Episode #002 - Intro to Intent Based Sales

Transcription

Chris Battis: On this episode of intent topics, were gonna introduce you to intent based sales.

Chris Battis: I'm Chris Battis and this is Logan Kelly and today we'll be talking about intent based sales. What is it? How does it work? How does it tie into account based marketing? Logan, why don't you tell us, what is intent based sales?

Logan Kelly: Yeah, so, intent based sales is basically data that just arms sales people to contact the right company and the right person at the right time. If you think about all the cold calls we've ever made, all the cold emails we've ever sent, it's basically data driven outreach that allows us to hit that right target at the right time. So it's basically data plus sales, and it just helps us crush.

Chris Battis: Sweet, sweet. Tell me about this data. What kind of data are you talking about?

Logan Kelly: Yeah, so intent data ... there's a few different flavors of intent data on the market, but basically the point of it is to figure out is a company actively researching a particular topic, solution? Or do they currently have a problem that they don't know how to solve that we can then go out and outreach and help them really solve that problem?

Logan Kelly: And this ties into what we were talking about on an earlier podcast which was there's a big sort of shift that's occurred over the last 10 years where prospects are communicating less with the company-

Chris Battis: Yeah.

Logan Kelly: Less with the old sources of data and really going to that self service way of answering their questions and solving their problems.

Logan Kelly: So intent data takes all ... is basically what are they consuming? What's that company consuming? The AI makes it really easy to put that into bite size chunks, that then as sales ... our sales teams and our data teams can then sort of analyze that and really build a sweet target list.

Chris Battis: Sure. Yeah. So, I always have a tendency to tie things back to fishing analogies, right?

Logan Kelly: Sure.

Chris Battis: And so to use the fishing analogy, I would explain intent data as knowing where to fish, what lures to use to catch specific fish, and at what depths, et cetera, right? It's just more intelligence on how to catch more fish, where to fish. And in this case, were using data to know where to target our messaging and whose door to knock on, right?

Logan Kelly: Sure. Yeah. Exactly. Exactly. And one of the awesome things that it's allowed us to do, and I think anybody using intent data can do this, it's like I don't need to guess what messaging I should be creating. It's already there.

Chris Battis: Right.

Logan Kelly: We just need to read the data and we can come up with the right message to send.

Chris Battis: Right.

Logan Kelly: So, that's fantastic and it's really changed a lot of our processes on their heads over the year or so that we've been using it.

Chris Battis: Yeah. So, specifically let's talk about how it works, right? You're talking about this data, and you're talking about outreach, but could you go a little deeper into how this intent sales thing works?

Logan Kelly: Absolutely, absolutely. So, as I said, there's a couple of flavors of the data. What I'm a big fan of is the data that is derived from understanding what content is being consumed. So, one of the places that people go to whenever I bring up intent data it's like "oh, so you can see what they're searching for." But, in reality, I don't really care what somebody's searching for, right? You could be searching for a particular keyword for many different reasons. But what I do care is have you downloaded an ebook? Have you visited more than one article or piece of content that's related to a specific topic? And how long has that been going on? So recency is obviously big piece here, so when did that start? And is that person still searching?

Logan Kelly: So, there's what content and how long? And how relevant is that to the product or service that were selling?

Chris Battis: Right, right. Killer. So, how would you say the concept of intent based sales, how is this different, or how is this alike account based marketing?

Logan Kelly: Yeah, so account based marketing is, and intent based sales, really sort of are driving in exactly the same lane, and really power each other, so intent data means nothing if you don't know the company, right?

Chris Battis: Right.

Logan Kelly: So I need to know that somebody inside this company is searching for X topic.

Chris Battis: Sure.

Logan Kelly: So that's great. But if you have an ABM Strategy without intent data, we're really guessing what the ... we're guessing in the account selection and who to call.

Chris Battis: Right.

Logan Kelly: So, if we think about it, you've got a CRM at most companies that's full of a bunch of companies and the sales rep or the business development guy or gal is calling on the same three or four hundred, two hundred, accounts, every single day. And they're not adding accounts. There's no net new. If they are, they're based off of some sort of magic.

Logan Kelly: Whereas account based marketing that's powered with intent, you're really picking that right account, giving that rep and that sales team the best chance of success.

Chris Battis: Right. Cool.

