“It’s not the goal that matters; it’s the trip.” Sure, it’s a tired aphorism that can be seen on many coffee mugs and inspiring wall calendars. But it’s also a very helpful phrase to know in some situations, particularly when employing intent data.
When combined with the right approach, intent data may provide significant benefits for your sales and marketing activities, as well as offer exceptional ROI throughout the business. However, intent data is not a panacea. Instead, consider it rocket fuel for your current efforts, providing your B2B engine with the strength it need to meet your ROI targets.
Many sales and marketing organizations struggle to measure their return on investment because they see intent data as a one-and-done solution. In our most recent benchmark research, 50% of respondents said that evaluating ROI is their most difficult obstacle when utilizing intent.
Given the relative newness of intent data (it’s one of the fastest growing data kinds in recent years), it’s no wonder that sales and marketing teams are grappling with how to get the most lucrative outcomes.
But if you’re ready to start seeing monetary results from your intent data utilization, look no further. Here are five methods to incorporate intent data into your current sales and marketing operations to boost ROI in no time.
The first initiative is to increase the velocity of the funnel.
Funnel velocity, also known as sales velocity, determines how quickly leads move through your funnel, indicating how long it takes your sales team to get transactions from opportunity to closure. Funnel velocity is made up of four variables:
- The number of opportunities,
- The average deal value,
- The conversion rate and,
- Sales Cycle Length
By evaluating funnel velocity, you can keep track of how quickly you generate money while also finding any roadblocks that are holding things down, allowing you to modify methods and eliminate any impediments.
What Is the Importance of Increasing Funnel Velocity?
Knowing how fast your sales and marketing efforts transfer into business money is excellent, but an opportunity occurs when things start to go wrong. Funnel velocity serves as a smoke alarm, warning you to possible flames that need to be extinguished. If you see a decrease in funnel velocity, it is important to assess the status of each individual variable described above in order to identify and address the issue.
For example, you could see funnel velocity decreasing at the conclusion of a quarter. A closer examination reveals that, despite all other indicators seeming to be in good shape, your average deal rate has plummeted. This might signal that your sales force, under pressure to meet objectives, is delivering one too many discounts to bring sales over the line before the end of the quarter. If the amount of chances decreases, marketing may need to resurrect lead generation activities in order to pump more leads into the top of the funnel.
In addition to debugging, funnel velocity enhances efficiency across the pipeline, allowing you to determine why sales are delayed. Marketing may blame sales for poor lead quality, while sales may blame marketing for bad selling. However, it is possible that the lead volume is just too large, resulting in a congested pipeline. Instead of blaming, sales and marketing departments can consider hiring additional SDRs to capitalize on lost income.
How could marketers use intent analytics to accelerate funnel velocity?
By using data aggregation technologies to get readings on funnel velocity across marketing channels, marketers are able to identify revenue-boosting opportunities. Observing that PPC funnel velocity is much lower than paid social funnel velocity, for instance, shows the need to modify keywords or boost expenditures, depending on which factors are underperforming. On the product level, funnel velocity may be evaluated to determine which goods sell more fast. This allows marketers to change their approach towards items with the highest return on investment.
How can salespeople use intent data to enhance the velocity of the sales funnel?
Sales want to move the appropriate offers quickly through the pipeline, therefore enhancing funnel velocity is a top priority for them. Most CRMs offer built-in reporting capability for funnel velocity, but combining this with a data visualization tool increases its effectiveness. Data visualization enables salespeople to zero in on the necessary activity to clinch transactions based on buyer intent signals. For instance, if a bottom-of-the-funnel prospect looks for your pricing plans or free trial offers, salespeople may reach out to them and give precisely what they’re searching for, bringing them closer to conversion. Instead of spending time swimming through a sea of overwhelming data, having a clear visual interpretation of this data makes it simpler for sales teams to take swift action.
B2B intent data may assist both sales and marketing in achieving their objectives.
Initiative No. 2: Reduce Customer Losses
The churn rate measures the number of consumers that discontinue utilizing your services or goods within a certain time frame. Considering the time and effort required to convert them into customers in the first place, it is always disheartening to lose them in the future, regardless of how much time has gone. Keeping an eye on churn prevents this heartache, particularly if it occurs prematurely.
Why is it essential to reduce customer churn?
