your attention. Consider these segments of prospects and how Intent Data helps you use your resources and efforts more effectively.
Company A DOES have the pain points you solve for, and they ARE aware of your solutions A high intent and high account score
Company B DOES have the pain points you solve for, and they ARE NOT aware of your solutions. A high intent and low account score
Prospect C DOES NOT have the pain points you solve for, and they ARE aware of your solutions. A low intent and high account score
Prospect D DOES NOT have the pain points you solve for, and they ARE NOT aware of your solutions. A low intent and low account score
With Intent Data in the picture, you don’t treat these accounts the same. Prospect D scores low in intent and account, and it’s not likely they need your services right now. Divert resources going towards Prospect D and put them to prospects who are farther along in their journey.
With first-party data, you know that over 90 days, only three people from Company A engaged with your site resources and shared their contact information. You would mark Company A’s representatives as “lower intent” and low priority, and you’d likely move your marketing resources elsewhere.
Second-party data provides a window into Company A’s behavior off your site. Company A is visiting your competitors on a regular basis and probably is in need of your solutions, they just aren’t aware of you. Second-party Intent Data scores this lead with “high intent” and worthy of a sales development representative’s (SDR) attention. In this case, you’d reach out to Company A with the segmented resources you’ve prepared and, hopefully, turn a prospect into a client.
Success happens when you get the right person at the right time at the right level of pain. Intent marketing makes that possible.
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The Power of Segmentation and Nurturing
Intent Data’s ability to effect segmentation and nurturing can have a major impact on your results. This is a client success story from LeadSift’s customer pool.
As part of their global marketing strategy, a leading content marketing software company organizes local events for brand marketers. They run email nurture sequences to invite marketers at target accounts, but the database they rely on is static and often outdated. It has trouble tracking a dynamic workforce where people change jobs and roles a lot and the team felt they were missing out on prospects.
They tested a new approach by reaching out to a highly engaged group of marketers in San Francisco and New York. To accomplish this, they used LeadSift’s Intent Data tool. They identified a group of marketers that had engaged with a competitor or industry content within the past month. They then uploaded the target audience into a Market Nurture sequence to invite them to the event.
The company observed an open rate of 42% and a click rate of 37.9% for their nurture email sequence‑ a 30X lift in the email engagement rate. “Using LeadSift intent to build an audience and run nurture campaigns has been a game-changer for us,” said the company’s Marketing Operations Manager. “We now encourage our entire sales organization to leverage LeadSift for their sales efforts. LeadSift is one of our competitive advantages, and we don’t want our competitors to find out.”
Harness Intent Data to Boost Your Existing Technology
When integrated into your existing technology, Intent Data can provide tens of thousands of leads that generate sales. Below is another LeadSift client success story.
When a Senior Manager of Marketing Programs joined her new employer, they already had LeadSift. Her first tasks included: putting a codified demand generation strategy in place and implementing automated marketing programs that aligned with the sales team. To accomplish these goals, it was key that she had quality data and a healthy influx of new contact intent signals.
She started by automating workflows with Intent Signals pushing directly into their marketing automation system (Marketo) and syncing with Salesforce CRM. This leverages Intent Signals for both their Sales and Marketing efforts at scale. During the nurture period, leads are excluded from any other outreach. But once they engage with a content piece or request a free trial, the intent trigger routes the lead to the right team in Salesforce. The team follows up and begins prospecting.
In twelve months, LeadSift provided their client with more than 25,000 new contacts, contacts they could have otherwise missed. LeadSift provides a constant stream to feed their demand generation efforts that eventually end up in successful sales.
Only 25%* of B2B companies are currently using Intent Data. That means most of your competitors are in the 75% who aren’t. Get your competitive edge by integrating Intent Data into your current marketing, sales, and customer service strategies. As you do, keep these key points in mind.
Intent Data leads are not the same as every other lead.
Intent Data gives you valuable context about buyers you previously had no insight into.
Develop an efficient process for actioning Intent Data to avoid wasting valuable insights.
Use Intent Data to supplement what you are already doing to make it more effective.
Request a free demo from LeadSift for a custom report of leads searching for your solutions.
Companies dedicate significant resources to improving their lead generation, trying to get as many potential customers into the top of their funnel as possible. It makes sense; after all, the more leads you have, the more customers you’ll end up with, right?
However, lead generation is only half the story. After all, a million new customers won’t do you any good if they stop using your product/service the very next day.
Instead, smart companies realize the importance of reducing churn and retaining their existing customers. Unfortunately, that’s often easier said than done. What causes customers to stop using your product/service, and how can you minimize this?
