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What Is B2B Data? Definition, Types and Benefits for 2023

B2B data is any information that is of benefit to B2B companies, especially their sales, marketing or revenue operations teams. It is gathered from various public and private sources and can be applied to many business tasks.

This page aims to answer the most important questions surrounding B2B data and how Cognism manages it.

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B2B data 101: infographic | What is B2B data? | Where does B2B data come from? | What are the 7 types of B2B data? | What are the key B2B data points? | What can you do with B2B data? | Cognism’s B2B data: a quick guide | Why Cognism’s data is beneficial to B2B sales teams | Why Cognism’s data is beneficial to B2B marketing teams | Why Cognism’s data is beneficial to revenue operations teams | Why choose Cognism as a B2B data solution? | The world's best B2B data

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B2B data 101: infographic

Get all the essential information on this page in one detailed infographic 👇

B2B Data Types Infographic

What is B2B data?

Cognism's Senior Video Marketer, Emily Liu, answers this question and lots more in our B2B data YouTube video. Press ▶️ to watch!


According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, data is defined as:

“Information, especially facts or numbers, collected to be examined and considered and used to help decision-making, or information in an electronic form that can be stored and used by a computer.”

The second half of this definition applies to B2B companies. When we talk about B2B data, what we mean is information that is machine-readable, as opposed to human-readable. Machine-readable data is information that computer programs can process.

Where does B2B data come from?

B2B data is sourced from two separate channels. They are:

Public sources

These are any data sources that are freely available and in the public domain. They include:

  • Websites.
  • Social profiles.
  • News articles.

Private sources

These are any data sources that 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.

What are the 7 types of B2B data?

There are seven distinct types of B2B data. They are:

1 - Demographic data

The first type of B2B data is related to personal and geographical characteristics, including:

  • Name.
  • Email address.
  • Telephone number.
  • Location.
  • Employment history.
  • Skills.

2 - Firmographic data

The second type of B2B data is based on company information, such as:

  • Company name.
  • Company location.
  • Industry.
  • The number of employees.
  • Revenue information.

3 - Technographic data

The third type of B2B data is related to either:

  • The technology that an employee uses.
  • The technology that a company uses.

4 - Chronographic data

The fourth type of B2B data relates to the events and changes that occur as time progresses. These are also known as sales triggers. These include:

  • Company location move.
  • Job join or leave.
  • Company funding.
  • Company acquisition.
  • Company IPO.
  • Event appearances.
  • Company job hiring.

Here are some real-life examples of B2B sales triggers:

  • When a manager is promoted to a Head of Department role.
  • When an employee leaves one company and joins another.
  • When a business relocates to a new office in a new city.
  • When a B2B organisation secures funding from investors.

Chronographic data is especially vital for B2B sales and marketing teams as it highlights the events that can open up a sales or marketing opportunity. It enables B2B salespeople or marketers to pinpoint when a prospect would be most likely to buy a product or service.

5 - Intent data

The newest type of B2B data. Intent data refers to the online behaviour of prospects as they surf the internet - what they’re looking for, what content they’re engaging with, and whether this indicates an intent to buy.

Like the other B2B data types, it’s collected from public and private sources, largely through the use of cookies to monitor web searches.

The upshot for salespeople and marketers in using this data is that it allows them to target prospects while they’re researching products and arriving at purchasing decisions. This opens up far more opportunities to approach prospects at exactly the right time in their buyer’s journey.

For more information, visit our intent data FAQ page. Or watch our explainer video below 👇


6 - Quantitative data

This data type refers to any piece of information that has a numerical value. It’s gathered best used for statistical analysis.

There are two types of quantitative data:

  • Discrete data - information that has a fixed number.
  • Continuous data - information that varies over time.

Examples of quantitative data in B2B include:

  • The number of employees at a company.
  • A website’s traffic or bounce rate.
  • Email open or clickthrough rates.
  • Customer satisfaction scores.
  • A company’s annual revenue in dollars.

