What is B2B Data? Expert Purchasing Guide
News flash—doubling emails and cold calls isn’t going to double your results. Your team needs higher-quality B2B data for higher conversion. The leaders who understand this and integrate different types of B2B data sets into the sales process enable reps to generate revenue more effectively and more efficiently.
Achieving unbelievable revenue results next quarter is all about:
- Signal-based, intent-selling to discover and prioritise your best prospects.
- Clean, verified, compliant B2B marketing data to reach them.
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What is B2B data?
Business-to-business data (B2B data) is any information that benefits B2B companies, especially their sales, marketing or revenue operations teams. It includes the account and contact information for company decision-makers with purchasing power.
Companies collect first-party B2B data from their audience directly (i.e. email subscriptions, social media followers, and current customers). User-submitted business data may not always be correct and becomes stale after a while as people change companies, roles, email addresses, and phone numbers.
That's why companies turn to third-party B2B data vendors that supply these key resources in an automatic and scalable way. They gather sales and marketing B2B data from various public and private sources, clean it using proprietary methods, and redistribute it.
- Old school way—you get a massive .csv file for download with static B2B data that needs to be manually refreshed and uploaded to your CRM.
- Modern way—you get access to a sales intelligence platform like Cognism with dynamic B2B data that's refreshed automatically and easily syncs with your other tools. Sounds great, right?
Unfortunately, third-party data comes with challenges, too. Some providers have a more relaxed approach when it comes to data accuracy, completeness or compliance than others. So, it’s important to vet providers and test their data. Luckily, the sales intelligence market is growing fast, providing plenty of options.
Why companies choose Cognism's B2B data:
- 2x more mobiles than other providers (47 million mobiles in the US alone).
- Phone-verified mobile phone numbers.
- CCPA, GDPR compliance with broad DNC lists scrubbing.
- Notified B2B email addresses.
- Global markets coverage (EMEA, NAM, APAC).
- Intent data powered by Bombora.
- Sales triggers and firmographics.
- Seamless integrations with Salesforce, Outreach, HubSpot, and more.
- Cognism Chrome extension that works with LinkedIn, Sales Navigator, and directly on corporate websites, etc.
- Easy set-up and friendly customer service.
Where does B2B data come from?
Business data is sourced from two main channels: public and private. Public data sources are freely available in the public domain, including:
- Social profiles, ie. LinkedIn.
- News articles.
- Email signatures.
Private B2B data sources are secured from public view and can only be accessed via subscription, permission or payment. They include:
- Paywalled websites.
- Financial and market intelligence.
- DaaS (data as a service) providers.
How do providers verify B2B data?
Data sources have different levels of credibility and oftentimes provide conflicting information. Verifying billions of these data points is one of the biggest challenges for data scientists.
The B2B data is as good as the provider's algorithmic and machine-learning models that identify and classify business data. Improving these technologies is a complex process and requires data engineering, research, and analyst teams to work together.
Many vendors in the category view incorporating manual data evaluation as impractical and inefficient. Therefore, humanly verified datasets are hard to come by, but their accuracy is unmatched.
Cognism is an exception in that respect—
It employs a research team to phone-verify B2B mobile numbers in our database. That global dataset sets a new standard of B2B data quality when it comes to intelligent sales prospecting.
Get better results with manually verified B2B contact data
Our data team calls cell phone numbers in our database to verify they are correct and belong to the right prospect.
And if we don’t have the mobiles you need, we offer on-demand mobile enrichment. Just send us your incorrect or stale mobile numbers, and we’ll find and verify the correct mobile number in under 48 hours.
Try our premium mobile data asset—Diamond Data®:
- 10M+ and growing.
- Increase connect rate by 3x.
- Reach 9 out of 10 decision makers (or their voicemail).
- Get better results by consuming less data.
“We used ZoomInfo and LeadIQ across all of our sales teams. However, finding correct mobile numbers in these databases was like finding a needle in a haystack.”
“Cognism defeated all the other lead generation providers by a huge amount. Its database had an 80% accuracy rate and the highest coverage of mobile numbers.”
“The platform was also very swift. The SDRs would find a lead that visited our website, pull up Cognism and get the contact’s number instantly. It was that quick.”
“The astounding results combined with the platform’s simplicity was critical to getting the deal done quickly.”
“Our decision to move from ZoomInfo and LeadIQ to Cognism was an easy one. The platform surpassed all our expectations.”
How to clean bad B2B data?
B2B data is considered bad if it connects to the wrong contact, numbers are on DNC lists or is duplicated, corrupted and incomplete. You can choose the manual, time-consuming route to clean it or speed up the process with B2B data enrichment technology.
Modern tech allows you to automatically enhance first-party data and refresh historical records in your CRM to unlock new revenue. It also enriches new B2B data entering your systems to improve productivity and avoid wasting the marketing budget.
An example of successful data cleaning is the results QA saw using Cognism to enrich and clean their database. Not only did the tech integrate seamlessly with QA’s extensive tech stack, but they were able to generate $81k of opportunities in the first two weeks!
Is collecting and storing B2B data legal?
B2B prospecting data can only be used for the reason it was collected. This means potential prospects must have opted in and been made aware that you hold their data.
What’s more, business data needs to be stored in a way that makes it impossible for outside sources to obtain the data and use it for nefarious purposes.
