Prospect SmarterIntent Data: The Key to Winning More Sales

Ryan Doyle

Owner, Magic Sales Bot

Winning More Sales with Intent Data

Your prospects are out there right today, looking for a solution to a product or service you can provide. 87% of shoppers research products online, and they're performing online searches, reading related content, and comparing different products that can address their problems.

But they're not asking your sales team to help them. The average customer is mostly done with the buying process before they even talk to a sales person.

Buyer intent data helps you identify the people who are most likely to enter this buying conversation. This information allows you to position yourself as an expert in front of these customers.

By using this information, you can help them make a purchase before competitors do.

Other benefits of finding intent data:

  • Being able to go after “low hanging fruit”
  • Engaging with leads that might not yet be speaking to your competitors
  • Forming more effective personas and Ideal Customer Profiles
  • Deeper and more personal relationships with prospects

Intent infographic

What Are the Different Types of Intent Data?

With each of these pieces of data, you can get ahead of the curve and speak with prospects before they even start evaluating vendors. Doing so will let you close deals quicker and more reliably. Each type of data has its own spin it’ll put on your pitch.

  1. Funding: An account with new funding is an account that’s ready to spend. You may assume that a new funding round is cause for celebration. You’re right - partially. It’s also a key moment where the company has to deliver on what it promised to investors, and will likely be looking for new solutions to their initiatives.

  2. News: When a company creates a Press Release, they’re indicating to the market that this is a topic they care deeply about. Whether it’s a new executive hire, initiative, or product, it offers you the ability to tie your service into their potential success.

  3. Hiring: If a company is investing in new people, it is likely that they’re investing in tools to make those new people successful. Further, job postings often include tools that new hires should be proficient in, which is a great way to learn of the company’s toolset or desire to change that toolset.

  1. New Hire: A new employee at your target business will have their most flexibility within their first 90 days. At the same time, they’ll want to make a splash and start creating a name for themselves. Depending on what they’re hired for, you can glean insight into their needs and reach out in support of that mission.

  2. Promotion: Like a brand new hire, a newly promoted employee will be more open to new ideas during their transition period to a new role. If you can come up with a hypothesis about what they’re going to be tasked with, you can reach out and position yourself as an expert in that area.

  3. Financials: If you sell to public companies, they will file quarterly or annual reports with the SEC. These, along with investor calls, are a fantastic resource to get C-level quotes on the direction of the company. Taking these quotes and using them in your outreach will position you as an expert on the company’s business.

  1. Search Intent: When a business is ready to buy, they’ll begin actively searching for solutions with tools like Google. This could be broad (marketing solutions) or very specific (Salesforce Pardot). If you’re able to purchase intent lists about what your company is searching for, you can see what they’re on the verge of buying and reach out before they go with a competitor.

How Do You Collect Intent Data?

Monitoring tools, like MSB

As a sales rep, I tried all the tools. I couldn’t find any that truly made my life easier, so I made one.

Magic Sales Bot is a tool where you upload your accounts and get daily updates on all intent signals across your territory. Then you can easily add prospects to sequences or get their content data. CloseGif It makes effective sales take minutes instead of hours. There’s a free trial, and I’d love to help you get onboarded.

Enterprise Tools

When trying this strategy for the first time, sales teams move through a hierarchy of complexity.

They start with Google Alerts to monitor new news on target companies. But, it creates too much noise and is difficult to maintain as you switch in and out new accounts.

They graduate to Sales Navigator and maybe something like a Crunchbase Pro account. They’re great tools, but still can be quite noisy with the fluff that comes with a social networking tool. They also require a lot of manual checking and researching when your time could better be spent prospecting.

Finally, the businesses with larger budgets often try some combination of ZoomInfo Alerts, Bombora, 6Sense, or Demandbase. I’ve used a couple of them and didn’t find them to suit my needs - good data was still hard to come by, because a lot of it was oriented towards 3rd-party Google Search Data.

It’s a big enough problem that, after being in sales for years, I learned to code and built my own prospect monitoring system.

