Intent Data: A Common Language for Sales and Marketing Teams

When you get access to the right third-party intent data, you can work with sales to create more complete profiles of target accounts. And with those profiles in hand, you can personalize your marketing efforts more effectively.

Sales and marketing haven’t always seen eye to eye. That’s probably not news to you.

By Nicole Bernier

But even though you’ve gotten this far without complete harmony between your team and sales, there’s real value in working toward alignment. According to research from SiriusDecisions, B2B organizations with closely-aligned sales and marketing departments see 24% faster three-year revenue growth and 27% faster three-year profit growth.

There’s just one problem — so many sales and marketing teams struggle against one another, speaking entirely different languages. When you’re putting an account-based marketing (ABM) strategy into effect, you have an opportunity to change that. And intent data is the common language that can bring sales and marketing together.

The Problem with Sales and Marketing Misalignment

Sales and marketing have always been measured by different success metrics. The sales team speaks in terms of accounts, quarterly quotas, and the bottom line. And while you’re trying to enable their efforts, marketers are more often measured on lead quantity, engagement, and long-term brand awareness.

Traditionally, misaligned sales and marketing metrics might have led to arguments over credit for business results. But when it comes to ABM, the stakes are much higher.

In account-based marketing, if sales and marketing aren’t working together, you risk wasting time and resources pursuing target accounts that won’t convert. Without alignment, marketers will waste money on ad retargeting and personalized content that never reaches their intended targets, while sales will be on their own, putting the success of the entire ABM process on their shoulders.

Inevitably, you’ll both fall short of your ABM goals.

Rather than continuing to struggle against sales and marketing misalignment, you can take practical steps to overcome the gap, ensuring the two teams are entirely integrated and pursuing overall business success:

  • Shift your lead gen focus to an account focus that better aligns with sales goals
  • Work with sales directly to define ideal target accounts for ABM activities
  • Choose metrics of success as a cohesive unit rather than separate entities
  • Set up a practice of regular check-ins to maintain alignment
  • Work from the same foundation of data to ensure you’re on the same page at all times

These steps will help you align more closely with sales in an ABM practice, but they all come down to one thing—finding a shared language for working together toward business goals.

High-quality intent data can be that shared language for your ABM practice.

Making Intent Data the Bridge Between Sales and Marketing

Purchase intent data gives you the perfect foundation to bring sales and marketing teams together.

When you get access to the right third-party intent data, you can work with sales to create more complete profiles of target accounts. And with those profiles in hand, you can personalize your marketing efforts more effectively. Rather than trying to generate more leads to satisfy quotas with sales, you can improve sales enablement and make it easier to close deals.

All the collaborative processes in the world won’t make up for deeper issues that come from flying blind in your approach to identifying target companies. On the surface, it might seem like you’re aligned with sales — but it can fall apart when sales tries to close the wrong accounts because you qualified them.

Intent data brings sales and marketing together because it delivers:

  • Efficiency: Prioritize accounts based on likelihood of closing a deal, avoiding wasted time by both your team and sales.
  • Pipeline Quality: Increase your ability to qualify opportunities so sales can accelerate their processes and convert at a higher rate.
  • Win-Rates: Give sales teams more in-market accounts to pursue, increasing the likelihood of positive sales outcomes.

The problem is that no all intent data is created equal. Just because you invest in a third-party report doesn’t mean your sales and marketing will suddenly be completely aligned. You need to know how to get the most out of intent data to create a common language between your team and sales.

If you want to learn more about intent data and what it can do for your business, check out the free report, Demystifying B2B Purchase Intent Data.

This article originally appeared in Business2Community. Photo by Alexis Chloe on Unsplash.

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