If your data is not compliant with the country you are using, you risk incurring penalties from the FTC (US) or ICO (UK). For example, two companies that made more than 480,000 unlawful marketing calls to businesses signed up with the UK’s DNC register were ssued fines totalling £180,000.
This is where compliant B2B data lists come into play. Cognism's B2B contact data is CCPA and GDPR-compliant. Cognism's email database doesn't include B2C emails and is notified. What's more, Cognism's phone numbers are checked against more DNC lists than other providers. You can simply hide numbers of prospects who opted out of receiving unsolicited phone calls.
What B2B data is important?
Combining various data types helps sales and marketing teams efficiently target and interact with prospects that fall in your ICP. Here are five the most important types of business data:
1. Contact data
It’s the most important type of B2B data for sales prospecting, lead generation, and sales. It consists of the prospect’s basic demographic information, including phone numbers and email addresses, that gives you insight into whether they fit your ICP (ideal customer profile). It includes the following points:
- Email address
- Telephone number
- Role in a company
2. Firmographic data
The second type of business data is based on company information. It defines which company your prospect works for. It's helpful for segmenting audiences and evaluating markets. It includes:
The number of employees
A combination of demographic and firmographic data points is a good start to implementing a broad growth marketing plan. Many marketers will stop here. But you can go a lot further if you gather even more useful B2B data.
3. Technographic data
Technographics is related to either:
The technology that an employee uses
The technology that a company uses
This type of B2B data helps understand prospect's workflows, how they could be improved, and the pain points they might face day-to-day. This is particularly useful if you’re providing a solution that other technologies don’t have. What's more, understanding which technologies are being used by other companies can help you to define your own workflow.
4. Chronographic data
Chronographic data points are also known as sales event triggers. They can refer to the company or the employee and change over time. In B2B, timing is essential, and B2B sales triggers provide contextual insights to sellers for smart prioritization. This type of B2B data helps salespeople or marketers highlight events that may bring a potential sales or marketing opportunity, for example, when your target account appoints new leadership.
Chronographic data includes:
Company location move
Job join or leave
Company job hiring
5. Intent data
Intent data refers to behavioural data that shows when an account is interested in buying. Intent signals can be gathered from various public and private sources. Bombora is a leading intent data provider because it collects consent-based data from a cooperative of 5,000 B2B sites where business buyers search for solutions.
The upshot for salespeople and marketers in using this B2B data is that it allows them to target prospects who are actively researching products and arriving at purchasing decisions. This opens up many opportunities to approach prospects at exactly the right time in their buyer journey.
Cognism partnered with Bombora to allow Cognism users to speed up their sales cycle, improve targeting, and create more relevant campaigns.
"Our sales cycle is typically 6-8 months long. At Cognism, we saw ROI in 8 weeks from intent data and direct dials. One deal pays for a year’s Cognism subscription."
"Cognism identifies the leads, allows us to target them based on the prospect’s intent, and then follow up with the sales action. Using intent data has massively reduced our time to engagement."
"The sales managers used to make 100-150 calls per day. Now, they can achieve their targets by making 30 calls per day because they are calling prospects who actually pick up the phone. That’s more results, fewer calls."
B2B data use cases
High-quality B2B data is essential for the following sales and B2B marketing activities:
1. TAM identification
The process of defining your Total Addressable Market (TAM) - the total number of potential prospects in your target market.
😉 Psst, Calculate your Total Addressable Market with Cognism's free TAM calculator 👈
2. ICP development
3. Lead generation
4. Outbound sales
The outbound sales process is when a B2B salesperson contacts and engages with prospects via phone, email, social selling or networking.
5. Demand generation
For B2B marketers, demand generation refers to the umbrella of marketing activities that attract new buyers to your brand - encompassing content marketing, email marketing and PPC.
The process of tracking B2B sales and marketing metrics to manage and improve individual or team performance.
B2B data for sales teams
B2B data enables sales teams to predictably develop a sales strategy, prospect, and generate new business revenue. With a B2B contact database built with Cognism data, sales teams can:
- Access high-quality, compliant data collected from over 120 public and private sources
- Find key decision-makers and their direct contact information using filters such as job title, company, industry, skills, technology and more
- Use sales trigger events to better time your sales outreach and identify the right people at companies ready to purchase
- Clean and enrich out-of-date records. Fill in any missing gaps in your CRM data and source new opportunities
- Increase your campaign reach by identifying more of your ideal customers throughout the funnel
- Build targeted ABM campaigns, boosting audience match rates across all your advertising platforms
- Take the guesswork out of campaign planning by using marketing triggers to target prospects right when they need you most
- Reach and engage with more prospects, getting your emails seen by the right people at the right time
B2B data for RevOps teams
Revenue operations (also called RevOps) is an emerging but vital discipline in B2B. It combines sales, marketing, customer success and system operations, resulting in a new end-to-end solution - revenue operations.
When it comes to a B2B data service for revenue operations managers and teams, Cognism is a good option for a reliable and globally compliant data source.
You can use this technology to:
Calculate your TAM and generate complete target account and contact lists
Enrich your leads database and plug any gaps with information straight from Cognism’s compliant data asset
Help your revenue team meet performance targets with accurate direct dials and mobile numbers
Enhance your workflows with Cognism’s data and CRM/revenue tech stack integration