Buyer intent indicates a lead’s willingness to purchase your product or service. It includes behavioral signals to help businesses identify in which stage their potential customer currently is so marketing and sales teams can effectively guide them when making a purchase.
Understanding it is a powerful way to grow your qualified leads. Its data can help you look into your customers’ buying cycle and obtain valuable insights about what you can do to nurture them throughout their journey. When used effectively it can help you grow your lead pipeline and improve sales.
Customers are quite open about whether or not they are going to make a purchase and understanding these signals is essential to ensuring your teams’ efforts don’t go in vain. You should also have a good understanding of each stage of the buyer journey so you can collect and analyze relevant customer data. This data will allow you to predict future behaviors and use it to target future customers with the right messages.
In this article, we will go over buyer intent, how to collect the right data, where to get it from, and how it can help you close more sales.
What Is Buyer Intent?
Buyer intent predicts the likelihood of a consumer purchasing a product/service within a specific period of time. It looks at the probability, willingness, and predisposition of customers towards a product/service. It’s a method of collecting behavioral data for predicting future buying cycles.
According to Svon.io, intent marketing is becoming an essential strategy that any brand can benefit from. If businesses fail to correctly understand how it works, they could miss out on opportunities to convert leads into customers. In fact, according to research by Think With Google, this could result in missing out on as much as 70% or potential mobile purchases alone.
To understand it better and improve their overall strategy, marketers should collect a variety of information that they can then use along with predictive modeling tools and techniques to nurture users through their journey.
An essential set of variables to take into account include factors like website activity, demographics, previous purchases, likes, comments, and reactions to messages. These provide a good source of information that ensures that your message is accurately directed at buyers, addressing their immediate individual circumstances and purchase intention.
Now that we’ve defined buyer intent, let’s look at how it’s calculated and judged.
How to Calculate Buyer Intent?
According to Salesforce, about 85% of sales reps agree that buyer intent data really helps them be more efficient at their job. Yet, only 46% of those interviewed actually have data insights on their customer’s intention to buy.
Having access to intent data is slowly becoming important key performance indicators (KIPs) for top sales teams. The ability to mine shopper behavior data to obtain business insights can make any sales team much more efficient in forecasting, leads prioritization, and building strong customer relationships.
However, only having access to data is not enough. You’ll also need to interpret it properly. Here are two ways to do that:
- Decide what type of information is important. Then decide how to interact with the key decision-makers.
- Focus on tracking, scoring, and engaging with quality leads that fit your business the best.
For instance, you can use the information you already have on your clients thanks to your CRM software data. Next, make a list of the quality leads you want to focus on and link that data to your buyer intent information.
Furthermore, Internal Results says you should also focus on:
- Recency – How recently a prospective buyer had engaged with your brand and content.
- Frequency – How often a prospect comes back to your content.
- Engagement – What is the engagement level for separate and relevant pieces of content.
Now that we’ve defined what buyer intent is and why it’s such a valuable strategic asset for your brand, let’s look at a few different ways it can help you close more sales.
1. Make Prospecting More Efficient
Prospecting is an essential part of sales operations. According to Hubspot, closing deals is a top priority for 75% of companies. Yet, 37% of sales reps, in the same research, admitted that prospecting and closing leads are the two most challenging parts of the process. This is where buyer intent comes to play.
Intent data or behavioral insight can provide your business with powerful insight into what actions your prospects are taking. This will allow you and your reps to adapt the messaging accordingly and effectively outline the different stages of the buyer journey, thus making their jobs easier.
For example, third-party internet data can give your team more information about users’ research habits. This way you’ll be able to engage with leads early on and have them consider your product/service.
Having access to buyer internet data can help your sales team get high-quality links much faster and boost their productivity.
2. Make Your Outbound Efforts More Successful
Outbound prospecting is a rather complicated process. According to data by Weidert Group, only 18% of marketers consider that it provides high-quality prospects. Although for many businesses, B2B especially, it’s still a valuable practice, there’s no denying that it uses up significant resources. So, if you want to improve efficiency and increase the quality of your tactics, buyer intent data is a good information source to use.
To fully leverage the benefits of behavior data you need to put it into context. Today, about 47% of buyers view between 3-5 pieces of content before contacting a salesperson. So, it’s necessary to identify and recognize patterns of user activity and use these to improve lead targeting and prioritization.
Start by tracking buying signals. List all possible behaviors that your prospects engage in. Gather insights and use them to determine which actions correlate with a potential buyer moving through the sales funnel and converting into a buying customer.
Categorize the obtained information to differentiate between qualified and unqualified leads. For example, assess how someone is researching your products/services and what actions they took while at it – did they complete a contact form, downloaded a whitepaper, or subscribed to your newsletter. Then, depict which prospects are more willing to make a purchase to adapt your content distribution efforts.
3. Score the Right Leads
Lead scoring is a practice of assigning values (i.e. “scores”) to every lead generated to indicate how compatible they are with your product/service. According to Hubspot, you can base your score on multiple attributes like demographics, company and professional information, online behavior, email, and social engagement, etc.
This practice helps with lead prioritization, so marketing and sales teams can respond to them appropriately and improve the rate at which they turn into customers. There are different models to assign points and one of the most common is using past data. First, examine the whole buyer journey. Next, use intent data to decide which behavior indicates the transition from leads to clients.
Based on your findings make predictions about future user actions and design precise outbound lead generation strategies.
4. Create Relevant and Targeted Content
To gather intent data in the first place, you need to have the right content and build an audience. People can discover your brand in many ways – through search, ads, referrals, eWOM ( online word of mouth), emails, blog posts, and so on. Once they do, you need to provide them with information that is relevant to their position in the purchase journey and targeted towards their stage-specific needs.
The created content can then be repurposed into outreach methods and across your channels so you can see who engages with it. By looking into what users are consuming, you can pinpoint the most relevant topics. For example, you can discover if they are looking for an easy-to-use, secure, and reasonably priced product, or for a service that can be adapted to their specific needs.
Remember to focus on your client’s goals and requirements, not your brand’s. Your continent needs to be helpful with clear calls-to-actions that touch upon why your brand provides a potential solution.
5. Develop Precise Marketing Campaigns
Marketing campaigns that lead to a sales close are personalized and precisely targeted. With accurate buyer intent data at your disposal, you can significantly improve the quality of your marketing campaigns and boost conversions.
Start with mapping out the buyer journey and collecting stage-specific intent data. Outline the actions users make to transition to the next stage and consider what cues you can include to navigate them.
Concentrate on the following:
- Users Data Is Human Data – People have impressions and hold biases, so if their experience with your brand is frustrating they’ll likely turn away.
- Keep Them Interested Throughout the Whole Cycle – Intent data tells you when a buyer is about to leave thus indicating where you should make adjustments.
- Keyword Optimization – Behavior data can assist you when developing keywords that precisely match those used by potential customers when looking for products.
These insights can help you improve your cross-platform brand awareness and engagement, enhance your segmentation and targeting efforts, and successfully nurture leads ensuring that every touchpoint meets their expectations.
Buyer intent can provide powerful insight into your prospects’ purchasing behavior. This will allow you to target your efforts with greater precision, so your reps can devote time where it matters most.
By evaluating intent data correctly, you’ll be able to improve your prospecting and outbound efforts, score the right leads, and create targeted, relevant, and precise content and campaigns. Therefore, your reps will know which lead to approach, when, and how, thus strengthening your overall sales and marketing strategy.