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How to Use B2B Data to Elevate Sales

B2B data is a significant driver of major business decisions. It allows businesses to take informed actions in everything from marketing strategies to where it’s most profitable to invest or make purchases. Data is vital to B2B lead generation as it helps sales reps create informed pitches that speak directly to prospects. Despite how vital data is to lead generation, many businesses use data to make only 50 percent of significant decisions, such as sales decisions. 

Significance of collecting B2B data

B2B data is a collection of information on other relevant businesses and their people. It’s a great way to nurture your leads because you can provide better marketing experiences with the information you get. Having insights on their interactions with your brand, updates in their business and personal lives, and contact information is useful to collect and have in many ways. It’s crucial for creating personalized experiences for each customer. This information is also helpful in developing the target buyer persona, B2B lead degeneration, analytics, etc.

No matter how good your offer is, sales will never be made unless you target the wrong businesses. Collecting B2B data is essential because it helps you build the ideal target persona and correctly identify high-quality leads that fit into this criteria. 

Types of B2B data 

Company or account data

This type of data covers information on other companies that’ll help the sales team categorize a company or account as the right fit for your ideal customer profile. An example is collecting data on the specific industry that would benefit from your product. It can also include these companies’ geographical location, size, website traffic, number of employees, revenue levels, and more. These categories aren’t one-size-fits-all for B2B companies. They can be adjusted to fit the business product/service. 

Contact data

Contact data for B2B companies helps the sales team conduct prospecting activities effectively. They help provide means of contacting prospective customers via cold emailing or cold calls to learn more about them, improve marketing strategies, and adequately match them to your target customer profile. This data type includes phone numbers, email addresses, names, social media profiles, and job titles. Contact data can be improved by factoring in custom tags, such as company news and previous interactions with your business. It can also provide insights into their preferred or ideal contact channels. 

Technographic data

This type of data is vital for technology providers and refers to information the tech stack your target persona uses, such as their CRM tools, hardware, coding frameworks, data storage, and other tech frameworks. Having this information allows the sales team to categorize prospects into ideal leads. It’ll also provide information on whether or not the company would be interested in your offer, whether it integrates well with their existing stack and whether it’ll make a valuable addition to it. Also known as technical data, this information lets your team tailor its pitch to align with the tools the company already uses, thus increasing its likelihood of conversion. 

Engagement data

Engagement data is a collection of information on any interaction or engagement with your business and prospect. This kind of data can include bounce rates, time spent on your webpage, social media interactions, such as comments and likes, previous downloads, email signups, and more. Engagement data is helpful for marketing techniques like retargeting. It allows you to follow up with leads regarding their last activity or interaction with your leads that did not end in conversion. 

Intent data

Intent data is information collected on the way prospects behave on your website. It helps with insights into the prospect’s intentions and what aspects of your offer they’re interested in. It can also be useful in providing insights on the best time to reach out. Intent data can also be gathered from competitors’ and complementary businesses’ websites. 

This kind of information shows B2B sellers buying signals on what they’re interested in purchasing based on activities such as web pages they spend the most time on, content downloads, signing up for free trials, and more. Tools like internet trackers help businesses identify patterns in prospects’ behavior and analyze their interest in your product. 

