Business-to-business (B2B) selling is changing. Digital has made the competition more fierce, networking easier, and researching deeper. There are more products to choose from making the sales cycle longer as prospects spend more time moving up and down the funnel. While online sales have made closing deals faster, it has not made it easier.

Establishing relationships online is more difficult than it is in person. Prospects are now more likely to interact with you online rather than meet in an office, attend conventions, or make time for business dinners. It is also expected that you are available to answer clients and prospects outside of traditional business hours, as people are wanting to make contact from all over the world and at times that suit them best.

The digital revolution has completely transformed sales. Buyers have more access to information and sellers have more competition. As the pandemic continues, generating leads is becoming increasingly challenging. Finding contacts who are not in the office, emailing prospects whose company might be on the verge of collapse, and struggling to make connections from the isolation of a home office is likely to be common for many in B2B sales.

So, how do we overcome the challenge of identifying potential buyers right now?

Data-Driven Intent Marketing 

Intent marketing is a form of marketing that takes a granular approach and looks at specific products, keywords, problems, and solutions the buyer is researching online. This process using a data-driven approach uses data captured by third-party websites to provide information on the specific topics a buyer is currently researching. This lets sales teams know that prospects are looking to solve business problems with their solution.

Intent marketing can be effective for B2B sales if leveraged correctly. To maximize intent marketing for B2B selling:

  1. Define your topics.

You need to be certain of the solutions that your products provide and use the right words to describe your solution. This is similar to determining keywords for search engine optimization (SEO). With broad-range solutions, it is important that your product be given as many accurate descriptions as possible so that your website will rank in searches.

Leverage your industry expertise to narrow down the list, and be ready to change the topics to source more contacts if your results are questionable or low yielding.

  1. Use reputable intent marketing software.

Intent marketing software is a must for growing new business prospects as businesses become increasingly digital. Such companies will provide you with strong leads and score them based on the number of times they have searched the web for your defined topics. The salespeople receive a new list each week, giving your sales team the opportunity to be one of the first to interact with the prospect and gain a competitive advantage.

  1. Do your own detective work.

Once you know the company and the topics they are searching for, you can continue with your own research. Social media tools are a good way of finding out more about your lead, including what pain points they have, how they interact with their clients, what they value as a company, and even what level of interaction they have with their clients and even your potential competitors.

Data-driven intent marketing is somewhat similar to traditional “account-based selling”, but includes leveraging new digital tools. For B2B companies to remain buoyant in a changing and challenging global economy, new tools and approaches must be adopted so that businesses can prosper.