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A Quick Guide to B2B Data: Benefits, Features, Trends, and More

Susanne Morris

Susanne Morris

June 09, 2021

What is B2B data?

Business-to-business data, also known as B2B data, is information about other businesses and is primarily used to fuel marketing and sales strategies and processes. Companies leverage B2B data to generate more business opportunities, improve lead generation, and enhance market research, among other things. Let’s explore the benefits, uses, and trends of B2B data. 

Why is B2B data important?

B2B data is important because it helps businesses see a 360° view of other businesses, improve decision making, generate business opportunities, and support marketing and sales strategies. More specifically, with high-quality and easily accessible B2B data, marketers and sales representatives can more easily coordinate potential and current customer contact cycles, sync up content strategies, and share valuable client information. 

Where does B2B data come from? 

B2B data sources can be sorted into two groups: internal data and third-party external data. B2B data is collected over time internally or purchased from a third-party B2B data provider. Because acquiring and storing high-quality B2B data requires a lot of resources, many companies opt for purchasing their data from a third-party data provider. 

Data providers can provide businesses with company information scraped from public websites and sources as well as private and licensed sites. However, it is important to note that private sources aren’t accessible without payment, subscription, licensing, etc. 

B2B data types

People data/Contact data

People data, also known as contact data, is collected either internally through a company’s customer relationship management system (CRM) or externally by third-party data providers who either aggregate this data from varied sources or collect it from the public web with their own infrastructure. Third-party people data from data providers, such as Coresignal, refers to public resume data that is scraped from publicly available professional networks. A few examples of people/contact data include name, age, email, location, skills, employment history, and education. 

Firmographics

Firmographic data is data that provides categorical information about a particular company to further identify its structure, qualities, and other unique identifiers. Some examples of firmographic data points include company name, location, industry, size, and revenue. 

Technographics

Technographic data is information about a company’s technology stack, providing details surrounding the tools and technologies used by a company. Examples of technographic data points include company name, tech stack list, features, and integrations. 

Intent data

Intent data, commonly referred to as B2B intent data, is data that describes a company’s recent business activities related to product or service purchase intent. This data provides details about recent acquisitions, services, purchased products, and search information. Specifically, examples of intent data points include company/professional name, website, page views, downloads, and subscriptions. 

B2B data type Common data fields
Firmographic data Company name, industry, location, revenue, size, number of employees
Technographic data Stack list, stack count, integrations, features, tool and technology pros & cons
People/Contact data Employee name, job title, experience, skills, education, public resume information
Intent data Website visits, product reviews, subscriptions, time spent on web pages

What is a B2B database?

A B2B database is a collection of information about potential prospects or customers. A B2B database will include identifiers such as business contact details, industry, size, locations, and performance. While a B2B database offers many benefits, managing and utilizing a B2B database requires consistent maintenance, compliance reviews, and cleaning. Let’s explore some of the most common B2B database processes used by businesses and data providers. 

B2B database processes

B2B data sourcing 

Today, businesses are able to purchase data sourced uniquely for them. B2B data providers provide on-demand B2B data through database access or via raw files. In order to maximize any purchased data, companies should thoroughly review their existing datasets and strategize what gaps are missing in their datasets that will provide them with richer insights. 

B2B data cleaning

As businesses increasingly rely on alternative data, companies are now recognizing the importance of cleaning their data. Data cleansing is the process of correcting inaccurate or corrupt data within a dataset. Because the business landscape changes so frequently, it is not uncommon for datasets to contain inaccurate data. For this reason, it is important for B2B databases to regularly sift through their datasets to check for errors, missing entries, duplicates, etc. 

B2B data validation 

In addition to cleaning data, it is important for businesses to validate their datasets. Data validation is the process of checking the accuracy of your data sets. This is done after data cleansing and involves checking data for meaning and correctness with predetermined validation rules and constraints. 

B2B data storing

While it might not be the obvious process, data storage remains businesses’ most critical concern. Today, providers and customers must adhere to strict data storage guidelines required by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or adhere to best data governance practices. While most B2B data providers, including Coresignal, are GDPR compliant, it is important to confirm this, as non-compliant data might increase the risk of data breaches. 

Benefits of B2B data

Here are some benefits B2B data can provide businesses. 

  • Boosts sales qualified leads
  • Improves marketing and sales strategies
  • Enriches market feedback for development updates
  • Enhances signal generation
  • Increases research insights for evaluating your ICP
Quotation mark

Any company will benefit from B2B data because it reduces the time it takes to track down the contact information of potential customers. Aside from that, it aids the firm's marketing department in focusing on the company's sales cycle times. This enables the organization to create invoices more quickly and handle payments more efficiently. Such B2B data will clearly show how a company is progressing by displaying cash flows.

- Miklos Zoltan, CEO & Cybersecurity Researcher, Privacy Affairs

How is B2B data used?

