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What is intent data and why should B2B marketers take it seriously?

What is intent data and why should B2B marketers take it seriously?

LeadSift’s CEO and Co-founder Tukan Das hosted a live YouTube webinar featuring David Crane VP Marketing at Intentsify, Jamie Romero VP Corporate Marketing at Fortinet, and Kathy Macchi VP Consulting Services at Inverta where they discussed two of the hottest strategies in B2B Marketing;  ABM and buyer intent. They were doing ABM and intent data before it was cool. Let’s dig into the types of buyer intent, what it is, and what it isn’t.

What is intent data?

Intent data is an aggregation of all of the data that you can collect on your prospects that you can use to inform marketing decisions based on activity that indicates a potential intent or interest in your solution or product.

There is a misconception in the industry that there’s just one type of buyer intent and that you must use it in a certain way. In fact, there are two types that should be used together to fully harness the power of intent.

Types of intent data

  • Internal or first-party data: gleaned from weblogs, marketing automation systems, or application logs that show intent or interest. You should get first-party buyer intent by tracking your own website or tracking engagement.
  • External data: First-party buyer intent is of little value alone. Once you have it, you should add different layers of external data available from various vendors who all source their data differently. External data could include information you glean from B2B publishers, their website tags or bid stream data taken from the Ad Exchange, publisher site data, co-op data, or from sites that use user registrations like G2 Crowd. What you’re looking at are those topics and keywords that flag that people searching are interested in your solution.  No one type of external data is better than another – they all provide their own picture piece of the puzzle and bringing those all together will give you a more holistic, sophisticated, and nuanced view of your target audience. 

Intentsify offers a platform that aggregates multiple intent data sources. They believe that there’s a lot of value from all these different intent sources but that using each source in a vacuum isn’t really of value. Bringing them all together helps marketers to digest all that data quickly in a meaningful way and then activate that data through turnkey style solutions.

The benefit of using external buyer intent in addition to internal is that, with enough external data, you can really get an idea of whether someone is in-market at the relevant time rather than having to wait until they visit your site and you are able to collect first-party data.  To get maximum value, you should have a strategy for how you are going to use buyer intent from the outset – and before you invest in the data itself.

What intent data isn’t

Google Data – Everyone feels they should have buyer intent, they have heard the buzz and, as a result, they want to know what people are searching on Google. That’s Google data and there is no way you’re getting that!

Data on what your customers are doing on your competitors’ websites – you’re not going to get that kind of data either.

A silver bullet for B2B marketers – rather it is just one very useful tool to add to your toolbox.

The next article in this series dives into why you should be investing in First-Party buyer intent now and its use cases. Find it here or watch the full webinar on YouTube.

About LeadSift

Preferred by the most innovative and data-driven businesses, LeadSift is the most actionable provider of intent combining comprehensive data with meaningful insights. We sift through unstructured public data so companies can easily identify, understand, and engage in-market audiences with creatively relevant, personalized outreach. As a result, companies can move their pipeline faster than ever before.

Don’t miss out on in-market leads

How to use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to generate Buyer Movement leads

How to use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to generate Buyer Movement leads

In the final installment of our series serving up the key takeaways from LeadSift’s CEO and Co-founder Tukan Das’ YouTube Live Buyer Movement Masterclass with Blake Johnston of OutboundView, we’re giving you the full rundown on how to use Sales Navigator to generate leads for a Buyer Movement campaign.

Sales Navigator is the key tool when it comes to searching user lists for Executives who have recently moved employer.  Validating where executive employees moved to when they left your existing client company and how long ago they left is simple and Blake told us exactly how OutboundView does it.

7 steps to generating Buyer Movement leads with Sales Navigator

Step 1: Use the Sales Navigator search function to set out the search parameters. These should detail what you want from a client based on your normal criteria for your ideal customer profile.

Step 2: Use the Company Panel in the search to limit your search to an existing company or companies’ executives.

Step 3: Switch the filter in the company panel from ‘Current’ to ‘Past not current’. That is the key tool that will show you who previously worked at the company or companies that are your existing clients and are now at companies that you don’t currently work with….and who could be instrumental in that new company buying your product/service.

