The Different Types of Intent Signals You Must Know to Drive More Sales

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Intent signals are valuable data points that can provide insights into a potential customer's behavior and buying intentions. By analyzing intent signals, businesses can identify prospects actively researching and evaluating their options, allowing them to reach out to them at the right moment, tailor their messaging, and close more deals. Businesses can use several types of intent signals within this process. In this article, we'll look into the different types of signals, where you can gather them, and how to use them.

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The Different Types of Intent Signals You Must Know to Drive More Sales
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Using Intent Data on All Levels

Intent data provides insights into prospective customer's interests, preferences, and behavior. It helps sales teams better understand their target audience's intentions and needs, enabling them to develop effective strategies to drive revenue growth.

Specifically, intent data is used for:

  1. Lead generation: intent data allows businesses to identify potential customers actively researching a product or service, making reaching out to them with relevant offers easier.
  2. Personalization: by analyzing a prospect's intent data, sellers can personalize their messaging to align with the prospect's interests, increasing the chances of conversion.
  3. Account-Based Marketing (ABM): intent data helps businesses to identify target accounts that are more likely to convert, enabling them to focus their marketing and sales efforts on those accounts.
  4. Content sharing: by understanding the type of content prospects are searching for, businesses can create and promote content that addresses their needs and interests, driving engagement and conversion.
  5. Sales engagement: intent data helps sales teams to prioritize their outreach efforts by identifying prospects that are most likely to convert, increasing the efficiency of their sales process.

As you can see, buying intent signals provide valuable insights that can help businesses improve their revenue team's effectiveness, increase customer engagement, and drive revenue growth. In addition to understanding leads & prospects better, intent data also provide valuable information that may be difficult to obtain directly. This data allows for identifying more in-market customers, improves lead scoring accuracy, and enables customization of ABM campaigns with personalized messaging.

Collecting Key Intent Data Signals

Intent data can be obtained through four types of intent signals. These are gathered by scrutinizing the actions of prospects that indicate their needs. Such actions are typically observed through online activities such as product searches, evaluations, comparisons, and reading of online reviews.

Two main types of intent data collect all these signals: first-party and third-party intent. Let's delve into these distinct signals:

1. Search Intent

Search intent data is acquired when an individual enters a keyword or phrase into a search engine, such as Google or Bing. You can utilize this data to recognize the types of queries your target audience is searching for and provide them with the most appropriate responses.

As search engines collect these keywords, they also provide this type of intent signal. Other platforms, such as SEMrush and Ahrefs, will provide you with the volume of searchers on a specific keyword. You can use this intent data to attract customers through SEO or SEM. This would also be well-known as third-party intent data.

How to leverage search intent data in B2B:

  • Conduct a study on the search terms your desired audience seeks and include them in your online content, such as website content, blog articles, and social media posts
  • Utilize Google Ads to display advertisements that aim at these search terms
  • Analyze the fluctuations in search volume for particular keywords over time with the assistance of Google Trends, Semrush, or Ahrefs
  • Regularly track your search engine optimization (SEO) endeavors to guarantee that your website appears in search results for the identified keywords

2. Engagement Intent

Engagement intent data refers to the degree of interaction users have with a particular piece of content. Within a sales environment, we'd consider interactions with your email, email links, or content a good intent signal. In this case, engagement data would be collected by your sales engagement platform.

Let's take a consultancy company that focuses as well on sales as on marketing. If this consultancy company has two different types of gated content and interacts with sales content, for example, then that would be registered as engagement intent towards sales consultancy. If the content allows you to capture their email or other data, you could then contact them to see if they can become qualified prospects.

How to leverage engagement intent in B2B:

  • Keep an eye on the social media channels your desired audience is actively using, and seek chances to interact with them
  • Segregate your email subscriber list and tailor content that is suitable for them based on the engagement data from email marketing campaigns
  • Use social media platforms to showcase focused advertisements for previously engaged users with your content

3. Firmographic Intent

The third category of the intent signal is firmographic data. This data type encompasses details about a prospective company, such as its size, location, industry, and revenue. This information is commonly obtained through business directories, website forms, and third-party intent data providers. When combined with account-based marketing (ABM), firmographics can aid in directing your marketing and sales efforts toward companies that are more likely to convert.

For example, suppose your ideal customer is a medium business operating in the logistics sector. You can employ firmographic data to focus your targeting and outreach on companies with similar demographics.

How to leverage firmographic intent in B2B:

  • Utilize business directories to investigate the businesses operating in your desired market
  • Leverage the acquired knowledge to divide your marketing and sales endeavors
  • Devise customized content to satisfy particular sectors' demands or company magnitudes

4. Technographic Intent

Technographic data details a prospective company's technology infrastructure, including the software, hardware, and networks it employs. Technographic data is usually obtained via surveys or questionnaires, aiding in comprehending your target companies' technical capabilities and requirements.

For instance, you offer customer finance software. In that case, it would be beneficial to determine whether your potential customers are using an outdated system or already using a rival financial tool. This information can assist you in deciding how to distinguish your product and achieve more sales.

How to leverage technographic intent data in B2B:

  • Employ surveys, website scraping, and questionnaires to pinpoint the businesses that utilize your software type
  • Leverage this data to enhance the targeting of your marketing and sales initiatives
  • Develop customized content that caters to the specific requirements of particular industries or company scales


There are many different platforms to source intent signals, including search intent, engagement, firmographic, and technographic data. Each data type provides unique insights into a prospect's behavior, allowing businesses to understand their target audience better and develop more effective marketing strategies. In this context, it's essential to understand the different types of intent signals and how to use them to drive sales and improve overall business performance.