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I know what you’re thinking: “Why on earth would I want less leads in my pipeline?!”
It’s an odd concept and, for many, makes about as much sense as unrestricted grouse shooting during lockdown. But when you consider that the average B2B lead-to-close rate hovers around 6%, you begin to understand how much time is wasted chasing leads that never go anywhere.
Think of it this way – if only 1 out of 20 sales-qualified leads (SQLs) generate revenue, imagine how much better your ROI would be if you focused on generating high-quality leads that are much more likely to turn into paying customers.
This is where buyer intent data comes in.
“The future of marketing isn’t big data, it’s big understanding.” – Jay Baer, author of ‘Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is About Help not Hype”
To put it in the simplest terms, buyer intent data shows you which businesses are consuming content around key terms related to your products/services. This helps build a solid understanding of the accounts you should be targeting.
This isn’t to say less always equals more. For some businesses (usually those with a low average deal size), a high volume of sales is the surest way to keep going. But for those organisations with higher-than-average deal sizes, a more selective approach makes perfect sense.
An effective strategy built on buyer intent involves a nurturing approach. That means no picking up the phone as soon as your first buyer intent signal comes through. Let’s be honest; receiving a cold call from a cyber security company moments after reading a blog post titled “Top 5 Cyber Security Tips” is a bit creepy.
Instead, focus on implementing an Account-Based Marketing (ABM) or similar approach.
ABM is the true embodiment of making more from less. It’s the business equivalent of scattering a small number of seeds to produce giant oak trees.
By focusing on a small number of high-value target accounts, organisations implementing solid ABM tactics are able to vastly reduce time wasted on chasing unproductive leads. And when it comes to choosing which accounts to target, buyer intent data is a key driving factor.
Businesses implementing ABM tactics have found lead-to-close rates improve by an average of 75%. – Demandbase
What’s the most difficult thing about implementing an ABM strategy driven by buyer intent data?
For some, it’s finding the right buyer intent platform. For others, it’s convincing their marketing teams that strategic content creation doesn’t mean writing blogs about “dealing with lockdown”.
But for most, the toughest challenge is less about getting to grips with the process, and more about adopting the right mindset. The problem is that CEOs and sales leaders alike have been conditioned to focus solely on filling their pipelines – the more leads, the better.
Therefore, truly believing that having less leads can equal more revenue is no easy adjustment. But it’s a shift in perception you need to make if you’re serious about embarking on your ABM journey.
So, to give you a helpful nudge in the right direction, here are a few reasons to put your faith in ABM:
According to Marketo, 97% of marketers who use ABM say it generates higher ROI compared to other marketing strategies. Interestingly, 3% of marketers are negative Nancies… okay, I made that last one up.
Regardless, when you monitor buyer intent signals closely and personalise your messaging and content accordingly (agility is crucial here), the results will speak for themselves. Although you may find sales cycle length increase, the aim of ABM is to pay back your added time investment tenfold.
Not only is buyer intent data a great way for you to identify net new prospects, it’s also effective in identifying upsell and cross-sell opportunities with existing customers.
Perhaps your current product/service is no longer fulfilling your client’s needs, or maybe they’re in the market for something else but aren’t aware it’s in your wheelhouse. Whatever the case, monitoring the buyer intent of existing customers is highly recommended.
What’s more, your existing relationships will make the overall sales process so much smoother.
ABM is built on a personalised sales approach. Instead of blanket emails and social media ads, the focus here is on one-to-one engagements.
This methodology leads to much more positive interactions. Addressing prospects’ major pains and interests early on helps nurture healthy company-wide relationships from the outset. This is why, according to ITSMA, companies utilising ABM have reported a 74% improvement in customer relationships.
Additionally, buyer intent can have a hugely positive impact on customer retention. If you see an existing client trending for a competitor name keyword, that gives you the insight you need to reach out and work on fixing the problem before their agreement expires.
Just remember that buyer intent signals keep you informed of a prospect’s priorities and interests, making those initial engagements easier and more impactful.
durhamlane Mantra #1: Business Fit, Business Value, Long-Term Relationships
If you’ve read this far, first let me congratulate you on having the longest attention span of any living human.
Secondly, you may be thinking: “Stats are all well and good, but why should I listen to you?”
durhamlane are a Nexus Accredited Partner, meaning we’ve got a proven track record of using buyer intent data to generate results. Nexus is a “customer behaviour insights platform” from Cyance, which enables businesses to enhance their targeted sales & marketing activities.
Thanks to tools like Nexus, durhamlane have continued to grow by winning business for both ourselves and our clients. We’ve even been able to achieve consistent success throughout the Covid-19 epidemic – not many businesses in our industry can say that.