Step 4: Input the seniority of the employees that you want to search for and hit search.

Step 5: Review the search results to identify potential leads. When did they leave their previous company? This data is critical for deciding if it is relevant to you to reach out to them. You need to make a decision based on what is right for your company). OutboundView usually focuses on people who have moved employers within the previous 3 years.

Step 6: In a spreadsheet, track first name, last name, year left, past company, past title, and new company – this is the key information for using in messaging. You can use LinkedIn tools to automatically pull out the data that you need.

Step 7: Repeat regularly – a minimum of every 90 days (LinkedIn shows who has moved within the last 90 days). Sales Navigator will create a custom URL for your search that you can use repeatedly – the search will need updating with new leads and your new client companies regularly too. Once you have the data in your CRM, there are automation tools that can help with the process.

Usually, it doesn’t make financial sense to have an insider doing this job – that’s where outsourcing to someone on Upwork comes in. OutboundView often outsources to freelancers found on Upwork (they’ll charge around $10 an hour).

When to add leads to your CRM

Blake recommends that you add all leads to your CRM straight away and set up a low hanging fruit campaign as soon as possible to see who has an immediate need.

You will be continually adding contacts so, ideally, you need to constantly update your Sales Navigator searches with existing clients and make sure that everyone moving in/out of clients is getting into your CRM. Just as there is a need to regularly repeat your Sales Navigator searches, you should also be regularly cleansing your CRM.

What to do with the Buyer Movement leads

With LinkedIn DM being the most successful outreach method for Buyer Movement campaigns, you will want to write a custom connection note to each of your leads (either whilst you’re researching or at a later date), but you can’t get their LinkedIn URL directly from Sales Navigator. To find them either:

  • Manually track their LinkedIn personal URL
  • Use checked.outboundview.com  which will find the prospects that you identified using Sales Navigator, on LinkedIn for free
  • If you are searching for LinkedIn contacts out of your CRM, you will probably have to Google them to find them on LinkedIn if you’re not using the check tool

Using a LinkedIn search you can see who has posted in the last 30 days, that’s who you want to run campaigns with – not those who aren’t active on the platform.

Reaching out to the leads that you’ve identified

We discussed this fully in a previous blog post, so below is a brief outline. Check out the previous post for more details.

  • LinkedIn connections – keep it basic, for example: “I saw you worked with one of our previous customers X, would love to connect.” 
  • Emails – the best subject lines are “Past employer name” or “Our work at Past employer name”. Make sure to mention the previous employer in the first 3-4 lines because they are probably reading it on a mobile device. Use questions such as “Did you work at all with our product “x” and reference how you helped a division within their previous company. Say something like: “I see that you are now at XX in XX role. Would you be open to a conversation to see if our product could help at your company?”

The previous articles in this series focused on why you should focus on buyer movement and how to track outbound movement. Together, all three articles form a thorough rundown of Buyer Movement strategy shared with us by OutboundView’s Blake Johnston during our Live YouTube Masterclass.

Watch the full video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfSkBECFQ40

Want to kickstart 2021 with more relevant, in-market leads?


How to track buyer movement and re-convert leads

How to track buyer movement and re-convert leads

Continuing our series serving up the key takeaways from LeadSift’s CEO and Co-founder Tukan Das’ YouTube Live Buyer Movement Masterclass with Blake Johnston of OutboundView we’ve got the full rundown on how to track buyer movement and how you can run a buyer movement campaign for prospect outreach yourself – without significant tech investment.

We’re keeping it bite-sized and easily actionable.

Why focus prospecting activities on recently moved executives?

Employee turnover is high – in August 2020 5,000+ C Suite executives at the VP level or above changed jobs in US companies of 1000+ (track it via www.buyermovement.com or check out this helpful guide) and when they move from one of your existing customers/clients, they carry with them some of the goodwill that you have built with that company. Added to that, new employees are most likely to implement their strategies 2-12 months after moving to a new employer. Whether they have worked with you or not, they probably came into the new company with a plan to make changes, bring in new providers and people they know, so it makes sense to target them.

