- Through understanding buyer intent, sales reps can use signals throughout the buyer journey to personalize their outreaches to the right potential buyers.
- Intent data helps you work smarter, not harder, through maximizing your resources and managing your time more effectively.
- Christopher Rack of Demand Science has seen firsthand how intent-driven opportunities help your reps be more productive and make your business stronger, offering a pathway to hiring fewer people. This allows you to reallocate resources to other efforts like marketing, product growth, and tools to help your sales reps thrive.
What if I told you that one single principle could help you focus your pipeline, manage your time better, and close more deals?
Don’t worry, I’m not about to tell you that reality is a simulation and that you’re actually living in The Matrix.
But I am about to tell you that utilizing buyer intent can do all of those things while transforming your sales process and strengthening your business.
Sales reps are often easily distracted by the wide swath of tasks and prospects calling their names.
It’s just one thing after the other, right?
I sat down with him on an episode of the INSIDE Inside Sales podcast to debunk misconceptions about buyer intent, discuss the value proposition and business case for intent data, and dig into how it helps with prospecting. It’s kind of like the sales equivalent of kung fu.
Misconceptions about buyer intent
The first common misconception about buyer intent is that it’s just about timing — when someone is ready to buy.
If this were the case, buyer intent would be primarily a pricing or negotiation tool.
Instead, intent data provides information throughout a buyer’s journey. It does so by signaling which stage of the decision-making process the buyer is in. Are they information-gathering? Do they even know they need a solution to their problem yet? Are they already comparing solutions?
Intent data helps a sales rep understand where the buyer is on their journey to better shape outreaches.
The second misconception about buyer intent is that, to gather intent data, you have to purchase a tool, platform, or solution.
“You can get a lot of value with intent just by identifying very simple things that showcase that a company is thinking about a problem or solution that you solve for,” says Chris.
For instance, if a company hires someone in your target job or creates a new position that matches your buyer persona, this is a potential sign of increased interest in your products and services. Then, you can plan your outreach strategy accordingly.
This is what intent is all about.
The value proposition of buyer intent
First and foremost, buyer intent helps you maximize your resources.
Every sales rep reading this can attest to the fact that we only have so many hours in a day.
We can either push ourselves to the limits, working way overtime. Or we can determine strategic ways to maximize conversions within the span of our eight-hour days.
Intent data helps you to do the latter. Understanding buyer intent allows you to prioritize your book of business to decide where to focus your time and resources.
Outreach strategies exist on a spectrum ranging from completely automated outreaches — which tend to lack personalization — to highly personalized emails, which can be deeply time-consuming.
Using intent data to map a potential buyer’s journey helps you to prioritize who receives those highly personalized touches and who gets automated messages.
At its most basic, buyer intent is time management, Chris explains.
“If you can maximize the amount of output and prioritization you put into your sales prospecting, you can drive significantly more opportunities, pipeline revenue, et cetera.”
How buyer intent helps with prospecting
Identifying the right prospects can feel like finding a needle in a haystack, right? You can always make more calls or send more emails; the list never ends.
But Chris explains that buyer intent makes the haystack smaller.
When you use a static cadence for prospect outreach, you miss out on the chance to personally connect with valuable leads and contacts who are in the market right now.
Intent lets you maximize the prospecting process without having to play volume games. Instead of making 250 automated and unpersonalized outreaches, for example, why not begin by identifying the top 20 most interested and qualified prospects?
Through buyer intent, you can determine those top-tier potential buyers by looking for signals that they are interested and engaged, such as visiting your website or downloading lead magnets.
Be on the lookout for spikes in prospects’ interest, and use those spikes to inform research that ensures they fit your target customer profile.
Send those interested prospects personalized outreaches, knowing they’re more likely to engage with you and convert to a sale. Then, leave the rest of the prospect list to automation — that is, until they show spikes in interest themselves!
This sort of intent-driven process streamlines your priorities while saving you time and headaches.
The business case for buyer intent
Buyer intent is the ultimate in “work smarter, not harder.”
As a sales rep, your personal return on investment of time spent will be much higher when informed by intent. And it’s a win-win for you because you’ll spend more of your time doing what you do best: actually having conversations and actually selling.
The business case for buyer intent goes well beyond your personal engagement, though. An intent-driven sales process makes you more productive.
If and when your organization invests resources in intent data, you’ll be able to generate more meetings, more opportunities, and more pipeline revenue — but with less activity.
As a result, intent data is actually a pathway to hiring fewer people.
Why? Because the people you do have will be significantly more efficient when guided by buyer intent.
Chris has seen this firsthand at Demand Science Group. He shares that 70% of their closed opportunities have come from intent-driven accounts. This has allowed him to hire fewer people and reallocate resources to marketing efforts, tools, and technology for his sales reps. It has also led to further investment in product growth.
“The less money you have to invest in humans, the more you can invest in other things that accelerate your growth path even faster,” says Chris.
Will purchasing intent data tools and solutions solve everything for sales reps?
Pssh. Nope. It’s not a silver bullet. (We’ll let you know when we find that, though.)
But buyer intent does make life better, and it helps you work smarter and sell more.
If you have access to intent data, take advantage of it! Ask for clarity. Learn how to use it. And watch buyer intent help you close more deals.