B2B data plays a crucial role in the productivity, growth, and success of marketing and sales teams. Additionally, companies leverage B2B data to conduct market research, industry analyses, and fuel AI-based tools. Essentially, the aforementioned B2B data use cases fall under two categories: lead generation and analytics. Let’s take a closer look at the specific B2B data use cases practiced by businesses. 

Lead generation

As previously mentioned, the most common users of B2B data are marketing and sales teams. Therefore, businesses utilize B2B data to enhance their marketing and sales strategies, boosting their lead generation and consequently increasing conversion rates. 

For example, a software company can track a particular company’s technographic data, providing their marketing and sales department with valuable insight into whether or not the prospective customer can enhance their current tech stack with additional software. This is just one example of the many ways companies harness B2B data for lead generation. Here are some other sub-use cases for B2B data lead generation. 

  • Reaching your ICP
  • Lead nurturing 
  • Lead scoring
  • Cold outreach
  • Account-based marketing 

Research and analytics

In addition to benefiting marketing and sales, B2B data has the potential to enhance businesses’ research and analysis processes such as risk analysis, market growth, and competitive analysis, just to name a few. 

More specifically, companies are able to use firmographics, technographics, and intent data for competitive analysis. For instance, a company might monitor its competitors’ tech stack, locations, employee count, and product purchases to predict expansion or industry growth. Likewise, there are many other analysis objectives and processes businesses can discover by leveraging B2B data. Here are a few other sub-use cases for B2B data research and analytics.

  • Track market growth
  • Identify market gaps
  • Monitor competitors
  • Improve internal processes
  • Generate product/service updates
  • Risk analysis
  • Identify your ICP

Top three B2B data trends in 2021

1. Improved AI technologies

According to G2, the Covid-19 pandemic has made remote work the newest trend for the workforce. This upward remote work trend propels an increase in data creation and consumption, acting as a catalyst for creating new AI-based B2B data management technologies and services. In addition, as the global data-sphere continues to grow, even more so because of the pandemic, B2B data providers and buyers emphasize improved data quality and data validation. 

Quotation mark

B2B businesses that want to stay relevant and drive revenue will have to build adaptive systems based on AI, hyper-automation, and digital scalability. The future of B2B marketing lies in using intent data to understand prospective customers' behaviors and reaching them at the right time.

- Nathan Sebastian, GoodFirms

2. Buyer-centric content marketing strategies

As we’ve explored above, the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted many facets of business. Relatedly, buyer-centric content marketing strategies will see an upward trend as more users and employees conduct and access their work digitally. This increase provides a rich landscape for content marketers to personalize their marketing campaigns during a time of isolation and quarantine.

Quotation mark

The future of B2B data is attribution. It allows you to automatically attribute your closed revenue to your marketing, meaning that you can spend more time experimenting with new channels, campaigns and creative.

- Laura Caveney, Ruler Analytics

3. Increased B2B data governance 

As more and more data fills the global data-sphere, companies and governments are working to ensure the privacy and safety of data accessed online. Ultimately, the trend of data governance is here to stay. 

According to Mordor Intelligence, the data governance market might even see a CAGR of over 20.83% from 2021 through 2026. Therefore, beyond following GDPR, a European data protection law, companies’ best interest is to follow GDPR guidelines and implement data governance. Meeting these standards helps companies combat data breaches and reduce data-related risks.

B2B data providers and features

For companies new to utilizing third-party B2B data, it is crucial to research B2B data providers. Some metrics to consider when shopping for B2B data include features, pricing, data quality, data scope, data sources, and GDPR compliance. 

For instance, when comparing the most important features of two B2B data providers, let’s say X and Z, companies should have clear objectives and intentions surrounding utilizing and managing the purchased data. In this case, a company might be primarily interested in purchasing B2B firmographic, technographic, and people/contact data. However, if data provider X only offers firmographic and technographic data while data provider Z offers all of the necessary data types, the company should consider choosing data provider Z

Wrapping up

In all, B2B data has proven to help companies generate more business opportunities, improve lead generation, enhance market research, and more. As the digitalization of the workforce continues to trend, businesses will look to B2B data to connect with other businesses and sustain their ROI.

Frequently asked questions

What is an example of B2B data?

An example of B2B data is the location of a particular company, the number of employees it employs, and the industry it is in.

What does B2B mean in business?

B2B in business is an acronym for the term business-to-business. B2B business involves a transaction between two businesses. On the other hand, the term B2C involves transactions between a business and a customer.

How can I get B2B data?

B2B data can be purchased from a B2B data provider like Coresignal. Companies can access B2B data through raw data files or via APIs (real-time and database).

What is B2B lead generation?

B2B lead generation involves identifying and understanding your ICP and then nurturing the lead through sales and marketing strategies.

How do you make B2B leads?

B2B leads can be made through properly identifying your ICP, developing successful content marketing strategies, and nurturing a lead through your sales funnel.

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