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What is B2B Data? Types, Uses and Enrichment Tips for 2024

If you want to reach and engage with more prospects, then investing in quality B2B data is the way to go.

But what is data for B2B sales, and how do you achieve unbelievable revenue results using it? 

Read on to discover the answers to these important questions as well as:

  • Why companies should use data 
  • The types of data that power campaigns
  • How to clean, validate and store your contact database
  • Where to get quality GDPR-compliant data

Start scrolling 👇 or use the menu to jump to a topic.

What is B2B data? | Where to get business data? | Why use data in business? | Types of data | Mini guide to getting the most out of your B2B contact data | Choosing a provider

Make sales easier with the highest quality B2B data on the market. Speak to Cognism. Click to book your demo.

What is B2B data?

Business-to-business data, also known as B2B data, is any information that benefits 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.

The Cambridge English Dictionary defines data 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 B2B data definition applies to B2B companies. When we talk about data in B2B, we mean information that is machine-readable, as opposed to human-readable. Machine-readable data is information that computer programs can process.

Cognism's Senior Video Marketer, Emily Liu, explains the meaning of B2B data and more in this video. Press ▶️ to watch!

What does B2B data consist of?

Data used for prospecting is made up of specific data points. There are six B2B data points all SaaS sales and B2B marketing teams should collect as standard. 

These are:

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

Without these data points, B2B lead generation becomes much more challenging, if not impossible.

How do you get B2B data?

The best way to get business data is to sign up with a reputable contact data provider like Cognism or ZoomInfo. They will source B2B data from two separate channels:

1. Public sources

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

  • Websites
  • Social profiles
  • News articles

2. Private sources

These are any data sources 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

Cognism is the perfect choice for B2B organisations that want to work with high-quality, globally-compliant data. This sales intelligence software 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
Choose Cognism as your new B2B data provider. Click to book your demo.

Why should you use data for B2B sales?

High-quality B2B data is essential for the following sales and B2B marketing activities:

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 👈 

ICP development

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

Lead generation

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 via 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 to manage and improve individual or team performance.

But it’s not just the above activities that make data an essential part of the sales process

The best B2B data comes from compliant GDPR providers like Cognism. This data can improve your revenue and your sales and marketing teams in ways you might not even realise. 

Here’s how:

Benefits of 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

Watch this video for more information on how an international B2B data provider can power your sales team 👇

Benefits of B2B data for marketing teams

A B2B data solution enables data-driven marketing teams to identify new audiences and build smarter B2B marketing campaigns:

  • 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

Looking for more information on how a B2B data solution like Cognism can generate a pipeline of targeted leads? Yes? Then press ▶️

Benefits of 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 integrations

What are the seven types of B2B data?

The seven types of B2B data: Demographic, firmographic, technographic, chronographic, intent, quantitative and qualitative.

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 business data is based on company information, such as:

  • Company name

  • Company location

  • Industry

  • The number of employees

  • Revenue information

3. Technographic data

Technographics 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 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

Timing is essential for B2B marketing and sales, and chronographic data can highlight events that may bring a potential sales or marketing opportunity. This helps salespeople or marketers determine when customers will most likely purchase their products or services.

5. Intent data

Intent data refers to prospects' online behaviour 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 cookies that monitor web searches.

The upshot for salespeople and marketers in using this data is that it allows them to target prospects while researching products and arriving at purchasing decisions. 

This opens up many opportunities to approach prospects at exactly the right time in their buyer journey.

For more information, watch our explainer video below 👇

6. Quantitative data

This data type refers to any piece of information that has a numerical value. It’s 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 are:

  • 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 type of B2B data is the opposite of quantitative data. It’s information that can be recorded and collected but is non-numerical.

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

Marketers can better understand how their customers think and feel with qualitative data.

How to enhance, refresh and clean your B2B database

There’s much more to data than adding contacts and doing outreach. All B2B databases need to be maintained. 

According to Marketing Sherpa, 2.1% of B2B data degrades a month. This makes refreshing and cleaning your B2B account data crucial for successful sales and marketing. 

Here’s how you can maintain your business data:

Cleaning B2B data

B2B data cleaning is the process of finding and removing bad data from a dataset. Data is considered bad if it connects to the wrong contact, numbers are on DNC lists, or is duplicated, corrupted and incomplete.

To clean your B2B database, you can choose the manual time-consuming route or speed up the process with sales intelligence technology like Cognism, which automates the process. 

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!

Validating B2B data

Another factor in ensuring your B2B customer data is top-notch is to verify it’s correct. 

You can’t have your sales team calling the wrong contacts, right? 

Of course not!

This is where data validation comes in. It’s the process of checking your data is accurate and that you’re using a quality data source. Especially if you’re using B2B data services to import or process data.

Cognism offers an exclusive dataset called Diamond Data® that comes with 98% accuracy. Each Diamond number is verified manually so you can:

  • Have a live conversation every 3-4 dials instead of every 8-10
  • Save time and make cold calling an activity your SDRs enjoy again
More results. Fewer calls. Reach your ideal customers with Diamond Data® from Cognism. Click to book a demo.

Storing B2B data

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. 

This is where compliant B2B data lists come into play. If your data is not compliant with the country you are using, you risk incurring penalties from the FTC (US) or ICO (UK).

Don’t panic! Reputable providers specialising in compliant data, like Cognism, will ensure all legalities are met. 

💡Here’s a helpful workflow on how to enrich your contact data and export it directly to your CRM/sales engagement platform using Cognism.  

The B2B data tool sales leaders swear by

Doesn’t it make sense to invest in a reputable business data provider that offers quality data you can trust?

And who better to fill that gap in your sales tech stack than Cognism? 

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

See Cognism first hand. Click to get 25 free leads.