How Buyer Intent Can Help Turna 'No' into a 'Yes'

By Garrett Rutledge
February 25th, 2022
As B2B leaders, it often feels nearly impossible to keep up with today’s ever-evolving markets and buyer preferences. Traditional methods of engagement, generating interest and nurturing leads no longer work. But to turn uncaptured prospects from a ‘no’ into a ‘yes,’ the answer for B2B leaders can be simpler than imagined. Personalized and timely experiences are absolutely vital, and can ultimately be the deciding factor in the race to convert. According to a Forrester study, most B2B marketing leaders know the importance of such experiences, as 52% plan to increase spend on personalization technology. But tailored experiences aren’t just a need for marketers. The entire revenue team, all the way down to the sales reps, must deliver end-to-end, personalized customer journeys to win customers.

This may be all well and true, but the key question remains, how can B2B organizations deliver such a journey? The answer is buyer intent. Buyer intent is the engine to an organization’s personalization vehicle. Without it, the chances of turning a ‘no’ into a ‘yes’ remain slim. But as we’ll see as we move through this piece, for buyer intent to be an effective solution, certain key parameters must be met that often aren’t in many of the offerings on the market. In the following, we’ll examine why personalization and buyer intent are so important and reveal the ultimate solution for B2B leaders.

Winning Customers in Today’s Markets

B2B buyers today expect relevance and instant gratification. To win buyers over, organizations must deliver the right message, in the right channel, at the right time. One-size-fits-all tactics, whether it be from marketing or sales, will not yield sustainable growth and conversions. The goal of sellers and marketers should be to anticipate and deliver on the needs of buyers in real-time with a hyper-relevant and optimized experience that evolves as new insights are generated through interactions. Yet, B2B companies face more challenges than ever. Buyer cycles are longer, in-person interaction has drastically decreased, and it has become extremely difficult to build authentic relationships with prospects in crowded markets with smaller windows of opportunity.

Brand connection is everything, and that’s why personalization is essential. But to deliver on effective personalization tactics, sellers and marketers must capture buyer intent.

What is Buyer Intent?

What do we mean when we say ‘buyer intent?’ Buyer intent refers to the information and processes that reveal the “intent” of an account or prospect towards purchasing your product or solution. Buyer intent as a solution typically comes in the form of intent data. Buyer intent data is behavioral information for a given target on a buying journey, typically stemming from their online research and prospecting activity. Rather than relying on generic target lists, sellers and marketers can leverage buyer intent data to improve outreach and demand generation campaigns, targeted ads, and so much more. 

Ideally, buyer intent data will be topically and contextually relevant. By this, we mean that the data should tell you who’s in-market and what signals they’ve generated to earn that distinction, mostly in the form of third-party sources as seen below.

It’s also important that this data offer person-based granularity that provides insight into the individuals and decision-makers demonstrating in-market behavior rather than just at the account level. 

Every organization tracks 1st party data, such as visitors to their website. However, 3rdparty intent data can be a real game-changer for sales and marketing teams, and enable them to discover those hidden, in-market opportunities. Purchasing decisions are often heavily influenced before a prospect views your website or reaches out, hence why 3rd party intent data is essential to monitor. Buyers are increasingly reliant upon third-party sources for information, as seen below in the results from a survey conducted by Gartner.

Buyer Intent = Personalization

For B2B marketing and sales teams, it’s important to understand that in today’s environment, it’s nearly impossible to control the buying journey. Each buyer’s path to purchase is complex and unique. Therefore, the focus should be on meeting buyers where they are, anticipating their needs, and tailoring tactics to help buyers take the next step. Buyer intent data enables teams to deliver hyper-personalization like never before. Marketing and sales can react in real-time, be more efficient and effective in their actions, and increase their chances of winning deals.

Marketing Personalization

From a marketing perspective, personalization is the best way to address the constant pain point of low conversion rates. Marketers may be able to reach prospects in the right channels, but without a personalized experience that delivers the right message influenced by buyer intent signals, then engagement opportunities are likely to yield little results. Marketers must leverage intent data signals to deliver a message that speaks to a buyer's interests and needs. Not only can conversion rates improve in the process, but so can ROI on outreach initiatives. Instead of allocating a vast percentage of budgets on generic ads or outreach activities, marketers can focus on more targeted approaches that deliver on what buyers are looking for and nurture leads further along the buyer lifecycle.

In the end, marketers will bring more qualified leads to sales teams with a demonstrated narrative of engagement and intent that sales reps can trust and better act on.

Sales Personalization

For sales teams, a personalized approach allows reps to spend more time nurturing qualified leads and less time making cold calls that rarely lead to conversions. Targeted approaches fueled by buyer intent data applies to sales reps as well, as they can deliver personalized outbound experiences and even customize sales scripts depending on the needs of a specific buyer.

