What is a buying signal and how to use it in your strategy?

Learn what buying signals are and how to use them to improve your business strategy and increase your potential customers and tailor their sales approach.

In recent years, we have heard a lot about how the right information is a determining factor in being more efficient and relevant in sales actions, from the first contact to the conversion of a deal.

It is no longer necessary to prove the relevance of having information quickly, whether it is about the company or the people. Get a head start on your competitors.

"Personalization" and "engagement" are the words that come up most often when looking closer at the uses of buying signals. They lead to pushing the right information (white paper/webinar/studies...), getting higher customer engagement, shorter sales cycles, more transactions and lower churn. If we can tap into these tools, we can dramatically increase our results.

There are many types of B2B buyer intention signals that you are able to track. This article will help you understand what buyer signals to watch to increase B2B sales.

What is a buying signal?

Buying signals suggest an opportunity for sales or indicate that a potential buyer is looking to purchase the product/service.

In reality, buying signals are more or less complex to track. There are those that are easily identifiable. Some easy signals are verbal and behavioural cues, such as an email response from a prospect, page viewed by a lead or asking questions during a demo.

But other signals can be more complex to intercept if you don't have the right habits, the right processes and the right stack. Some of these include customer reviews, company news as fundraising or key hiring, or a swap of tools stack.

It is important to keep in mind that there are frequently crossovers in the categories which an intent signal could fall into. A potential buyer may check all the boxes, or only one or two. If you know the different signals of buyer intent and how they are related to your sales process, you'll be able to make better decisions.

Different types of buyer intent signals

Based on your product's marketing strategy, your product or business model, there could be different signals that will become crucial to you.

1) Demographic

Demographic data is the most important information every marketer requires for people information. Although it's unlikely to provide details about the buyer's patterns or preferences, it can provide an idea of whether they're in line with your ICP.

2) Firmographic

The firmographic data allows you to segment a company’s information:

3) Technographic Signals

Technographic information is the type of technology that employees or companies are employing. There are multiples reasons why sales & growth team should collect this kind of data:

4) Event-based

Events-based intent signals refer to specific company news or people news. If an emerging startup has announced a new round of capital or hired a new Sales leader, it is a clear sign that growth is taking place. If you provide a service or product to help them achieve the plans they have, then it's the perfect opportunity to reach out to connect with them. Examples of events-based signals include:

Keep in mind, if there is no regular update, you most likely are playing with outdated data. Outdated data = late contact, irrelevance due to its age, and a negative image for you and your company on the approach.

5) Action-based

Action-based intent signals are actions your prospect/lead/customer takes to show an interest. In some cases, they can also talk about their pain points with software review or social media. In any case, these actions take place along the customer journey, at any step in your pipeline and independent of the funnel. Because these actions are generally related to the top of your funnel, it is important to know that there are a lot of new emergent signals coming from BOFU and post-conversion. Examples of intent-based action signals include:

This is a great way to increase your presence and awareness of the actions and to ensure your sales representatives spend time with customers who are in a position to solve their pains.

6) Humanlinker buying signals

At Humanlinker, we employ an entirely different approach to identifying signals. We crawl the web to extract high quality buying signals from your contacts & accounts territory. Our team will provide you with the name of one of your contacts, their company, job title, email address, LinkedIn account URL, phone number and the tools stack of their company. In addition, you'll also know which labels and signals they are interacting with. This data can help you effectively sell to them and align your marketing and sales.

The B2B customer journey is extremely complicated, which is why we use cross-referencing from multiple sources to determine and deliver high-quality signals about your territory.

→ If we see a new sales manager, this could be an important signal for you to start a conversation with this company

→ If we see a new partnership enacted, it could be a signal of the intention of an employee engagement business.

→ If we find out from a video or podcast that a company will hire 50 new people to focus on IT Security in the next quarter, that could be a perfect prospect for a team selling recruitment solutions or HR Services.

Overall, these data signals can eliminate the uncertainty of prospecting and give you a real competitive advantage over your competitors

How can you use this information to leverage your actions?

At this stage of the article, you have a lot of information : data on companies, on people and events... but what can I concretely do with it?

Macro strategic vision :

→ A better understand of the sector and its activities

→ By highlighting certain buying signals you will see the relevance of attacking new targets and personas.

→ Prioritize leads & accounts with multiple business signals and put a score behind the information to add further relevance to your lead scoring on the CRM.

→ With BI tools or CRM reports, you will be able to detect common patterns that will allow you to act on the buying signal in question. ( Ex: I see that my targets are partnering with IT players -> I create more value on topics related to IT players (event, podcast, webinar) )

→ Identify upsell opportunities based on new hiring and new fundraising

Micro-operational vision :

→ Quite basic and known to all, retargeting on specific buyings : A visitor has seen my pricing page more than 5 times without asking for a demo or signing up ----> audience pool to retarget with testimonials to prove your efficiency

→ Create specific workflows based on a buying signal pattern E.g.: if a company has just raised funds in sector X, then a workflow of tasks will be assigned to me with the aim of interacting with the key person. In contrast and depending on the buying signals, you can adapt the approach to the target sector. If one sector responds faster than another, then reduce the cycle of your workflows and the number of touchpoints.

→ Getting information about business signals for the future (sales motion)

→ Customize approaches by business-industry verticals & by pains-solved

→ Create content according to emerging events (HR / Fundraising / New Offices )

→ Add specific touchpoints based on buying signals

→ Review these ABM processes to add more granularity to the content, or the number of touchpoints

→ Automate contact based on an event

→ Create Sales message templates with high personalization on the basis of events

→ Create chatbots-surveys by verticals and by targets

Where can you find these Signals?

You will have a number of solutions that allow you to find this information. Here are some recommendations for how to get some of them:

Install your LinkedIn, Facebook, Google, Hubspot and Clearbit pixels. (free)

With these pixels, you will be able to collect the people who visit your pages, have demographic data, firmogaphic and create specific audience pools.

Scraping the web to get event signals

HR : You can scrape job boards for new hires and see the tools used, the main missions of your targets.

FUNDRAISING : You can use Dealroom, Crunchbase, Google Finance, LinkedIn and Google crawl to keep up to date with financial information (new fundraising, number of investors, type of fundraising, turnover)

PARTNERSHIP / INVOLVEMENT: Crawl different news sources related to your industry

TECH-STACK : You will need to go through a data provider such as Buildwith, StoreLeads, Wappalyzer, NerdyData, or Slintel

SEO : You will need to go through a data provider such as Semrush, Ahrefs, Similar web

COMPETITOR REVIEWS : Find out what your targets are saying about competitors G2, Capterra, Reviewflowz

In conclusion, using buying signals is important for companies because it can help them identify potential customers, tailor their sales approach, and increase the relevance of outbound tactics. By paying attention to these buying signals, B2B companies can gain a better understanding of their potential customers' needs and tailor their messages,content or services accordingly. A personalized approach is often seen as more effective because it shows the customer that the company values their individual needs and is willing to go the extra mile to provide a tailored solution.

Overall, using buying signals can be a valuable asset for B2B companies looking to effectively connect with and sell to their target audience.

Get in touch

Ready to take your sales
team to the next level?