Henry Schuck: Utilizing Intent Data in Your Go-To-Market Requires a Culture of Fast Lead Follow Up

Henry Schuck: Utilizing Intent Data in Your Go-To-Market Requires a Culture of Fast Lead Follow Up

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They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Well, we say the road to #Datavana is paved with intent data. But what exactly is intent data? What’s the best way to capture it? How can we ensure we’re able to react to it quickly? These are just a handful of the questions that Henry Schuck, CEO and Co-Founder of ZoomInfo, answers in the latest episode of RingLead’s Datavana Podcast. We’ll review those answers in depth in this post.

Henry Schuck is a pioneer in the world of intent data and go-to-market and, since his career began in the early 2000s, he has witnessed many trends within the industry. He is always focused on the buyer — who they are and how to get to them.

Henry coins the next evolutionary step in taking the B2B-ABM world by storm as, “the multi-billion dollar question.” Henry proposes the answer to that question is Intent data.

Intent data

Data quality is becoming increasingly important, and “Data on potential targets is super powerful,” says Henry

The potential of intent data is nearly limitless. It has the capability to allow marketers to not only understand the journey of a potential buyer, but also when that buyer is likely to purchase. This, in turn, can be fed back to improve strategy and targeting while increasing efficiency and generating more leads.

But what exactly is intent data?

In a nutshell, intent data is information collected informing you that a potential customer is showing interest to buy your product or service.

This data comes in the form of someone completing specific interactions, such as viewing content on your site or other websites.

These interactions can also include:

  • Viewing your pricing page
  • Starting a demo or trial
  • Downloading a comparison list
  • Completing a webform

These interactions generally indicate research or interest. Combined with existing customer data, this information helps marketers gain insight to their buyer’s journey and tailor personalized content or messaging. With the right approach and timing these leads can become qualified and converted into customers. At the bottom line you can expect to see an increase in efficiency and ROI.

For most businesses, the answer to intent data is already sitting in their database. If you apply your strategy correctly, you can turn the data you’re already capturing into actionable intent data.

And What About Third-Party Intent Data?

As Zoominfo states, “87% of pre-purchase research is done online: Web searches and content consumption is a strong signal of buyer intent. The easiest way to access this data is to buy it from a third-party vendor.” Those third-party vendors can collect intent information; they aggregate ongoing user activities, which allows them to detect any specific surges in interest. They can then hand off this information to you in a neat little package.

They key here is that not only can they do this for your site, but they can also reflect the interest demonstrated toward other websites—including your competitors’. This makes it easier to narrow down ideal sales prospects.

Zoominfo’s offering in this particular arena is Zoominfo Intent, a “B2B-specific solution that leverages proprietary machine learning technology to shed light on purchasing signals,” as described in a 2020 press release.

Companies want to be in front of their buyers as early as possible when they're in market for their types of products and services, says Henry on the Datavana Podcast. You don't want to miss an opportunity. People are getting smarter about signing multi-year contracts three, five, seven year contract. You can be locked out of an opportunity for a long time.

Why You Should Take Intent Data Seriously

Did you know that at any given time, only 3% of TAM of potential customers are in the market for a product or service? Having the knowledge of when a customer is in the market to buy really shifts the power to those holding intent data.

Taking action on intent data correctly can benefit the outcomes of sales and marketing by:

  • Increasing:
    • The number of qualified leads, Conversions
    • Cross-selling
    • Efficiency through focused marketing on in-process buyers
    • Win rates and ROI
    • Informed decisions
  • Improving:
    • Strategy
    • Targeting
    • Understanding of buyer journeys and intent
    • Future prospecting
  • Reducing:
    • Overall churn
    • Sales cycles

Intent data has the potential to resolve the challenges sales and marketing face, saving money while increasing effectiveness.

It's important for B2B organizations to help their customers get in front of their prospective customers as quickly as possible, and that's not going to change. And when it comes to the future, Henry's outlook is similar to that of Jeff Bezos; it's the things that aren't going to change, as opposed to the things that are, that hold Henry's interest. Included in the things that won't change are intent data and the importance of speed to lead—which we will revist.

“There’s this Jeff Bezos quote on investment strategy. He says, I don’t really think that much about what’s going to change, but I do spend a good amount of time thinking about things that I believe are going to be the same.

In Amazon’s world, customers will always want to buy products as cheap as possible with the fastest delivery time. That won’t change.

In our world of Go-To-Market, our customers will always want to get in front of potential buyers as early as possible when they are in market.”

The best form of “intent” is an inbound webform. Obviously!

"The best form of 'intent' is a webform submission. It’s literally someone raising their hand asking to to see your product. If you aren’t following up quickly you might as well be lighting your money on fire."

