Build a better demand gen engine for today’s state of B2B buying

February 28, 2023 Ryan Moline

Marketers these days have a lot on their minds likely surrounding budget cuts, a change in consumers’ behavior, and the macroeconomic climate. In Q4 2022, nearly 60% of B2B marketers report current budgets being cut or staying flat and two-thirds of marketers are expected to accomplish the same or 3 more with fewer resources. And 87% of buyers prefer a self-led process. To make it even more challenging for marketers, buyers expect a personalized and relevant experience. 

And then - yes, there are more challenges - with most B2B organizations, purchasing happens as a committee. This means that a group of people is involved in a purchase decision. Rather than just one or two stakeholders sellers and marketers traditionally had to appeal to, now there are significant influencers who drive the buying journey forward and have some power in making the purchase. Oftentimes, a seller may never even meet these influencers, but they each have different needs.

Being a marketer and seller in 2023 is not easy. It’s a year that promises new opportunities with new challenges.

How are marketers supposed to meet the needs of their sales teams and create unique experiences for the entire buying committee? As businesses work through the changes in their team resources, how are they supposed to address the needs of their prospects who may have also gone through transitions and budget cuts?

TLDR:The state of the B2B buyer’s world and what to do about it is highlighted in this webinar, 7 Ways to Bring Certainty to Uncertain Budgets.

What’s your B2B sales process like?

There’s no one-answer fits all, but a lot of the marketing and sales challenges of today can be addressed by creating efficiencies. Although the landscape is complex and decision-makers are numerous, there’s a guiding light through the tunnel — and that’s with an Intent data-driven account-based marketing approach

Sellers and SDRs who aren’t using an Intent data-driven process are likely still stuck in the past of chasing a list of cold prospects and experiencing constant roadblocks and objections. It’s an inefficient use of time (for marketers too). The sales process is already long and costly.

But Intent data can identify which accounts are in-market and sellers can use those intent signals to prioritize who to reach out to and with what content. That’s because Intent data insights reveal the topics and content that prospective buyers are actively researching, and when they’re doing it. When built into an efficient process, and layered with first-party data, Intent data fills gaps in the buyer’s journey many organizations didn’t even know existed. 

Marketing messaging becomes not only relevant but product innovation can also be guided. There’s a higher probability of converting leads resulting in a more efficient ABM strategy, reduced cost of acquisition, and even customer retention — the entire organization can benefit! 

Intent data for account prioritization and sales intelligence in 2023

Whether your objective is to provide better sales intelligence or to create better-focused ABM programmatic campaigns, adopting a new powerful tool like Intent data requires careful planning and defined processes for it to impact the greater cross-functional organization.

You simply can’t plan ahead if you don’t know how you’re performing today, so one of the first steps is to understand your TAIM and establish benchmarks. With ROI and return-on-effort more important than ever, it is a must to dig through your CRM, sort your spreadsheets, and organize those lists. 

Invest in integrations and solutions that not only allow your sellers and marketers to do their jobs better but that unify your revenue-driving and operations teams too.

The following are our recommendations for enterprise-level team leaders to gain internal adoption, drive efficiencies, and simply see better conversations with accounts. By enriching existing first-party data with Intent data in these scenarios, close rates, internal advocacy, and demand gen will grow over time. 

Sales prospecting and outreach

The right Intent data tool can allow SDRs to can select topics relevant to the products their prospects sell, and can narrow down data filters by a geographic region. Make sure you implement a lead scoring system that allows salespeople to see only the target accounts that are showing strong and increased recent interest in those selected topics.

For example, with Bombora’s Company Surge®, the Intent data results will identify the target accounts that are interested in the specified topic(s), in the specified area. Sales representatives can customize talk tracks to accommodate what their prospects are researching.

Fuel ABM and demand gen strategies

Sellers know which accounts are most important to them based on Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) fit when Intent data works to reveal net-new businesses that may serve as qualified prospects. 

Using certain platforms, like RollWorks, that are integrated with Bombora Company Surge® makes the process seamless to build a target account list of those interested in the highest number of topics, and segment audiences to target and engage them with digital advertising and ABM campaigns.

Validate campaign efficacy with analytics

Before, during, and after a campaign, make sure you review website analytics to see how many people from a certain business or target account are visiting your website, and what pages they’ve viewed. Coupled with Intent data, these insights validate that ABM campaigns are effectively driving interest throughout their entire run time. Leverage first-party and real-time data to quickly analyze emerging trends and update content accordingly. 

Rise to the challenges of 2023 

There are endless use cases for Intent data throughout the business. For many marketers and sellers today, it’s account prioritization, revenue acceleration, and proving value to the entire buying committee. To keep your priorities in check, watch this webinar, 7 Ways to Bring Certainty to Uncertain Budgets where Bowie Sievers and I tag-team our RollWorks and Bombora product marketing knowledge and walk through the best practices that allow you to be confident in your strategies this year.

Taking insights and putting them into action is rarely easy. There are a lot of sources of data and they’re not all created the same. It can be overwhelming. But there are businesses who have gone through these Intent data challenges and come out on the other side of successful data adoption with personalized buyer’s journeys and efficient ABM and demand gen processes.

In fact, in 2020, 51% of B2B leaders indicated that they were using Intent data as a tool to better identify and assess prospects in a buying cycle. And brands project using an average of 18 data sources in 2023, up from 10 sources in 2021. 

It’s more critical than ever to have comprehensive, reliable data to inform strategic initiatives. Let Intent data be that guide to growth and provide value throughout the organization.

About the Author

Ryan Moline

Product Marketing @ Bombora

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