Learn how to include technographics in your account based marketing (ABM) strategy
Data drives the modern business world. For B2B sales-driven organizations, knowing what technology your prospective customers use, can give you a considerable edge.
Technology is at the heart of every business. Companies use these tools and applications to understand their current technology stack, their work processes, the challenges they face, and what they will buy next.
Technographics can provide insight critical market analysis into these topics, and in turn, your company (most importantly, your sales and marketing teams) will gain an advantage through this data.
Technographics – what are they?
In simple terms, technographics inform businesses about their current technology environment. Additionally, it includes information on hardware and software technology stacks, a market analysis, and perhaps most importantly, it indicates when changes may occur.
Some companies use firmographic data (company size, vertical, location) and demographic data (contact title, work history, social media handles) to identify sales targets, identify ideal customer profiles, determine total addressable markets, and craft marketing messages.
However, these data sets don’t tell you much about your prospects’ work, what technology they use, or what keeps them awake at night. Without this context, it forces your sales and marketing teams to operate blindly.
In addition, companies don’t want to target and sell solutions to prospects who won’t buy. Technographics data solve these business problems.
How can we interpret a marketing team abandoning their marketing automation platform? And how about a sales team that has just purchased a CRM? What about a startup that just raised $10 million and recently visited your site?
Buying signals are fundamental to the power of technographic data and are reshaping the way companies sell, market, and support their products.
Why You Should Care About Technographic Data
Choosing solutions and technologies can be overwhelming for any sales organization. You’re probably asking yourself: “why should I care about Technographic Data at all?”.
You need to know who your competitors are in the SaaS and B2B world if you want to stay competitive. Unfortunately, this type of insight comes from the closing phase of a deal most of the time. However, using technographics, sales reps can be prepared to handle objections before they arise with the accurate data they’ve received.
Let’s take the big picture into account. At this point, you probably have a specific image painted in the mind of your target audience based on buyer personas, target accounts, and firmographic information.
When it comes to figuring out who will buy your product or service, a vague idea is the first step. As an example, “growth-minded marketing leaders at e-commerce companies.” The only problem is that this does not provide a deeper picture with specific data points and insights.
For instance, when you understand the eCommerce space, you’ll know that high-volume stores use more sophisticated platforms, such as Oracle Commerce Cloud and Shopify Plus. So how can we find the companies that use this data?
That’s right: technographics.
By analyzing technographic data, you can identify which companies use this type of software. That data leads to assessing the market and discovering a new addressable market you weren’t targeting before.
What kind of teams use technographic data?
Your competitors’ tech data reveals how they use their products or services. With technographic insights, sales and marketing teams can qualify leads, tailor the sales process with personalized messages, promote lead generation, and identify new market opportunities.
You can also use this revolutionary data set in several other ways across many different departments.
How marketing teams use technographics
A technographic data set can assist sales marketing efforts in creating hyper-targeted audience segments, understanding customers’ pain points, and personalized outreach.
Here are some ways you can use technographic data in your marketing:
Granular Customer Segments
You can gain a deeper understanding of your current customers’ technology stack and their tools to solve problems pertinent to your value proposition by profiling them.
Perhaps most of your clients use marketing automation tools like HubSpot or Act-On. It’s a helpful indicator of what brands they like, but it’s also a potential reflection of their budget.
It takes a lot of time and resources to implement marketing automation. In this way, these tools suggest the level of marketing commitment. It can also give you a general idea of its size and how sophisticated its marketing and technology teams are.
In addition, you can find out whether they use cloud-based or in-house software. In general, companies that use cloud-based software are typically more technically savvy and desire flexible, robust stacks that can grow with their needs.
In contrast, companies that use their in-house software have more involved in their processes. As a result, a customer like this can be a difficult sell for SaaS businesses. It would require a complete overhaul of their technology, a change of internal processes, and continued staff training.
Even though these assumptions may not be 100% accurate, they provide valuable insight into prospects’ qualifications. It also allows you to tailor the sales process to the needs of your options based on the technology they use.
You can prioritize target accounts and lead distribution between marketing and sales teams by developing your audience’s deeper firmographic and technographic profile.
