How to Use Intent Data to Identify Sales-Qualified Leads (SQLs) and Win More Deals  

Written by

Vikas Bhatt

how to identify sales qualified leads using intent data

What’s the perpetual challenge in every sales funnel? 

You got it—Generating sales-qualified leads. 

According to a Gartner survey, a mere 34% of marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) progress to sales-accepted leads (SALs), and only 47% of these SALs become sales-qualified leads (SQLs), with just over half culminating in successful deals. 

This emphasizes the critical need to identify sales-qualified leads primed for conversion. 

In today’s vast landscape of information, buyers rightfully expect to explore solutions at their own pace. They prefer not to engage with sales messages or calls until they’re ready. 

Consider this scenario: Your prospect is actively seeking your solution and is prepared to engage with your sales team. However, a premature sales contact could deter them.

According to a McKinsey report: 

how to leverage intent data to identify sales qualified leads
  • 66% of people expect personalized messaging tailored to their needs. 
  • 59% expect timely communication aligned with key decision points. 

Understanding the buyer’s intent is now more crucial than ever, and this is precisely where intent data plays a pivotal role. 

But how does it work? 

Read on to delve into how intent data can illuminate your prospect’s intent, leading to the identification of sales-qualified leads and increased deal closures. be

What is Intent Data and How Does it Help Identify Sales-Qualified Leads? 

Intent data transcends basic website visits, offering profound insights into a prospect’s purchase intent. It analyzes diverse online behaviors, including content downloads, registrations for white papers, visits to solution-related webpages, and even interactions with competitor content.

This comprehensive data enables you to pinpoint prospects actively researching solutions akin to yours, indicating a heightened readiness to engage with your sales team. 

Leveraging intent data empowers you to: 

how to use intent data to identify sales qualified leads
  • Target the right audience: Concentrate your sales and marketing efforts on companies exhibiting clear buying signals for your offerings. 
  • Prioritize leads effectively: Allocate resources to leads showing robust purchase intent, maximizing your efficiency. 
  • Personalize outreach messages: Tailor compelling outreach based on the prospect’s unique needs and interests derived from intent data. 

Let’s spotlight findings from the Forrester 2023 report on B2B Intent data

Overall, companies leveraging intent data witness a significant upsurge in their sales conversions. 

Must Read: The Power of Intent Data for Lead Generation

Understanding Buyer Behavior with Intent Data 

“The buyer’s journey is no longer a linear path; it’s about providing prospects with the content they need when they’re ready to decide.”

– Dillon Allie, VP of Client Services, HDMZ. 

Intent data captures various buyer behavior signals indicative of a prospect’s interest level. Here are key examples: 

  • Website visits: Consistent visits to specific product pages or resource sections signal deeper engagement. 
  • Content downloads: Retrieving white papers, case studies, or ebooks relevant to your offerings indicates a strong desire to learn more. 
  • Engagement with specific content: Clicks on blog posts, webinars, or other content addressing pain points reveal active research. 
  • Social media activity: Following your company’s social media profiles, attending sponsored industry events, or engaging in relevant social media discussions all demonstrate interest. 
  • Researching competitor content: While not ideal, exploring competitor content can still offer valuable insights, especially if prospects subsequently visit your website for comparison. 

Leveraging Intent Data for Lead Scoring 

Lead scoring, a critical lead qualification process, traditionally relies on demographics, firmographics, and website activity. However, intent data introduces a powerful new dimension to scoring. 

By integrating intent data into your lead scoring model, you can assign higher scores to leadsta displaying strong buying signals. This enables you to prioritize leads with a higher likelihood of conversion into paying customers. 

For instance, a prospect who downloads a white paper on a specific product feature and then visits the product pricing page would receive a significantly higher score compared to someone who merely visited your homepage. 

Must Read: How to Collect B2B Intent Data

Marketing Automation & Intent Data: A Dynamic Duo 

By 2030, the global automation market is projected to reach $13.71 billion (Polaris). 

In the evolving B2B market, leveraging marketing automation platforms (MAPs) is no longer optional—it’s essential for staying ahead. 

When combined with intent data, MAPs become powerful tools for lead nurturing. Integrating intent data with your MAP enables automated nurturing campaigns based on prospect’s behavior. 

Must Read: How to Leverage Intent Data for Sales

Where does the data for lead scoring originate? 

Email campaigns: 

Leads exhibiting strong purchase intent can trigger automated email sequences. Early-stage website visitors may receive informative blog posts or downloadable resources to further educate them. 

Automation based on prospect behavior: 

Marketing automation can personalize website experiences by showcasing relevant content based on past browsing behavior. 

This targeted nurturing, fueled by intent data insights, keeps your brand top-of-mind and guides prospects through the buyer journey, significantly enhancing the likelihood of converting them into qualified leads. 

Must Read: First Party, Second Party, and Third Party Intent Data: Diving Into Notable Differences

In Conclusion 

Effectively utilizing intent data offers deeper insights into your target audience’s buying intent, enabling you to identify high-quality sales-qualified leads and close more deals. However, overcoming the discussed challenges is vital to maximizing the ROI of your intent data investment. 

Must Read: Virtual Prospecting with Intent Data: Fueling B2B Engagement

Embrace the Power of Intent Data with Only B2B 

Only B2B is a leading provider of B2B marketing solutions, with extensive expertise in leveraging intent data to help our clients achieve success. We offer a comprehensive suite of services including: 

Data Integration and Management: Seamless integration of intent data with your existing marketing technology stack. 

Data Quality and Validation: Ensuring the accuracy and reliability of your intent data insights. 

Lead Scoring and Marketing Automation: Developing a robust lead scoring model and automated nurturing campaigns powered by intent data. 

Sales Enablement: Equipping your sales reps with the knowledge and skills to leverage intent data for personalized outreach and lead conversion. 

Ready to take your lead qualification efforts to the next level? Contact Only B2B today for a free consultation and discover how we can help you harness the power of intent data to identify more qualified leads, generate higher sales pipeline velocity, and achieve your revenue goals. 


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