The reality, however, is many buyer intent data solutions have failed to enable actionability and personalization. That’s because these solutions are not all-in-one platforms focused on the entire buyer lifecycle and person-based granularity.

At Aptivio, we understand these shortcomings, and that’s why we created a comprehensive buyer intent AI system centered around delivering personalized experiences from end-to-end of the buying journey.

Buyer Intent Data + AI

It’s important to note, that the buyer intent data market has evolved drastically in recent years by way of artificial intelligence. Stand-alone buyer intent data had proved less than fruitful, causing more complexity, lack of actionability, and usability problems. Many intent data providers have since tried to merge with AI platforms, as its ability to manage massive datasets and translate them into actionability is undeniable. Yet, these attempts at merging with AI have, in reality, included building AI projects on top of their data in long, 18-month in-house builds.

In the end, these attempted merges have produced solutions that remain unactionable, overly complex, costly, and inaccessible. Aptivio, however, is a cloud-native, all-in-one buyer intent AI platform that was built from the ground up and takes just 30 days to begin realizing ROI. We pride ourselves on having an accessible, user-friendly AI platform built specifically for the day-to-day work of revenue teams. Buyer intent data remains an essential component of our platform but is rather one of several key components in our complete solution.

Aptivio’s Buyer Intent Data

While it’s clear 3rd party buyer intent data can be a game-changer for B2B organizations, the dilemma sellers and marketers often face is that the data delivered is highly unstructured and voluminous, and ultimately, lacks usability and actionability. Big data can be inherently complex, but at Aptivio we understand end-users need data that’ll make their lives easier, not harder. Aptivio seamlessly integrates into existing workflows and translates data into real-time insights and buying signals tailored to your go-to-market approach.

Aptivio’s buyer intent data spans across all buyer stages, and signals are produced through a continuous cycle that determines lead fit, access, demand, timing, engagement, and risk. Our 150+ signals are driven by our AI-powered buyer intent data coverage that monitors external data points in real-time, the sources of which can be seen below.

Buyer intent signals are then matched with the buyer stage and tailored to the specific buyer levels down to the actual decision-maker for an account. As a result, sellers and marketers are empowered throughout the entire buyer lifecycle to deliver personalized, informed experiences to the right prospects and not just at the account level.

Aptivio’s Unique IP

In the graphic below, you’ll see a visual depiction of Aptivio’s unique IP that powers our buyer intent AI engine. Our signals, action cards, and contextual plugins come together to deliver a fully comprehensive buyer intent solution.

Our real-time action cards and AI-powered system allow B2B teams to always act in real-time and capitalize on opportunities with prospective buyers. These action cards are embedded directly into existing workflows to allow sellers and marketers to cover any gaps in their engagement and nurturing tactics. We suggest actions tailored to the specific buyers based on buyer intent signals they’ve generated, allowing reps and marketers to not just take the right action, but to do so at the right time in accordance with a given buyer’s needs.

Two specific examples of action cards can be seen below. In this case, these real-time alerts would help your team be aware of new risks and relevant in-market buyers that have emerged.

Aptivio & Marketing

Aptivio’s continuous cycle of buyer intent signals enable personalization no matter what stage buyers are in. Our AI system feeds itself in many respects.

For example, a bulk of the opportunities in Aptivio are classified as Early Target or Active Research stage. These opportunities come directly from our signal monitoring tailored to your go-to-market playbook. Marketing can then run campaigns against these signals to increase the strength of the opportunity. Marketing typically uses filters in our system to create highly targeted campaigns based on buyer intent to raise awareness or drive engagement. As marketing runs campaigns, additional buyer intent signals continue to cycle back in as leads get nurtured along the buyer lifecycle. As these leads move over to sales, reps can see a full narrative for any potential buyer, rather than simply showing a prospect clicked on an ad or post.

Aptivio & Sales

We don’t just fuel pipelines for sales, we empower reps to close more deals. Through our intent signals and action card recommendations, reps can ensure they pursue a targeted and informed approach for each prospective buyer. Reps can personalize outbound campaigns like emails or calls suited directly to the customers’ needs based on their buying stage and intent signals generated. SDRs, for example, can be far more efficient and effective in their actions. Rather than running through a list of names to cold call and generate minimal engagement, they instead focus on personalized outreach to specific prospects who have demonstrated buyer intent. Our platform can free up reps from repetitive, tedious tasks that yield little to no results and allow sales teams to allocate resources directly suited to close deals.

As a whole, Aptivio places each customer at the center of sales and marketing processes. Aptivio’s buyer intent AI platform is the glue between the sales cycle, the sales stack, your entire revenue team, and the outside world. Our all-in-one platform doesn’t just drive value for sales and marketing either, it supports each role of the revenue team, from rev ops to your data privacy/IT. We consider ourselves a fully comprehensive platform not just because of the various solutions we offer but to who we deliver value.
If you want to learn more about how Aptivio can drive personalization and win customers in B2B markets, take a look at our website or sign-up free today.