Freddie Marryat, Marketing Manager, EngageIQ

Intent data has the potential to transform your marketing and sales departments. With the right sales enablement tool, you can fix your leak waterfall, streamline prospect research, and discover more opportunities.

But, like any tool, intent data won’t do all the hard work for you. Just as one sales team can use Salesforce more productively than another, what you do with intent data will determine your success.

Are you ready to make the most of your new technology? Here are seven best practices that will put you ahead of the competition.  

Don’t Let You work Ethic Drop

The most prominent misconception marketers and SDRs have about intent data is that they require less work to achieve the same results. For some, intent data is a time and effort-saving tool that allows them to keep their results without working so hard. 

In reality, success with intent data requires marketers and SDRs to keep their effort levels consistent. The difference is that their outcomes will be significantly better. That’s because intent data compounds the results of your sales and marketing efforts, enabling you to create more effective campaigns with higher ROI and book more meetings. It also means that even if two companies have access to intent data, the hardest working marketers and SDRs will still come out on top. 

For SDRs specifically, you need to leverage intent data to spend more time on the phone. Most SDRs don’t spend nearly enough of their time selling. A survey of 700 sales reps by Xant found just 35.2% of a salesperson’s day was spent actively selling. That equates to 14 hours out of a 40-hour workweek. Intent data changes that.

The power of intent data is its ability to cut research time dramatically. SDRs only need to scan a report to get detailed background information on their rep, rather than spend ten minutes searching LinkedIn and Google. But intent data is only beneficial if the rep uses the time they save on researching to make calls instead.

Keep Calling, Keep Nurturing

SDRs don’t need to just spend more time on the phone in general. You’ll need to spend more time making targeted calls to the prospects your intent data highlights. These are the decision-makers most likely to make a purchase, so it’s imperative to get through to them. 

It probably won’t happen on the first call, though. Or even the fifth. It takes on average, eight cold call attempts to reach a prospect. Just because the prospect doesn’t pick up or respond to your voicemail the first time doesn’t mean they aren’t interested or the data is wrong. Like with any other prospect, you just need to keep calling. 

Even when you make contact once, you’ll need to keep calling and nurturing prospects shown as having a high propensity to purchase. Intent data can help you separate the wheat from the chaff and find the decision-makers most likely to convert, but you’ll still need to convince them you have the right solution for their needs. That can take six calls or more according to research by Velocify.

Source Multiple Prospects

When you have high-intent prospects handed to you on a platter, it’s easy to feel constrained by the list you’ve given. If the data says to call the IT manager at a company, you should probably call that specific person and not bother with everyone else, right?

Wrong. 

When prospecting using intent data, SDRs should still reach out to every possible decision-maker in a department. For one thing, purchase intent data isn’t perfect, and the prospect you have may not be the best person to call. 

Secondly, the ideal prospect may not be willing to pick up their phone to cold callers. If that’s the case, it’s much better to speak to the decision maker’s colleague who can make a warm introduction at a later date than to not speak to anyone at all. 

Third and finally, reaching out to other team members can speed up booking a meeting. Large companies typically have more than one decision-maker, and budget decisions require sign-off from multiple partners. The more prospects you can speak to first-hand, the better your chances of getting the meeting booked and the subsequent deal across the line.

“Remember, almost three-quarters (71.4%) of prospects won’t be a good fit”

Prioritise Your Research

Intent data isn’t just useful for acquiring prospects; it’s also a great way to prioritise your prospect list. Not everyone on your list has the same propensity to buy. That’s the case even if every person on your prospecting list is the result of intent data. 

Rather than call through your list alphabetically or at random, SDRs need to make a point of ordering prospects by intent, starting with the highest and working down from there. This should be the case at every stage of the sales process. Whether you’re making the first contact, nurturing your leads or trying to close, focus on the leads with the highest propensity to buy. 

Don’t worry about finding new prospects, either. You may think it’s your job as an SDR to find prospects to call, and that is sometimes true, but the main goal of your job is to book meetings. 

With this in mind, you should focus on the prospects highlighted by intent data as they’ll be most likely to convert. Remember, almost three-quarters (71.4%) of prospects won’t be a good fit. So why waste your time researching new prospects when only one in four will convert? It makes no difference if 100% of your meetings are booked off the back of intent data or 50%. But it will be much faster to do the former, and the resulting opportunities will likely be of higher quality, too. 

Personalise Your Calls

Being prepared for sales calls matters. More than 60% of buyers say sellers who are knowledgeable and can address their needs positively impact their buying decision. 

That’s a pretty high bar for most SDRs to meet on the first call, but it’s straightforward for reps using intent data. Just because it’s easy doesn’t mean every salesperson will do it, however. 

It’s not enough to have access to intent data and know why your prospect is looking for a solution like yours; you need to prove it to the buyer. Go above and beyond to personalise the first ten seconds of your call. If you can show how you can solve their problems without them even telling you what those problems are, you will hook your prospect. 

What’s more, because the most pertinent reasons behind a prospect’s intent usually aren’t available through public sources, you’ll stand apart from every other cold call that prospect gets. So much so that booking a meeting will become a matter of when not if.

Don’t Settle for the Information You’re Given

While you should use the intent data from your sales enablement platform to personalise your calls’ start, you shouldn’t settle for that information. Instead, try to mine even more details during each prospecting call.

The data you get from your sales enablement platform isn’t the be-all and end-all. Yes, it will help you identify the best prospects and make a great impression. Still, as an experienced sales professional, you’ll be more than capable of finding out even more information on the call itself. 

By digging deep during prospecting calls, you’ll be able to build on the information provided by your data intent platform to create a more accurate and nuanced understanding of your prospect and their specific situation. 

In doing so, you’ll also separate yourself from anyone else using the same intent data. Someone else may have access to the same data as you, but by getting even more out of every single call, you’ll be making sure no one has a better picture than you. You’ll also e able to identify important information that intent data can’t always accurately deduce, like urgency. The more information you can find out for yourself, the better placed you’ll be to book the meeting and make the sale.

Improve Marketing Decisions

Intent data isn’t just for SDRs and salespeople. Marketing teams need to leverage intent data to get the most from your sales enablement platform. When they do, the quality of MQLs will soar. 

Typically, marketers rely on SDRs and sales executives to feedback on the quality of leads to improve marketing campaigns. But intent data empowers marketers to take the initiative and optimise campaigns from the get-go, and zone in on accounts and industries that show the highest propensity to buy. 

Marketers can also use intent data to prioritise ABM accounts. Not only can they use data to identify previously untapped markets, but they can also use data to identify the right prospects within each account and nurture them accordingly. 

In both cases, marketers will pass on highly targeted MQLs who have a high propensity to buy. In doing so, they make the lives of their SDRs significantly more manageable and help to increase the value of opportunities that marketing is directly responsible for. 

We Make Customer Success a Priority

If you’re struggling to make the most of your intent data, we’re here to help. Choosing the EngageIQ platform doesn’t just mean opting for the leading intelligent data solution. It also means choosing to work with a dedicated customer success who can help you get to grips with our platform and intent data whole. We’ll help your marketing and sales teams get to grips with the platform through a combination of platform-specific training and industry best practices and become a force to be reckoned with. 

Images by: NeONBRAND, Alex Andrews, Anna Shvets