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Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2022-08-03

Group decisions have become the norm for B2B sales, with 84% of purchases of more than $5,000 having a buying group of three or more people.

Yet, many marketers continue to focus on individual leads. A recent Forrester podcast dives into how the “traditional focus on individual, marketing-supplied leads is failing B2B companies and buyers.”

Forrester says the problem with marketing qualified leads (MQLs) is “that they often lack context.” Increased access to a prospect’s online data can enable a highly targeted approach, but it may not be targeted at the most qualified leads. The podcast discusses how one problem may be the expectation for marketers to continue delivering a high number of MQLs each month, even if fewer than 1% of individual leads actually end up buying.

The way I see it, when it comes to leads, marketers need to focus on quality rather than quantity. A prospect may have downloaded the right white papers, clicked on email campaigns, and metaphorically checked all the boxes, but if they are the only individual from their company doing so, the likelihood that they are ready to purchase is low. Compare that to a situation where there are multiple people in relevant positions from the same company clicking links and downloading similar information, and it’s easy to see which leads marketing should pass on to the sales team.

It’s also important to keep in mind that 80% of purchases now involve complex buying scenarios, according to the Forrester 2021 B2B Buying Study. Consensus scenarios, where 95% of current purchases involve three or more people across two or more departments, and committee scenarios, where strategic purchases include multiple people and departments across the organization and require executive oversight, have become commonplace.

This is why intent monitoring is a game changer.

Digital intent signals are collected by monitoring online activities, keyword searches, website visits, content downloads, product reviews and more. At OMI, we monitor that data to provide more than 14 billion new intent signals to our clients each week. From there, the data is matched by IP address to the company associated with the searches -- and to the potential buyer contact -- using our extensive database.

This empowers marketers to see who is engaging with content and if there are others at the same company doing so, too. With greater visibility into a prospect’s online actions and the actions of others at the same company, marketers are better informed to qualify leads and pass them on to sales teams for additional outreach.

From my perspective it’s a win, win, win situation: a win for marketers to focus on prospects already demonstrating they may be in market, a win for sales teams to receive the right leads to focus their efforts on, and a win for buyers to receive support from sales and marketing along the buying journey.

Looking at it another way, intent data unleashes an innovative and effective approach to identifying relevant, down-funnel digital prospects. This, in turn, serves to strengthen interactions and alignment between marketing and sales. As we all know, there’s nothing like teamwork to make the dream work!

Over 75 million of OMI’s 80 million manager-level and above contacts are matched to the LiveRamp RampID graph, including 65 million records from our SMB and medical market databases. Contact us today to learn more about building a custom audience.

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