Logan Kelly: Yeah, and so one of the other things that we have seen with account based ... when we tie account based marketing to intent, you see an increase in sort of intermittent inbound conversions of that account that you added into your system. So there's this really cool play where you do some outreach, you're building awareness. The sales cycle is shorter because you know that that person is in a buying cycle, but you're getting different levels of engagement and if you're set up to really track that with that ABM ... You've got your structure, your CRM, or your marketing automation tools are really tight, you could really see that awesome engagement trickle down from the day that that account comes into the CRM to the day that they close.

Chris Battis: That's killer. So, I'm sure this isn't for everyone, right? And it's not. Can you talk about which businesses are a good fit for intent based selling?

Logan Kelly: Sure. Sure. So, we want to focus ... intent is a B2B tool. B2C marketers and to B2C sales teams have been spoiled with the amount of data that they have. You know, Facebook, Google, all of these different data sources that are great, but we really want to focus on that ... or it's really focused on that B2B. Just the content that its drafting off of is basically all B2B data.

Chris Battis: Right. Okay, so what other companies have you found more specifically? Are there any niches that are really strong and productive?

Logan Kelly: Yeah.

Chris Battis: That you would recommend do this? Or what have you found?

Logan Kelly: Sure. Yeah, so if you're at a company and you're currently using an inbound methodology, it's perfect for this.

Chris Battis: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Logan Kelly: You're an inbound guy and I think there's so many benefits that an inbound strategy that's sort of cloned and then chopped up and redeployed using intent data and using some really cool outreach strategies is just amazingly powerful.

Chris Battis: Right. Yeah.

Logan Kelly:  And I think we can really see that.

Chris Battis: Yeah. So, I refer to you as someone that does not shy away from prospecting. It's weird. You almost like it more than most sales people.

Logan Kelly: Sure.

Chris Battis: So tell me why you think this is better than normal sales. Normal meaning, not using this data, not using intent selling methodologies. How is this better than that? Than the old way of prospecting, if you will?

Logan Kelly: Sure. I'm not wasting my time, I think is the best place to start. If I have a sales team and I am in a environment that the pool of potential customers is more than say, 100, then I need to know where my sales team and where myself should be spending our time. And that's really where intent data comes from, where intent data starts to be incredibly powerful.

Chris Battis: Right.

Logan Kelly: But the other part here is you've got marketing teams, you've got sales teams. There's so many sales engagement tools and ... which, I love sales engagement tools and I love some marketing automation tools, not all of them. But they really enable us to just blast into the atmosphere all this different messaging and all this stuff that doesn't matter to people. But intent data allows us to really tailor that message, where you're hitting the right person at the right time with the right message.

Chris Battis: Yeah, and testing that message too, right?

Logan Kelly: Absolutely.

Chris Battis: Yeah.

Logan Kelly: So, we're able to dive into what is actually going to work and it's validated based on what were seeing on the third party data, the data we're getting, the intent data. But also, are my open rates significantly higher on my intent list than it is on my not surging list?

Chris Battis: Right. Yeah.

Logan Kelly: Yes, absolutely. So why would I spend time writing content, calling on the companies? Now, I'll say if you get towards the middle of the quarter and you need to start working hard I would say there's some times where you have to sort of grab the wheel and not let the data drive every action so I'm not gonna say don't ... it's not the Bible, but it is a lot better.

Chris Battis: Yeah, and also if you think about the sales cycle of a lot of SaaS tech companies, right? Like they're monthly cycles, right?

Logan Kelly: Right.

Chris Battis: So there's no rest time, right?

Logan Kelly: Right, exactly.

Chris Battis: There really never is in sales. But imagine being able to so precisely manage your time, fish where the fish are, make sure that all your actives are going towards meeting and exceeding the goal with a short period of time to do it. It's more important to be accurate right off the bat, you know?

Logan Kelly: Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. So, it's how many activities get you to that success and I think what we've seen with intent is that it's significantly less activities, which ultimately means if your sales team is operating at capacity, you're going to be more successful. That's just how it works, right? If you're at 100 percent capacity on all the activities you could possibly be doing and you're only putting in the right targets into that machine, you're not gonna lose.

