Account Intelligence

Demystifying Intent: Understanding Its Definition & Significance in Sales

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August 2, 2023

3 mins read

Demystifying Intent: Understanding Its Definition & Significance in Sales

In the fast-paced world of sales and marketing, understanding customer intent is crucial for success. But what exactly is intent data? With countless definitions and interpretations out there, it’s important to clarify its meaning in the context of sales and marketing teams. 

The Growthbusters answered all of these questions and more in one of their recent LinkedIn Live Sessions. In our third installment of the series, our VP of EMEA Paul Gibson was joined by Sr. Sales Engineer Matt Cheeseman to discuss the concept of intent data, its various types, and its significance in today’s business landscape.

What is intent and its role in sales and marketing?

Intent can be a complex concept, but in the context of sales and marketing, it refers to the signals and behaviors exhibited by potential buyers that indicate they are in the market for a company’s products or solutions. According to Matt, intent data is essentially everything that happens outside of a company’s website. This is crucial because a significant portion of the buyer journey (up to 80-90%) occurs before the buyer even contacts a sales or marketing team.

For B2B businesses, intent data comes in two primary forms: data captured through publishers (where companies are identified based on the content they read) and bid stream intent (where intent data providers identify companies based on IP addresses reading certain topics).

The importance of intent for new prospects and existing clients

Intent data is not only valuable for finding new prospects and opportunities; it also plays a crucial role in understanding existing clients. By tracking the intent of existing clients, companies can identify potential upsell or cross-sell opportunities and be aware of when clients might be at risk of churn or researching competitors.

Intent measurement and scoring for effective sales and marketing

The key to using intent data effectively lies in measurement and scoring. Activities should be scored differently based on the company’s go-to-market strategy and industry. For example, open rates or content downloads may not be strong buying signals, but keywords and offsite activity can be strong indicators of intent.

It is essential to have control and transparency over the data and scoring process to ensure that both sales and marketing teams are aligned and that relevant accounts are targeted at the right stage of the buying journey.

The evolving role of intent in sales and marketing

The role of intent in sales and marketing is continually evolving, especially as consumer behavior shifts toward online activities. More companies are moving away from the traditional lead-based approach and embracing intent data to better understand their target audience.

Intent data should not be seen as a mysterious black box but as a transparent and detailed view of potential opportunities and prospects. Companies should put intent data to the test and work with experts to gain a deeper understanding of their target accounts and prospects’ intent.

In conclusion

Intent data is a powerful tool that can significantly impact sales and marketing efforts. As intent data technology continues to advance, businesses that embrace its potential will gain a competitive advantage in the ever-evolving landscape of sales and marketing.

Interested in learning more about intent data? Stream the LinkedIn Live on DBTV!

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Kiara Curet

Social Media Associate, Demandbase

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