Intent data leads are pure gold for marketing and sales. Even customer success teams now, too. Just like when you’re picking up a gold watch, you don’t rush to grab it. You take your time, ensure it’s handled gently and in the proper manner.

You certainly don’t wear it and start washing your dishes up straight away. Intent data leads deserve the same respect. You’ll burn and scratch them if your sales team picks up the phone and asks them why they’d be looking at competitors.

There are ways to handle these leads optimally so that you capitalize on the intent the leads show to buy. But don’t make assumptions on how far down the buying cycle they are. Not all leads are the same and need the same treatment, including intent data leads.

Stage 1: Intent Data understanding

Almost the biggest part of approaching intent data leads the right way is understanding them and what they are not.

They are not leads who are asking for a contract to be sent over immediately, they are showing intent to buy from you or a competitor (via one source or another). You need to think of intent data leads like you would if your friend has set you up on a date with their friend… we’re going with the dating being like sales analogy again.

Picture the scenario. Your friends sets you up a on date with one of their friends. You ask them a little bit about what the person is like so that you don’t walk into the date blind of any information at all.

You don’t need to know everything about them and their life immediately, but knowing some top level and important things is helpful. Things like they have a tough job which means they cannot communicate during the day via phone. They like to relax at the weekends because of the same reason. This information will alter your approach and how you engage the person.

Stage 2: Cherry picking

So, you get your intent data leads served into your CRM.  What now?

The best strategy is to identify which ones you want to talk to first. There will be leads who looked at your competitors and engaged with them, along with leads who performed a less significant action but still showed intent to buy. So naturally, go for the higher-importance lead.

If you have too many leads for sales to reach out to directly, doing this is especially important. Don’t drown in these leads. Marketing can use them and give them back to you when they are further qualified if you need them to be.

So cherry pick, find the best leads first and approach them with care and personalization.

Stage 3: Fish with bait

So now you are reaching out to the best of the bunch. It’s certainly time to personalize your outreach and forget sending blanket emails to everyone.

These leads are giving you more information, so you can add more context and get more responses from your work. So use it.

Here’s how our team uses the context of intent data leads to personalize our outreach…

Engaged with competitor

If a lead engaged with a competitor, check out what makes that competitor different to you. Are they famous for a specific feature they have which is amazing, or are they cheaper or the cheapest on the market. You do not need to say “Hi, we’re more expensive because we’re better”. But if you can use your logic to tailor your messaging based on what you know about the company the lead shows intent to buy from, you get better response rates.

Engaged with industry keyword or trend

This a simpler to work with. If you see your intent data leads engaging with the latest buzzword or content related to one of your services, send them content. Try and help them with what is going on in their work. Ask them to share their thoughts or ask them about their experiences and ideas. This is a super light way to make conversation and be a valuable person in their inbox.

Engaged with industry event

We’ve all had those emails asking if we are going to a particular event just before it starts. Depending on when you get your data and if a lead is actually at an event because it is happening now, you need to tailor your outreach.. For the majority of the time, your leads will be looking at an event that is due to happen soon. You can ask these leads if they are planning on going and which speakers they know, etc. Book a meeting for when you’re getting there, rather than asking them when they’ve been asked by tons of other reps.

Stage 4: Nurture

This is marketing’s work in the main. For all of the leads that sales has not cherry picked, take these leads and use them in your marketing. Send the right content (using the same processes as above) to the leads by advertising and targeting.

All you need to think about here is, can we generate enough engagement ourselves with these leads who we know are interested in one way or another. Then we can pass the leads to sales when they are warmer. There will nearly always be too many leads for sales to handle every week. Which means marketing can use them, naturally marketing have tools to do things at scale where sales cannot. This is why practices like advertising or email marketing are so helpful.

Serve ads to your content on specific topics to the leads who engaged with that same topic. Serve ads to the leads who looked at events if you know the main topic of the event is about a particular subject. Do things that would take sales way too long, do it in a smarter way.

Stage 5: Convert

When the lead is engaging with your own content after you have warmed them up, hand them off to sales to convert into an opportunity. You can continue to nurture them with your email cadences and content if you feel it’s a good idea. But generally these leads are ready for sales follow up at this stage. They’ve showed intent to buy, engaged with more content which comes from your company and should now have plenty of information on what they need to do. The final step is to do it, which requires human interaction.

If you think this sounds like fun, click on this link and get some of these leads for free on us. We will tell you which accounts and decision makers are showing intent to buy from you right now, you just have to do the rest.