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“Sales is challenging right now” is a huge understatement. The economic landslide we find ourselves in has been earth-shattering for the sales industry. In fact, one survey conducted by Business 2 Community found that 74% of B2B Sales Reps say their sales opportunities have decreased since the Coronavirus outbreak. However, the news is not all negative. 26% of respondents report a jump in sales opportunities. What are they doing differently? How can you be in the percentage of sales teams that are thriving?

Strengthen your competitive position. Gain an edge over your competition. Be a source of information for buyers. That is one of the key pieces of advice emphasized by trusted advisor Gartner. How can you do that? Focus on investing in customer relationships with companies that are resilient during the economic downturn. LeadSift is helping sales teams do just that. We’ve used our technology to identify companies that are resilient during the current economic downturn, making them ideal prospects for your business.

What is Intent Data and How do We Use it?

Imagine being able to filter through all your leads and pick out ones you know are in need of your services and ready to buy. Intent data makes that scenario a reality. At LeadSift, our goal is to help B2B companies identify more relevant leads based on intent.

Intent data is gathered by looking at the online behavior of potential buyers. For example, it might be based on website visits and time spent on those websites, product reviews, online subscriptions to newsletters, attendance at webinars, or simply an increase in content consumption on a specific topic.

Why is it effective? Research from Gartner found that during the B2B buyer’s journey, the amount of time actually spent talking to a sales rep may only be 5% or 6% of the buyer’s journey. The rest of the time buyers are doing their own research. That means by the time the buyer engages with a salesperson, they are almost entirely through their journey. Intent data allows you to intercept buyers early in the journey, ensuring they don’t end up with one of your competitors.

Including intent data in your sales strategy is now more important than ever. As companies are forced to close their doors, delay projects or drastically cut staff, their priorities have shifted overnight. It’s possible that your list of hot leads has turned cold as ice overnight. Your traditional lead generation strategy is most likely completely irrelevant now. Unleashing the power of intent data allows you to generate new leads or better understand the shifting priorities of your current prospect list.

Identify Resilient Companies

Companies across industries are venturing into uncharted waters. While many have seen sales come to a standstill, others have experienced exponential growth. Overall, experts are predicting most major economies will lose at least 2.4% of the value of their gross domestic product over 2020. For sales teams, their efforts are futile if they continue targeting leads as they did pre-COVID. Streamlining your lead generation process to filter companies who are thriving during this economic downturn will put you in front of buyers who are ready to purchase.

Intent data is key to identifying companies that are resilient during the economic downturn. LeadSift curated a list of companies that meet that criteria by monitoring the following online behaviors and signals.

• Companies that are actively running marketing programs, including virtual conferences, webinars and paid media campaigns.
• Companies who are maintaining their content stream through blogs, whitepapers, e-books and other forms of content marketing.
• Companies who are hiring for new roles.

In order to provide top quality leads, our team looked at companies that showed these growth signals between March 26 and April 6. Our research yielded 17,000 accounts ranked globally that are potential prospects. Details, such as company name, industry, size and location are also provided. You can view the list here.

Use Intent Data to Enable Buyers

Gartner’s research found that the B2B buyer’s journey has been changing long before we had even heard of COVID-19. Months ago, they emphasized the importance of “buyer enablement.” Why do we need to enable buyers? Seventy-seven percent of buyers they surveyed said their last purchase was complex. The number of decision-makers, as well as the growing number of solutions available make buying a difficult process.

“The single biggest challenge of selling today is not selling, it is actually our customers’ struggle to buy,” said Gartner VP Brent Adamson. How does intent data solve this struggle? Intent data provides the road map you need to find out who those struggling buyers are. Sales teams must focus on providing buyers with information that is specifically designed to help them complete the buyer’s journey.

Gartner defines buyer enablement as “the provisioning of information to customers in a way that enables them to complete critical buying jobs.” Shift your focus from selling to enabling prospects that are ready to buy. Intent data tells you exactly who those buyers are. View yourself as simply another channel the buyer is using to consume information about solving their problem(s).

In Conclusion

Social distancing. Flattening the curve. Stay-at-home orders. We’ve all had to get used to new terms and change. That includes changing the way we do business. Motivational speaker Ian Rose reminds us, “We are on a constant curve of continual development anyway throughout life.” Developing a resilience when it comes to change has the potential to be extremely rewarding. Changing the way you do business, connect with clients and identify prospects will take you through this difficult time, and help you learn more efficient ways to work going forward.

Is learning a more effective method of prospecting a valuable skill? Absolutely. View the new economic environment as a part of personal development. Learning new skills is a chance to take on additional responsibilities, improve your value to your sales team and open doors for future advancement.

See how utilizing intent data can boost your sales strategy by reading LeadSift’s latest eBook entitled, Real Life Intent Data Success Stories.

If you need help decreasing your costs per lead, you can check out our free account insights.