One of the biggest challenges B2B sales teams face is deciding what firmographics to use for the most effective personalization and prospecting. B2B firmographics are like demographics for a business, and typically include information you’d expect from most data vendors, such as a company’s:
- Industry classification
- Annual revenue
- Employee size
However, if you’re not using advanced insights, you’re not fully in the game. Advanced insights take your firmographics game to a deeper level, helping you understand additional intelligence about your key customer accounts.
Here’s another way to look at it: Advanced insights come when several firmographics are combined, with the power of applied data science to mimic how a business professional would evaluate or assess that company’s attributes. What results is additional, deeper, and more nuanced intelligence about that company, generated at the coverage, accuracy, and depth that today’s modern business leaders demand.
Advanced insights help B2B revenue teams prioritize, segment, and serve their accounts better. Below are 5 insights that go beyond the basic firmographics you’ve always known:
71% of B2B buyers say they want a more personalized experience (Accenture, 2017) Since most B2B teams are focused on optimizing the customer journey, knowing which Keywords a company is best described as can really:
- Hone in on the specifics of that business
- Illustrate what your customers might need in any given solution
- Pave the best way forward to engagement
Part of a modern B2B data strategy, your target account Keywords can help your team take information like industry to a whole new level, segmenting deeper, based on more granular details about each unique business.
For example, your industry field may indicate “technology”, but Keywords provide a clear view into whether that company is a reseller, wholesaler, or distributor, which particular subject or category of technology they operate in, their core values, key customers, and much more.
2. Industry Classification
Industry classification has been a common segmentation tool for B2B teams for a long time. So much so that many teams feel they’ve got industry classification data pretty well covered. But don’t let this lead you into a false sense of reassurance that you actually have the data you need.
First, make sure your data vendor can provide 2, 3, and 4-digit SIC codes, as well as 2, 4, or 6-digit NAICS codes, which can help you determine if (for example) a company deals in the broader ‘manufacturing’ industry, or the more niche ‘soybean oil manufacturing’.
Beyond that, ensuring the field is properly filled is critical too. For reliable account segmentation and prioritization (among other uses), having your industry field filled but labeled “unclassified” is almost more detrimental than just being empty in the first place. These unclassified values can often be counted as a “filled” value, and therefore throws off your fill rate, leading you to believe you have more actionable information than you really do.
To avoid this, be sure you ask your vendor not only about match and fill rates, but also the quality of those matches and fills. How confident are they the information is correct, and how do they measure that exactly? These are the prime questions to ask your data provider… like yesterday.
PRO RESOURCE: Download this checklist of 10 Questions to Ask Your Data Provider
3. Business Sophistication, Spend, & Sales
Whether it’s part of your segmentation strategy, messaging, or product innovation, knowing nuanced details about a company’s operations, including a rating of each department’s sophistication in terms of technology adoption, average budgets, company age, whether they sell primarily to B2B markets, B2C, or a mixture of both, along with a slew of other important business factors. Advanced insights like these help professionals evaluate the granular details of a company, taking your basic firmographics to a whole new level.
4. Corporate Linkage
For account teams that manage large accounts across geographies, industries, or verticals, corporate linkage data can play a critical role. This type of advanced insight connects the dots between business locations, helping to define the specific relationships involved, including parent: child companies, headquarters, subsidiaries, individual branch locations, and more. Beyond the traditional family tree or corporate hierarchy, location-based corporate linkage information has powerful implications for proper sales lead routing, territory management, and more.
Take Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) for example, which is HQ in Seattle, WA, and owns LinkedIn (LNKD) which is HQ in Sunnyvale, CA with locations in San Francisco, CA and New York City, NY. Lynda.com, is also located in San Francisco, CA, and is a subsidiary of LinkedIn. Corporate linkage data provides a structured way of defining the various relationships between these corporations and locations.
5. Anything About SMBs
When you think of account data, a major challenge with traditional vendors continues to be low coverage for small and mid-sized businesses, which inherently have a smaller digital footprint, and are therefore more difficult to quickly gather information about. For example, if you want information on local exterminator or pest control businesses, you’d be hard-pressed to pull company info on them.
However, with modern data collection methods, teams can access the most comprehensive set of account data, matching nearly 100% of the SMB market, and including verified account and contact information at full scale. This ensures teams don’t overlook opportunities.
Modern data collection techniques also help ensure the data you use to fuel your business operations comes from the most up-to-date source. Especially during tumultuous times, high job turnover and frequent business closures mean there’s a lot your internal data can’t tell you about the market you’re in. Teams must lean on refreshed external business data, especially to glean those latest changes related to small and midsize businesses.
Watch our demo video to see how modern sales and marketing teams leverage firmographics, technographics, contacts, and advanced insights to drive revenue operations forward.
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