What is churn?
When people talk about losing customers, they will often refer to their churn rate. This is the number of customers, as a percentage of your total customers, that stop using your product/service in a certain period.
So, if you started the month with 1,000 customers, but 50 decided to quit, your churn rate at the end of the month would be 5%.
The lower the number, the better you are at retaining customers.
It sounds simple, but it has big implications for your business.
Why you need to prioritize reducing churn
With 82% of companies agreeing that it costs more to acquire new customers compared to retaining their current ones, it makes far more sense to prioritize your existing customer base.
Mitigating churn can have a massive impact on the metrics and KPIs you use to measure your business’s performance. If you’re losing customers, you’re going to be losing the revenue they bring in too. As a result, monthly recurring revenue (MRR) and annual recurring revenue (ARR), two metrics commonly used to measure the health of SaaS businesses, are going to take a hit.
If the churn rate is higher than customer acquisition, you’re in trouble. If they’re churning quickly and the customer lifetime value (LTV) is lower than the customer acquisition cost (CAC), you’re in serious trouble.
It’s not just a matter of replacing those customers though. A 5% increase in customer retention can produce a 25% or more increase in profits. It’s even possible to achieve negative churn, where the revenue earned from existing customers (through upgrades, cross-sells, and so on) is higher than the revenue lost through customers leaving or downgrading.
While there’s an obvious effect on revenue, a high churn rate is a warning, a symptom that something is seriously wrong with your service. Your brand reputation, maybe even your entire business, could be in danger.
Why do customers churn?
It’s not enough to recognize that churn is bad for business; you have to identify why customers are churning in the first place.
It might be a budgetary issue. As the coronavirus pandemic spread across the globe, companies cut any costs they could, restricting outgoings to just the bare essentials. UK marketing budgets were cut by their highest levels in over 20 years. While you might argue that your product is actually essential and provides a positive ROI, there’s not much you can do if the customer has no budget available.
However, in many other cases, churn is completely preventable. If a lead hasn’t been properly qualified, then realize the product doesn’t do what they expected after signing up, chances are they’ll quickly churn. In this case, you might have an issue with your qualification process, either on the marketing or sales side, that you need to resolve. While it may seem great to close a new deal today, it’s no good if they churn tomorrow. It’s a waste of time and energy that could be spent pursuing leads that are a good fit. Instead, it’s better for your sales and marketing to focus on the leads who’ll get the most value out of your product.
Of course, your product/service has to deliver the value your customer needs. If they’re getting a poor experience, whether that’s a clunky design or sub-par results, it won’t be long before they start looking for a better alternative.
The good news is that, with intent data, it becomes a lot easier to anticipate when a customer is likely to churn, then put steps in place to resolve their issue.
Using intent data to prevent churn
Once you know the reasons people churn, it’s easier to prevent it. For example, many companies now have a Customer Success team in place. Rather than traditional Customer Support teams, who usually only jump into action when a customer reaches out in need of help, Customer Success proactively works with customers to ensure they’re getting the maximum value.
One way they can do this is by leveraging intent data.
While buyer intent data is an excellent way of finding potential customers who are looking at products like yours, it can also be used after prospects have converted to clients to see if they’re sending out signals that show they may be thinking of churning.
For example, technographics are commonly used to see what technologies your prospective customers are using or trying out. However, if one of your existing customers has just signed up for a trial of a similar tool to yours, it’s a clear sign that they may be about to churn.
Even before they start signing up for demos, they’ll likely be giving off other intent signals. If they’re searching for competitors, engaging with their content, or visiting review sites, those are other potential signals that they’re in danger of churning.
Alternatively, their searches might indicate that they’re struggling with your product. If they’re having to Google how to do key tasks, then they’re likely confused or are struggling with your product, and it won’t be long before they start searching for another solution. This activity could even be happening on your site; if they’re spending an excessive amount of time on support pages or—even worse—looking up FAQs on how to cancel their contract, you need to know about it.
The knowledge gained from intent data can then be used to take appropriate action. In a post on CMSWire, Wilson Raj (global director of customer intelligence at SAS) shared how, when combined with analytics, intent data can be used to learn more about how your customers use your product/service and promote stronger engagement: “You can apply churn models such as uplift modeling and survival analysis to preempt customer defection with corrective actions, such as special offers or free upgrades.”
Beyond reaching out to the specific customers who are displaying the churn intent signals, the lessons you learn can be used to guide your overall product development, improving your service for all of your customers.