- Henry Schuck

CEO & Co-Founder of ZoomInfo

The two pieces of data that make up buyer intent are WHO and WHAT. You need to know ‘who’ is active and ‘what’ actions that active person is taking.

As stated by Henry Schuck on the Datavana Podcast, “The best source of intent is when someone fills out a form on your website. It’s great. It’s giving you the best leads possible.” Put simply, a customer completing a webform tells you not only ‘who’ and ‘what’, but also ‘why’.

If your company is struggling or failing to contact those hand raisers in a timely fashion, you may as well set your money on fire! There is no greater indicator than someone spending time on your website readily handing their information over.

Henry’s Lead Response Experiment & Intelligent Routing

Henry’s Experiment

In the podcast, Henry mentions how he tracked the web form response time of various companies that attended conferences where he was a speaker. The results? “48% of people of the companies responded. So more than half of the companies are not responding to any lead that gets filled out on their website”. “I just spent time on your website – I’m ready!” exclaimed Henry, “Not being able to get that person on the phone in seconds is malfeasance.”

Not following up on completed webforms is a disastrous wasted opportunity, especially if that person is the CEO of a large company like Henry Schuck.

Lead Response Time

Citing a popular lead response time study, Jaime Murihead mentions that about 75% of buyers go with the first person to reach out to them. “The numbers don’t even seem real. Another company’s product could be better, their sales team could be better, but just by responding first, you are 75% more likely to close the deal.”

Studies have been conducted and the consensus is clear; you have roughly 90 – 300 seconds to contact an inbound lead and move them along the funnel. Otherwise, they’re likely lost to a competitor.

According to a study by Lead Connect, 78% of customers buy from the company that responds to their inquiry first.

Read more about the 5 minute window here.

The Speed to Lead Solution: Intelligent Routing

Create a system of fast, informed, and data-driven lead follow up

Ok so now that we know best practices, how on earth do you make sure that you’re able to process web-to-lead forms in under 5 minutes?

Having a sophisticated and efficient system for lead assignment for lead processing is the best way to ensure that the productive next steps are taken immediately and that sales reps are quickly following up in an informed manner.

RevOps pros know that Lead Routing is often built on a deceptively complex set of processes, oftentimes on multiple third-party point solutions (AKA the back of a house of cards). This causes inaccurate routing and slow lead processing times.

“[Disparate point solutions] may be intended to work together harmoniously, but they don’t,” says Jaime. This leads to huge delays in lead routing.

These delays and bottlenecks in lead assignment require a solution that provides a synchronized lead processing pipeline, and that’s where RingLead + Zoominfo come in.

The most exciting thing about our partnership is being able to provide the ZoomInfo asset to our joint customers in real time so they can then use that information to restructure the data, normalize it, build segments, do lead to account matching , and routing in seconds, continues Jaime.

The Zoominfo & RingLead partnership allows companies to augment their routing and data processing workflows with Zoominfo data without any delays so that inbound leads and intent signals never slip through the cracks.

By integrating Zoominfo with RingLead, all first-party and third-party intent signals are associated with the correct company and person records in real time to ensure that scoring mechanisms are able to trigger the best actions for follow-up. In the same flow step, incoming data is processed through each critical data quality job—it’s validated, normalized, deduped, enriched, segmented, & routed to sales reps within seconds.

"By managing data orchestration & lead routing with RingLead - in one API call, we can enrich through Zoominfo, standardize, dedupe, match to an account, segment, & then route leads. Before RingLead we needed multiple solutions, which significantly slowed down our lead assignment process"

- Ashley Langford

Sr. Marketing Ops Manager, Integrate


Data is the wind in our sails. It powers our strategies, CRMs, and can help develop relationships with customers. True power lies in understanding when to adjust your sail at the right moment and in which direction to turn to make the most of the wind. In other words, leveraging your existing data with intent data can help you get in front of your customers at the right time.

Intent data can let you know when someone is ready to buy, allowing you to start convincing them to become a customer. Use data catchment points to feed your strategies and marketing efforts (webforms). Combining this incoming data with an orchestration platform to get your leads where they need to go in the right time frame generates more sales and increased ROI.

Intent data is the future of B2B marketing and sales. Don’t miss the boat.

Give the podcast a listen and check out some of the others on — you’re sure to learn a lot.

Henry works at ZoomInfo Technologies Inc.  an American software as a service (SaaS) company based in Vancouver, Washington that sells access to its database of information about business people and companies to sales, marketing and recruiting professionals.


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Henry Schuck: Utilizing Intent Data in Your Go-To-Market Requires a Culture of Fast Lead Follow Up

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