The results of OutboundView’s buyer movement campaigns

Buyer movement campaigns beat cold outreach in all industries that OutboundView have run this type of campaign against. They have seen average outreach values compared to cold outreach of:

  • 2x Open Rates
  • 3x Click Rates
  • 3x Meeting Rates
  • 5x More Likely to Buy

Not only that, but they also see faster movement of very high quality leads through the pipeline. In fact, they are much closer to those more commonly seen with a typical inbound lead. All by using a simple process with no crazy sales tactics and nurturing those leads that they identify in a bespoke way. This is one of OutboundView’s most solid outreach signals. With a buyer movement campaign, Blake would expect that an inside salesperson, setting an average of 6-10 meetings per month, would see an increase to much closer to 20-25 meetings.

So, how do you run a buyer movement campaign?

It all centres around three basic platforms which are:

  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator
  • Upwork, or similar
  • Your own CRM

How to find the leads

This is a strategy that requires a significant time investment (that’s where Upwork comes in!) in upfront research and then systematic, but simple, follow up based around:

  • LinkedIn – where OuboundView see the most consistent results

Search individuals who have left an existing or past client and have moved somewhere that you care about.

  • CRM

Track existing contacts in your CRM associated with your clients – where have the people who used to work at your existing clients moved to?

  • Marketing Automation

Track existing subscribers to your automated marketing; and/or

  • User Lists

For those industries in which the user is also the buyer you may be able to use user lists. For example, if someone goes through your sales training, they might be getting into sales leadership, so you could reach out to them. And, if you can find enough leads, there is no need to do traditional outbound prospecting at all.

How to Approach leads generated through tracking buyer movement

By Email:

  • Use their previous employer’s name as the subject line. Itsignificantly increases the chance of  the email being opened and beats all other subject lines tested by OutboundView.
  • Mention the previous employer as soon as possible in the body text
  • Say that you see that they have moved to a new employer and give that employer’s name
  • Reference their previous role and the work that your company did with that employer
  • Reference their new role
  • Ask if they would be open to a conversation – keep the call to action short and sweet – there is no need to labour it.
  • Send a second email on day 3, referring to the first and almost exactly repeating the wording of the first one.

Linked In Direct Message:

  • Send a connection request to leads that you have identified.
  • Send Videos and custom messages along the same lines as the email outline above.
  • LinkedIn DM campaigns have the highest conversion rate seen by OutboundView in buyer movement with 70% of connection requests accepted when the previous employer was mentioned and a higher rate of conversions to meetings than email or phone.

Call & Voicemail  

  • Request a conversation in a similar way to the email outline above. Phone outreach has been the least successful method used in buyer movement outreach.

Kickstart 2021 with more relevant leads


Why buyer movement is the future of outbound sales

Why buyer movement is the future of outbound sales

It is becoming increasingly difficult to create meaningful sales outreach that actually converts not just to meetings but also to customers. LeadSift’s CEO and Co-founder Tukan Das invited Blake Johnston of OutboundView to join us for a Live YouTube Masterclass on buyer movement and different dynamic signals that salespeople can use for prospecting.

OutboundView helps organizations design, develop, and implement successful outbound sales strategies with the majority of their work focusing on outsourced sales development; opening doors, and appointment setting for their clients via calls, email, and LinkedIn.

Buyer movement (sometimes known as Champion Tracking) has given OutboundView the all-important edge so, in this article, we explore what buyer movement actually is and its value in your business.

What is buyer movement?

Tracking Executives that move between your existing client companies and other, non-client companies and focusing prospecting activities on connecting with them because of that connection.

Often the moves of buyers and champions take them from an existing client of yours to a new company where they can buy from you again. That switch can result in the very best type of lead – inbound leads from champions who come back to you having worked with you whilst with a previous employer.

But that isn’t the only opportunity offered by executives moving employers; buyer movement offers a step up from a normal cold lead (‘right company, right job title’). With buyer movement, you have a different trigger which is their connection with their previous employer. This is so much better than ‘right company, right job title’ because it enables you to start a conversation with:

“Hey, we used to work together while you were at a previous employer and now you’re in a similar position at a new employer, should we start a conversation about whether it makes sense for us to work together there?”

