Teal banner with '11 Buying Signal Examples,' a click icon, and signal waves.
Teal banner with '11 Buying Signal Examples,' a click icon, and signal waves.

Struggling to identify real buying intent among your leads and prospects? You're not alone. Sales teams often miss valuable deals due to unclear buying signals.

Sales and marketing teams need to distinguish between casual inquiries and genuine buying intent to reduce guesswork, save time and ultimately close deals faster. 

For example — website visits to your product pages are a good sign, but the prospect might just be curiously browsing around without any explicit intent to buy. 

So what are buying signals and how do you identify them? Most importantly, how can you use them to your advantage? Here’s what you need to know. 

What are buying signals?

Buying signals are digital actions or behaviors that indicate a prospect’s growing interest in (eventually) purchasing a product or service. Buying signals offer valuable insights into the buyer’s journey, allowing salespeople to identify potential customers earlier in the sales cycle and tailor their outbound approach in a personalized manner. 

These signals can manifest in various ways — such as visiting specific product pages, checking out your pricing model, browsing case studies or engaging with your brand on social media. 

How do buying signals improve the sales process?

Buying signals are crucial for sales teams because they provide insights into a customer's purchase intent, enabling them to:

  • Identify potential customers. A data-driven approach to sales prospecting enables sellers to know when a buyer is actively considering a product or service, allowing them to focus their efforts on driving qualified leads.
  • Initiate timely follow-up. Successful lead generation is about timing. Reach out at the optimal moment when the customer is most receptive to a sale, increasing the chances of engagement and conversion.
  • Navigate the sales process more efficiently. Prioritizing leads with strong buying intent and initiating timely follow-ups will also accelerate your sales cycle.
  • Offer personalized messaging. Understanding buying signals will help salespeople tailor their approach to the customer's specific needs and interests. A personalized approach to outbound also demonstrates sales acumen, which is a key factor in developing deeper connections with prospects. 

Main types of buying signals

Buying signals can be broadly categorized into three main categories.

Fit Data

Fit data focuses on the characteristics of potential customers, including:

  • Demographics: This includes information like location, which helps tailor marketing efforts to resonate with regional needs and preferences.
  • Technology usage: Knowing what technologies they already use allows assessment of product compatibility and integration opportunities.

Opportunity Data

Opportunity data focuses on external factors that can influence purchase intent, including:

  • Company events: Engagement with events like product launches or promotions indicates consumer interest and receptiveness to further communication.
  • Leadership changes: Shifts in company leadership can present new opportunities, as new leaders might be open to exploring fresh solutions.
  • Industry trends: Analyzing responses to industry changes, regulations, or competitor activity can help businesses capitalize on moments where their product aligns with emerging consumer needs.

Intent Data

Intent data provides insights into a prospective customer’s level of interest in a specific product or service:

  • Search behavior: Tracking online searches for related products or services helps identify consumers actively researching similar offerings.
  • Website activity: Analyzing website visits, especially to product pages or pricing sections, can indicate a consumer is seriously considering a purchase.
  • Content engagement: Engagement with content like downloading guides or watching tutorials suggests consumers are actively seeking information to learn more.

Understanding these different types of buying signals allows marketing and sales teams to gain a better understanding of their prospect’s buying process, and tailor the sales strategy accordingly. 

11 examples of buying signals to monitor

Identifying buying signals allows sales reps to target and engage potential customers effectively. Here are the most common buying signals to look out for:

1. Downloading gated content 

  • Signal: When a potential customer willingly provides their contact information in exchange for valuable content like white papers, ebooks, or webinars, it’s not always a strong indication of buying intent — but it does mean they are interacting with your brand in a positive way. This typically suggests they are at the highest point in the buyer’s journey (top of funnel), but may eventually be interested in making a purchasing decision later down the road. 
  • Action: Downloading content doesn’t always mean a buyer is “in-market” but it might suggest they are open to learning more, so this makes it worthy of targeted follow-up. Sales professionals can track downloaded content to tailor outreach and multi-threading techniques around the prospect's specific interests. For example, someone who watches a product tutorial about a specific feature is likely interested in solving a specific problem. Your sales team can personalize their outreach by highlighting how your product directly addresses those challenges.

2. Engaging with high intent pages

  • Signal: Metrics like long session times, multiple page views, and visits to your company pricing page are very strong buying signals. If your prospects are browsing product pages, demo videos, product tours, and reading case studies — they are likely to be in-market and solution-seeking. 
  • Action: Sales teams can leverage website analytics to pinpoint pages of interest, revealing potential pain points. Analyze which sections they spend the most time on. Are they looking at pricing, features, or customer success stories? Understanding their browsing behavior helps you identify their specific needs and craft targeted outreach that speaks directly to their concerns.

3. Announcing new fundraising

  • Signal: Companies that recently secured funding might be actively looking for solutions to support their growth strategy.
  • Action: Reach out, but do it carefully. Understand that when new funding announcements happen, your prospects get bombarded with requests for sales conversations. Best practice is to thoughtfully research the company's recent funding and tailor your outreach to highlight how you can support their growth plans or address potential priorities.

4. Appointing new leadership

  • Signal: Companies with new leadership are in a reassessment phase, potentially seeking solutions to align with their new leader’s vision.
  • Action: Monitor news for leadership changes. Research new leaders' backgrounds and tailor outreach highlighting how your solutions can support their potential priorities.

