Insight into buyer’s behavior is a very powerful tool that’s seeing increased popularity among marketers and sales teams with good reason. Knowing which buyers are genuinely interested and on the verge of making a purchase allows a refocus of time, money, and effort of your team, especially where there’s a potential to yield a higher return-on-investment. This can be achieved through an analysis of numerous datapoints gathered from a range of sources.
We’ve already talked extensively about the benefits and advantages of intent data. What we’re going to look at here are the common pitfalls marketers tend to fall into when approaching and ultimately applying intent data to their efforts. Understanding these mistakes will allow you to avoid them yourself.
1 – Treating intent data as a magic bullet.
As great as intent data is, it isn’t the perfect solution to your marketing and sales problems. For one thing, it measures strictly intent. That is, indicators of possible interest and desire to buy—not sure things. It’s useful for sure, but can’t be the ultimate basis for your investment and your efforts. You need to have a whole strategy that includes the methodology of collecting intent data, the means to qualify it, and a clear plan on how to utilize it.
Surprisingly, only 28% of marketers actually do have an effective intent data strategy in place. That’s where the second problem lies: in focusing on the value of intent data, many forget the key activities that need to be undertaken to make intent data actually useful. First, what you need is to clearly define the sources from which your intent data will be taken. Next, you need to define what qualifies as useful insofar as what data you actually do get.
That done, you need to also define where that data will go, who has access to it, and how it will be disseminated to the people who will use it. Next up, you need to organize your marketing and sales teams so there are clear organizational responsibilities and nurturing processes to make the most of the intent data that you get. Having a strategy in place ensures your intent data works for you and actually has impact on your bottom line.
2 – Failing to develop a clear nurturing plan.
Let’s turn focus on the nurturing plan because here’s where a lot of people miss the mark even when they do develop a strategy for their B2B intent data. A nurturing plan will guide different steps of communication and outreach with leads, the actual content to be used, and the timing of each step along the way. The idea is to make it easy for anyone on your team to execute the nurturing plan at whatever step or stage they happen to be in.
In order to understand how critical a nurturing plan is, you have to realize that intent in potential customers will be at different levels and inclinations at any given time. Not all will be at that ideal point where they’re ready to swipe their credit cards. Some will be strongly interested and invest in a lot of research. For these you need to steer them towards you with quality content providing the information that they need.
By now, you’ve probably guessed at the key elements of a nurturing plan. First, you need to qualify the leads revealed by your B2B intent data and align them with the locations where they may be on their buyers’ journeys. Next, you need to create content that responds to whatever pain points and problems that need to be answered to move customers along their journeys. Finally, you need to organize these into clear timing schedules to ensure effective follow-up without being too heavy-handed.
3 – Failing to build look-alike lists.
One thing you’ll notice about the leads driven by your B2B intent data is that they all likely have a number of characteristics in common—usually along demographic, firmographic, and even technographic lines. These can be useful to you if you expand your leads list by creating look-alikes: unconsidered leads that actually fit the same profile. The idea here being that they are likely to be just as potentially interested as well.
It’s not so much a catastrophic mistake as it is a huge, missed opportunity, and bears mentioning as many marketers and sales teams seek to effectively attract more leads to sell to. The key to building look-alike lists is first to identify the commonalities among the leads you have and then determine which characteristics yield the most positive responses—with this last bit gained by soliciting feedback from your sales teams.
The idea here is to maximize your investment in B2B intent data to begin with as well as get the most out of what you paid for or worked to build. It helps, by the way, to have someone who is capable of effectively building your leads lists off your intent data. This way, the look-alikes you build will indeed be useful for your B2B sales and marketing efforts. The alternative is to source your intent data and leads from a provider with a proven track record of success.
Work With a Team That Knows its Stuff
At Internal Results, we offer quality B2B intent data—grading our leads on a proprietary scale so you can work with those with a clear interest and true intent to make a purchase. We even have our own list of over 60 million B2B leads from over 108 countries across all industries. We can provide you with look-alike lists should you already also have list or profile of desired contacts. All of these will give you a leg-up when it comes to your sales and marketing efforts.
Let us know your specific needs, and we’re sure to have great solutions for you: