We all know that successfully scaling a company means reaching the right customers, and to do that you need the right information. Getting to know your prospects thoroughly requires access to real data about who they are, what they need, and — in the case of B2B audiences — how they operate their businesses.
The better your intelligence, the better your understanding of who makes up your ideal accounts. This understanding helps you to segment a target list effectively and decide who to approach with various marketing tactics.
Getting the Right Data
Like everything in life, input determines output. So if you want to identify the best targets, you’ll need the right data. The most common types of B2B data are firmographic and contact data. Firmographic data tells you things like a company’s annual revenue, number of employees, its physical location and industry. Contact data gives you background on the people in a target account, such as their title, location and email.
These are all valuable types of information to use when you develop your market segments. If you’re in the business of selling software, however, you’re also going to need to know what’s in their technology stack. This will help you to spot likely synergies (and potential hiccups) before you reach out. It’s called technographic data because it tells you what tools and software your target company uses.
Armed with this information, you can figure out the complementary or competitive technologies they use, and which of your products or services are likely to mesh well with their technology. You can even start to figure out what their next technology purchase is likely to be. Then you and your marketing team can use this rich understanding to make sure you target the right companies, generate better prospect engagement, and boost your conversion rates.
Related Article: Getting Started With Data Orchestration for B2B Marketing and Sales
4 Steps to Effectively Use Technographic Data
Having technographic data is like being a kid in a candy store. You’ll have richer insights than ever before, and once you have these at your fingertips, you can follow these four steps to deliver spot-on, personalized marketing to the right people at the right time.
Step 1: Envision Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
An ICP is a detailed description of the kind of customer who is the best fit for your product or service and delivers the highest possible customer value. The profile contains firmographic information, their needs and wants, pain points, their values and goals. It’s typically based on data about previous and existing clients who you’ve pinpointed as having a high value for the company.
To do this, you’ll want to find out how much the account spends on technology and what they have bought in the past. When you pull out technographic information about past clients, you might find that those companies who previously appeared to be ideal customers are no longer as perfect a match as, say, another customer whose tech stack integrates exceptionally well with your product. This enables you to develop a qualification score for each prospect that shows how well they are likely to fit your ICP.
It’s the same concept as the “look-alike” audience. When you identify previous clients with a similar tech profile you increase the chances of the prospect fitting your profile and becoming a customer. By building this data into future ICPs, you can focus on closing accounts with a higher potential for revenue.
Step 2: Prioritize Your Prospects
Rank your prospective accounts according to their potential by assigning weightings to the company attributes that your product suits best. Increase the score for companies who use technologies that work well with yours, and reduce the score for those that use incompatible products.
Choose the companies that score the highest and rank them according to the likelihood of being able to close them as new customer accounts. You’ll end up with a priority list to target with your sales and marketing messages.
Related Article: How to Attract and Engage, Not Alienate, B2B Buyers
Step 3: Segment Your Audiences
After you’ve done steps 1 and 2, you’ll be left with a list of accounts to target in your marketing. With the right platform, segmentation is easily done by filtering accounts based on specific technologies and activities like website visits or sales contacts. You can create specific sales and marketing plays for prospects with similar technologies, and then refine your communications so you’re speaking directly to them.
Having a 360-degree view of your prospect that includes technographic and other types of data gives your marketing team an opportunity to get really specific with marketing messages, based on the information available for each audience segment.
If you target companies using a particular technology tool that integrates with yours, for example, you can build the message around the benefits of using the two together as a complete, end-to-end solution.
Step 4: Identify Next Technology Purchases
There’s nothing as powerful as learning about the exact solution a buyer is looking for at the time he’s looking for it. By examining the patterns of how companies buy technologies, you can start to predict what technology a company will be looking at next, and when — and use that to pinpoint your outreach at the exact right time, before they raise their hand on your website or send an RFP.
Form a Clearer Picture of Your Prospects
Technographic data can help you narrow down your target audience to a specific niche, and direct your advertising and marketing spend at the best possible prospects. Layer firmographic and technographic data together for in-depth understanding of your prospects and their needs.
This strategy will improve your prospecting success and enable you to find new opportunities to cross-sell, upsell, and convert customers to buying your products. Your sales team’s time will be more productive, they will increase their conversion rates, and provide you with the most promising return on your investment.
Jon Miller is the Chief Product Officer of Demandbase. In his role, Miller is responsible for delivering Demandbase’s product vision to delight customers and fulfill its mission of transforming how B2B companies go-to-market.