Having access to high-quality data is a vital aspect of prospecting, marketing, and sales. No matter your industry, you need to collect, manage, and use customer information as efficiently as possible. Data drives business decisions, and you can leverage it to identify leads, nurture your pipeline, and increase sales. 

If your customers are companies, you’ll want to know more about their financial health, industry, funding sources, and business performance. You might also be interested in the technology they use, their target market, and any events that may affect their bottom line. Next, you’ll use this information to build a business-to-business (B2B) database and create buyer personas. 

Organizations use B2B databases to develop lead scoring models, improve their marketing efforts, and drive customer loyalty. 

This kind of information would also allow you to identify key decision-makers, potential partners, suppliers, and other useful contacts. Plus, you’ll be better able to weed out “bad” clients and focus on high-converting leads. 

Interested to find out more? Here’s what it takes to build a B2B database, why you need one, and how to leverage its full potential.

What Is a B2B Database?

In today’s digital era, organizations have access to a massive amount of data, but a large part of it is inaccurate or outdated. What’s more, nearly 70% of executives are not comfortable accessing or using data, according to a 2019 Deloitte survey

Deloitte also reports that many companies fail to update, analyze, and process customer data. Therefore, the information they hold is pretty much useless, resulting in wasted marketing dollars. 

“The data was outdated, as if it was a snapshot of a point in time 10 years ago,” said one of the consumers surveyed by Deloitte. “I think the system has confused me with someone else entirely,” commented another respondent. 

As a B2B business, you need accurate information on other companies so you can reach them with the right message in the right context at the right time. 

For example, a company may decide to file for bankruptcy or tap into a different market. If you’re not aware of these changes, your marketing efforts will go to waste. That’s why it’s essential to choose a trusted data provider and update your B2B contact list regularly. 

B2B data is any information you hold on other organizations, such as their email address, location, phone number, and spending power. 

A B2B database, or contact list, allows you to organize and structure this information more efficiently. So, instead of storing your B2B data all over the place, you can keep it in one location and segment your contacts based on location, industry, revenue, or other criteria. 

What Does a B2B Database Look Like? 

B2B databases may include contact information and other relevant details, such as B2B sales triggers and financial reports. The more insights you have, the better you’ll be able to reach your target market and improve the customer experience.

Types of B2B data

With that in mind, let’s look at some examples of B2B data:

  • Demographic data (employee names, location, job title, contact details, and qualifications)
  • Firmographic data (company names, office locations, industry, revenue information, and business size)
  • Technographic data (any software programs, hardware, integrations, and online tools used by prospects) 
  • Chronographic data (any events or changes affecting a company’s bottom line, such as mergers and acquisitions)
  • Intent data (buying behavior, content downloads, product search history, etc.)
  • Engagement data (social media comments and other interactions between prospects and your brand)

For example, you’ll likely want to collect demographic data about a company’s executives and other decision-makers. Your marketing and sales teams can use this information to create buyer personas and deliver highly targeted messages to each customer group. 

Firmographic data, on the other hand, is the information you hold on companies, not individual employees. It may include financial reports, industry data, location data, and insights into a company’s structure, number of employees, annual revenue, and more.  

B2B intent data is just as important, as it allows you to identify the consumers who are most likely to convert. At the most basic level, it’s a type of sales intelligence that helps predict purchase intent by analyzing buying signals, such as product inquiries or content downloads.  

What Can You Do with a B2B Database?

Sales and marketing teams use B2B data to analyze buyer intent, identify leads, and understand customer behavior. What’s more, this information can be used for market research, customer segmentation, cold outreach, and advertising campaigns. 

For instance, let’s say you want to implement an account-based marketing (ABM) strategy. In this case, you would use B2B data to create an ideal customer profile and segment your audience based on specific criteria, such as business size, revenue model, financial performance, or industry. 

After that, you would connect with the key decision-makers on LinkedIn and other channels to drive engagement and build rapport. Your sales and marketing teams could work together to identify high-value target accounts, create personalized experiences, and guide potential clients through the funnel. 

Organizations can also use B2B data for lead scoring and nurturing, outbound sales, analytics, or product development. 

For example, buyer intent data can provide actionable insights into the needs of your target audience. This information enables B2B companies to create better products, improve their services, and identify gaps in the market. 

An accurate B2B database will also allow you to optimize internal processes, such as customer relationship management (CRM). In the long run, maintaining an up-to-date database can lead to better financial forecasting, lower marketing costs, and higher revenue. 

