“Intent Data Isn’t Just for Marketing” and Other Themes from TechTarget’s Boston Priority Engine User Group

Abby Gilmore Grant

Director, Client Consulting

intent dataWith a rapidly growing user base, we are continuing to host Priority Engine user group discussions across the globe. The roundtable meetings have served as a way for marketers and sales professionals to share details on use cases, achievements and challenges, while learning from the experiences of their peers. As the first Boston area event was a great success, we held a second in April 2018. See below for 4 key themes from the event:

Personalization reaches the next level

Personalization in marketing isn’t new – at this point, it’s expected. Using Priority Engine intent data to personalize outreach efforts has been reoccurring theme at all the user group events held to date, and this occasion was no different. Though this time, multiple attendees mentioned their marketing teams are taking personalization even further by making a concerted effort to segment audiences and customize communication throughout the entire buyer journey.

For example, many organizations currently use Priority Engine to pull segmented lists based on a topic researched, install base or vertical. Those contacts are then placed in a specific nurture stream based on the lists’ common interest. However, at the user group, we learned that numerous vendors are creating additional “mini streams” that users are placed in based on their engagement with the initial nurture stream content. This allows for even more personalization as buyers move down funnel.

The marketing-sales handoff is improving with better insight from third-party data sources

Marketing and sales alignment is a challenge for many organizations, but is truly crucial for overall success. In fact, according to Aberdeen, companies with strong sales and marketing alignment grow revenue at a 64% higher rate.

In hopes of strengthening that alignment, several marketers in attendance mentioned that their respective organizations are taking steps to improve the handoff to sales when it comes to leads and contacts. Most plan to improve the handoff process via lead scoring – be it by implementing a scoring methodology for the first time, or enhancing the way contacts are currently scored.

Without scoring at all, sales teams don’t have the necessary direction or prioritization to make outreach as effective as it could be, as it’s essentially a “free for all” and there is no actual handoff. Implementing a scoring structure allows marketing to flag the right people to sales reps at the right time, as long as the right attributes are influencing the score.

Most current scoring methodologies discussed at the event take demographic data and lead activity (e.g. direct whitepaper downloads) into consideration, but lack input from any outside sources. Because of this, contacts that should be flagged to sales can be overlooked, which can result in missed opportunities. Integrating third-party data, like topic-level research and purchase signals sourced from Priority Engine is on the short-list for enhancing contact scores and improving the handoff from marketing to sales.

Intent data is not just for marketing – Data-driven sales teams use intent to prioritize territories and drive more productive conversations

Marketers aren’t the only ones using intent data to better inform strategies; sales teams are becoming more data-driven as well. More than one user group attendee explained how their sales teams are leveraging Priority Engine to both prioritize and customize outreach.

One of the many features of Priority Engine is the prioritization of accounts based on activity. Each Sunday, accounts in any saved profile are re-ranked based on the activity that occurred over the last week. Further, Priority Engine has the functionality for an ABM list – like rep territory or target account list – to be uploaded and prioritized. This allows sales reps to better understand which accounts and contacts to focus on in a given week.

Additionally, reps are using the intent data provided to personalize outreach over email and on calls. Understanding an account’s research around specific topics and vendors enables reps to provide relevant content to prospects and better prepare for discussions, making those conversations much more productive for both parties.

“Net-new” isn’t the end all – finding new demand within existing accounts

“Net-new” is a term that’s all too familiar to marketing and sales professionals – as finding new contacts and new business is always a part of the job description. But net-new isn’t the end all when it comes to drumming up revenue.

Multiple marketers explained how they are using Priority Engine to cross-sell complementary products to current customers, using topic-based intent data to isolate the appropriate product to position in messaging. One attendee detailed how his team leverages Priority Engine’s custom list upload feature to fuel a customer cloud migration campaign.

By uploading an ABM list of current legacy, on-premise customers to Priority Engine, he is able to identify which of those accounts are actively researching cloud. From there, the contacts are placed in a nurture stream featuring content around migrating to the cloud. Once a contact interacts with a cloud-specific asset, the information is kicked over to customer success to investigate cloud migration opportunities.

Guidance to fuel better collaboration, conversions and pipeline

This user group event featured great insight from both marketing and sales professionals leveraging TechTarget’s Priority Engine tool to drive conversions and pipeline. If you are interested in participating in a future Priority Engine user group in your city, please reach out today.

ABM, intent data, lead handoff strategies, marketing and sales alignment, marketing personalization, Priority Engine, Priority Engine User Group, purchase intent insight, sales enablement, sales marketing handoff

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