Revenue efficiency challenges present themselves during this economic downturn, and intent is key to solving them.

While intent data and Account-Based Experience (ABX) platforms are typically owned by marketing departments, the impact of intent signals extends far beyond marketing initiatives. Sales and Marketing teams can greatly benefit from leveraging intent when tackling revenue efficiency. However, achieving success in this area requires a well-defined strategy, streamlined processes, and the right tech stack. 

In this blog post, we will delve into the importance of intent across marketing and sales and explore how it can be effectively utilized across the customer lifecycle.

Understanding the Different Types of Intent:
To harness the power of intent, a crucial component of your intent strategy is to understand the various types of intent data. There are four primary categories of intent data that teams can leverage:

1st Party Intent:
This type of intent data resides within your CRM and Marketing Automation systems. It encompasses data points such as website visits, email engagement, and responses to marketing programs. Analyzing this data provides valuable insights into prospects’ interests and engagement levels.

2nd Party Intent:
These intent signals are gathered from partner websites or platforms, where potential customers may express their intent. Examples of platforms that collect 2nd party intent include G2 and PeerSpot. By leveraging 2nd party intent, you can tap into the insights gathered by these platforms to better understand the preferences and interests of your target audience.

3rd Party Intent:
This data refers to signals derived from external sources, including content and search engagements on 3rd-party websites. This data offers additional insights into prospects’ activities and interests outside of your owned channels.

Interactive Intent:
Data generated through on-website conversational technologies, such as chatbots. By allowing prospects to express their needs and interests directly, interactive intent data provides real-time insights into their intent and preferences.

Leveraging Intent Across the Buyer’s Journey
To maximize the potential of intent data, it is crucial to establish alignment and collaboration between the marketing and sales teams. Both teams must agree on the responsibilities and timelines for utilizing intent signals throughout the buyer’s journey:

Awareness Stage:
Intent data can be instrumental in optimizing ad spend by targeting individuals actively searching for solutions related to their pain points. It also helps uncover accounts outside of your named account list, expanding your reach and identifying potential prospects. Intent data can further aid in identifying and researching customer pains and needs, enabling more targeted and effective outreach efforts.

Research Stage:
Intent data plays a crucial role during the research stage. Sales teams can run ad campaigns focusing on competition and vendor comparison to position their offerings effectively. By prioritizing accounts for outbound email programs based on intent signals, sales professionals can ensure that prospects receive tailored messaging. Customizing bot playbooks and on-site experiences based on intent signals enhances the overall prospect experience and increases engagement.

Opportunity Stage:
Intent signals are invaluable during the opportunity stage. They can help identify competitors and provide vital signals to the sales team, enabling them to craft compelling value propositions. Closing the loop between intent signals and sales feedback allows for continuous optimization of ad campaigns and on-site experiences, further enhancing the sales process.

Renewal/Cross-Sell Stage:
Intent data continues to be valuable even after the initial sale. During the renewal and cross-sell stages, red flags indicating that an account is researching competing products can alert sales teams to take proactive measures to prevent churn. Understanding customers’ evolving needs through intent signals facilitates personalized cross-selling and upselling opportunities.

Intent without action is useless
To successfully leverage intent data in the sales process, organizations should consider defining an orchestration framework by establishing a clear outline on how intent data will be collected, analyzed, and operationalized across marketing and sales functions. This framework should define the roles and responsibilities of each team and facilitate seamless collaboration.

Along with a clear orchestration framework, choosing the right technology stack is a critical decision that requires thorough evaluation and consideration. By aligning the stack with your intent, focusing on scalability and user experience, and ensuring compatibility with existing tools, you can empower your sales team with the right tools to drive revenue growth, enhance customer relationships, and stay ahead of the competition in today’s competitive sales landscape.

What does this all mean?

We have explored the significance of intent and how it can be effectively utilized throughout the customer lifecycle. By understanding the different types of intent data sales teams can gain valuable insights into prospects’ interests and engagement levels. Furthermore, aligning marketing and sales teams and utilizing intent signals at each stage of the buyer’s journey enables targeted outreach, personalized messaging, and proactive account management. 

To fully harness the power of intent, organizations must establish an orchestration framework and choose the right technology stack that aligns with their intent, emphasizes scalability and user experience, and integrates smoothly with existing tools. By adopting these approaches, sales teams can drive revenue growth, strengthen customer relationships, and outshine their competitors in today’s fiercely competitive sales landscape.