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Carissa McCallNovember 1, 20236 min read

Intent-based lead generation strategies part 2: Three ways to speed up your lead funnel 

Ready to optimize your lead funnel and drive results? In this three-part blog series we’re breaking down how to use intent to improve lead quantity, velocity, and quality.


This blog series is inspired by our intent data quiz, which is designed to help B2B marketers improve their lead generation strategies.

If you’d like to better understand your unique lead generation challenges and receive actionable steps to make the most impact, you can do so here.


How to speed up lead funnel velocity

If you’re struggling with a stagnant lead funnel, you’re not alone. Slow lead velocity is a common pain point for B2B marketers. Our intent data quiz takers who fall in the category of velocity voyagers should prioritize increasing lead velocity before addressing other lead gen challenges. The good news is that intent data can help!

What is intent data and how does it increase velocity?

Intent data tracks the online research behavior of your target accounts, capturing when they show interest in products, services, or topics related to yours. This data gives you a window into your prospects’ place in the buying journey, so you can reach out at the optimal time with relevant messaging.

One reason your lead funnel velocity might be slow is that you aren’t focusing on the right accounts. Intent data helps you do just that. For example, intent data may reveal an account is suddenly researching your product category – a strong sign they are entering an active buying cycle. With this insight, you can immediately nurture them as hot leads. Without it, you may continue nurturing them as cold leads, letting precious selling time slip away.

Here are 3 ways to leverage intent data for faster lead velocity:

1. Map intent signals to your lead funnel 

Segment your content and map it to the different intent topics relevant to you. Then align each content piece to the funnel position it speaks to. When an account enters your lead funnel you can use their initial intent signals to understand where they are in the funnel. Then accelerate accounts through each funnel stage with campaigns matching their buying stage.

You don’t have to create a bunch of new content or launch new campaigns to do this. See what content you already have in your library and work with that. You’ll be able to give your prospects a better customer experience by serving them content that actually resonates with where they are in the buying journey and what they’ve shown they care about through their intent data. Creating a better customer experience moves leads through your funnel faster and leads to more pipeline.

2. Buying group scoring

In our recent report, 62% of Data Heroes said they use buying group scoring compared to only 32% of their peers. This is a big deal because Data Heroes also report they’re more confident in their data, see more improved metrics, and are more likely to meet their goals than other marketers.

The best way to identify buying groups and add them into your scoring model is to layer on different data types and look for patterns. You’ll need to at least look at intent data, firmographics, and demographics to get a clear picture of the members of the buying group and their unique roles, but the more data you can layer in you’re likely to get an even better understanding.

Start by doing closed won/closed lost analysis. Take a look at your CRM and your pipeline, first look at the firmographics. The job titles most closely associated with different product and service purchases are going to be your foundation for identifying the buying groups in your database. Look for multiple contacts at the same accounts—these are your buying group members.

Next, you’ll want to identify their buying group roles so you can match each title to their role—champion, influencer, decision maker, user, and ratifier. This is a key step because each role is engaged in the buying process differently and your outreach should be customized around this to optimize your lead velocity. This is where intent comes in handy. Look at what they purchased, any content they interacted with, and layer on any intent data you have to understand how they are involved in the buying group.

 Look for patterns. If a specific title is more likely to buy product 1 than product 3 you can put prospects with matching titles in a custom nurture stream aligned to that product. Same for if they’re showing intent on a certain product, you can put them in a more bottom-of-the-funnel nurture stream instead of a very top or mid-funnel stream.

Once you have analyzed all of this data, you can start using the insights in your scoring model. In order to  do this more quickly, you’ll need to work with a data partner. They can help you score for buying groups immediately upon lead creation by enriching those records on a regular basis so they don’t sit in your database without you knowing for a while how valuable or not valuable the lead might be.

If an intent data provider isn’t in your current budget, I’d recommend you look at your tech stack and see if there are places you can reallocate funds to invest in intent data. It’s a powerful tool that can help across your funnel and speed up your lead velocity.

3. Identify buyer stage and route leads accordingly

Intent data clues you in on where leads are in their journey. You can instantly tell which accounts are just researching versus close to a purchase decision.

By incorporating intent data into your lead scoring model, you can understand when to route the more sales-ready leads directly to your sales reps and keep warming the leads that are casually researching. For the leads that are still in early buying journey stages, add them into a nurture campaign with messaging related to the topics they’ve shown intent around. Keep giving them opportunities to engage with your content so your brand stays top of mind when it comes time to make a purchase decision.

Incorporate intent signals like page visits and content downloads into your lead scoring models. This better qualifies marketing-sourced leads for sales follow-up. Set specific point values to each action. For example, a high-intent action like filling out a form on your site should receive higher score than a less active action like downloading an eBook.

Set scoring thresholds to determine when a lead is sales-ready based on their engagements and behaviors. Once a lead hits a high enough score you want to automatically route them to your sales reps while they are hot.

Choose the right intent data partner

Be selective in your data provider. Look for intent data providers with broad coverage, highly accurate signals, and transparent sourcing. For tips and insight into how to choose the right intent data provider, download our guide.

With the intent data, you can make every marketing touch count. Stop wasting time and resources on cold leads. Start using intent signals to focus on accounts ready to buy and accelerate your lead velocity.


Carissa McCall

Read posts from Carissa McCall.