B2B Data Collection | Methods of Gathering

Leads are often the lifeblood of any successful company; the difference between standing still and moving forward. With a steady stream of new leads coming into an ever-expanding pipeline, a business will almost undoubtedly take on larger numbers of clients and see hugely positive impacts on the bottom line – if the right value proposition is marketed to the right audience.

Indeed, the latter point is crucial and requires significant consideration. To maximise the potential of any unique selling point, it must be recognised by the right eyeballs.

The question is, “How can a company determine who fits their ideal buyer persona?”

Here, B2B Data collection is vital.

Contact data alone will not provide any insight into a prospect’s preferences, lifestyle, wants and needs. To gain access to such information, an effective data collection strategy needs to be deployed.

But what sort of data should your company be collecting?

The answer to this varies depending on the nature of your business, but there are some common questions that all organisations can ask themselves before embarking on a data collection exercise. These are:

  • What type of companies are your ideal buyers? 
  • Which companies fit the mould?
  • What are they buying? 
  • Where are they buying it? 
  • What other products or services might they be using?
  • Who is making the decisions, using the product or service, or making the payment?
  • How big is the company and what does their corporate structure look like?

By taking the opportunity to learn more about prospects than simply their name and email addresses, companies can tailor their sales and marketing campaigns to specific individuals through contact segmentation.

Here are some of the steps to take:

Account-based profiling – By analysing key data such as buying trends and an individual’s previous purchases, you’re able to identify which people or companies to target with specific campaigns with meticulous accuracy. Website visits, growth of annual revenue, an individual’s job role and location are all examples of data that can create account-based profiles.

Contact filter segmentation – Once you’ve accumulated a series of account-based profiles, you can segment these contacts according to their potential buying motives and suitability to specific products. This helps to ensure that marketing and sales campaigns are more relevant to any given prospects.

Contact information research and b2b data verify – Continuous clarification of your data will help to safeguard against problems such as data inaccuracies. Contact information research and verification will ensure you only have accurate, real-time contact information on individual decision makers and key influencers within your targeted companies.

Double verification – Data will continually be subject to change. Just because it has been captured once doesn’t mean it will stay accurate for life. Ensure rigid quality assurance and prevent against the potentially damaging effects of data erosion with a double data verification process.

Not all data is equal. 

Some data points add significantly more value than others. While you may need to know the job title, email address and geographical location of an individual, it may not be necessary to know their middle name or age.

Types of data typically sought by companies during lead generation activities include the name, job title, email address, and phone number of contacts, ideally those of key decision makers who are able to sanction spending.

Those are the very rawest of basics, however. Other forms of useful data that can and in many cases should be collected are business addresses (both for local and international offices), annual revenue, procurement expenditure, job functions and organisational structure, as well as product and service lines, and where and who these products and services are sold to.

And there are many ways that data can be collected, with mature lead gen strategies incorporating a range of methods.

  • Data collection forms: A physical or digital form filled out by customers – these can track spending habits, capture customer contact details, and help with market research.
  • Gated content and sign-up forms: Provision of contact details enables user access to a particular piece of content, for example a white paper.
  • Polls: Quick, mini forms filled in by users who vote for a particular option in response to a question.
  • Questionnaires: These can be used to find out key customer preferences and habits, and can involve a mix of qualitative and quantitative questions.
  • LinkedIn: One of the most effective ways of finding key decision makers at companies is to use networking site LinkedIn. Companies and their employees can be searched easily, and there are a number of automation tools which can assist this process.
  • Social media: Generating sales leads on social media helps businesses to identify people who are interested in them. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn offer lead generation adverts which allow marketers to collect direct leads via targeted marketing.
  • Promotions: Piquing the interest of potential customers with promotions, offers and giveaways can be an effective way of generating new data.

Collecting information that does not improve customer insights will simply create unnecessary costs for your business. Likewise, data collection needs to be as comprehensive as possible.

By using a mixture of these tools and techniques, you will increase your chances of finding the valuable data that will be most likely to convert into revenue once it has passed through the various stages of the sales pipeline.

A narrow approach to data collection will likely result in missed opportunities. This is where an outsourced provider can step in if your business does not have the immediate capacity to dedicate sufficient time and resources.

Multi-source lead generation which utilises a variety of methods is time consuming, despite the growing number of useful automation tools that exist. By outsourcing lead generation to an expert Lead Research provider, in-house sales teams can focus their efforts on what they do best, all in the knowledge that the right types of data are being collected without leaving a stone unturned.

To learn more about the importance of data and the effect it has on outreach strategy contact Quantanite today.


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