We have hit communication overload. Half of all emails sent are now spam and 3 in 4 buyers say their buying journey has grown painfully difficult. It’s part of why we’ve seen the rise of ad blockers, privacy legislation, and vendor-agnostic industry Slack groups—and why most buyers would rather speak in public or fall from great heights than fill out a form. (Okay that last one’s not proven, but it feels true.)
Buyers are frustrated. If buying is like watching TV, they’re tired of cable. They want a streaming service where they choose what they want to watch, when they want to watch it, and skip the commercials. And with buyer intent, you can give them exactly the experience they are desperate for.
Have you ever wanted to buy a software but the pricing page didn’t actually contain pricing? Not very helpful, was that? Maybe all you needed was a ballpark estimate. For instance, did it cost $14 per month or $40,000 for the year? A range would help you know if it’s even worth considering. But that company was playing games with you.
Or what about forms? Ever come across a gated case study? You’ve graced this company with your presence, they have an opportunity to explain their value, and instead of helping, they’re telling you that you can only proceed if you let them badger you. (All buyers know voicemails follow forms as surely as night follows day.)
Those are examples of what are known as attention traps and buyers are right to be skeptical. This confusion of gates, clickbait, and dead ends are part of why buyers say buying has become more difficult: most of the messages are irrelevant.
Realistically, you can’t control the entire buying journey. But you can guide it in meaningful ways.
You can deploy what we call “hot routes,” which are shortcuts on your website that allow people who want to skip the commercials to connect directly with a credible salesperson. One way to do that is with a platform like Qualified.
If a high-value prospect arrives on your website, and they’re likely to buy, the appropriate salesperson can “wave” through the chat widget to begin a chat with them. It collapses that whole, convoluted, voicemail-laden journey into a quick, no-pressure interaction. They don’t have to give out personal information or fear they’ll be chased.
So how will the system know which website visitors are good opportunities looking for a hot route? And the answer there is buying intent data.
Rather than sign up for your company’s nurture, most buyers are researching your solution somewhere else. You could chase them there with retargeting tools, or, even easier, you can purchase privacy-safe intent data on what they’re researching. Intent data providers have partnerships with all those review sites and publications, and can score those visitors on their “intent” for specific topics.
Your team can use that information to understand the account before they hit your website. You can see how their “intent” has been trending over time, and get an overall buying temperature score. Your salespeople can use that data to understand how interested that buyer is without ever bothering them, and if they seem like someone who is sales-ready, they can initiate a direct chat.
If buying today is like watching TV, your buyers want to hold the remote and skip the commercials. Connecting through chat with their account owner—someone who’s likely already aware of their needs—is a great way to improve that experience.
Plus, if they don’t engage in chat, they can still browse your case studies and pricing page (which hopefully, actually has pricing), where you can accumulate even more data on their intent. It helps you study, learn, and reach out thoughtfully, instead of spamming all those who aren’t really in-market.
Buyer intent unlocks the digital experience that an evolved B2B buyer wants.
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