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Using Active ICP and Intent to Drive Efficient Growth

The Big A-ha

The surefire way for B2B Sales teams to focus on their highest-value prospects is by using a combination of Active ICP and Intent data.

Why It Matters

With smaller teams and budgets, B2B teams need to focus on their highest-value prospects to maximize their chances of success. The account selection approach with the least risk and the highest ROI is one that combines Active ICP and Intent data.

Go Deeper: Using Active ICP and Intent Data Together

True ICP is a measure of the company characteristics that make a prospect a great fit for your solution right now. Companies in your True ICP are those that have active pains, needs, or initiatives where your solution could help the most right now.  

Active ICP fit is based on the prospect’s motivations and the current situation. Developing an understanding of these signals gives you critical information about the “why” of a prospective company. It is this context that you can then use to develop targeted Marketing and Sales campaigns to increase your chances of success. 

Intent data is data about a user’s intentions or future actions based on analyzing their online activity and behavior. It is used to understand the interests of potential customers and to gain insights into the types of products they are likely to purchase or engage with. Intent data is often collected from Internet search activity, social media activity, website visits, email campaigns, and other online activities.

Pairing Active ICP and Intent data together can give you good pipeline generation results. Here’s a 2×2 that breaks down how you can use Active ICP and Intent data in combination to identify the right accounts to work.

Work First: Highest Value: Active ICP + Intent

Accounts that are True ICP and show Intent are the highest priority accounts for you to focus on. These accounts have both a great “why” that maps to your product and they’re exhibiting behavior that might indicate that they’re actively looking for a solution right now. These are the first set of accounts that the Sales and Marketing teams should focus on.

Work Next: Active ICP + No Intent

Accounts that are True ICP but don’t show any Intent yet should be the next area of focus for Sales and Marketing teams. This segment is particularly important if you’re in a brand new category or if you’re looking to create your own category because intent data may not be available for you. This segment is also important if you’re in a crowded space where there are multiple solutions for a similar problem. Finally, this segment is highly fertile ground for you to target for your Outbound efforts. Targeting accounts in this segment will often lead to them visiting your website and doing additional research, which will then get reflected in your Intent data.

Work Last: Intent + Not Active ICP

A word of caution. Accounts that have high Intent but are not True ICP can be a distraction. We often hear from frustrated sales teams that have prioritized accounts purely on the basis of Intent, who after investing a lot of energy realize that the buyers are not really interested in “buying” their product. For instance, these are accounts that might just be researching your solution without having a good fit for what you offer. Working accounts in this bucket will likely yield the lowest conversion rates and ROI. When doing more with less you cannot afford to invest in accounts that have a very low likelihood to convert. 

Ignore: Not Active ICP + No Intent

Accounts that have low Buyer Readiness and low Intent are clearly neither a good fit for your solution nor in the market. You can safely ignore these accounts and not waste your time or money targeting them.

Find Your Active ICP

Do you know your Active ICP? Would you like to find out? Drop me a note here and we can do a session to help you and your team focus on your highest-value prospects.

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