Send Effective Direct Emails

Once you have your data, you need to use it to personalize your outreach. With practice, you’ll find your pitch becomes similar for your product depending on the signal. It still comes across as personalized to the prospect, but is straightforward for you to action on. Here’s a formula I use:

In Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller, he talks about the “Grunt Test.” Could a caveman look at what it is you offer and “grunt” exactly what you do? If not, you need to simplify.

Save complexity for when you book the meeting. For now, let’s sell them on meeting with you. If we can’t get them to meet with you, we at least want an answer from them so we know where to direct our energy. Here’s a formula I built with the different sales teams I’ve been on:

Email Snippet - Intro: Congrats on (news event)! I took some ideas from working with (comparable customers).

Often, showing your social proof or that you've done your homework is enough. In this particular instance, I've done both because I had seen a recent article on them. I didn't go into detail about the news. I skipped the pleasantries. I got right into what this person might care about. Namely - the ideas I'm giving them from working with their potential competitors.

Email Snippet - Give free value: “Made this video on how to keep (company) customers engaged during the free trial to ensure they stay users for the long term. It uses their behaviors in the app to trigger (my company) messages.”

I went to their website and came up with a hypothesis about what they might want to achieve as a business. For this company, I determined they wanted me to download their app. From there, it's easy to imagine they'd want me to keep using the app. So I'm communicating to this CEO that my video shows how I can contribute to that, tactically.

You can easily do this yourself. Take a look at MagicSalesBot.com or Intro.so. What do you think I want you to do? Sign up for my emails, pay me money, refer friends, maybe more? How does your service support that?

Email Snippet - Value Part 2: This is where "you" come in. This is the part where your personality, curiosity, and desire to partner with this person shines through.

I always send a Loom video. Loom is free, easy, and impactful. I start the video on the prospect's website. I say, effectively, "this is what it looks like you want me to do." Then, I switch tabs to my website. I say, "here's how I can help." All of this takes under 1 minute.

Then, I screenshot the thumbnail and paste it into the email, and set the thumbnail to be a link for the video. This is important - it's a visual cue for the reader. They see your face on their website and know this is a personalized email. It prompts them to read the whole thing.

As an example, here's a video of mine.

I'd send this video to Visualize Value if I wanted to sell them a service called SalesAdvice.io. I'd make sure that I included the thumbnail that shows their website with my face on it, and link it to the video.

It's not even a fantastic video. But the fact that I'm showing the recipient how I'm doing homework on them, and what specifically I can offer them, resonates deeply.

You could do this with anything - someone's Linkedin profile, their Twitter profile, anything to show that you're doing your homework.

Email Snippet - Value Part 3: “You could set up automated push + email that takes user's behaviors and actions into account. Then personalize the messages they'd get to ensure they're coming back to get coaching. You could use (my company) as a hub to automate super relevant messaging to all of your users.”

This is my pitch that I would say in the videos. I wrote it out here because most recipients will read this before watching your video.

Email Snippet - Closing: “We'd love to support (company) in the same way we do (comparable customers) and more. Are there any particular marketing/engagement strategies you'd like to achieve? I'll send a 1min demo of how we'd help so you can see if it's worth your time.”

Many salespeople will tell you to close hard and ask for the meeting upfront. I'm not against that. So many folks are using that tactic, though, that it's easy to stand out.

We're talking about a partnership here, and how we'd love to support them. We're asking for their pain points so we can get more specific with a video like above. We're asking if there's any more value we can provide, which is a hell of a nice ask to make.

Most often, they'll respond and initiate a conversation that leads to a call. See this response for example: response

Recapping the formula:

  1. Intro: Hook them with your relevance in the space and that you've done your homework
  2. Value: Show them what you made that solves their problem
  3. Close: Ask if you can offer more value

Get in Early, Win More Deals

Companies show that they’re preparing to purchase new solutions, long before they first make contact with vendors.

When you set yourself up to monitor and act on the signals that show this preparation, you can find yourself in a very advantageous position.

Being the first vendor in the conversation means that you can steer the conversation. Steering the conversation lets you set guidelines they may follow in an RFP, act as an expert, build trust, close quickly, and create “stickier” deal cycles.

If you’re hoping to achieve this, Magic Sales Bot can monitor your accounts for you and get you in the door before your competitors. Take a trial below 👇

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