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Make the Most of Your Buyer Intent TODAY

November 2, 2020

Make the most of buyer intent

The disruption brought on by COVID-19 thrust marketers into a new reality and environment where we’re being called upon to not only perform – and in some cases – over-perform, all to support our market-facing teams in sales and client success.

Many of you reading have likely already pivoted your playbooks to adjust to new variables and tactics, and are now using a largely digital marketing mix. On the buyer side, we’ve seen drastic behavioral changes to digital research, evaluation and buying. In fact, we’ve seen more buyers visiting G2.com than ever.

To help you reach your goals, we sat down with Buyer Intent and Marketing Guru James Gilbert. We picked his brain on what marketers can do today to capitalize on every opportunity coming their way. We also talked about ways marketers can set themselves up for future success with Buyer Intent.

Check out James’ top three recommendations that you can start utilizing today. This is chock full of ideas to help you get smarter on using Buyer Intent data to oversupport sales and marketing efforts.

1. Give your content model an intent makeover

When you think of Buyer Intent signals, you’re probably thinking about how to start engaging the buyers giving off those signals, either through marketing tactics or sharing them with your sales or account management teams. However, Buyer Intent also has the potential to make your content strategy bigger and badder than it ever has been.

If you’re not focused on building your content model based on the intent signals you’re receiving, you’re missing out.”

James Gilbert
Head of Marketing, CRMNEXT

Now is a great time to assess your Buyer Intent signals and see what potential buyers are looking at and use those learnings to inform your content model. There’s no need to completely uproot your current strategy. Simply look at the intent signals you’re receiving from G2, and prioritize relevant content that gives your audience exactly what they’re looking for.

Are you seeing that a lot of your signals are coming from the category page? This could be a sign that your prospect base doesn't have a clear understanding of your category landscape. It could be an awesome opportunity to share content that provides an objective overview of the ins-and-outs of your industry to help them better understand it.

Are you seeing that prospects already in your sales cycle (in open opportunities) are spending a lot of time on comparison pages against a specific competitor? On the sales enablement side, prioritize a one-pager that outlines your key differentiators for your sales team to leverage. And on the marketing side, launch and promote access to a full comparison report that your team can proactively share during the cycle.

At the end of the day, buyers are always going to look for information to validate their decisions. If you can give them that objective info they’re looking for sooner rather than later in their process – you’ll build trust with them before they speak with you while they’re in an open opportunity and long after they become a customer.

How do you get started?

As a first step, take a look at:

  • The signals you’ve received in the last year: Preferably of those companies in your ideal customer profile (ICP). Are you seeing any trends in the G2 signals you’re receiving?
  • What signals are surfacing in the deals you’ve won and deals you have lost: Are your buyers visiting specific G2 pages before they speak to you or while they’re in an opportunity? Are you seeing any trends?
  • Your own customers, talk to them, and get familiar with their challenges: Is there a specific pain point you can identify that you can supplement the Buyer Intent signals you’re seeing?

At the end of the day, this is an exercise in ensuring adding value and being relevant when you engage with your customer or prospect.

#2: Work with what you’ve got

We’ve heard from SaaS marketers over the last several weeks that their pipelines have decreased, sometimes as much as 10-30% – thanks in large part to field and event marketing being on hold. Thanks to this shift, marketers are increasingly going digital to find new ways to make up ground in their pipelines. We’re seeing more emails sent, more LinkedIn posts, and more webinar promotions than in previous years.

Buyers searching for you right now are showing intent to research and purchase...RIGHT NOW. Everyone is using the same channels and tactics, so make sure you add value and don’t get caught in the clutter.”

James Gilbert
Head of Marketing, CRMNEXT

But let’s talk about the good news! If someone spends time right now doing research on G2, it's a strong indication that they’re likely going to want to make a decision sooner rather than later. And Buyer Intent gives you a direct line of sight into the people that are considering your product or exploring your category.

How can you make the most of the signals you’re receiving?

First and foremost, if you’re using any tools like Marketo, HubSpot, Salesforce, or LinkedIn Matched Audiences, make sure to set up the G2 integration! All of these integrations are going to make your Buyer Intent data directly accessible in your tools, automatically and in real-time.

Additionally, make sure you’re meeting potential buyers when you’re top of mind. And remember, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel! The easiest and fastest avenue to engaging with these folks is to infuse Buyer Intent into the in-flight programs you’re already running (or are about to launch).

