“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.”
– Arthur Conan Doyle
Today, there are several types of data that a seller can gather to start painting a detailed picture of an enterprise software buyer. This data comes from a wide variety of sources, some of which can be acquired from third parties, and some of which can be found only by doing research. Of course, the way each organization chooses to prioritize these sources might vary, but in order to develop a comprehensive strategy on how to use buyer data, it’s essential to first know what is available, and how to get it.
Firmographic data is the simplest area to start from and can be used to group buyers into selling categories. For the most part, firmographic data is available online and is easily accessible to anyone who wants to find it. Examples of this sort of data include:
- Business size
- Number of employees
- Location of headquarters and satellite of offices
- Corporate growth stage
- Website visitors/traffic
Sociographic data tells the personal story behind the business. No matter how big a company is, software buyers are people, and it is their experiences, tendencies, preferences, and biases that influence their perception of an enterprise solution well before they even open an email or sit in a presentation.
Therefore, sellers must be diligent, ensuring that they know about the buyer’s work history and the platforms they have engaged with over time. What type of systems are they familiar with? What are the unique challenges that this individual may face at his or her job? It’s important to remember, too, that software buyers are not only employees, but they are also individuals with interests and hobbies. Find out what makes a buyer tick, and it’s much easier to earn their attention.
Tech Stack Data
Tech stack data informs a seller on which technologies a buyer is currently invested in and areas of opportunity where they have not invested. It can also tell you a great deal about the types of technologies they invest in, such as whether they are an Adobe or Oracle shop, whether they use free rather than paid services, or if they are committed to using cutting-edge solutions. Therefore, it’s important to examine not only whether they are engaged with a competitor, but also the surrounding software that paints a comprehensive picture.
Publicly Available Information
Naturally, any prospect worth pursuing will also find it worth their while to celebrate their successes and demonstrate their own expertise and capabilities. Because of this, there is a lot of publicly available information that sales teams can evaluate for additional perspective. These can include press releases, executive quotations in media articles, quarterly reports, and even slide share presentations.
The way a company portrays itself publicly will be the way they wish, and expect, to be portrayed in a sales pitch or meeting.
Surveys/Third Party Data
However, the way a company portrays itself publicly is often quite detached from the realities of their market position or capability set. Independent, third-party resources can be a gold mine for finding nuanced insights into a prospective buyer’s shortfalls and capability gaps. Business intelligence and tools, analyst reports, end-user surveys and customer satisfaction reports can all be incredibly useful tools to refer to for a more complete analysis of the organization.
Obtaining Buyer Intelligence is Just Step One
These buyer intelligence insights help paint a picture of the buyer’s needs before a sales meeting; it’s the foundation of creating a “company profile page” for meeting preparation. But obtaining this data is just the first necessary step. Ultimately, it’s how you use it to frame the conversation that is truly an art worth mastering.
Was this helpful? Read the next blog: Putting Enterprise Buyer Intelligence into Action
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