The churn rate helps determine what is and is not working in terms of customer experience. After calculating churn, it is easy to discover why customers have gone, enabling B2B teams to develop customer retention tactics that urge clients to remain longer rather than abandon ship. In conjunction with other metrics (such as customer lifetime value), it is a good indication of what is doing well and what needs improvement.
How can marketing use intent data to decrease customer attrition?
Armed with competition intent data, marketers may be alerted if a consumer begins studying competing offerings, indicating a potential churn risk. Customer support staff may then initiate an early intervention to restore contact with at-risk accounts.
How can sales use intent data to decrease customer churn?
Sales may utilize intent data to avoid customer turnover prior to a customer’s onboarding. Again, with competitive intelligence, sales teams may locate consumers that not only fit their ICP, but also have interest in competitor firms with comparable items. Logic suggests that these clients may discover long-term value in your product, making them an excellent prospect for a long-term working relationship with little churn risk from the outset.
In addition, intent data may provide sales with talking points for competitive situations. For instance, if a prospect or customer is investigating rivals, sales may be notified and given a presentation track to counter these concerns if they occur. Additionally, intent data makes it simpler for salespeople to seize cross-selling possibilities. By configuring a CRM alert, representatives may be notified when customers look for competing solutions that your company currently provides.
Third Objective: Enhancing Customer’s Lifetime Value
Customer’s lifetime value (CLV) is a measure that provides a picture of a customer’s overall value throughout the length of the relationship, allowing you to determine how much your customers are worth. Given that obtaining a new client might cost up to five times as much as maintaining an existing one, this is a crucial measure to monitor in order to maximize ROI.
Why is it essential to raise CLV?
Businesses who are aware of CLV may build strategies that strike a balance between client acquisition and customer retention in order to generate the highest profit margins.
This increases profitability by promoting better decision making and educating teams to spend less time gaining many low-value customers and more time concentrating on existing customer relationships. Consequently, a high CLV score indicates improved earnings and better levels of customer involvement – a complete picture of a healthy organization.
How could marketing people use intent data to improve customer lifetime value?
Intent data enables marketers to microsegment their client base across numerous channels and parameters, such as:
- Demographic information about potential and current customers (i.e., size of business, industry, etc.)
- Customer buying behavior
- Customer affinities and preferences
After generating precise segmentation, marketers may construct campaigns tailored to each one. Customers with a strong purchase intent for back-to-school clothes, for instance, might be provided a basic discount to influence their purchasing decision, hence increasing the exposure of your items vis-à-vis rivals.
In addition to eliciting intent, survey analytics are also a valuable tool for boosting CLV. Using the findings of customer surveys, marketing teams may update the usability of goods depending on consumer preferences and customize marketing messaging to match the particular requirements of consumers. As a consequence, conversion rates, CLV, and engagement all rise. When used with churn score analytics, this method may reveal which customers may need more outreach. It’s a double-whammy that guarantees at-risk consumers stay engaged while increasing CLV.
Visualizing past customer data with a scatter plot may also enhance CLV. By charting the cumulative earned income of customers against the length of time these customers have conducted business with your organization, you may get a useful visual breakdown of your highest-priority clients. However, it is possible to determine an average CLV by examining the CLV of your complete consumer base. You may then utilize this number to identify consumers whose scores above your average. This is critical information for your customer care staff, who must guarantee that these high-value clients get service of the highest caliber to increase their likelihood of retention.
How Can Sales Increase CLV Using Intent Data
Using intent data, sales teams may uncover new goods, services, or features that current customers have been exploring. This offers a possibility for cross-selling, which increases CLV overall. This has the extra advantage of deterring poaching by competitors. By establishing an intent topic cluster centered on rivals, sales teams may monitor current competitor activity and remain competitive. Moreover, sales teams may use past data to get a better understanding of how customers’ intent-driven behavior leads to an increase in CLV over time.
Initiative No. 4: Lead Scoring and Ranking
Lead scoring enables sales and marketing teams to determine which prospects inside the current sales funnel represent the most corporate value. However, keep in mind that a lead scoring system can only be effective if it is handled effectively and used consistently. Otherwise, it risks becoming a waste of valuable time and scarce resources. In general, lead scoring provides a value to each activity a prospect makes inside the sales funnel. When a candidate exceeds a certain threshold, they are deemed “hot.” This helps salespeople decide the optimal moment to contact a lead and ensures their focus remains on the appropriate set of clients.