Where and how to source B2B data

  • Social media. Social media is one of the best places to collect B2B data, as prospects spend significant amounts of time on business pages on LinkedIn and Twitter. These platforms require vital information from users to set up a profile and give the sales team the contact data they need to reach out to prospects. Social media activity also offers insights into prospects’ interests based on their interactions, such as comments, pages they follow, and topics they contribute to. This information is vital for crafting personalized messages. 
  • Inbound. Inbound data sources are obtained from interactions with your business. This can be from their response to your content, such as downloading your whitepaper, filling out a survey, or contacting the sales team. The prospect may even provide the needed data without prompting by leaving their contact information for the sales team to reach out to them.
  • Websites. A company’s website provides a rich source of data. This is useful for collecting data like intent data that shows what prospects are interested in your website. They’re also an excellent way to attract traffic from people interested in the topics you share in whitepapers, blogs, ebooks, webinars, and more. They  provide insights on metrics like traffic sources which can show which of your marketing activities generates the most leads. It can also provide contact information, visitor records, website conversions, and more. Other businesses’ websites can also offer helpful B2B data. Looking at your high-profile leads’ websites gives you information on recent activities like information on C-suite executives, the latest news, testimonials, and company history.
  • External tools/B2B data provider. There are external tools businesses can use to provide the data they need based on specified criteria. These data providers generate whatever kind of detailed data you need according to parameters set by you, so there’s no irrelevant information in the dataset. This service usually isn’t free, but there are steps in place to ensure you get your money’s worth. Before the final product is delivered, your sales team may vet the dataset to ensure it fits the earlier parameters before releasing the list of approved contacts. 

How to leverage data

Lead generation

B2B data can be used in lead generation to find the right leads for your sales pipeline. You’ll be able to target the right audience and persuade prospects to take an action step, such as filling out a form. Using insights from data, you can craft compelling, personalized market content that inspires the lead to follow your call to action. It also ensures you’re targeting the right people who would benefit from your offer. Examples include using technographic data to target prospects using a competitor’s products with functionality better suited to their brand. Or using contact data to identify the C-level executive responsible for buying decisions in a company and cold emailing them.

Lead routing and scoring

If your business isn’t a brand-new operation, you can use existing data of established high-value customers to target similar audiences. It helps identify what types of companies to prioritize to get an almost confirmed conversion. The sales team will rank leads and assign numbers or values to them according to different characteristics. Each category is assigned a number based on how important it is to have in the target audience. They’ll use those at the top with the highest aggregate as a source of insight to find similar companies and route them to the sales team for targeting.

Account-based marketing

B2B data such as  company size, business processes, market share, and more, informs account-based marketing. It helps the sales and marketing team identify the correct high-value accounts to target with highly personalized content. The combined effort of both teams increases interactions and the probability of success. Insights from data can also be used to strengthen ABM strategies to identify the accounts with the highest chances of closing. All teams involved in getting prospects to convert should have equal access to data sets to effectively allow them to play to their strengths.  

Demand generation

Demand generation is a marketing technique heavily reliant on high-quality B2B data. Data provides insights into your target audience’s interests, challenges, and curiosities. The information allows your brand to develop content that builds trust and drives thought leadership. It helps you stand out from the competition and positions you as a well-known business in the industry. This is a great way to stay top of mind with  prospects as they’re constantly getting emails, reading blogs, or interacting with your social media posts that reflect their interests or provide solutions to their challenges. 

Run targeted email campaigns

It’s impossible to run targeted email campaigns without data. These campaigns rely on insights from collecting data on prospects to succeed. Having prospect data lets you develop the perfect personalized email. Contact data gives you their name and how to reach them.

Intent data lets you know what features, products, or other characteristics of your offer interest them, and company data lets you know where they’re located, company size, and more. This is all vital information that helps marketing teams craft highly personalized content that speaks directly to the prospects’ needs and increases their likelihood of converting.

Best Practices For Using B2B Data

Adhering to the following B2B data best practices ensure you’re collecting data that serves a valuable purpose and gets the best results. 

  1. Ensure your data is in line with legal requirements for collecting, using, and storing customer data. Follow local laws for data use, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). If using an external service, ensure they comply with the relevant regulations. Doing this will cover the bases for data security. 
  2. Ensure your teams have the proper knowledge and workflows to access and make the best use of the data you collect. This can include automation as needed, incorporating data into lead scoring, integration into your CRM, and more.
  3. Conduct data audits and regular data cleanups. This is necessary to ensure data is up to date and you’re not targeting customers using obsolete information. Ensure all information is correct, so you’re not targeting non-existent emails, numbers out of service, or making errors like misspelling names or titles.

Interested in learning about data that can inform and improve integral parts of your business? Contact us today to get started.