7 - Qualitative data

This data type is the opposite of quantitative data. It’s information that can be recorded and collected but is non-numerical in nature.

Qualitative data answers the question “how do people feel?” Because of this, it can be invaluable to marketers when they conduct customer research.

In B2B, qualitative data is collected using the following methods:

  • One-on-one interviews with prospects/customers.
  • Focus group meetings.
  • Questionnaires, studies or surveys.
  • Case studies.
With qualitative data, marketers can better understand how their customers think and feel.

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What are the key B2B data points?

There are six key B2B data points. These are the data points that all SaaS sales and B2B marketing teams should be collecting as standard.

  • First name.
  • Last name.
  • Job title.
  • Company name.
  • Business telephone number.
  • Business email address.

Without these data points, the process of B2B lead generation becomes a lot more challenging, if not impossible.

What can you do with B2B data?

An accurate B2B contact database is essential for the following sales and marketing activities:

TAM identification

The process of defining your Total Addressable Market (TAM) - the total number of potential prospects in your target market.

ICP development

The process of creating an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) - a representation of your perfect buyer, which you can then use as a springboard to find others that match its characteristics.

Lead generation

The process of identifying your ideal customers and sourcing their contact details, ideally direct-dials. Sales data quality is the most important factor for this activity.

Outbound sales

The outbound sales process is when a B2B salesperson contacts and engages with prospects using the phone, email, social selling or networking.

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, with the goal of managing and improving individual or team performance.

Cognism’s B2B data: a quick guide

Cognism provides real-time, accurate B2B data you can trust. We supply:

  • 400 million business profiles - covering everything B2B from small to mid-market to enterprise. Our data offers complete global coverage.
  • 55 million European profiles - the leading, strongest European dataset in the industry.
  • 16 data points - comprising a comprehensive overview of your target ICP.
  • 25 million direct dials - with coverage across Europe and the United States.
  • 800,000 data points updated daily - our data is updated every day to ensure you get the most up-to-date and actionable data.

Why Cognism’s data is beneficial to B2B sales teams

Cognism’s B2B data enables sales teams to develop a sales strategy, prospect predictably and generate new business revenue.

  • Access high-quality compliant B2B 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.

Why Cognism’s data is beneficial to B2B marketing teams

Cognism’s relevant, compliant and intelligent B2B data enables data driven marketing teams to identify new audiences and build smarter marketing campaigns.

  • Increase your campaign reach by identifying more of your ideal customers throughout the funnel.
  • Build out targeted ABM campaigns, boosting audience match rates across all your advertising platforms.
  • Take the guesswork out of campaign planning by using sales 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.



Why Cognism’s data is beneficial to revenue operations 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.

Cognism can assist revenue operations managers and teams by providing a reliable and globally compliant data source. Use our technology to:

  • Calculate your TAM and generate complete target account and contact lists.
  • Enrich your 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 current workflows with Cognism’s data and CRM/revenue tech stack integrations.

Why choose Cognism as a B2B data solution?

Find out how to choose your B2B data provider with Emily Liu, Cognism's Senior Video Marketer! Press ▶️ to watch her tutorial.


Cognism is the perfect choice for B2B organisations that want to work with high-quality, globally-compliant data. Cognism empowers B2B sales and marketing teams to:

  • Explore a global database of business profiles and companies.
  • Launch multi-step outbound campaigns targeted at your Ideal Customer Profile.
  • Enrich the data in your CRM so your B2B data is always up-to-date.
  • Ensure compliance with the GDPR by utilising data that conforms to the necessary legislative demands.

The world's best B2B data

Cognism is the world’s leading all-in-one B2B prospecting solution. We manage the largest global GDPR-compliant B2B lead database - and provide all the tools you need to action the data.

Identify decision-makers, access their direct-dial phone numbers and verified email addresses, outreach to them at scale and grow your sales - Cognism makes all of this possible from one simple platform.

We’d love to show you what our B2B data can do - click 👇 to get 25 free leads.

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