Growth Marketing

B2B Intent Data vs. Firmographic Data: Which One Should You Choose?

Explore two of the most powerful types of data for B2B sales teams - B2B intent data and firmographic data. Understand what these data are, their features, their primary users, and which one of the two is better suited for you.
July 19, 2023
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You are a B2B sales rep, all set to introduce a new product or a new feature in the market. For this, you need to identify and target the right users for this feature or product. But wait, that's where the actual challenge begins. Which data should you incorporate in your GTM strategy to identify these users? From B2B intent data to firmographic data, which type of data should be layered in and which should be left out?

In this article, we will explore two of the most powerful types of data for B2B sales teams - B2B intent data and firmographic data. We will discuss what these data are, their features, and their primary users. We will also discuss which one of the two is better suited for you.

So, let's get started.

Understanding B2B Intent Data

In simple terms, B2B intent data is a collection and analysis of information offering deep insights into a business or company's online activities and behavior. Sales reps use this data to understand the interest, needs, and purchase intent signals of their prospects.

The B2B intent data framework is designed with the help of business intelligence. It includes powerful machine learning techniques to uncover valuable insights about a lead's online activities, analyze their engagement levels, and detect new patterns. B2B intent data comprises a large number of data points. It includes your leads’ website visits, content consumption, search queries, social media activity, email engagement, and more.

Utilizing B2B intent data is a great way to ensure that sales strategies are tailored to connect with your prospects at the right time and in the most effective way. It helps you meet your prospects' needs and address their pain points, while also growing your business. By using relevant and highly tailored messages, you can see a boost in conversion rates and an increase in revenue.

The primary users of B2B intent data include:

  • Sales teams and marketing teams
  • Business Analysts
  • Product development teams
  • Content publishers
  • Market researchers

Key Features of B2B Intent Data

1. It Offers Real-Time Insights: B2B buyer intent data offers real-time insights into your prospect's online activities and behaviors. This data is captured and analyzed as it occurs, allowing companies to engage with potential users at the most beneficial and effective moment.

2. Provides a Behavioral Context: B2B intent data provides more than just basic demographic details. It enables sales teams to gain valuable insight into their prospects' behaviors, content consumption, and interactions. This context further helps them figure out the pain points, priorities, preferences, and challenges that their prospects face. This way, they can create more tailored and relevant marketing campaigns, sales outreach strategies, and messaging.

3. Helps with Identifying the Purchase Intent of a Prospect: One of the biggest use cases for B2B intent data is that it helps identify the purchase intent of your leads. It lets you monitor their online activities and interactions, helping you analyze the purchasing timeline for your prospects. This makes it easier for sales teams to prioritize their strategies according to the needs of users who are actively researching similar products and are more likely to purchase.

Decoding Firmographic Data: What Is It and Who Are Its Primary Users?

Sales outreach is an uphill climb without a rope. It takes a lot of time, resources, and even more effort. But what if we tell you there's a dataset that can help you get to the top with a harness attached? Yes, we are talking about firmographic data - a data point that when leveraged can skyrocket your sales outreach efforts.

While demographic data gives you information about individual leads (or prospects), firmographic data provides similar information about companies. Firmographic data encompasses information about your target company's industry, location, company size, contact data, organizational structure, number of employees, capital raised, decision-makers, and revenue.

As a B2B sales team, having high-quality, updated, and accurate firmographic data can help your sales teams and marketing teams make data-driven choices. With such valuable and in-depth information, they can segment their target audience, optimize outreach efforts, and develop highly-tailored sales demos.

The primary users of firmographic data include:

  • Sales teams and marketing teams
  • Market researchers
  • Business development executives

Key Features of Firmographic Data

1. It Allows Market Segmentation: Firmographic data helps B2B sales teams segment their markets and come up with ideal customer profiles or an ICP. This process involves sorting companies based on industry, revenue, or employee size factors. Doing this can help identify different market segments with different needs and wants. This way, you can create tailored products and services, decide your pricing and develop sales strategies that meet the needs of each segment.

2. Assists in Sales Strategy and Conversion: Sales teams can leverage firmographic data to craft successful sales outreach strategies and optimize messaging accordingly. By analyzing factors like industry, revenue, and location, sales reps gain the ability to pinpoint high-value accounts, prioritize leads, and manage resources effectively. This strategic approach leads to more effective sales efforts, higher conversion rates, and better sales performance.

3. Helps in Personalization: Firmographic data also helps personalize messaging and subsequent sales demos based on the industry, capital raised, and scale of the company. Since you would know all the essential company details, you will be in a better position to offer personalized demos that help solve a prospect’s pain points and align their priorities. This personalization ensures you are reaching the right organization with the right solution.

B2B Intent Data vs. Firmographic Data: Which is the Right Choice for You?

Now that we have discussed B2B intent data and firmographic data in detail let's find out which one you should choose.

When choosing between B2B intent data and firmographic data, there isn't a single, straightforward answer or a one-size-fits-all approach. The right choice would depend on your sales objectives and the stage of the buyer's journey you want to target.

That said, here are some key factors you should consider while choosing between B2B intent data and firmographic data:

1. The Buyer Intent Stage: If you want to solely focus on prospects showing signs of purchasing and design tailored strategies for them, B2B intent data is the perfect solution. It's beneficial for B2B sales teams that employ ABM or account-based marketing or target accounts with high revenue potential.

2. Content Personalization: If you want to give your prospects highly-focused and relevant content tailored to their interests and online activities, choose B2B intent data. It can provide you with the information you need to give your leads the content they need at the most impactful time.

3. Audience Segmentation: Do you need to segment your target market into different segments based on company traits? Do you want to target specific industries or company sizes? If yes, firmographic data can be the right choice. It will help you figure out the perfect market segments and customize your messaging to suit them.

Remember, combining the B2B intent data and firmographic data can be the best approach in many cases. It can give sales reps a better idea of their target audience and allow them to craft more effective, tailored strategies. It is an excellent way to maximize the potential of both datasets.

Toplyne is a behavioral lead-scoring platform used by Canva and Vercel.
It combines first-party product usage, CRM, billing, and third-party enrichment data like firmographic data and B2B intent data to find sales pipeline in your self-serve funnel.

Here’s how companies like Canva and Vercel generate sales pipeline from their self-serve funnel using Toplyne:

  • Step 1/7: Create monetization playbooks to surface conversion and expansion opportunities (leads most likely to convert to paying customers, and teams most likely to grow into larger teams)
  • Step 2/7: Choose the right leads to target – users (individual users) or accounts (a group of users with an organization).
  • Step 3/7: Select the frequency at which you would want leads synced in your GTM apps.
  • Step 4/7: Define how many leads you want by either the number of leads or your expected win rate, depending on your sales capacity and GTM strategy.
  • Step 5/7: Build custom segments - Build custom segments based on And/Or logic at the deepest level of sub-properties within your product analytics.
  • Step 6/7: Validate your GTM strategy - Hold back some users as a control group to test your GTM strategy.
  • Step 7/7: Sync your product qualified pipeline into your GTM destinations - CRMs, sales & marketing execution tools, and customer engagement platforms.

B2B Intent Data vs. Firmographic Data: Final Thoughts

The choice between B2B intent data and firmographic data comes down to what you want to accomplish with your sales and marketing strategies. Understanding both datasets' nuances and key features can help you choose the best option for reaching your objectives.

Ensure to analyze your sales funnel, review your objectives and then choose the data that makes the most sense. You can also consider combining the power of both of these datasets for the best outcomes.

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