1 Common Mistake With Using Intent Data And How to Avoid It

Posted on 23 Jul

Intent data is relatively new in the B2B world. New technologies take time to be understood fully, new processes and methods to use them come to the surface over time. But even now, we see one common mistake companies make when using intent data. We want to address it in this post so you don’t make it!

The problem is actually pretty big, it will impact your results from using intent data hugely.

Let’s get right into it.

Approaching Intent Data Leads

You work with an intent data provider so that you can approach intent data leads. Of course you will want to share the leads with your Sales team so that they can send emails, call and follow up on social media.

This is where the problem begins.

Sales has not been briefed properly on what to do with the leads, which means the leads are not approached with an optimal process. With that, the results are not optimal either.

Sales is not always briefed on what the leads are at all, in some cases. If you have not heard of or used intent data before, it may not be super obvious at first glance to work out why a lead is in your CRM.

If you’re a little unsure, check out this video for a refresher.

 

Symptoms

What we see is that when Sales have not got all the information they need about following up, they follow up in their own way.

Put simply, you cannot call an intent data lead and ask why they engaged with your competitor.

With that, intent data leads are unlikely to respond to blanket email cadences that don’t reference the intelligence you gain from using intent data. Putting these leads into any email cadence that’s not different to other campaigns you have means you’re not making the most of the intelligence you have.

This type of approach happens because of not knowing what the best way to deal with the leads is, but there is another side effect.

When Sales has too many leads to focus on, a common way Sales teams will try and deal with them all is to put them into low personalization email tracks. It’s not ideal but they will either not cope with the volume and leave some untouched due to prioritizing certain leads – or try to tackle them all in some way.

Solution

It all starts at the beginning. Understanding the volume of intent data leads you should get week on week is key. Working out how many leads your Sales team can handle per week is even more important.

If Sales can handle 50 to use a round number, you are going to need to prioritize which intent data leads they are given for follow up. It’s common to hand Sales the leads who engage with your competitors, these are commonly deemed the “hot” leads. These are the leads that are “most interesting” from a Sales standpoint.

So what do we do with the rest of the leads? Marketing has to help handle the volume.

Nurture

When this situation arises, the best thing to do with the leads Sales cannot handle is to nurture them to a warmer stage of the funnel where Sales will be able to pick them up. If a lead is further down the funnel, Sales will be able to prioritize that lead versus other leads they need to work more.

What kind of nurture tactics are we talking about?

Nothing groundbreaking. It’s not about re-inventing the wheel.

Want to learn amazing nurture techniques? Get the strategies of 27 world leading executives on how to engage buyers in this eBook!

Generally, the smartest process is to create advertising campaigns to target the intent data leads you want to nurture. Segment them by what type of information you have on them. This could be job seniority, their industry, which competitor or which industry buzzword they care about (your intent data provider will have shared this information with you).

Then, run ads to them sharing some of your gated content. The content needs to be relevant to the industry, buzzword or work they do of course. It is best to use top of funnel content if you can.

That is because your aim here is to get the leads to opt-in to your email list. You want to be able to send them more content, nurture them further and then pass to Sales.

It’s harder to gain opt-in if you promote a case study to these leads, as not all of them will want that information. So go for the top of funnel, light content that more people would be happy to consume.

Lead Hand-off

It is down to you to work out which stage of the funnel your intent data leads should be in before you hand them to Sales, after nurturing them. Not all leads will reach case study or request a demo stage via nurture. Not all will buy from you in the end, not all will enter your funnel full stop.

So you need to work out how many leads Sales can handle.

Then how many intent data leads go into your top of funnel. Over time you will be able to see how many reach the middle and bottom of your funnel. It will require some testing to begin with, but once you know how many reach the middle of funnel it’s easier to hand leads off to Sales at the right time.

When you have a fully functioning nurture campaign for intent data leads you will have leads coming to the bottom of your funnel, which may be the only time Sales is involved in the process at all.

Especially in busy markets like SaaS or Finance, intent data providers can offer a lot of volume which may be more than your Sales team can handle until this late stage in the process.

If you’d like to test a small sample of intent data leads, get 100 from us for free. We’re sure your Sales team can handle them!

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