Digital transformation continues to be a big focus for B2B organizations, and for good reason. New technology solutions not only help improve existing business challenges; they also drive operational efficiency across the board, which lends to accelerated growth. More importantly, digital transformation makes it possible for companies to stay innovative, even in tough economic times.
In fact, research shows 86% of companies plan to add more digital platforms and apps to their technological bag of tricks, and that’s good news for you B2B tech sales reps out there. With such a captive audience at bay, there’s no time better than now to spot your next best customers, facilitate conversion, and drive valuable sales revenue.
But with so much competition in the marketplace, the name of the game is speed. The faster you can pinpoint your ideal buyers from a massive sea of prospects, the quicker you can jump on potential sales opportunities and keep a pipeline full of high-priority leads. And one resource to help you do all that is technographic data.
What’s technographic data?
Technographic data, or technographics, refers to any information regarding a company’s use of tech products, solutions, or services, and it’s an incredibly helpful resource throughout the prospecting phase of the sales cycle. It can tell you what kinds of tech tools a company has in its arsenal, details of their implementation, and potential challenges they present. And when you and your team get to prospecting, you can use these technographic insights to better identify relevant, in-market buyers whose technology needs align with your exact product offerings.
How do you access technographic data?
There are three main ways to access technographic data: (1) issuing surveys, (2) scraping websites for technographic information, and (3), partnering up with a third-party vendor who can source technographic insights for you at a charge. Here’s a simple breakdown of each method:
|Source||How to get it||Benefit|
|1. Surveys||• Issue surveys to various technology users at target companies by phone, email, of third-party researchers||• Information you gather helps you develop a deeper understanding of target accounts’ technology needs, challenges, and overall effectiveness|
|2. Website scraping||• Use scraping tools to extract detailed information from a company’s website regarding its use of tech solutions
• Requires tech expertise to ensure scraping tools zero in on relevant data
|• Offers more accurate intel than self-commissioned surveys|
|3. Third-party vendors||• Partner with a third-party data vendor with the ability to source comprehensive, reliable, and relevant technographic data sets from across the web||• Helps streamline prospecting efforts with the most accurate collection of technographic data|
What’s a tech stack got to do with it?
At its core, technographic data offers a critical sneak peek into your prospects’ technology stacks, which gives you the perfect opportunity to prioritize sales efforts and propel the customer journey forward. And without a detailed blueprint of target customers’ tech stacks, technographic data really is the next best thing to gaining a clearer understanding of buyers’ specific tech needs.
But what exactly is a tech stack, and what kinds of technographic information can it tell you?
A technology stack—or tech stack—is a collection of tools and services a company uses to build and run applications across its digital infrastructure. Each tool in the stack creates, analyzes, and ingests data in such a way to ensure a specific application runs smoothly for each and every user. Think of it like an imaginary Jenga® tower, with each block representing a certain tool, code, or programming language. All these blocks stack on top of one another, exchanging data back and forth to make sure an application operates at peak capacity.
There are different types of tech stacks depending on an organization’s specific business focus. So, for example, a company’s marketing department will most likely employ a marketing tech stack (or martech stack) to execute any number of activities to attract, nurture, and convert quality leads. That martech stack might look a little something like this:
|Example of a Marketing Tech Stack|
In this example, you can see how each application stacks on top of one another, integrating, analyzing, and ingesting data to ensure each program runs smoothly for all users across the organization.
it’s also important to remember any changes made to an existing tech stack can pose significant impact on a company’s digital ecosystem, including limited integration capability and a less-than-optimal user experience. That’s why companies need to be sure they find the right mix of tech tools to set their teams up for success.
And since companies don’t typically share information about their tech stacks to the outside public, access to technographic insights is a real treat for B2B sellers like you. Technographic data gives you a clearer understanding of the front and back-end technologies of prospective customers, which then allows you to design compelling, personalized communications that align with the technology needs of potential buyers.
What can technographic data tell you?
Accessing and compiling technographic data is one thing; understanding what that data’s trying to tell you is another thing entirely. So, before you attempt to use technographics to improve your existing B2B prospecting efforts, you’ve first got to know what to look for. Here are six things you can uncover from technographic data to help scale prospecting success:
- 1. Target accounts that use technology products from competing companies
Let’s say your company sells a CRM solution that’s in direct competition to other popular products, like HubSpot or Salesforce. By accessing technographic data on target accounts, you can see which ones already employ those competing solutions, and which ones have renewal dates on the horizon. With this info, you can easily personalize sales outreach to each specific account and provide helpful information on how your product can be an effective alternative.
A peek into your target customers’ tech stacks can tell you a lot about how much money they currently spend on technology products. If you find certain accounts leverage more expensive tech tools, you can assume their tech budget is on the higher end. In contrast, if you find other accounts use more economical solutions, you can guess their budget lands on the leaner side. Once you have a sense of what target customers might be willing to spend, you can strategically design personalized offerings that best align with their budgeting needs.
Technographic data can also reveal just how tech savvy target prospects really are. If you find prospective accounts use highly sophisticated or complex software systems, it’s a sign they have a pretty good grasp of technological frameworks backed by an above-average tech IQ. This intel allows you to create more effective sales communications that align with prospects’ current technology experience and know-how.
The key to prospecting success is finding buyers with the highest purchase potential, and technographic data offers a fool-proof way to pin these buyers down. By pulling technographic insights from target accounts, you can see which ones have recently added or dropped a competing product from their tech stack, which is an important signal to you. It means those accounts have either just begun or have just finalized their respective purchase journeys, and they might be in the market for a new solution. With that knowledge, you can initiate outreach accordingly and help move the sales cycle forward.
What’s better than finding in-market buyers? Finding in-market buyers who share the same criteria as your ideal customer profileideal customer profile (ICP). Using your ICP as a guide, you can pinpoint prospects who best reflect your ideal buyer personas. Then, once you establish that segmented audience, you can dig into the details of their respective tech stacks to see what commonalities exist. For example, you might find a majority of your ideal customers work in the financial services industry. This key piece of info allows you to readjust and improve your ICP, resulting in more effective prospecting outcomes.
Besides uncovering key information on prospective buyers’ technology needs, technographic data also gives you the necessary insights to build the best possible customer journey for your target accounts. For instance, you can analyze existing customers’ tech stacks to see if another one of your company’s products can offer additional business value. Also, you can review technographic data to identify current gaps in the market, which allows you to create a more effective product roadmap for prospective buyers.
Scale prospecting success with technographic data
The first step to driving steady growth for your company starts with effective B2B prospecting, so think of technographic data as your figurative magic wand to help make that process even more productive. Technographic insights allow you to eliminate all that frustrating guesswork from the prospecting phase of the sales journey, making it that much easier to spot revenue-driving opportunities with utmost efficiency.
Find high-priority prospects fast
Want to improve your existing B2B prospecting efforts and load your pipeline with high-priority leads? Then check out our on-demand webinar, “The Blueprint for Better Prospecting.” You’ll learn how to upgrade your existing process to ensure high-quality lead generation and improved customer conversion.