Building a scalable B2B marketing strategy is no easy task.
In addition to finding the right leads and making sure they fit your ideal customer, you also have to navigate the labyrinth that is the B2B buyer cycle.
Is the company in the market for what you offer? Who do you talk to? What do you say to stand out?
Even more importantly, are they ready to buy?
If you're tired of wasting time on target accounts that aren't ready to buy or if you're ready to scale your business, buyer intent data is the secret sauce you've been looking for.
Note: Want to improve your target account list? Leadfeeder is a B2B lead generation software that helps identify the companies already visiting your site. Sign up now for a free 14-day trial.
Intent data, aka buyer intent data, are signals that indicate specific site visitors or prospects are ready to buy — like now, stat, ASAP, whatever term you prefer.
Here's the thing — not all leads are created equal.
Say you have a SaaS tool and someone downloads an ebook you wrote. Woo, you have a new lead!
But is it a good lead? Well, you'd probably look at their demographics and where they work. For example:
Are they an enterprise company?
Are they in one of the industries you target?
Is the company based in a location you serve?
These are standard questions for qualifying leads — but they leave out a crucial component.
Is the company ready to buy?
Have they researched their options? Have they seen how your tool or service stands out?
What is considered buyer intent data varies by business, but here's a few examples of what we'd consider intent to buy at Leadfeeder:
An enterprise company reads our ABM guide, two other blog posts, and views our pricing page.
A SMB signs up for a free trial and is extremely active in their dashboard.
A marketing company reads a few of our comparison guides and attends a webinar.
So, where do you get buyer intent data? There's a good chance you already have access to a ton of it — if you know where to look.
Below, I'll walk you through how to locate that data and how to use it to build a target account list.
A target account list is a list of companies and accounts that are most likely to buy from you. This list shows sales and marketing teams where to focus their efforts so they can guide top-notch leads into the sales funnel and move them through it.
So how do you build one? Here's what you need to know.
Step 1: Define your ICP
Who’s your ideal customer? An ICP is at the core of any effective marketing strategy, and it's exactly what you need to know before you go digging for intent data.
There's a good chance you already have an ICP or buyer personas. If so, it's time to take a second look and make sure it still fits the direction of your business.
If not, you'll need to build one from scratch. I'll give you a quick and dirty walk-through, but I strongly suggest this B2B guide for building an ICP from Propeller.
Here's a quick guide to finding your ICP:
Make a list of your best customers: Go beyond just "highest revenue," and look at factors like churn rate, cost to convert, and lifetime value.
Look at what they have in common: Look at demographics like company size, but also industry, growth rate, and challenges they face.
Consider your solution: Don't think about what you do, think about what problems you solve and who needs those solutions.
These three factors will help you outline your ICP. Once you've got all that data gathered, create a document that clearly outlines your ICP.
Pro tip: You probably have more than one ICP, especially if you have multiple products, services, or features.
Step 2: Define intent for your business (and your team)
What is considered intent data will vary by business, and even by team. What your marketing team considers intent to buy might be different than what the sales team looks for.
In general, though, there's a few key signals that a prospect has the intent to buy:
Downloading an ebook and interacting some other way — reading blog posts, etc.
Signing up for a free trial.
Booking a demo.
Reading two to three blog posts, then viewing your pricing page.
Coming back to your site after interacting with you in the past.
Once you've figured out what is considered intent data for your company and team, it's time to gather your data.
Step 3: Gather your data
Where do you get buyer intent data from? As we covered above, you likely already have access to it in lead generation platforms like Leadfeeder, your email marketing platform, your CRM, or your marketing automation tools.
Now it's time to gather all that data in one place. How you gather that data will depend on the platform you're using.
For example, in Leadfeeder, you can download data to CSV or Excel and then sort it from there.
To do this, head over to one of your feeds (I chose our Top Leads filter so we can focus on the most engaged leads), and click the download button at the top:
You may even want to combine spreadsheets from multiple sources; just remember to clean up inconsistencies in formatting.
Step 4: Segment your target account list
Once you've created your spreadsheet, it's time to segment your list. I suggest breaking leads into three segments: High intent, medium intent, and low intent.
Ideally, you'll filter out the lowest intent accounts before this stage — this is why I chose the "Top Leads" filter in the step above, for example. But you still might have some leads that just aren't quite ready — those should go in the low intent segment.
You can add these to your remarketing list or even turn them over to your account development team for further nurturing.
Your medium and high intent leads should stay on your list — these are going to be the accounts you want to focus on.
Step 5: Target the accounts that matter
Once you've segmented your list, you should have a solid list of high-intent accounts to target. If you're using a lead gen tool like Leadfeeder, you'll already know who to contact at that organization, because we list it right in your dashboard, under Contacts:
If not, you'll need to do some digging to figure out who to contact. LinkedIn is always a good place to start. I also like email-finding tools like Hunter.
Building a scalable marketing strategy isn't just about finding more leads — it's about finding the right accounts to target. And finding the right accounts starts with leveraging intent data so you can focus on accounts that are both in your ICP and ready to buy.
Note: Want access to more intent data? Leadfeeder shows you not just who visits your site, but what they do on your site. Sign up for your free 14-day trial now.
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