How many Demo Meetings did you join the last time you bought a new software?

Can you tell which providers are overpromising and which ones are actually worth your investment… every time?

It can be quite challenging to understand the subtle differences among different providers, especially when the solution you’re searching for is relatively new.

hard to tell the differences among intent data providers by Albacross

A Buyer Intent Data tool is one of them.

It’s a relatively new and niche tool for B2B companies. It helps sales identify and prospect target accounts easier, enables marketing to deeply understand the interests of their audience, and identifies upsell and cross-sell opportunities for your customer success team.

But how to find the best data provider that suits you most?

In this article, we’ve made a list of questions to help you efficiently shortlist your intent data providers.

If you want to have it at hand during the meeting or share it with your team, here’s a PDF version of the questions.


You can evaluate data providers from 3 aspects:

  • Data: Data usually refers to data coverage, data quality, and data compliance. Besides that, having a granular and detailed set of data points also makes a product substantially better.
  • Product: Check if they can integrate with your tech stack, how smooth the integration is, and if they can support different use cases as you scale up.
  • The buying process: Having a modular and flexible product package helps you maximize the budget you’ve invested in buying the tools. On top of that, you also need to check the review sites to see if they have a dedicated Customer Success Manager to support your onboarding.

Spoiler: If one product has a strong and granular database, a flexible buying process, and a dedicated CS team, pricing becomes secondary. After all, it is the value a product delivers that matters the most.

Let’s dive into it!

First, ask about the data.

Data quality, coverage, and data compliance are 3 factors to help you filter out the least qualified providers, quickly.

The following questions can guide you:

1. How is the data collected?

There are 3 types of intent data:

Type First-party Intent Data Second-party Intent Data Third-party Intent Data
How it is collected Data is usually collected from your own website using IP-to-company mapping technology. Data is collected by another company and then purchased by you. Collect online activities on external websites that are not owned by you.
You’ll get Online activities of your B2B visitors, and you can link these activities to the firmographic and technographic information. You can purchase data from review sites to see which companies browsed products/competitors in your category. Depending on the data provider, usually, you can get the account-level content consumption data, like page URL, on-site duration, browser type, etc.

Whether the data is “first-party” or “third-party” is not the main focus. What matters most is if these data points can help you achieve your business goals.

If your goal is to:

  • Reach out to accounts who already know about you,
  • Find ideal customers who are in the buying window,
  • Help the sales team improve the win rate,

Finding out who your anonymous website visitors are and their behavior should be your current focus.

2. How does it work under the whole working-from-home situation?

Many intent data providers use IP-to-company technology to identify and collect account-level information.

If a user with work email A constantly visits your website from the same IP, the data provider will then link this IP address to company A.

Nowadays, with both static and dynamic IP mapping, some data providers can identify remote workers at a high accuracy rate.

3. Is it GDPR compliant?

When you’re in Rome, do as the Romans do.

If you want to expand your business within Europe, GDPR is the first thing you should think about.

European intent data providers know the local regulations inside and out. Pick them to support your global expansion and save yourself from unnecessary legal troubles.

4. Do they have granular data points to fully support what you need?

Data granularity is often overlooked by most buyers. It indicates how deeply the data can be broken down to support custom field mapping within your existing tech stack.

data granulity by Albacross

For example, you may ONLY want to target FinTech companies located in Paris using Salesforce that have visited your 2 specific web pages.

You need granular data points to create this segment to provide you with such information.

Unfortunately, not all data providers can do that (for example, they can only reveal French companies, not the ones located in Paris).

With this in mind, you are one step further to find your perfect data provider.

And then the product.

5. Can it integrate with your current tech stack smoothly?

The last thing your team needs is another new tool to learn.

They’ve got a lot on their plate – Salesforce, Hubspot, Salesloft, and Google Analytics, to name a few.

When evaluating different data providers, you need to check

  • if you can integrate them with your tech stack,
  • if you can easily sync data between the provider app and your tech tools.

Here, granular data helps in supporting a flexible integration and further helps improve the team’s productivity.

For example, if you want to sync data between the provider app and your own Salesforce, features like matched data points, secondary matching mechanism, and custom object matching are essential.

6. Can it support your growth as your company scales up?

Nobody wants to buy a one-trick pony.

The most ideal data provider should support your full-funnel growth strategy – from building brand awareness to capturing demand, and from capturing demand to monitoring upsell opportunities.

To do this, the data provider should have a structured plan to scale their features over time. And if your sales team is the main user, your marketing team and CS team should also benefit from it.

Finally, the buying process.

7. Instead of the whole product package, can you only buy parts of the stated features?

In our interview series, Meaningful Conversations, we asked some industry leaders about what they would like to change in the buying process. And most of them have mentioned:


The “personalized” buying experience doesn’t just limit to personalizing the website and chatbot messages, it should also reflect on the buying process and product packages.

Providers with modular product packages enable you to flexibly change the product package based on your needs. You can choose which features to have and which not.

8. Do they have an experienced and dedicated CS team?

A Customer Success team is one of the most important yet overlooked factors when buying a new tool.

Apart from providing you with an organized onboarding plan and timely replies, a great CSM team also acts as a strategic advisor on how to maximize your potential – to improve your whole growth strategy, not just the parts that are connected to the product you’ve bought.

But usually, you won’t get in touch with the CS team until you have already signed the contract.

Apart from checking the reviews they’ve got on the review sites, you can also check if their CS team is in-house or hired via an external agency.

Teams hired via external agencies may not know the products you bought inside and out. And it is less likely to have a CS manager to support you in the long run.

Pricing: Does it really matter?

“There are less expensive Bourbons. There are also thinner steaks and smaller cars.” (Wild Turkey Bourbon).

By now, you should realize that if one product has a strong and granular database, a flexible buying process, and a dedicated CS team, how much it costs becomes secondary.

Remember, you are NOT buying a product – you are investing in an outcome.

Are you ready for your next demo?

To get the right answer, you need to ask the right questions.

When researching on a niched tool like Buyer Intent Data, many people feel lost and don’t know where to start when sitting in the demo meeting.

We are aware of that and that’s why we’ve gathered these questions to guide you.

If you need any help in learning about Intent Data or want to dig deeper into one question mentioned above, feel free to contact us and we’ll be there to help.

Yutong Nan

Yutong Nan

Content Marketer

Passionate about MarTech trends, Yutong is on the mission to help marketers understand the benefits of Intent Data and how to use it to achieve better results.