Researching B2B Buyers: How Quality Sales Intelligence Influences B2B Sales Success

B2B buyers are informed and savvy. Sales pros need to research their B2B prospects to improve the quality of their outreach and engagements.

March 7, 2018

Have you ever made a major purchase on a whim? Most of us haven’t. The potential reward isn’t worth the risk of making a big commitment without a thorough understanding of the facts. Sound decisions are seldom rushed.

What’s true for buyers is also true for sellers. The best sellers use a logical, well-considered approach to researching B2B buyers because the rewards outweigh the risks of a haphazard approach that prioritizes time savings.

Modern B2B Selling Starts with Solid Sales Intelligence

There’s little value in pursuing relationships with contacts who lack the ability to influence a purchase decision. Granted, some relationships can serve as your “in” to an account, but in general it’s best to focus your attention on identifying and engaging all members of the buying committee vs. a single decision maker.

Given the abundance of first-party data available to sellers today, identifying the right people has never been easier. Using this data, sellers can personalize their communication in a way that meets or exceeds the heightened expectations of today’s B2B buyers.

Conversely, an uninformed seller may put a big sales opportunity at risk by targeting the wrong people, or even by targeting the right person with an unpersonalized, underwhelming message. These blunders can and should be avoided. It just takes a little time and research to get properly informed.

Data, Data Everywhere

Sellers can put together a clear picture of a buyer by pulling together information from multiple intelligence sources including their CRM, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, or LinkedIn Search. Filters by keyword and job title are especially useful for zeroing in on ideal buyers. Once you have specific individuals in mind, you can look for ways to engage them personally or via introduction from a shared LinkedIn connection. LinkedIn Groups can also be a good place to start a conversation with a participant in a low-commitment way.

Your accounts’ Company Pages, newswires, and social media accounts all offer pieces to the customer puzzle. You can trace back several months of content to determine if there are subtle buying signals pulsing within the public messages.

We recommend sellers follow industry publications and vertical-specific organizations to stay current on news and trends. Analyst reports, conferences, and informational webinars can also add to your collective body of buyer knowledge.

How Can You Make Good Use of Your Discovery Data?

After gathering insightful information about your target buyers, you can begin to draw meaning from it. For instance, once you’ve made contact with a buyer, use your knowledge of common interests or experiences to strengthen rapport and prompt additional conversations. Your research may have helped you identify which insights your prospect will find useful, if even for a problem or project unrelated to your offering. Connecting sales prospects with helpful resources is an excellent way to establish familiarity and trust in the early stages of the buyer’s journey.

The information you surface could also help you tailor materials for a sales meeting or other engagement. Knowledge of a recent acquisition, expansion, or promotion could all be relevant to the information you prepare prior to the meeting.

There’s a wealth of information, both paid and free, readily available to sales professionals eager to use sales intelligence to build a high-quality sales pipeline.

Get a jump on your sales efforts this year when you download our new eBook, Read Me If You Want to Target the Right Prospects on LinkedIn. We’ll help you find the right prospects to build a high-quality sales pipeline.