Achieving negative churn and increasing customer retention
Even when you address all of the potential customer satisfaction issues to minimize churn, you still might be missing out on opportunities. Even the happiest customer may look at other vendors for additional services if they don’t realize you can also provide them. If you offer a range of services, you must educate your customers on everything you can do to help them, a role usually handled by your Customer Success team. However, it’s likely that, despite your best efforts, some of your customers aren’t aware of all the services you offer.
By continuing to monitor buyer intent signals from your existing customers, you can see when your customers are looking for these extra services. At this point, you have an excellent opportunity to unlock additional revenue by cross-selling the service or helping them to upgrade. Companies like Amazon rely on cross-selling and product recommendations, which account for 35% of their overall revenue.
If they’re a satisfied customer, they’re far more likely to spend the money with a provider they already know and trust. By selling to your existing customers, you can move closer to achieving negative churn.
You can also use data to keep track of your most valuable customers and build stronger relationships. For example, if you see your contact has been promoted, or the company opens a new location, you can send them a message congratulating them. If a new contact joins the company, you can take the initiative to introduce yourself and ensure they’re aware of all the ways you can help them. By taking an interest in your contact and their company, you can build a long-term and mutually beneficial relationship.
While it’s great to have a pipeline full of fresh new leads, it’s important not to neglect the customers you already have. Churn is an important metric to track and can have a huge effect on the health of your business. By using intent data wisely, you can see when customers are facing issues and anticipate when they’re in danger of churning. You can also help your satisfied customers by offering complementary services they’re searching for and engaging with them. By retaining more customers and providing more value, you can build a stronger business.
Stay ahead of your customer’s switching to a competitor. Get a custom intent report to see where you stand.
MarTech, or Marketing Technology, is a constantly growing and evolving landscape. In 2020 alone it grew by 13.6% to a total of 8,000 companies operating in the MarTech space (according to chiefmartec.com). Some major names on this list include Amazon, Google, Salesforce, Adobe, and literally 7,996 more.
These tech-savvy marketing companies have tools behind them built to automate, manage, optimize, and convert. We took over 4,000 of the top companies in the MarTech landscape and enriched them with the tools behind the tech.
“Knowing what technology a company is using – can massively help with the lead qualification and prioritization process. Couple this information with Buying Intent signals and you have a dataset that allows you to engage your buyers proactively while understanding their real needs! With the launch of our Technographics today – every LeadSift customer can now have this incredibly powerful information at their fingertips.”
Tukan Das, CEO, LeadSift
How Can B2B Companies Use Technographics?
Meaningful sales and marketing personalization. When you can see what tools a prospect is using, or what tools are missing from their tool stack, you can better understand their workflow. This means your outreach and nurture messaging can be totally tailored to the prospect’s experience and needs, making the outreach more meaningful, personal, and valuable.
More targeted ICP criteria. By understanding the tech installs a prospect or customer has, you can target prospects that specifically use tools that complement your solution. For example, if your product integrates beautifully with Salesforce, it would be helpful to be able to target your outreach specifically to those already using Salesforce.
An edge on your competitors. With intent data backed by technographics, you can not only see when a prospect is engaging with a competitor, but you can potentially see if they already use a tool in your category. With this data, you can stay one step ahead of your competitors.
Reduced churn risk. Enriching your customer data with technographics and intent data and means you can see when a customer installs a new tool or engages with other options in the market. By identifying these pain points before a new tool is chosen, you can stay ahead of churn and often even identify expansion opportunities.
How do we know what tech they’re using?
Why does this matter?
Seeing the tool stacks powering the world’s major marketing and tech companies helps fellow marketers in a few ways. Like providing insight into which tools MarTech giants are using in their workflows to make your own tech buying decisions, or see which MarTech companies use your competitors.
But leveraging your own leads with technographic data is even more powerful. Especially when backed with intent data, technographics enrichment allows you to:
Generate more qualified leads and create better personalization in your sales process
Reduce churn and improve customer retention by knowing when your customers are looking into other solutions
Stay ahead of your competitor’s by knowing who their customers are, or when a prospect is looking at their solution
Technographics and the enriched MarTech landscape empowers marketers to dive into what leading organizations are doing and to take a deeper look at their own leads and process to create more meaningful sales and marketing tactics.
LeadSift identifies B2B prospects based on intent signals, qualifies them, and delivers them to your inbox. Whenever a prospect engages with your competitor’s content, or content published within your industry, LeadSift will discover and deliver them directly to you – complete with verified and accurate company and contact info. LeadSift data can now be enriched with technographics to show you the contacts tool stack for more qualified and personalized outreach.