Demystifying Buyer Intent Data: 3 Tiers of Actionable Insights

At its core, intent data helps marketing and sales teams identify the companies and individuals most likely to make a purchase, especially in the near future. 

But not all intent data is created equal. There are many types of intent data, and an array of providers. Here’s a breakdown of the key types of intent, and an in-depth exploration of what makes ZoomInfo the top-rated buyer intent provider on G2, the largest peer-review business software platform in the world.

How Do I Know Which Intent Data is Trustworthy? 

Two major factors play into the trustworthiness of intent data: its timeliness and its source. 

News and trend cycles change so frequently that an intent spike from a week ago can be stale. Yet many intent data providers don’t offer real-time uploads. ZoomInfo knows that even minutes can matter when you’re looking for prospects. The more up-to-date information you can see on your future customers, the better equipped you’ll be throughout the entire sales process, which is why we focus on real-time intent. 

The source of intent also affects the quality of the lead. Hearing directly from an employee at a specific company that they are looking for your product, for example, makes a world of difference compared to relying on third-party accounts to find your prospects. Where and how a company sources its intent data says a lot, so keep this in mind before trusting any company that offers intent data. 

Which Intent Data is Most Likely to Convert? 

There are three different tiers of intent data that have different likelihoods for conversion. Not only is ZoomInfo potentially the only company to provide all three, but we actually excel in each type.  

Tier 1: Champion Moves

When the biggest supporter of your product moves to a new company, it’s a significant opportunity. 

We’ve found through internal research — and validated with sellers and marketers — that champions moving to new companies are among the very best intent signals. ZoomInfo tracks over 20 million job changes every month, ensuring you don’t miss an opportunity to connect with your power users. 

We think this opportunity is so rich that we’ve open-sourced a GTM play based on this specific moment that you can use to automate your outreach. We can notify you through your CRM or Slack for follow-up, or you can reach out to champions directly with personalized emails, display ads, or social campaigns. 

Tier 2: Known Intent

Known intent involves direct communication with people and companies that signal an interest in starting new projects, addressing problems, or investing in technology and services. This information provides valuable insights for your team.

Through a partnership with Qualtrics, ZoomInfo sends surveys to millions of people and spends millions of dollars in incentives annually to gather key priorities, projects, and problems directly from companies in real time. We generate over 1.2 million of these “Scoops” each year.

ZoomInfo’s size allows us to invest in this high-value intent in a way that no one else can match.

Tier 3: Inferred Intent

When other providers talk about intent, they are normally only referring to inferred intent. Inferred intent is based on behavioral data, such as content consumption, website visits, technology use, and interactions on social media. While inferred intent is less valuable than the first two types, it’s still very helpful for creating a more complete picture of your customers and prospects. 

That’s why ZoomInfo has invested heavily to make sure we are the market leader in inferred intent. We actually helped start this category back in 2014 through a partnership with Bombora. In 2020, we acquired Clickagy to significantly expand the number of signals we received, shifting to real-time intent and taking advantage of the best natural language processing to avoid false signals. We also built the first true B2B DSP (demand-side platform) for ads and coupled it with third-party partners like G2 as well as numerous publisher co-ops. 

These steps give us the broadest and most robust signals. However, you also need to layer on IP-to-domain matching to understand which companies are generating those signals. Here we also excel by having both the largest contributory network and 20 different proprietary first-party sources tied to our platform features, including form completion (FormComplete), email (Engage), and conversation intelligence (Chorus). We supplement that network with external sources that largely comprise some of the other providers on the market. 

Finally, we have the best ability to turn noise into signal through our 16 AI and machine learning patents, 14 team members with PhD’s in data science, 91 colleagues with master’s degrees in data science, and over 300 data researchers who conduct “human in the loop” AI to validate our algorithms and systems. Competitors that don’t have ZoomInfo’s scale simply can’t match this level of expertise.

How Do I Make Intent Data Actionable?

Understanding intent data is the first step. The real value lies in turning its insights into actionable strategies. ZoomInfo focuses on three pillars to achieve this:

  1. Unlock Insights: Using real-time intent data, ZoomInfo uncovers valuable insights about your target audience.
  2. Engage Customers: Our integrated platform easily facilitates personalized and targeted campaigns across multiple marketing and sales channels.
  3. Win Faster: By automating and scaling GTM motions, ZoomInfo streamlines your sales and marketing processes for faster and more efficient conversions.

It’s easy to see why ZoomInfo has been repeatedly rated No. 1 for buyer intent by G2. We’re able to provide your company with quality intent data from each of these tiers, so you can find your best customers faster.

We’ve also created a playbook of our best GTM plays. These are scalable, customizable, automated motions that span sales, marketing, and customer functions. They leverage intent signals, enabling your team to reach out to the most promising companies and individuals. 

The best intent data powers the best GTM teams. Want to see for yourself? Sign up for a free trial