Use Intent Data to Get the Most Out of Your CRM Software

November 20, 2020
Contributor: Samantha Bonanno

Intent data can inform and enhance the features of CRM software, pinpoint new marketing opportunities and boost sales rates.

When a business wants to better manage its sales lead interactions, customer support and customer relationships, it often turns to customer relationship management (CRM) software. Good CRM software provides reliable systems and processes and allows for the smooth integration of marketing, sales and customer experience (CX) organizational processes. 

CRM software systems also provide a searchable database of both lead data and existing customer data, but how do you take that one step further to get the most out of your software? Applying insights gained from buyer intent data means a treasure trove of real buyer activity data that can help guide your business communication and marketing strategies.

Buyer activity can include:
Buyer activity can include downloading a white paper, website visits, search platform inquiries, attending a webinar, viewing product reviews, subscribing to content.

An individual interacting with digital media in one of these ways is likely signaling their interest in that particular topic. Such behaviors can be mapped alongside other existing customer data gathered by your CRM solution to better anticipate where a lead is within the sales funnel or which new product feature is most valuable to an existing customer.
 

Transform your existing CRM

Adopting these intent data strategies doesn’t have to mean abandoning your tried-and-true CRM software vendor. Many of today's most popular vendors have begun rolling out intent data integrations for their existing software suites.

Let’s take a look at three of the most common functionalities your existing CRM software has and map out how intent data will enhance those capabilities and empower you to build smarter sales and marketing strategies. 
 

Lead management

CRM software enables you to track interactions, documenting conversations with prospects on different channels such as phone, email, live chat or in-person. You can zoom in and see the status of an individual prospect, or zoom out to see trends. 

Contrasting your own lead data with third-party intent data can illuminate discrepancies between the way leads move through your sales funnel and how a large cross-section of people navigate the sales funnel in similar industries. 

Intent data can help your business better understand the behavior of your prospective customers and lower the risk of dead leads. Sales and marketing teams can use this data to assess if there are stall points within their own funnels and use insights from the intent data to guide more expedient strategies.

Segmentation

A segmentation feature in your CRM software allows you to run a data analysis and divide your customer base into groups based on attributes such as age, gender, location, and even behaviors or preferences to create targeted sales and marketing campaigns. 

These types of tools are the darlings of account-based marketers (ABMs) who build semi-custom marketing campaigns and strategies around each high-value account and lead. 

Intent data can help marketers and sales teams predict more accurately where to find their target customers and where to focus outreach. For example, big third-party datasets might indicate that your business’s target audience spends more of their time on Twitter than other social media sites.

Customer management

Once a contact has made their first purchase, they transition from being a sales lead to a customer. CRM software keeps track of follow-up interactions, customer engagement, documents exchanged, follow-up purchases and other information that can indicate how satisfied a customer is with your product or service. 

Intent data can help your customer experience (CX) team anticipate and intercept customer churn. For example, third-party intent data can be used to flag or alert your CX team when an existing customer begins to shop your competitors.

For more information on how intent data can pinpoint marketing and CX opportunities, as well as boost sales rates, check out our white paper, Achieve More With Buyer Intent
 

Samantha Bonanno

Samantha is a Senior Specialist Analyst for Gartner Digital Markets, where she offers insight and thought leadership on marketing trends and best practices for small and midsize businesses. An Upstate New York native, Sam spends her free time backpacking with her dogs and holding snobby opinions on craft beer and single-origin coffee. Connect with Samantha on LinkedIn.

Get the Gartner Digital Markets Newsletter

By clicking the "Subscribe" button, you are agreeing to the Gartner Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.