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All You Need to Know About Buyer Intent



Whether you own a B2C business or B2B business, your ultimate goal is a sale to a customer. Unfortunately for business owners, the B2B sales cycle can take anywhere from months to a year or more. There are reasons for that extended cycle.

B2B sales often involve vastly larger sums of money. That extra money almost always means there are multiple decision-makers in the mix. Most B2B sales involve some degree of customization.

Yet, one of the other major reasons is a lack of clarity about buyer intent. All too often, B2B sales reps go into a meeting without knowing if the other person is even in the market for real.

Wondering how buyer intent applies to you? Keep reading for a quick overview of what it is and its relevance.

Picking Customers

Picking your ideal customer for a product often means building a customer avatar. You fill out the range of features, such as industry and revenue for a business sale. Then, you look for businesses that fit that profile.

You then direct sales and marketing collateral at those businesses. Some of it happens through indirect channels like advertising in industry mags.

Some of it you do through things like content marketing and SEO on your website. You can check out this website for more info on those topics. Some of it happens through direct contacts like sales calls and emails.

At that point, you typically get the meeting and make your pitch to bring them into the sales process. Yet, you’re still largely in the dark about buyer intent.

What is Buyer Intent?

In broad terms, buyer intent means buyer behavior that signals that the person is in the market for what you sell. Things like signing up for your newsletter are an example. The idea is that you can put together data that gives you a much clearer idea of whether or not you’re wasting your time pitching a particular company.

How Buyer Intent Works?

How do you assess buyer intent? There are three main kinds of data you can gather that give you a picture of buyer intent.

Direct data means actions you see firsthand, such as behaviors on your own website. There is also secondary data, which boils down to direct data you buy from another company. The final kind of data is indirect data about a company, such as events attended.

You can look for those kinds of behaviors across the sales cycle. The more you see, the stronger the buyer intent.

Buyer Intent and You

Buyer intent essentially works as a sanity check against your desire to make a sale. It’s easy for you or a salesperson to read interest in a potential buyer because you want them to prove interested.

Buyer intent data helps you quantify whether that interest exists in fact or only exists in your own head. It can help you save time by avoiding non-interested parties.

Looking for more sales tips? Check out the posts in our Business section.

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