Episode Sixty

The Rise of Intent Data, & What It Means for Sales Ops

Guest: Ben Ramsey, VP of Sales at Aptible

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Ben Ramsey Intent Data Featured Image

About This Episode

Look at your email inbox.

No really, check it out. How many sales emails do you have? Yeah, us too.

Everyone wants 15 minutes. As it becomes harder and harder to differentiate, it becomes more and more essential to target the right accounts at the right moment.

We all believe in intent data, intuitively. But operationalizing it … that’s another story.

That’s where Ben Ramsey comes in. He’s a 3-time VP of sales, who recently stepped out on his own to create an upcoming intent data sales product.

On this episode of the Sales Engagement podcast, Ben tells us why intent data is here to stay and gives us his thoughts on how it may be utilized.

The Volume-Based Approach Has Run Its Course

Ben’s a skier, so he knows when a run is too crowded, and it’s time change course.

At base, essentially everyone’s talking about taking the same run: They tackle the tired volume-based approach, which, according to Ben, is just a big race to the bottom.

Your inbox right now will contain many ideas, words, emojis, and requests. But one particular item will be strikingly lacking: relevancy.

It’s becoming harder and harder to differentiate because everyone is selling. It’s no wonder buyers are more and more reclusive.

Ben Ramsey Intent Data 1

The 2 Symbiotic Dimensions That Will Separate Winners From Losers

Ben identified two distinct dimensions that will separate the winners from the losers:

Operational efficiency and excellence
Intent data

Both of these dimensions are interrelated: Uncovering and leveraging intent data that exists in the marketplace will assist with the operational efficiency, but it will also help with differentiation.

Those who excel will be those who can uncover the potential power of data and turn it into kinetic energy for sales reps that is obvious, actionable, and simple.

How Do You Operationalize Intent Data?

The goal with intent data is to think small, not big.

Overall, you want to take a large number of prospects and get them down to the smallest number of accounts who have current intent to buy.

You leverage available data points, such as: Did this account hire someone new in a decision-making role? How many times has an account engaged with a particular piece of content? etc. By combining these data points together, you can create a framework that ultimately points to a select few accounts that are ready to purchase.

Ben Ramsey Aptible Intent Data 2

So, when you are considering what market you want to go and attack —  you want to refine it to as small a group as possible. This number of high-intent accounts could be in the single digits per rep, to the low 20s or 30s for an entire team.

In this way, you are acting in almost a sort of reactive inbound capacity. That’s how you utilize intent data in an actionable and meaningful way.

Ops & the Future: It’s What Connects the People to the Processes

Diving off from Ben’s point about Operational efficiency I have it in my mind that eventually, people will start to ask: Why is the VP of Sales making more than the VP of Ops? Why is an AE making more than a sales op analyst?

Ops individuals provide a crucial role for every organization: They are the adhesive that connects the people to the processes. Technology is continually moving ops persons closer to the middle of all the connection points, and eventually, they will become the strategic hub.

Ben agrees. But he thinks we still have a way to go before the full potential of ops is realized. Still, he pointed to their increasing value as the key roles who make sense of all the disparate tools. They will continue to make recommendations for what tech is best for what job, and then implement a process that is actually functional.

Eventually, ops will take over the world. (kidding…probably)

Ben Is Betting Big on Intent Data

Ben isn’t just saying all this about intent data — he recently left his VP of sales position at Aptible to create his own sales tool.

It’s still in the works. But for his early clients, he’s created a framework that uses a variety of intent data points as a base. Then, as time goes on, you can configure the weight of each data point (response to content, engagement with reps, new hires, etc.) to determine the optimal weight of each data point. This will create a true score of intent to buy.

Sound awesome?

You can get ahold of Ben by emailing him: Ben@ideal-customers.com.

This post is based on a podcast interview with Ben Ramsey. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast.

About The Podcast

The Sales Engagement podcast is the #1 podcast focused on engaging your customers and prospects in the modern sales era. This show features real-life stories and best practices from revenue leaders doing the job day in and day out, in a casual, radio-like talk show.

Each episode features modern tactics, strategies, hacks, and tips to get the most out of your sales engagement strategy and help you navigate the next generation of sales. You’ll find energetic talks that will provide you with real actionable value around building meaningful connections and creating a better selling experience through authentic conversations that you can measure.

The Sales Engagement podcast is here to help B2B sales leaders, customer success leaders, and marketing leaders innovate and usher in the next era of modern sales by building pipeline, up-selling customers, and ultimately generating more revenue with more efficiency.

Hosted by Joe Vignolo, Senior Content Managing Editor at Outreach, and Mark Kosoglow, Vice President of Sales at Outreach.

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