Lead prioritization expands upon this process by differentiating high-quality leads from low-quality leads, therefore assisting sales teams in identifying prospects with the greatest probability to buy. B2B teams may enhance conversion rates and customer satisfaction in one fell swoop by concentrating on clients who are close to completing a purchase. To determine if your leads are ready to buy, you may utilize two basic parameters:
- Matching Ideal Customer Profiles: The higher the rate of match, the greater the possibility of conversion.
- Buyer Intent: The greater your prospect’s intent signals, the more likely they are to purchase.
Why Are Lead Scoring and Ranking Important?
Scoring and prioritizing prospects has the potential to produce up to 30 percent higher conversions, but only if the sales and marketing teams can agree on a well-defined strategy. Sales and marketing alignment strikes again! Since marketing teams are responsible for producing leads before passing the baton to sales, both teams must first agree on what makes a valid lead score and how to prioritize leads. Everyone must be in harmony.
Lead scoring and prioritization may also contain many intent indicators suggesting a prospect’s likelihood to purchase. This includes any signs of interest they have in certain items and features, their present location in the sales cycle, and how well they fit a buyer profile. This information contributes to long-term ROI since it identifies certain items with strong demand among existing leads. In addition, this procedure enables B2B teams to identify the steps clients take prior to eliminating a vendor from consideration.
How Can Marketing Assess and Prioritize Leads Using Intent Data?
Intent data is a tremendous asset for marketers seeking to score and rank prospects. By studying behavior-based data, companies may have a more precise understanding of the purchasing intents of each individual lead and target them appropriately.
Metrics consist of:
- The capacity to reach consensus
- Budgetary Consideration of Supplier Content
To understand how these metrics impact the lead score and priority inside your own sales funnel, it is best to begin by analyzing the previous lead qualities that have swiftly converted, and then identifying their common characteristics. In a similar manner, you may evaluate leads that did not convert and discover common elements to avoid.
Initiative no. 5: Generating Tailored Ad Audiences
Customized ad audiences allow you to display advertisements to individuals who have previously shown an interest in your brand or goods. This is accomplished utilizing consumer “identifiers” such as email addresses, phone numbers, and physical locations. This allows marketing teams to target digital advertisements to particular groups of prospective customers who have previously connected with your business. B2B teams may target advertisements based on data extracted from their own website, apps, social media platforms, and other digital domains, as opposed to relying on sheer chance or broad demographics such as age and gender.
Why is it essential to construct bespoke ad audiences?
Customized advertising audiences direct your marketing efforts directly to the ideal prospects. When you place your carefully prepared advertisements in front of the exact eyes for whom they were made, you should see an increase in ROI and conversions. Customized audiences eliminate ad spend waste and optimize every dollar.
In addition, they strengthen the alignment between sales and marketing operations. How may you ask? Well, sales may supply marketing with consumer feedback and accounts that they are particularly interested in. On the basis of this information, marketing may then construct unique ad audiences and leverage analytics insights to find possible qualified accounts.
How would marketers use intent data to construct ad-targeted audiences?
Intent data only amplifies the effectiveness of personalized ad audiences. Contact-level intent data may be used to target prospects who have already completed the first phases of their buyer’s journey. If you’re wondering why it’s necessary to target leads who have already began their journey, consider this: on average, it takes seven impressions for a consumer to make a purchase decision. Therefore, if your advertisements only show once on their social media feeds, you are unlikely to be chosen as their preferred seller. Intent data helps marketers to deliver advertisements to prospects who have already gotten a few impressions, and once the lead has been warmed up, sales has a greater chance of gaining a foothold.
How might Marketers Use Intent Data to Create Tailored Ad Audiences?
Even if sales do not run advertisements, they may still profit from targeted viewers. Using intent data, sales teams may do more effective outreach to highly interested prospects, therefore developing their own audience to target. Using the data to establish an audience, sales may customize their outreach by personalizing messages to the unique concerns of each prospect. Additionally, sales may utilize intent data to choose the best qualified sales representative for the opportunity. If a prospect expresses interest in one of your specialty products and a member of your sales team is an expert in that area, it makes sense to assign them the task of initiating contact in order to maximize the likelihood of conversion.
Time to Turn Those Good Intentions into Return on Investment
It is a proven truth that B2B organizations may earn a substantial return on investment by leveraging intent data to enhance their sales and marketing efforts. By seeing intent data as a turbocharger for your current goals, you can leverage it to enhance revenue-driving marketing and sales initiatives.