5 Elements of a Successful Intent Data Strategy

Written by Payal Parikh, Director of Customer Engagement at Heinz Marketing

Whether you’re just starting out on an intentional data journey, or if you’ve been using it for a while and want to see better results, keep reading…

Deploying intent statements in marketing and sales initiatives can be challenging. Whether you are working with first-party, second-party, or third-party intent data. This is particularly so because intent statements can have a variety of use cases and can affect many systems and workflows.

This, in turn, can leave teams feeling overwhelmed and can make them resistant to change.

However, if there is a sound strategy in place, it can carve out a smooth path to success. Take the crawling-walk-running approach.

Read more about definitions of first-party, second-party, and third-party statements of intent here.

Align Intent Strategy with Your ABM Initiatives

Publishing statements of intent without linking them to any initiative or program will not get the results you want.

You can use ABM’s intent data in different ways. Here are two specific use cases for account prioritization:

  1. Attach the intent statements to your current ICP definition. What accounts are targeting ideal customers and among these, which accounts show intent? This will allow the marketer to see which accounts are in the conversion funnel. It will provide salespeople with more relevant information so they can have meaningful conversations with those target accounts.
  2. Select a section of net new accounts that shows intent but falls outside of your ICP. This is especially useful for companies with a limited database. This use case will increase your sales pipeline and will also help define and adjust ICP standards.

Get involved and align goals and strategies

Leadership is what drives the attitudes of their teams. Any culture change starts with leadership to be effective. Gain endorsement from the executives in your organization for the concept of bringing teams together, to work towards a common goal. They need to understand that the team should work with each other and not in isolation.

Creating a culture in which sales and marketing combine their efforts to achieve company goals is not far off. True alignment does not occur when sales begin. It happens through the tactics, processes, and habits that bind the two groups together on a daily basis.

Make the team aware of what you are trying to achieve with the intended data. Share your strategy and set some measurable goals for both teams. Alignment with target accounts, tracking strategy and metrics.

Some of you have already tried to use intent statements within your organization. And you know intentional data isn’t just technology, it’s a cultural change. Training is an important part of this transformation. So, train early and train often.

Start with a little pilot

Roll out an intent data framework with a limited set of accounts for a limited set of sales team members within your organization. It can be a single region or a team working on a specific set of accounts. Choose one you can work with closely. This is important to make a few iterations of the approach and adjust the strategy.

Beta testing will allow you to simplify and document your processes. This will facilitate launching statements of intent initiatives with other sales teams.

Think of a pilot test as a controlled group study. Test for a while and share the results to get everyone involved. Let your inner teams be your backer!

Read here about 4 ways you can leverage Intended Data in B2B Marketing.

Gather information on performance metrics

Not many companies think about performance metrics up front. Collecting conversion rates before you roll out your beta testing program will help you see the success of your beta testing.

Monitoring the performance of the beta program all the time is critical to its success. Marketing and sales can set up a regular meeting rhythm to go over metrics, what works and what doesn’t. This is an important learning process before the initiative is rolled out at the company level.

Integration with other systems

To amplify the results from the intended data, think about how you can take advantage of the integrations with your other systems. It will increase usability and increase your ability to add more use cases.

For example, integration with your CRM will help increase visibility and performance through your conversion funnel. It can also refuel you Earth and Expansion strategy.

An incremental, step-by-step approach to the intent statements strategy is critical to its success. Intent statements can benefit different teams and departments within an organization, increase customer satisfaction, and also help scale your business quickly.

After all, you cannot boil the entire ocean.

I would like to hear about your approach about intent statements. And if you are struggling to see results, please let me know and we can set up a free 30 minute consultation.

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