‘Intent Data Makes Being an SDR Fun Again’

6 minutes
Feb 09, 2022

Jessica Windnagle is a Senior SDR at Bombora focused on Enterprise-sized accounts. One of her favorite parts of the job is helping it creatively evolve and selling to sales folks...

Jessica Windnagle is a Senior SDR at Bombora focused on Enterprise-sized accounts. One of her favorite parts of the job is helping it creatively evolve and selling to sales folks just like herself. Jess loves all the activities that come with Rocky Mountain living, and is that girl who pets every single puppy she comes across.


“Here’s a list. Start making calls.”

Sound familiar?

How about “Sorry. Not interested” or “How’d you get my number?” or just … silence.

Any of those ring a bell? 

Look, life as an SDR can be rough. Trust me, I know.

I used to spend day after day throwing emails into the void and calling junk leads secretly hoping they wouldn’t pick up because I didn’t really know what to say.

Every once in a while I’d get a response, but those were few and far between, and even fewer of them showed actual interest.

Did You Notice I Said ‘Used to’?

Yep. That was my old life — but then I found a better way.

In my new role, I have access to Bombora’s Company Surge® Intent data, and it’s completely changed how I approach my business. I get way more responses making far fewer calls, and I know just what to say to get my prospect’s interest. Here’s how:

My Responsibilities + Intent Data

My day-to-day responsibilities are probably a lot like yours:

  1. Follow up with a stack of inbound leads
  2. Cold prospect into new accounts
  3. Nurture accounts that have shown some interest, but haven’t converted yet

To be clear, what I do hasn’t changed, but Intent data has completely changed how I do it.

Here’s the step-by-step:

1. Following Up On Inbound Leads

Lead follow-up used to be a nightmare — mostly because every lead looked exactly the same.

A list of hundreds of names can be overwhelming. Where do I start? Who should I call first? What is each person interested in? Are they going to be annoyed by my outreach?

I had no idea of who was actually ready to buy and who was just window shopping, so it’s no wonder my script got me so many hang-ups and “not interested” responses.

…and then came Intent data.

Now all my leads come with an Intent score which helps me know at a glance which accounts are actually interested and want to hear from me.

How the score is determined is fairly intricate (Company Surge® data from Bombora is incorporated to our lead and account scoring models by our marketing operations team, working with sales). But to me, it’s just a simple numerical score that helps me understand which leads to prioritize and reach out to first, and which accounts need an extra personalized touch because they’re super hot.

Instead of a list of 100+ names with equal weighting, I now have a focused list with a handful of leads who are much more likely to respond.

2. Cold Prospect Into New Accounts

Confession time: I used to hate cold calling.

The only thing worse than having a list of names is having no list at all. Firmographics help to understand which businesses would be good prospects, but how do you know which ones actually are at the right stage of the buying cycle?

Intent data to the rescue again!

If I find an account with a high Intent score (the same score I use for my inbound leads), but no contacts, I know I have a good target on my hands.

But who do you reach out to, and what would resonate with them?

Intent data has you covered there, too!

With Bombora, I don’t just get an Intent score; I also get a list of topics that accounts are showing interest in.

So the first thing I do is look into the topics that the account is researching. (So, for example, if the account is showing a Company Surge® on a number of topics related to ABM and Demand Gen, I’ll go find people with ABM or Demand Gen in their titles.)

Next, I use those topics to help make my outreach personalized and relevant. (No more generic sequences!)

When I know what my prospect is interested in, I’m much more likely to get a response, and my cold calling (and emailing) is way more successful.

3. Nurture Accounts That Have Shown Interest, But Haven’t Yet Converted

Some accounts just seem … well … stuck.

We all know what prospects really mean when they say, “Why don’t you call me again in six months,” and nothing feels more defeating than sending a “Just checking in” email that probably won’t even get opened.

Thankfully, my “just checking in” days are over — I’ve found at least three ways to use Intent data to make my outreach more relevant and likely to get a response.

  1. Seeing what topics my accounts are actively researching gives me ideas for what content to send them next.
  2. If I notice an account researching one of our partners, I can follow up to see if they’d like a demo of our integration.
  3. If a target account starts researching one of our competitors, I can quickly send them comparisons showing why we’re the better choice.

These are just a few of the strategies I’ve used to help get seemingly frozen accounts moving again (although you could easily come up with at least a dozen more).

With Company Surge®, you get high quality Intent data (that will meet your company’s privacy requirements) — and the confidence that comes with it!

Intent Data Makes Being an SDR Fun Again

Okay, so I learned that I don’t really hate making calls — I just hated making calls and sending emails that didn’t get a positive response. (Or didn’t get any response at all, for that matter.)

Intent data changed all that for me. Now I have confidence that the people I’m contacting are actually interested in hearing from me, and I have a good idea of what content I could send that they’d appreciate.

I feel like I’m being helpful and have a strategy, and a lot less like I’m just throwing generic content at a list to see what sticks.

…and isn’t that what being an SDR should really feel like?

If you still feel like you’re stuck you’re just aimlessly plowing through leads, don’t hesitate to reach out! I’d love to be able to help you too.

—Jess

Jwindnagle@bombora.com


Become Our Next Case Study

Like how Kazoo got a 2-3x increase in their reply rates, Triblio saw an 18% bump in SDR revenue influence, and Turtl realized over a 300% boost in meeting creation rate and reduced their sales cycle by over six months (…just to name a few).

Want to learn more about Bombora? Reach out to our sales team today!