  • Do you have a nurture stream for people who hit a landing page, but don’t convert? Add a Buyer Intent list of in-market shoppers who visit your category page.
  • Already have some competitor landing pages built? Use G2 data from the Compare Report to sweeten the deal and retarget your Compare Report signals on LinkedIn through LinkedIn Matched Audiences.
  • Have a webinar coming up ? Add anyone who’s visited your page or the category page to the promotion list.
  • Are your SDRs doubling down on their outreach efforts? Work with your BDR team lead and give them specific lists to work based on the signal type with some quick email messaging and access to a G2 Content report.

If you look holistically at your marketing programs and activities, you’ll find that you’ve already got a ton in-flight. Simply take a moment to see how your G2 Buyer Intent could enhance those efforts. What’s more, you can use your Buyer Intent audiences across your campaigns and A/B test their performance with your standard audiences.

Your secret weapon: The Compare Signal

While all of the signals you’re receiving from G2 can be valuable for reaching prospects in real-time, we recommend paying special attention to Comparison signals right now. If a prospect is comparing you to specific competitors, it gives you an indication of who you might be up against, and you’re also getting direct access into the info they’re needing at this point in the process. Technology buyers are leveraging their digital resources like G2 to help them make decisions and get the information they need, and more likely at a faster clip than they typically do.

How to capitalize on G2 Compare Signals now

Thinking back to the first tip, it’s important to give your audience something relevant and something that will help them make a decision faster. Leverage a G2 Compare Report or G2 Grid Report as a content asset to use for outreach and supporting materials.

Here are some ways you can enable your teams to jump on Compare Signals:

  • For SDR outreach: Give them access to a Compare Report or Grid Report with a simple email template they can use for real-time outreach.
  • For AE outreach: Give your sales teams access to one of these reports and draft email scripts and talking points that they can leverage with someone in an open opportunity.
  • For CS conversations: Same thing – give your team access to this report, but only have them share it reactively. Instead, give them some strong talking points to use during conversations.
  • For marketing programs: Retarget these folks on LinkedIn with a CTA to exclusive access to the Grid Report or Compare Report, highlighting your status or a key differentiator.

How can I really stand out?

The easiest way to stand out is meeting your customers in real time with content that will help them make a decision and give them what they’re looking for, like we showed with the Compare Signals.

Help them help you. Making objective, relevant, and detailed information available will increase prospect trust and help their buying process move faster, in your direction.

Now that we’ve walked through how you can start using Compare Signals, here are some recommendations for pairing those signals with the perfect piece of G2 Content so that you’re adding value, clarity, and context to buyers at every stage of their journey.

Build the perfect content model to support your Buyer Intent strategy

 

Attract

Not yet engaging with you

Engage

In an open opportunity

Delight

Current Customer

Category Signal Grid Report Grid Report Grid Report
G2 Profile Signal Grid Report

Relevant Index Report

Grid Report

Relevant Index Report
Sponsored Content Signal Compare Report (versus Competitor) Compare Report (versus Competitor) Compare Report (versus Competitor)
Alternatives Signal

Compare Report (versus Competitor)


Grid Report

Compare Report (versus Competitor)

Grid Report 


Relevant Index Report

Comparison Page Signal Compare Report (versus Competitors) Compare Report (versus Competitors) Compare Report (versus Competitors)

#3: Drop yourself in the middle of your funnel

It might not feel like the best time to take a look at your attribution models, but now might be as good a time as ever to ensure you’re seeing your customer journey as clearly as possible. Setting up the ability to attribute G2 intent signals during open opportunities will help you see its influence, but it’ll also give you insight into what kind of content these buyers are looking for, and if there are any correlations with wins/losses related to these activities.

Set up your attribution models to track middle touches. There are mico-journeys happening within your larger customer journey. You’re only getting a piece of the story if you’re tracking first touches and last touches.”

James Gilbert
Head of Marketing, CRMNEXT

If you’re using the G2 CRM Connector for Salesforce, you can (at the very least) pull reports of CLOSED WON / CLOSED LOST deals and any activities occurring on G2 to analyze.

Conclusion

This time is a little perplexing in terms of intent and sometimes it’s hard to prioritize one initiative or tactic over another. The best thing you can do is focus your efforts on the prospects showing intent RIGHT NOW. Help guide their decision with relevant content, and get your buyer intent house in order so you can hit the ground sprinting with proven ABM and demand generation strategies.

“Buyer Intent is a foundational element of your ABM and Demand Generation strategy.”

James Gilbert
Head of Marketing, CRMNEXT
Buyer Intent Data
Sell more software

Discover which companies are researching your product and competitors on G2.

Buyer Intent Data
Sell more software

Discover which companies are researching your product and competitors on G2.

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