A lead prioritization process allows you to separate those leads with high conversion potential from those with low conversion rates. Using technographics makes it possible to build a more detailed profile of those high-quality leads at scale. As a bonus, you can engage with the right audience on a large scale.
With the combination of technographics and data enrichment, you can automatically prioritize leads. That means your salespeople won’t need to spend much time digging to find the most suitable prospects.
News-Driven Marketing Campaigns
Marketing teams are well-advised to take advantage of the current situation. Taking advantage of newsworthy announcements and content centered around your prospects is crucial.
Technographics can also assist with this aspect. Press releases and announcements are examples of ways to reach out to prospects and target accounts. Keep an eye on the following:
- Acquisitions and mergers
- Funding rounds
- Online reviews (both positive and negative)
- New features and products
- Interviews with executives and thought leadership
Personalized Customer Journeys
You can use technographics to optimize the entire inbound marketing funnel and customer journey to nurture leads and convert trial users into customers more effectively.
Building a more comprehensive picture begins with lead scoring and data enrichment. For example, you can segment qualified leads based on their marketing stack sophistication.
Marketers constantly bombard buyers with marketing messages. When you know a lead’s technology stack, you can provide relevant content at every relationship stage.
How sales teams can use technographics
According to a McKinsey study, data and analytics drive sales growth by 53% of “high-performing” organizations. As acquisition costs rise, your sales team needs to focus on gathering data that provides a holistic view of your target audience.
In a survey of 559 businesses conducted by the Business Application Research Center (BARC), those who employed data-driven sales said it increased their profits by 8% and reduced their operating costs by 10%.
Technographic data adds a layer of intelligence on top of a brand’s demographic and firmographic data. So, in addition to writing a perfect pitch, nailing a sales presentation, and finding the right audience, technographics adds the missing piece of the puzzle.
Now let’s see how technographics can help sales teams gain that competitive edge.
Targeted and Accurate Prospecting
A sales team begins the sales process by identifying their target buyer personas and pursuing them.
You can significantly improve your buyer persona dataset by using technographics. There are two specific methods that technographics can help you find the ideal prospects for your pitch:
- Using technographics, a sales representative can determine which competitors the prospectuses. In this way, they can utilize sales collaterals that highlight the advantages of their product over their competition.
- By examining the sales pipeline and finding out which software can easily be integrated into the potential client’s platform, they can identify ideal prospects.
Predictable Purchase Indicators
Sales and marketing professionals can predict a company’s technical feasibility and budget based on understanding the audiences’ technographics. For example, suppose a company already has a well-established technology stack to handle multiple use cases. In that case, they are likely to have a large budget to invest in new technologies.
Sales professionals can use Technographics to gain granular details about a company’s current technology budget and how it will be used. Then, when pitching a product, your sales team can also take cost into account with this information.
Crafting Personalized Messaging
Today’s customers demand a more personalized experience, and that’s no surprise. We live in an age when personalization is king. Technographics complete the 360-degree view of a prospective customer. Adding technical data could increase your ability to craft relevant messages for your target accounts.
In other words, if a potential CRM salesperson knows that their target account is heavily invested in a particular company, they can tailor their outreach strategy to emphasize how their CRM matches that company’s marketing automation expertise.
By understanding your ideal customer journey, your go-to-market strategy, and sales and marketing outreach strategies, you will be able to cut conversion windows and improve revenue.
Identifying Target Audiences More Effectively
A recent study found that salespeople spend time on tasks that do not generate revenue. In addition, one-fifth of that time is spent on account research and prospecting.
Technographics can drastically decrease this problem by helping salespeople identify customers by targeting specific technologies your current pool of customers uses. Meanwhile, you’ll be able to locate prospects you should stay away from.
You can create a more accurate picture of your Total Addressable Market by incorporating technographic data into your ideal customer profiling activities.
How customer success teams can use technographics
Losing a customer is the last thing any business wants. However, customers define a business and its success, regardless of how highly valued they are. In this respect, every company owes it to their customers to make their experience as enjoyable as possible.
