October 9, 2020

How to Use Intent Data to Improve the ABX Customer Lifecycle

By Kristin Crosier
For years, we’ve heard about how “data is the new oil.”.

Businesses have terabytes of raw data at their fingertips to help drive marketing activities, hone in on sales accounts, and increase customer satisfaction. Yet with so much data available, it’s easy to divert your focus away from what really matters: nurturing customer relationships.

Intent data shifts your attention back to the business user. This type of data is based on users’ online interactions, giving you greater insight into prospects’ interests and current customers.Intent data helps you better understand the needs of potential (and existing) customers and ultimately improves your customer lifecycle.

Our recent session of Out of the Box,—“INTENTional ABX: From Anonymous to Advocate”, — dives into the value of intent data for businesses using an account-based approach. Bombora Director of Enterprise Customer Success Cydney Eldh and Senior Director of Growth Marketing and Sales Development Kate Athmer discuss how businesses can leverage intent data across the entire customer lifecycle, from initial contact with an anonymous business user to a long-term relationship with a customer advocate.

Understand the Power of Intent Data

“Closing a B2B deal is a joint effort between marketing and sales, and it typically requires an account-based marketing approach,” Cydney says. Intent data plays an important role in determining which accounts to focus on and what messaging to use for specific personas or industries.

“The hardest challenge is actually ensuring that you’re pursuing the correct accounts, and that’s where intent data really comes into play,” explains Cydney. “Intent data gives you the confidence that you’re targeting the accounts that actually want to hear from you and are interested in the products and services you’re providing.”

But this type of data has value beyond marketing and sales purposes. Intent data allows you to maximize your ABX strategy across all of the teams that interact with prospects and customers.

You can use intent data for every sales funnel stage — account targeting, engagement, customer acquisition, and advocacy.

Selecting a Data Provider

Not all intent data is created equal. High-quality intent data will consider the context of keywords on a webpage or in an eBook rather than just counting the presence of those words. Always ask for a sample of data before making a purchase to ensure you choose a qualified data provider.

Before using intent data, ensure make sure the service or tool supplying your data is adhering to all applicable privacy laws like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

Leveraging Intent Data Throughout the ABX Customer Lifecycle

Contrary to what you might think, you can — and should — use intent data at every stage of the customer lifecycle. (Yes, even before you identify a specific contact at a target account!) Let’s walk through how your marketing, sales, and customer success teams can all derive value from intent data.

For Marketing

Marketers can start capturing the attention of in-market accounts by running display ads and syndicating content. Even if you haven’t identified a contact yet, you can still develop social media and banner ads based on specific keywords and industries. Once your target accounts have begun engaging, you can segment them for email nurture programs, event invitations, and direct mail campaigns.

For Sales

Your sales team can use intent data to identify sales opportunities and prioritize outreach efforts. Salespeople can categorize accounts based on topics and level of interest, then build outreach cadences for those groupings. Intent data will also help you select qualified prospects for direct mail and meeting-maker campaigns.

For Customer Success

With the help of intent data, your customer success team can monitor customer behaviors. Look for upsell or cross-sell opportunities by identifying customers who might have interest in a product they haven’t yet purchased. Critically, you can also pinpoint potential churn by tracking keywords related to your competitors (such as company and product names). Based on that information, a team member can connect with the customer to reinforce trust and identify any pain points that haven’t been addressed.

Bombora’s customers have seen great success leveraging intent data. One customer saw a 498 percent increase in their click-through rate (CTR) for LinkedIn ads, while another customer experienced a 50 percent increase in responses to direct mail.

Register for the on-demand session to learn more about how Bombora’s customers are using intent data to build a successful ABX strategy. 

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