Recently I watched a great short video from PathFactory which talked about the importance of understanding ‘fit’ and tracking ‘intent’ to help identify hot prospects for sales teams.

Fit and intent are the two essential criteria’s we must look at when qualifying prospects and creating sales opportunities. If we were to look at them as an equation, without having a value against both, the opportunity is going to be zero.

FIT x INTENT = OPPORTUNITY

Without fit and intent, you have no sales opportunity.

So, what is ‘fit’?  

We can sum fit up as a prospect matching your ideal customer profile. This can look at demographic, firmographic or technographic levels or company size etc.

However, just because a prospect fits your ideal customer profile, this doesn’t mean they are in the market to purchase.

This is where intent comes in.

Intent is the signal of sales readiness, interest, openness or opportunity. This is slightly more difficult to measure, so we must infer intent from different signals.

So where/ how can we track these signals, and how do we value them in terms of strength?

This can be broken out into 3 stages:

  • Predictors of intent – Relatively weak signals, i.e. predictive analytics or software that monitors website traffic and content downloads.
  • Behavioural intent signals – Moderate signals, looking at what content audiences are consuming and how. The trouble with this is there’s no certainty that the content is being viewed or listened to at all.
  • Engaged Intent – High signals and a good indicator on how engaged a prospect is and measured through 4 main signals.
    • Appetite – How hungry is a prospect, how much content, time spent on information.
    • Specific Interest – what type of content, topics engaging with
    • Self-education – Where are prospects in buying journey, looking at type of content can show where they are in the buying journey. I.e
      • Top funnel – whitepapers
      • Bottom funnel – product specs, customer review. 
    • Openness to you your company, engaging with your content can demonstrate they are open to hear from you.

So if you really want to know who’s interested in your products or services, and who you should be targeting your bottom-of-the-funnel marketing to, make sure you’re considering both ‘fit’ and ‘intent’.