As a marketing or sales professional, you’ve probably been endlessly preached to about the importance of using the data that you collect to inform your strategies and campaigns. They aren’t wrong, either. The data that your company collects is extremely important. Big data means big opportunities. Letting it sit on the shelf unused is leaving money on the table.

Still, your internal data is only a part of the equation and in most cases, is not the most important data that your company should have at its fingertips. In fact, the most important data for your company may not even be the internal data that you collect, but the intent data that comes from outside of your digitally owned properties.

Intent data allows you to better understand your prospects, customers, and leads. LeadSift’s intent data helps you to understand the big picture by seeing what actions your leads and customers take outside of your own properties. Whether they interact with a competitor’s piece of content, engage in social media conversations about your industry, or followed a competitor on Twitter — intent data keeps you in-the-know and enables you to take action. In 2017, 35% of B2B companies said that they plan to use intent insight within the next 12 months.

Customers Share More Openly With Their Peers

Understanding your customers is the key to effective marketing and sales campaigns. But can you ever fully understand your customers from the conversations that you have with them and the data that you collect internally? Not everyone is willing to speak up about issues and concerns that they have regarding your product.

Would you know if one of your current customers was engaging on a competitor’s forum or on social media? Not unless you monitor them very closely, probably not. Intent data allows you to see that. It allows you to learn more about your customers and prospects and learn more about what they truly think and feel about your product.

Intent data doesn’t just help you to improve your sales and marketing processes. It has a much more sweeping effect throughout organizations. Using external data to evaluate and improve the experiences of your customers and leads is valuable and allows you to be more agile and responsive to their needs.

Your Internal Data is Limited to Your Owned Channels and Platforms

When you limit yourself to your own internal data, reach is a huge concern. You will only know what you collect, and most companies don’t have the necessary tools and processes in place to reach their full potential with internal data. While companies should always work to improve their data collection and usage, intent data does provide a shortcut.

Investing in intent data immediately expands your reach within your market. You gain insight into new prospects, more information about existing accounts already in your sales pipeline, and insight into all relevant channels within your industry, not just the channels that your brand is actively pursuing. You can use intent data to better understand industry trends and use that understanding to position your company.

Better Enable Your Sales Teams

If you’re familiar with sales enablement, intent data can play in integral role in improving your sales enablement processes. Sales enablement focuses on providing your sales teams with the tools and content that they need to guide prospects through the buyer’s journey, addressing key subjects at the exact point in the sales process that they become relevant. Because of the high-priority content usage throughout the sales process in sales enablement, it also helps to better align your sales and marketing teams who can work together to produce content that finds uses in both departments.

Put simply, intent data gives your sales teams more ammo to work with. They’ll know more about the prospects they are in communication with and can better tailor the sales experience to address their biggest objections and needs. With real-time intent data from LeadSift, your sales reps can address and quell concerns before the prospect even raises them. What’s more valuable than that?

Improve Lead Scoring and Predictive Capabilities

How accurate would you say your lead scoring is currently? For most companies there is a lot of room for improvement. With a better understanding of each lead that enters your pipeline, you improve your predictive capabilities and allow both your sales and marketing teams to be more effective with their time. With increased understanding comes more accurate lead scoring.

Your sales reps will be able to better prioritize leads within the pipeline and work closely with marketing to develop and deliver content that specifically speaks to the needs of your highest-value targets. According to a recent report from Demand Gen Report, Marcom found that intent data allowed them to increase their prospect conversation rates by 25%.

More Efficient Prospecting Saves Sales Reps Valuable Time

Intent data shines in the prospecting department as well. Not only does it allow you to track and better understand prospects that are already in your system, but it also helps your sales teams to keep your lead pipeline full by identifying prospects that are actively engaging in the buying process for solutions like yours.

If your company provides project management software and someone posts on a popular Facebook group looking for recommendations for project management solutions, that is a very hot prospect that is currently in the research stage. Without intent data, that opportunity would almost surely be missed by your team. Intent data allows your sales teams to get in early and involve your solution in the evaluation process from the moment that interest is identified.

Identifying new leads that are in the process of evaluating solutions like your own is a huge time saver for sales teams. The difference between identifying already-interested prospects and cold outreach is immense. Your sales teams will love that they can stop wasting their time with low-conversion prospecting and focus on actively engaged leads instead.

Understand Buying Teams In Full

In B2B sales, it is rare that your sales reps will only interact with a single person within an organization before closing the sale. In enterprise sales, 61% of buying teams include five or more people. Each has their own concerns and needs that must be catered to in order to effectively close the sales. Sales reps may be forced to address varying objections from each stakeholder.

The more information that you can collect on these buying teams, the more effectively you can engage with the group as a whole. It just wouldn’t be possible to understand the concerns and motivations of everyone within a buying team without having access to third-party data outside of your digitally owned properties.

Intent Data Improves Organizations Across the Board

These are just a few of the reasons why intent data is the most important data that you have, even surpassing the internal data that you collect on your customers and prospects. Intent data allows companies to improve on several fronts including marketing, sales, and customer experience.

It arms your teams with the data that they need to make personalized decisions for customers and prospects that improve their experience and improve conversion rates across the board. The value of intent data comes from its ability to allow your teams to focus on what truly matters.Want to learn more about how intent data could be the most important data that your organization has access to? Contact us today to schedule your demo and find out how LeadSift’s intent data could change your marketing and sales teams for the better.