This is a conversation starter that beats cold outreach hands down.

And…its application is wider than you might think.

This approach isn’t one that exclusively works with former buyers or champions – you can do the same outreach with other Executives who have moved from a company that you currently work with to a new company too.  In fact, they don’t even need to have pre-existing knowledge of your product/service!

Why? Because the connection within their previous employer is the thing that starts the conversation. And, of course, getting that conversation is the biggest battle in outbound sales. Then, as the conversation continues, they will know where to go to vet their previous employer’s opinion of your company.

Key takeaways:

  • Prospects that already know your company or product may become inbound sales or very warm leads in a buyer movement campaign
  • But, prospects don’t need to know your company or product, having a connection with their previous company is enough
  • Mentioning their previous employer is the thing that starts the conversation – it gets past the trust issue and allows you to move quickly on to asking for the meeting

Jumpstart 2021 with dynamic intent signals for your prospects

A Guide to the First 100 Days of Intent Data

A Guide to the First 100 Days of Intent Data

So you understand the value of intent data, you’ve made sure you have everything in place to kick-off successfully, and you’ve got your CMO on board. What’s next? Well, even though 99% of intent data users report at least a moderate impact, it’s not a silver bullet. Get started right within your first 100 days of intent data to be set up for success for the long haul.

Days 1 to 7

Making sure your initial moves with intent data are solid is an important step for the rest of the process. Think of it as a chain reaction – if the first part works well, the rest should hopefully follow. This means the first week of your 100 days of intent data is the time to set measurable, realistic goals and make sure everything is in place to receive the leads as smoothly as possible.

Define Your Ideal Customer Persona

Take a look at your most successful customers. The ones that see great results from your solution, champion you to others and keep renewing. These are the people you want to model your ideal customer persona (ICP) after. 

The trick here is balancing between being specific enough that you only get qualified leads based on your definition, without ruling qualified people out. Set your ICP criteria, then optimize as time goes on (see days 8-30).

Example: Senior Marketers at B2B Software Companies with 50-200 employees.

Build ICP Outreach Tactics

The only way to know it’s working is to start actioning the data. But, it’s important to do so in a meaningful way. Not just meaningful to you, but crafting outreach ads, emails, and content that are valuable, targeted, and touch on the pain points your contacts actually care about.

“Marketers have noted a 760% increase in revenue from segmented campaigns.”

Campaign Monitor

Set Up Integrations

Teams that collect their intent data through marketing automation or CRM integrations see the most success. Aberdeen found that companies integrating their intent solutions saw 9% higher operating profits and 8% increases in the customer bases year-over-year.

Days 8 to 30

Now you’re set up. Time to optimize for what’s working and get rid of what’s not. Whether your intent data’s missing some key job titles, or your emails need some extra love to boost conversions, now’s the time to fix it.

Take a look at the data

Do these contacts fit your ICP? Are these companies relevant to the industries you sell to? If yes, great! If not, it’s time to make changes to your campaign setup. Work with your intent provider to make sure you’re targeting the right people at the right time. 

This is an iterative process that you should keep an eye on in general, but trying to get it as close as possible to correct early on is a game-changer. 

Update your outreach with intent signals

You already have ICP specific outreach tactics. Now it’s time to bulk them up with intent signals. You know exactly what these contacts are engaging with so you can tailor your touchpoints to the things they actually care about. 

Include topics they’re engaging with in your email subject lines. Find and attach resources surrounding their mentioned pain points. Ask them about the event they attended. Talk about the tech they’re using.

Intent data allows you to create actual, meaningful outreach past the classic “Hi [first_name], I saw your post on LinkedIn…”. When you leverage it, you can craft emails and ads that speak to your target audience and meet them where they are.

Days 31 to 90

Create content around what your ICP care about

Analyze the intent signals in your data. Are there any trends? Are most of your ICP prospects engaging with the same topics or events? Everytime you’ve wished you could read your audiences minds, now’s your chance. You know what they’re engaging with so create content to complement that. 

This includes touching on pain points, trends, and even buyer’s guide that they’re already interested in reading about. For example, if you see actively engaging with your competitors, now might be the time to release a competitive guide, or publish some positive reviews.

Retarget with ads

One of the most powerful tools to leverage using contact-level intent data is custom ad audiences. In 2020, a prospect needs to see your brand five to seven times to remember it. These intent-based leads are already in-market, making them warmer and often easier to reach.

Using a list of contacts already showing intent, plugging that into Facebook, Google, or LinkedIn, and retargeting them with meaningful ads (see above) leads to a much higher conversion rate. You can then build lookalike audiences based on these lists to reach even more people.

Days 91-100

So you’ve reached the end of your first 100 days of intent data. By now you should be comfortable with integrating, actioning, and optimizing your data. This is where the part about intent data being an iterative process rings true. Keep optimizing. Update based on trends and best practices. Test new ideas.

Keep in mind intent data works when you do. Having intent data and not using it is like buying a gym membership and not going, you won’t see results. Make sure you are consistently actioning the data. Segment and prioritize your lists to reach the most relevant accounts first and automate the rest. No lead left behind. If you have leads that you think aren’t qualified to be nurtured, it’s time to go back and optimize your campaign settings.

Ready to start generating more relevant leads?

We’re Hiring – Sales Manager

We’re Hiring – Sales Manager

At LeadSift – we’re building a Sales Intelligence Platform to predict Buying Intent by mining the Public Web. We help B2B organizations identify and reach their best prospects at the right time. Over 100 of the leading B2B SaaS companies use LeadSift to help optimize ad spend, marketing nurture campaigns, and sales outreach.

We are looking for a Sales Manager to help us keep growing and work hands-on with prospects and customers through the buyer journey. Your job will be to develop and execute sales strategies, sell the value of LeadSift, going the extra mile to meet prospects where they are. You’ll be responsible for building relationships and driving sales. To be successful in this role you need to be hungry, with a passion for sales and a deep understanding of MarTech and the B2B SaaS world.

You’ll be part of a strong, hard-working team in a startup environment, and learn hands-on about our industry and our customers. We love people who can set their own direction, are self-motivated, and are passionate about what they create. See Level 5 team-mate.

LeadSift is backed by some of the most prominent venture investors including OMERS Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, Innovacorp, East Valley Ventures, and a stellar group of angel investors.

Full Time / Halifax, NS / Starting Immediately

Responsibilities

  • Develop and execute compelling sales strategies in line with company goals
  • Meet and work closely with prospects to create and close deals
  • Build and maintain strong relationships with prospects and customers
  • Be the voice of LeadSift to our prospects – pitching value first in a data-driven way
  • Understand not only current use cases but keep an eye on industry trends to keep evolving processes
  • Negotiate price and other terms with customers
  • Identify opportunities to cross and upsell new and existing customers
  • Work closely with Marketing to make sure strategies are aligned and communicate market signals
  • Demonstrate creativity and drive when it comes to closing deals

Skills

  • 3+ years of SaaS sales experience
  • Consistent track record of 100%+ of quota achievement as a manager/individual contributor
  • High proficiency in modern sales methodologies and sales process
  • Strong knowledge of CRM and knowledge of Marketing Automation systems (Hubspot or similar)
  • Scrappy, data-driven, and entrepreneurial mindset – you have to love sales
  • Some technical knowledge or interest – the ability to understand and speak clearly about technical topics. You don’t need to know everything but you need to be open to learning.
  • Articulate and creative people-person – you feel like you could find common ground with almost anyone
  • Thrives under pressure and keeps a positive attitude when things get busy
  • To show you paid attention – put “target” in your application email’s subject line
  • BONUS: Started an online business or project (<< Highlight this in your application)
  • BONUS++: Strong personal brand in Linkedin / Twitter

Benefits

  • Start-up culture = being able to get your hands dirty with many things at once
  • Full health benefits from day one
  • 10-days vacation + statutory/federal holidays + we also take the last week of the year off
  • Regular team lunches
  • Equity Options

Send your resumes to [email protected]. Along with your application, please include links to any side projects (i.e. Github, HackerNews, your own website)