It is common for companies to devote time and effort to keep their customers satisfied, and customer retention is often paramount to their efforts.
Technographic data helps companies record what their customers are doing, what technologies and tools they use, and what solutions they are considering.
As a result, it becomes easier to see if your customers lose interest in your product or service. Your customer service team can use the gathered data to resolve their specific issues and make them return to your company.
How teams use technographics to win
There are many ways to gain business insights and optimize your sales and marketing efforts with usable technographic data.
Discover New Revenue Opportunities
Let’s imagine that you restricted your attention to a limited number of industries but later learned that another initiative you had previously neglected leverages a similar tech stack. You may be able to find tons of opportunities in those new markets outside of your current target audience.
A company that takes full advantage of technographic data often finds its Total Addressable Market (TAM) is much larger than expected.
Improve Your Account-Based Marketing Efforts
Account-Based Marketing (ABM) has become an essential component of many B2B companies’ marketing strategies. We need to dig deeply into the organizations that will have the most impact on our business.
Technographic data provides our target contacts with a more tailored and personalized experience, helping you establish a lasting relationship with your prospects.
Account Based Marketing (ABM) is incredibly cost-effective due to its highly-targeted nature. The art of casting a wide net in the B2B realm is less effective now than it once was. A prospect feels like you truly understand them when you speak with them one-on-one. Technographics can play an important role here.
Additionally, personalization is made more accessible. Establishing deeper relationships with your target contacts is possible, as mentioned above. Understanding the motivations and logic behind their technology choices will help you tailor your solution to their needs.
The use of technographics also helps bridge the gap between sales and marketing and improves lead generation. As ABM becomes a team effort between the two practices, technographics will help prioritize whom you should target, engage with, and reach out to.
Getting Technographic Data
As a result of reading the advantages offered by technographics, you may be ready to drive your organization’s growth using the methods we’ve outlined. There is, however, one key question – here is this technographic data?
The details of companies’ technology stacks cannot be found in public records or databases. So to gather and curate this data, companies have to create it themselves.
Technographic data can be collected in a few different ways:
Collecting client information through cold calling and email surveys is one of the oldest tricks. In addition, it is incredibly outdated and inefficient in terms of scalability. Also, customers may not feel comfortable sharing information about their marketing automation software.
Surveys may backfire and damage your brand’s reputation because some clients find them irritating. It is also possible for these attempts to gather customer information to go unanswered or ignored outright.
By scraping a website, one can identify essential information by extracting codes. For example, a company’s technology can be determined using its source codes. However, only certain kinds of software leave a traceable trail to obtain valuable data.
Additionally, websites may undergo changes and updates that do not reflect in the source code.
This means this method to collect technographic data can only provide limited insight into the tech stack, which might also be unreliable.
Using Technographic Data Providers
The most effective way to obtain useful and up-to-date technographic data is to purchase it from a data provider. The practice of buying databases used to be frowned upon because of its questionable reliability in the past.
Today, third-party technographic data providers use cutting-edge technology to quantify and validate technographics at the required rate. In addition, advances in technology have made high-volume data more accurate.
Third-party providers of technographic data free your in-house resources so that you can capitalize on the data while someone else puts in the effort.
The Best Way to Utilize Technographic Data in Your Company’s Stack
Integration is key to successful tech stack management. For example, assuring all your tools are functioning efficiently and recommending ways to fill gaps.
Especially for SaaS companies, it is tempting to implement tools to perform every function and resolve every issue when creating your technology stack. Understandably so.
There is a problem when looking for solutions to problems to justify answers instead of looking for solutions to problems. Technology is so cool and well-dressed that we want to use it in every way we can live in today’s world. However, this does not mean we should.
You can use technographic data in your company’s stack to see where you are among your competitors, where you might be falling short in your own technology stack, and where you are taking the lead.
Throughout this article, we’ve shown that technological capabilities aren’t an end in themselves. Nevertheless, it is an essential component of customer and client engagement in the digital age.
Access to technographic data will significantly improve your marketing and sales targeting efforts. It will allow them to customize messaging in a way that wouldn’t be possible without it.