Data, valuable data. It is vital to the success of many sales organizations. This is because data gives businesses with crucial insights into consumer behavior, market rivalry, and future development potential. In particular for B2B companies, the category of intent data has become an invaluable commodity for strategic prospecting and lead creation, which helps to grow sales operations.
However, how can modern B2B organizations get such crucial intent data? And how can these businesses rely on intent data to provide the proper type of growth-driving insights? We often wondered the same question at Iscope, so we decided to inquire.
Intentional Data Gathering Insights
We polled over 600 sales and marketing professionals throughout the United States, inquiring as to how they acquire intent data and the frequency with which their organizations use these sources.
According to respondents, the majority of B2B sales firms acquire intent data from several external sources (a.k.a. third-party sources).
The allocation is as follows:
- 33 percent of respondents reported using no more than two external sources of intent data.
- 56% of respondents said that they use between three and seven external sources of intent data.
- But 11% of respondents claimed they use eight or more external intent data sources.
Nevertheless, many B2B organizations additionally use external and internal intent data sources (also known as first-party sources) to get a more comprehensive picture of their client journey. We questioned respondents whether they use these combination sources, and their responses are as follows:
- 29% of respondents indicated they depend on no more than two external and internal intent data sources.
- Sixty percent of respondents said that they use at least three but no more than seven combined intent data sources.
- And 11% of respondents indicated they use eight or more external and internal intent data sources.
Although such percentages move just a little, they do illustrate many significant take-aways:
- For one, the 11 percent data point on both maps points to the issue many B2B sales and marketing teams experience when using too many intent data sources at once.
- Furthermore, the 12 percent difference between organizations utilizing a maximum of two external sources (33 percent ) and those using a maximum of two combined sources (29 percent ) implies a declining dependence on external intent data sources alone.
- Thirdly, the percentages of firms employing at least three, but no more than seven sources of intent data, regardless of kind, imply that range as the best amount of intent data sources for B2B sales organizations.
- And finally, the 7 percent jump between companies using at least three, but no more than seven external intent data sources (56 percent ) and those using at least three, but no more than seven combined intent data sources (60 percent ) points to the latter as being the more effective intent data sourcing strategy. So, let’s unpack this a little further!
Combining External and Internal Sources of Intent Data: The Winning Approach
Consider external and internal intent data sources to be the yin and yang of lead generating strategy. By using just one half of the complementing pair, B2B sales and marketing teams miss out on a comprehensive, holistic picture of the purchase intent, behaviors, research, and other online activities of their target consumers. Consequently, teams lack the specific information necessary to make choices that convert prospects into satisfied clients. While both sources alone give vital information for optimizing B2B sales cycles, it is the combination of the two that generates outcomes.
While internal intent data sources collect behavioral signals of target customers within a company’s digital properties (i.e., the company’s website, marketing automation platform, analytics tools, etc.), external intent data sources glean behavioral insights from ideal customer profiles outside this in-house network, thereby providing visibility into customer behavior outside the organization. External data providers often use website cookies, public IP addresses, and data co-ops to identify significant third-party intent.
By combining both kinds of intent data sources, B2B teams may create a more accurate picture of their customers’ and prospective customers’ sales journeys. With this knowledge, sales and marketing teams can select how, when, and where to meet them on their journey.
Correct Sources of Intentional Data: Summary
It is simple to understand why intent data has risen to become the fastest-growing data category for B2B companies. With market rivalry nibbling at the heels of businesses, intent data reveals the missing parts that accelerate sales cycles, boost conversions, and generate important income for the whole company. By merging external and internal intent data sources, sales and marketing teams can turbocharge their lead generation strategy and discover precise engagement, nurturing, and conversion possibilities.