Here’s the scenario: Company ABC and Company 123 have identified the same exact target audience to sell their software to. Both companies have access to the same demographic and firmographic prospect data—yet Company 123 also has access to technographic data. These technographics reveal the tools their prospects use, what they use them for, how long they’ve used them, and much more.
We don’t need to tell you who has the upper hand here.
What are B2B technographics?
At the most basic level, technographics are the essential technologies and tools organizations use to run their business. Think everything from CRMs to auto-dialers. Beyond that basic definition, technographics can also include information about how and when your prospects use their technology.
While demographic and firmographic data are essential to B2B sales, technographics complete the picture. Without them, you have very little insight into how a company operates, how they make their purchase decisions, and where they are lacking in the technology department.
Martech Advisor puts it best, “Your competitive sweet spot is where firmographics and demographics intersect with technographics, helping you identify your best-selling opportunities—whether you’re offering a compatible or competitive solution. To your customers and prospects, this means you’re no longer pushing hit-or-miss messages at them. Rather, you’re able to build proactive, results-oriented messages and solutions from the grassroots up in response to your understanding of their real needs.”
Why is technographic data so important?
On the surface, technographic data may seem unimportant. Sure it’s nice to know if a prospect is working with a competitor or a compatible product—but what else is there to know? As it turns out—a lot.
Every company’s tech stack says something different. It says what they’re willing to spend money on, their level of technical expertise, and other factors unrelated to the technology itself.
Here’s an example from VentureBeat: A financial tech firm noticed that Eloqua marketing automation was a predictive signal for its top prospects. The company is in a completely separate vertical, so it wouldn’t make sense to personalize messages about this platform, however it did help them deduce a few things. They recognized that companies running Eloqua tend to have a certain level of technical sophistication, and are usually big enough to be able to afford premium enterprise systems.
5 Ways Technographics Improve Sales Prospecting
If you’re still not sold on the power of technographics, here are five ways technographic data will change your business for the better.
1. More informed sales conversations.
We’ve already covered this, but it’s worth mentioning again—understanding what technologies a company uses and how they use them provides a world of insight. Using this information, sales reps can further tailor their sales pitches and have more informed conversations with prospects.
2. More targeted prospecting.
If you’ve read any of our previous blog posts—you know we’re big on buyer personas. Think about it, if you don’t thoroughly understand your best buyers, how will you target new, qualified prospects?
The good news is, technographics can drastically improve your buyer personas. Take this example—Say your target market is made up of e-commerce companies who receive a lot of web traffic. While that’s a good start, technographic data can take it a step further.
Analyzing the technology stack of some of your best customers, you realize that 90% of their websites use the same shopping cart management system. Using that information, you can get more granular with your targeting and search for e-commerce websites, who receive a lot of web traffic, and use a specific cart-management tool.
3. Penetrate new markets.
As growing companies look to expand, understanding the technological landscape can reveal opportunities to reach new markets. Whether through prospecting or the development of new products, seeing how technologies interact with each other can uncover the demand for new products and services.
4. Improve close rates.
More informed sales conversations. More targeted prospecting. And new markets. This results in better leads, improved close rates, and more sales. With more advanced prospect information, organizations see improved lead scoring and nurture programs. These factors combined ultimately lead to stronger buying signals and more sales.
5. Gain a competitive advantage.
This one is self-explanatory. Technographic data provides valuable competitive insight. Use this information to target your competition’s customers, see when big accounts are considering a change, and much more.
6. Improve customer retention.
Insights regarding customer technology allow customer success and sales teams identify at-risk accounts. Then, these teams can propose solutions that’ll guarantee a customer’s continued business. Technographics also help companies create plans that encourage customers to leverage all features within your product for optimal success.
If you’re among the 71% of organizations that say closing more deals is your top priority, then it’s time to incorporate technographic data into your sales prospecting, lead generation, and customer success activities (source).
Technographics provide a 360-degree view of your prospects and put their buying and selling activities into context. Use this data to align your internal teams and strategies for success.
As MarTech Advisor put it, “In 2017, context is no longer a nice idea. It’s the difference between sale and no sale.”
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