5. Researching your product on review sites

  • Signal: Prospects actively seeking real-world feedback about your products or services often turn to third-party review websites or forums. While directly monitoring this signal might be challenging, proactive online reputation management is crucial. This includes responding to both positive and negative reviews on relevant sites.
  • Action: This signal indicates the prospect is in the late consideration stage, seeking validation before making a decision. Positive reviews and testimonials build trust and confidence.

6. Involving peers for opinion

  • Signal: When prospects discuss your solution with colleagues, mentors, or relevant contacts within their industry, it indicates they are moving towards a decision and potentially seeking broader consensus. You might hear about this directly or see them mentioning your company/product on social media platforms like LinkedIn.
  • Action: This signal is crucial as it demonstrates the internal decision-making process and potential involvement of multiple stakeholders. This widens the scope of the potential deal and often affects the timeline.

7. Reading your case studies

  • Signal: Prospects actively seeking proof of your solution's success in scenarios related to their own business and challenges often turn to reading your case studies. Monitor traffic to your case study section or look for downloads of specific case studies.
  • Action: This signal indicates that prospects are seriously considering your solution and looking for concrete evidence that you can deliver the results they desire. Offer relevant case studies based on customer needs, and highlight successes similar to their specific situation.

8. Responding positively to cold outreach or sales pitch

  • Signal: Prospects who respond favorably to your initial cold sales outreach, whether email, phone, or even a direct message, show a level of openness to exploring solutions.
  • Action: This is a good sign and often manifests as an opened email, returned sales calls, or any form of direct reply. Capitalize on this opportunity by following up with a personalized offer that addresses the prospect's needs and interests.

9. Signing up for a free trial

  • Signal: This is a common B2B sales signal. Prospects wanting to experience your product directly and assess how it aligns with their needs often sign up for a free trial.
  • Action: This signal reveals both genuine interest in your solution and a willingness to invest time in evaluating your offering. Provide excellent support during the trial, offer tailored guidance throughout their experience, and present a compelling offer to encourage them to become paying customers.

10. Filling out a form on your website

  • Signal: When prospects proactively provide their contact information in a web form, they demonstrate a desire for active engagement with your brand. This could be requesting a demo, additional information, or subscribing to your content.
  • Action: Respond promptly with tailored resources, set up a demo, or provide the specific information they requested. This shows responsiveness and a commitment to building a relationship.

11. Engaging with your brand on social media

  • Signal: Prospects expressing interest by liking, commenting, sharing, or tagging others in your social media posts reveal a willingness to connect with your brand and are open to learning more about what you offer.
  • Action: Leverage the prospect’s interest by directly engaging with them on social media. Provide valuable information, answer their questions, and nurture a deeper relationship by demonstrating your expertise and industry thought leadership.

How to Track Buying Signals

There are three key approaches to tracking buying signals:

1. Utilize Sales Intelligence Tools

Sales and marketing teams have a variety of powerful tools they could use to spot and analyze buying signals. 

  • Sales Intelligence Tools: Sales intelligence tools like UserGems gather and analyze prospect data from various sources. They act as deal accelerators by helping sales teams identify qualified leads, personalize outreach, and increase the chances of closing each deal.
  • Digital Analytics Tools: Tools like Google Analytics 4 track website behavior (page views, time on site, event tracking) to identify engagement patterns that correlate with increased buying interest.
  • Social Listening Platforms: Monitor social media for brand mentions, sentiment analysis, and competitor insights to discover potential leads and broader market trends.

2. Monitor Your Target Accounts Online

  • Engage directly with prospects who show buying signals on social media. Respond promptly to comments or questions, offering personalized assistance. This fosters relationships and nurtures leads further down the sales funnel.
  • Track industry keywords and hashtags to stay informed about broader trends. Don't just listen to conversations directly related to your brand. By following relevant industry discussions, you can capture potential buying signals that may not be explicitly tied to your offering, allowing you to stay ahead of the curve.

3. Segment and Analyze

No data is valuable without effective analysis. Here are some ways you can segment and analyze your data. 

  • Segment website visitors into new and returning categories. Returning visitors are more likely to be further along the buying journey, so their online behavior should be weighted more heavily when analyzing buying signals.
  • A/B testing your website's CTAs can be highly insightful. By testing different CTAs, you can understand which ones are more effective at triggering buying signals, such as form submissions or video views.

Track and Monitor Buying Signals with UserGems

Don't chase leads; anticipate their needs.

Mastering buying signals is the secret weapon of top salespeople. It allows them to understand customer buying intent, personalize outreach, and close more deals. But identifying these signals can be like finding a needle in a haystack.

That’s why UserGems is a game changer. 

This innovative sales intelligence platform goes beyond tracking basic data to provide actionable insights into your prospects' behavior and key changes in their environment. 

Imagine receiving hundreds of qualified leads in your CRM, every month, when key contacts change their jobs. Or imagine eliminating all manual contact discovery and automatically capturing new buyers that match your persona.

What you can do with UserGems 💎

  • Automatically identify and prioritize key decision-makers within your target companies, saving you valuable time and effort.
  • Uncover missing contacts within your target accounts using multithreading, allowing you to connect with the key decision-makers and increase your chances of success.
  • Integrate UserGems with your CRM to keep your data fresh and ensure your outreach messaging is always relevant and personalized.
Job changes view with the UserGems platform

Stop tracking buying signals manually. Start automating this with UserGems.

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