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How using intent signals can improve your B2B sales process

Nitin Bajaj
30th Aug 2018
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B2B or business-to-business sales is complex. There are too many variables that need to be controlled in order to make a successful sale.

Most salespeople undertake random cold calling, emailing with the hope that people will reply and jump on to what they have to offer. The missing piece these salespeople often miss is timing.

The biggest challenge in sales is not just to find the right customers to sell to, but to sell to them at the right time, i.e., when they need you the most.

As a business, I might be interested to buy what your business has to offer, but not at this time, maybe six months down the line. But if you reach out to me at this point in time, I will say no. This is why B2B sales run not on how many customers you reach out to but when you reach out to them.

There are a few intent signals that salespeople can track in order to prioritise their efforts and identify the right companies to target at the right time.

Image: Shutterstock

Let’s first define intent signals

Intent means showing earnest or eager attention, i.e., a business gives you intent that they are looking for such a product or service that you have to offer. The biggest challenge is to track such intent signals because:

  1. It’s complex (one cannot predict whether it’s actually an intent signal or just noise).
  2. You cannot do it manually all the time. It needs to be automated and should be real-time.

Now, let’s focus on three intent signals that are most relevant in order to generate leads for your business and identify the right companies to target.

Hiring signal

Thousands of companies hire for talent daily. We ignore this, but this is the most important intent signal that salespeople can track.

A company that is hiring for a “digital marketing” role is showing intent that they are trying to grow the digital marketing function of their organisation.

The company is already investing money and time by hiring a person for digital marketing and has a real need in this space.

Now, if you run a digital marketing agency, or you have a digital marketing product, then focussing your efforts on this company will lead to a better conversion. The reason is simple – timing.

If you reach out to the companies at this time, your chances of a response from them improve, thus leading to more business for you.

Funding signal

One of the critical milestones for any business is funding, i.e., how much money they have in their bank account. Funding also leads to hyper growth, thus creating multiple opportunities for vendors.

The moment a company receives funding, the next thing they will do is:

  • Hire more people (opportunities for staffing companies)
  • Upgrade their technology (opportunities for IT companies and related product vendors, cloud solutions, etc.)
  • Market themselves (opportunities for advertising companies and other related vendors)
  • Expand into other cities/territories (opportunities for commercial real-estate)

This milestone sets the tone for several other milestones. So the next time you see a funding announcement, try and reach out to founders and look to create an opportunity for your business.

New product launches signal

Most salespeople ignore this milestone of a company. This is the time when you should prioritise and build relations with the company’s senior-most professionals.

If a company has recently launched a mobile app or is going to launch a new mobile app, then it will need several service providers or product vendors to grow its mobile app.

A new mobile app launch becomes an opportunity for advertisers, digital marketing agencies, technology providers, software testing service providers, and many more vendors.

If you reach out to the company at this time, they may respond as you are reaching out to them when they need you the most.

Take, for example, a situation where a new car is going to be launched. Well, this creates opportunities for sponsorship, event marketers, TV advertisers, BTL activations, and so many vendors.

Thus, the key to every successful business is timing. Track these intent signals and reach out to companies at the right time, and you will have better conversions and leads flowing in your mailbox.

Nitin Bajaj is the Founder of EasyLeadz, a platform for automating B2B sales and lead generation using intent signals.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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Nitin Bajaj
Nitin Bajaj is the Founder of EasyLeadz which is a crowdsourced sales prospecting and lead generation platform that uses Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to help salespeople find their prospects’ contact information and outbound sales. He can be reached at nitin@easyleadz.com.

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