Chris Battis: Right. And then the other additional piece there is the longer that you work that strategy, the smarter you get, right? So the idea is 6 months in you're gonna be even that much more honed in on who the right fit is, what the right messaging should be, even timing, you know?

Logan Kelly: Yeah, yeah.

Chris Battis: Yeah, so that's-

Logan Kelly: Yeah, there's so many different optimization plays that a company can really focus on. Once you know that you're, as you say, fishing where the fish are, right? Its more fun to test subject lines and calls to action when you know that you're talking to people who actually want to buy, right?

Chris Battis: Right.

Logan Kelly: It's miserable to send a bunch of emails, to make bunch of phone calls to people that were on your list last week, were on your list two years ago, and you're not sure why they're still there. And I think with an intent based strategy you never have to do ... as a sales person and as a sales leader, you know that the activity has extreme meaning and you should approach it with massive urgency which when sales people operate with urgency, you're just gonna win. So I think that's the real power.

Chris Battis: Yeah. And I'd also add I think a big part of this is it's not just the data, right? It's the data, the AI, you know the machine loading, plus the human hustle, right?

Logan Kelly: Yeah.

Chris Battis: You can't just replace your activities with software, right? And it seems like so many sales teams are trying to do less and less work but get the same results and they're just getting technology thrown at them and that's really not the case. We found that the human aspect, the human hustle, you need to physically do the work, and that's a big part of this, right?

Logan Kelly: Absolutely. I think with AI it should help you be better. It shouldn't replace your job, right?

Chris Battis: Right.

Logan Kelly: Cause were talking about people, right?

Chris Battis: Right.

Logan Kelly: So, there's still salesperson-ship. There's still the need to build that connection and to be conversational and to respond with information that might not be programmed into the system, so-

Chris Battis: Right. Right, right, right.

Logan Kelly: I don't think sales will ever be replaced by robots or data but it certainly will be enhanced.

Chris Battis: Yeah, and you talk a lot about ... we've gone on rants with the kind of conversation about bots versus conversation, right?

Logan Kelly: Yeah.

Chris Battis: And I think it was funny. You and I both in particular, I remember bots were hitting the scene and it was like must create bot. What do I need? What can I do? What needs to be done that can be solved with a bot? And then, you and I both have swung very far to the other side where it's like no we're not really into bots. We're into conversations which is the human piece, right? I see a lot of that with intent based sales, right? 'Cause you can't just have the data do it all, right?

Logan Kelly: Yeah.

Chris Battis: So anyways, I just, we've gone into depth with the dot versus chat conversation and it ties in here, though, right?

Logan Kelly: Yeah. I love that you brought that up 'cause I do think there's no such thing as putting your sales on auto pilot. If I see that on my news feed on whatever social media, I'll throw my phone through the window 'cause it's just a terrible mentality. But intent data should empower sales teams and sales leaders to feel that they don't need to put anything on auto pilot, because the time that they're spending is being spent in the most efficient, effective manner.

Chris Battis: Right. Right, right. It's almost like, instead of seeking the autopilot or the make money while you sleep, it'd be like seek the competitive advantage, right?

Logan Kelly: Right.

Chris Battis: Cause eventually your competitor is gonna access this data, know how to use it, optimize it, and they're just gonna be ahead of you. And there could be a point where you can't catch up, right? Until something changes, right? And who knows what that will be.

Logan Kelly: Right. Yeah, you live in a world where every phone call you make is like "oh you were two weeks late. We just bought from your competitor." If that was every phone call, you'd die as a company. And intent data won't be the silver bullet that gets us totally to the point where you know exactly when somebody's about to make a decision, but it can get us a lot closer.

Chris Battis: Awesome. Awesome. Well, Logan, great chat as usual. Why don't we sign in with these folks next week? What do you think we'll be talking about next week? Any ideas?

Logan Kelly: I think that bot versus chat conversation.

Chris Battis: You want to go deep on that? Sure.

Logan Kelly: Yeah, I'd love to dig into that, so I think-

Chris Battis: Yeah. Logan knows we've gone pretty deep into that before. Alright, cool.

Chris Battis: Well, I'd like to thank everyone for tuning in. I'm Chris.

Logan Kelly: And I am Logan kelly. Please give us 5 stars on whatever podcast you're using. We appreciate you joining us and have a great day, everybody.

Chris Battis: Take care.

 

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