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How Can Sellers Use Intent Data in Their B2B Sales Process?

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Intent data allows sellers to prioritise companies and prospects based on their interactions and activities. This can affect your sales process and significantly improve conversion rates, accelerate your sales cycle and fine-tune sales efforts. Using intent data makes the difference between talking to people who are not at all ready to buy and those you can close immediately.

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What is intent data and how can B2B sellers leverage it
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Some time ago, most of the sales processes went something like this: get the number from the yellow pages, call the company, hope the gatekeeper was in a good mood to connect you with a decision maker, and pray they would consider your product.

That's a lot of hope and prayers.

To some of us, that may even sound like prehistoric times. Although the concept of intent data is fairly new, it seems to be well established among most vendors. 25% of B2B companies use intent data and by the end of this year, more than 70% of technology vendors worldwide will be using intent data for prospecting.

The increase in adoption is largely due to the ease of implementation and that it can significantly increase revenue with much less effort. Leadgence tripled sales using intent data and Park Stay & Go increased bookings by 28% year over year.

Below you will read what intent data is and what some of its benefits are.

The two types of intent data

The first type of intent data is the type of sales intelligence that is largely available and shows which accounts are actively researching third-party sites - called third-party intent data. A providor of this type of intent is (among others) G2. When an account actively looks at your software and that of competitors, G2 marks this activity as high on intent.

Another type of intent data is the information collected directly from your prospects and their willingness to buy. This is called first-party intent data. It neatly captures their activities and interactions with your brand and helps sellers understand how to move the needle and turn this activity into a sale. The first sales engagement platform to handle this form of intent on a large scale is Leadcamp.

What is first-party intent data exactly?

First-party intent data is information gathered about a person's behavior online and in your pipeline. They are based on behavioral insights that indicate when best to approach a prospect, in what way and in what product or service they are most interested.

The power of intent is that it allows salespeople to prioritize the prospects that show the most engagement, for example, based on different triggers.

Example triggers for intent

  • Visits on your pricing or demo page
  • Downloading various resources
  • Frequency and time spend on web pages
  • Levels of engagement on emails, calls, meetings,...
  • Sharing content with other people

This can then be ranked by importance. If you never use email and don't have any white papers to download, you can lower their importance in the calculation, giving you more accurate intent data for your specific business.

What are the benefits of intent data?

One of the biggest benefits of intent data is the increase in conversion rate and having insight into how invested your prospects really are, even when you are not in a conversation with them.

Intent data, along with artificial intelligence, ensures that you meet the buyer where they are and never lose deals because you don't know when and how the prospect will contact you.

This gives you a huge advantage over your competitors.

Meet the buyers where they are

Most B2B buyers are halfway through their purchase cycle by the time they ask for more information or request a meeting with your team. With intent data at hand, your salespeople can better lead them to the decision without being pushy. You can engage them sufficiently in the process with what they respond to most. This helps you to:

Intent data in your cadencing allows you to personalize your outreach. It allows you to monitor all channels and customize buyer journeys. No more emails with: "have you been able to view the previous pdf?”. Now you're able to engage in different ways with a multi-channel approach and personalize, minus the effort.

How to use intent data in sales

Modern sales teams use intent data to build a more effective go-to-market strategy and ensure they are talking to the right prospect at the right time, with the right level of personalisation.

Companies that do not (yet) exploit this intelligence are limiting their options. In the current economic climate, it is more important than ever to focus only on revenue-generating activities. While these teams often have to manually analyse interactions and hope they are talking to the right person.

Here are the core strategies in using intent data most effectively:

  1. Identify early buyer interest : leveraging multiple sources of intent can help your team capture and identify prospects early in their journey.
  2. Personalising communication : how often have you heard "you call me at a good time"? Indeed, not very often. With intent signals, you will hear this more often because you know exactly what someone is interested in when you talk to them.
  3. Prioritising prospects : gone are the days of manual lead scoring models. If you choose an intent-driven system, they will crunch all the numbers for you and lead you to the right prospects every time. No two prospects are the same and that is where a point system fails for sellers.
  4. Retaining customers : real-time insights into your pipeline and activity can also be used by account managers to see what current customers are doing or whether they are exploring more of your solution. Never again will you be surprised by customers not renewing or comparing you to competitors.

Wrapping up

Intent data is not always needed in every company. However, in companies selling complex products, intent data is increasingly becoming a necessity as it radically improves discovery. You get a glimpse into the prospect's mind before they have even said anything. Salespeople who use intent data start a mile ahead of salespeople who don't have access to that same information.

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