How Did Intent Data Triple Our Sales?

There’s a new B2B lead generation technique that’s crushing it right now – using intent data to improve sales performance.

We personally used it in our previous startup to triple our sales using intent data.


A graph showing how email openings turned to qualified leads
A graph showing how email openings turned to qualified leads (Extract from Salesforce)

The results were so good that we decided to make a company out of it.

Here we’re going to share the process and insights we gained from the experience.

What is intent data?

Buyer intent in marketing and sales means that the prospect’s behavior indicates they might be open to making a purchase.

Data means we take a dataset with many behavioral indicators and points related to a specific industry.

The indicators vary from industry to industry. 


For example, if a restaurant chain opened a new location, they need new employees and new facilities.

These are indicators for HR companies and appliance manufacturers.

Diving deeper, if they offer deliveries on their site, they will be interested in new scooters.  

And this is the opportunity for a scooter distributor or a logistics company to offer their services. 

What we did before we had the intent data?

 Like many B2B businesses, our most cost-effective and efficient lead generation method was cold emailing.
Most effective B2B Lead Generation Tactics - Email at the top
Most effective B2B Lead Generation Tactics – Email at the top (Source: Statista US B2B marketers July 2017 survey)

We started with buying emails from B2B content data providers.

We knew our buyer and the target company size so we thought it would be enough.

Long story short – it did not work so well.

The results were poor with less than a 0.5% click-through rate on our emails.

Why working without intent data doesn't work? 

Remember – The lists that you buy in bulk are available to your competitors and are just generic – company, name, email.

And we were emailing people out of the blue. 

However, a sale is made when you approach a prospect with the right offer at the right time.

But if we reached out to the leads too early – they didn’t know us.

If we reached them too late – they would share their frustration stories from the solution they did choose. 
Then they say the dreaded words for every salesperson: “too late – we are already committed”.

So We had to figure out how to reach the buyers at the exact time window. 
That is when they already knew they needed our product but still have not chosen our competitor.

The sweet spot when to reach out to prospects
The sweet spot when to reach out to prospects

After this poor experience, we wanted to take it up a notch.  

Figuring Out Buying Triggers

Next, we tried to narrow down our target customers.


We had to figure out what triggers we can look for that indicated the right timing.


The right timing for us was when companies decided to expand internationally and hire employees abroad.

We used different tactics and looked for companies that had the following attributes:


  1. In the Tech industry and a year after their Series A.
  2. In small countries that did not have a large enough local market.
  3. They had just registered a new branch in a new country.
  4. The company was hiring a new head of a country or region.
  5. Companies whose web traffic from a new geography had increased.

 It worked a lot better.  

How much better? 31% click-through rate 

Up from 0.5%, remember?

Why did it work this time?


We successfully identified signals that indicated that a company needed our product at the right time

It is called uncovering the buying intent.


But there was a big but.

We were generating these leads manually.

We had no scalable way to generate these leads with these precise criteria.

Finding the Right Information Sources

At the time, we could not find one source that would provide company names and emails for all the criteria above.

So we had to get creative.

These are some of the tools and information sources we used:

  1. Google Alerts
  2. Crunchbase
  3. SimilarWeb
  4. Linkedin
  5. Indeed job board
  6. Local government company registration webs (like Companies House in the UK)
  7. Facebook Groups

And then we had to combine it all together.

Using Automation to Understand the Intent in the Data 

Luckily, one of Leadgence’s co-founders is an expert in data and data processes.

So we built a tool that automated data collection and big data processing.

The lead generation tool essentially found us great early indicators of companies that are very likely to need our product real time.

This tool was so successful for us that we decided to expand it, collect and process a lot more data.

The Result: Leadgence was born. 

Leadgence Provides You Prospects' Intent Data

If you are frustrated with the manual effort to find the right businesses to target, talk to us!

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