Use Intent Data To Fuel Your Sales Pipeline

With Terry Arnold, Vice President of Marketing, Real Impact

B2B sellers are always looking for ways to quickly achieve or exceed their revenue numbers. The funds are there, but you have to find opportunities to significantly shorten your typical buying trips, which can span six months or more.

Your best bet for booking revenue on a fast schedule is with existing customers and sales-qualified leads (SQLs) you’ve already registered as likely to convert. In my last post, I discussed some of the ways sales and marketing can collaborate to move sales-qualified leads toward a deal in a compressed time frame.

But you may also find that your sales pipeline lacks enough opportunities in the queue to feed into your revenue goals. Fortunately, if you have adopted account-based marketing (ABM) and other data-driven practices, your marketing team is equipped to accelerate qualified leads for promising marketing (MQLs) and find new leads that can be quickly qualified for your sales team.

All it takes is market information, personal messages, and focus on key decision makers.

Quickly Accelerate MQLs to SQL State – Choose Your Opportunities Wisely

You might be tempted to think that after clients and SQLs, your existing MQLs are the next logical source of accelerated revenue. Getting these accounts and key sales contacts quickly is in great demand. What you’re looking for here is low-hanging fruit, and so you should be very selective about the qualified marketing and leadership accounts you’re trying to get started with.

Focus on promising existing leads

Resources are always tight, so you’ll want to allocate resources only to those who lead the chosen marketing and who:

  • Your scoring system tells you it’s very likely that you will eventually qualify for sales, anyway
  • Already responded positively to care efforts
  • Fit your main buying group when making a decision

You need to focus your energy on MQLs that will likely be within a month or two of sales qualifications, as per your normal practice. Speeding it up after that time window will be hard enough, but you should be able to generate some useful SQLs within a short amount of time, giving sales a few weeks to seal the deal.

decision makers only

To speed up revenue, you have to look for qualified department heads and those who have the authority to make a quick call on purchases. Intent data and buying group modeling should tell you if the decision maker is willing to learn more about what you’re selling – remember that you’re looking to speed up the learning/qualification curve by providing information they would otherwise have from the buying process. group of influencers.

In my latest post, I suggested warming up to influencers around the already qualified sales decision makers you’re trying to win over. This is solid advice for an account in which sales are in one-on-one contact with the CEO; Marketing provides the lift in this scenario. But to quickly accelerate the most promising MQL, marketing needs to embrace that single focus on key decision makers. There is no time to move the entire buying group at its natural pace.

Account-level intent analysis is key

At this point, the intended data intelligence should be part of your key scoring process. It’s especially critical when trying to speed up MQL for sales readiness – in fact, it’s one of the primary benefits of intent. If the account is clearly not close to the purchase decision, you will not be able to start a real conversation with the main decision maker.

Peter Larkin, Chief Growth Officer, recently wrote about how to buy research activity across all major buying group roles to indicate account sales readiness. Your buying models may be different, but in general, if you see an executive doing a search, surrounded by other team members looking for information on features and pricing, you’ve found your best opportunity to speed up.

Personalization, personalization, personalization

Personalizing your message to your audience is always important, but it is critical when dealing with CEOs who don’t quite get along with you. Depending on the scale of your efforts, your content offerings should look more like internal sales offers than generic collateral in the middle of the conversion funnel. Again, focus on the immediate impact your offer will have on the prospect’s bottom line – they’re looking to build up their numbers, too. If sales decide to offer a private trial or bundle deals, you may want to include a mention.

Work with an outside partner to create brand new year-end opportunities

No marketer would want to hear it, but chances are great, ready-to-buy prospects know nothing about you. And you probably don’t know them either.

We often talk about intelligence of intent, and email marketing is the perfect combination for finding a broader network and discovering new markets. This often entails expanding your demographic and demographic criteria and testing new segments. At True Influence, powered by MeritB2B, our contact database includes certified decision makers from several industries, many of whom are more or less similar to your best clients. Widespread access to these contacts will not fill the entire ABM pipeline, but you may find some opportunities that are ready to sell.

After all, the most likely place to find drooping fruit is on a tree you haven’t cut down yet.

Focus heavily on accounts and decision makers willing to buy

As in the other scenarios I’ve discussed in this post, you’ll want to target accounts whose intent analysis tells you you’re along their buying journey. And you want to focus your efforts on key decision makers with high-value, late-stage content assets that emphasize the immediate impact of your solution on their own business. You may want to consider leading a webinar or other high-value asset that directly appeals to executives willing to buy.

Again, the goal here is for you to generate the rare SQL with an initial campaign. It is already happening, and this goal requires your complete focus.

Voice can speed up some deals quickly

Most B2B buyers prefer email as a way to communicate with potential sellers. Most but not all. Craig Weiss has written about how mixing in phone prospecting for key decision makers who simply don’t respond to email can still be an effective technique, especially when intent analysis shows you that there is an account in the market. And some CEOs still like to talk directly to a human. You can work with a partner (we provide such services) or you can transfer internal sales resources to the initiative.

Voice is best suited for accounts where you’ve already contacted influencers but don’t seem to reach the decision maker. But it can get you in the door when a new account is on a tight schedule. If the intent tells you the account is warm, this isn’t really a cold call, especially if you’re making an excellent transfer offer or a great deal. You may want to throw in more wrinkles, like direct mail, if you find that key decision makers are not responding to your digital communication.

Data and focus are key to achieving gains

Accelerating new business is a matter of picking the best opportunities in your ongoing revenue pipeline. If you have already invested in data-driven B2B marketing and sales methodologies, you are well equipped to find decision makers who are ready to buy now.

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