How to Source B2B Data 

B2B data can streamline outreach activities, lead generation, marketing, and other processes. But not all data is created equal, and few companies have the skills and resources to leverage the information they hold. 

About 90% of B2B companies say that data quality is crucial to marketing and sales. Yet, roughly half of them are confident in the quality of their data. Plus, most organizations fail to gain value from it, missing out on business opportunities. 

One of the aspects you need to consider is where your data comes from. Data sources vary in quality, and some are incomplete, outdated, or just plain inaccurate. 

Generally, B2B data comes from public or private sources—or a combination of the two. 

Public B2B data can be sourced from social networks, government databases, peer-reviewed journals, websites, and more. The EDGAR database, for instance, provides information on publicly traded companies, including their latest fillings, contact data, and more. Anyone can access these insights for free. 

Private data sources require a membership or subscription and may include:

  • B2B database vendors
  • B2B data platforms
  • Paywalled websites
  • Market research firms 

Small enterprises often use web analytics and public records to collect business data. For example, they may look up potential clients on LinkedIn or Xing and then google their names to gain additional insights. 

This approach might work to some extent, but it’s complicated and time-consuming. You’ll need to hire a data analyst or train your team, check for inaccurate data points, eliminate duplicates, and so on. 

Also, consider the costs of data collection tools, such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Chances are, you’ll end up spending hundreds of dollars on such tools alone. 

Additionally, the data you collect might not comply with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), which could result in hefty fines. This aspect is particularly important for B2B companies targeting European consumers. 

So, what’s the ideal solution for sourcing accurate B2B data? Your best bet is to choose a reliable B2B data provider. Ideally, look for GDPR-compliant data vendors with a track record of success. 

Ask about the type of information they provide, how often they update it, and where their data comes from. If possible, request a data sample or pick a vendor that offers free trials.

Top 5 B2B Databases for High-Performance Sales Teams

A reliable B2B database provider will give your team access to high-quality data and actionable insights. Some vendors also offer additional services, such as data enrichment, real-time updates, CRM integrations, and geo-targeting. 

For example, Datanyze launched a B2B prospecting tool that can pair social media profiles with email addresses and phone numbers. Plus, users can install the Datanyze Chrome Extension to get business data from company websites, LinkedIn profiles, and other channels. 

However, choosing a B2B data provider isn’t always easy. 

Some platforms are difficult to use and involve a steep learning curve, while others lack data in some sectors and industries. Many service providers also fail to update their data, which can result in inaccuracies or inconsistencies. 

Not sure where to start? Listed below are five of the best B2B databases for prospecting, lead generation, and sales activities. Check them out to see which solution is right for you!

Datanyze: The Best, Most Affordable B2B Database

Datanyze: Search and connect with prospects, at scale

Datanyze is a sales intelligence platform for startups, small- and medium-sized businesses, and larger companies. Our database includes over 120 million business contacts, 84 million email addresses, and 48 million phone numbers. 

Not only is Datanyze user-friendly and easy to navigate, but we’re also known for data accuracy and cutting-edge features. What’s more, Datanyze is fully compliant with the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). 

As an industry leader in B2B data, Datanyze offers the insights you need to reach technology-driven companies. In addition to company data, it features an impressive selection of tools that allow you to:

  • Automatically create segmented lists
  • Organize and export your contact lists
  • Build lead-scoring models
  • Gain insights into your customers’ tech stack
  • Use icebreakers to connect with prospects
  • Enrich customers’ profiles with real-time data
  • Find qualified leads with just a few clicks
  • Set notifications and alerts
  • Export contacts to your CRM system

These features can streamline marketing automation, lead generation, and other business processes, saving you hours of research. With Datanyze, you can forget about bounced emails and time-consuming manual tasks. 

Last but not least, the Datanyze Chrome extension enables sales reps and marketers to access business data without leaving their browsers. Every contact you research through the Chrome extension is saved to your dashboard automatically. 

As far as pricing goes, you can choose from two membership plans starting at $21 per month for yearly subscriptions. The best part? Datanyze offers a 90-day free trial so you can test drive all the features before committing to a membership. 

ZoomInfo: The Best B2B Database for Measuring Buyer Intent

As discussed earlier, buyer intent data enables companies to better target B2B leads and turn them into customers. When used correctly, buyer intent data can be a great tool for advertising and marketing campaigns. 

With ZoomInfo, marketers can measure buyer intent and analyze customer interactions across multiple channels. The platform offers detailed insights into B2B sales leads, including company data, business emails, direct dials, technographics, and more. 

ZoomInfo Intent is a key feature that provides the insights you need to find sales-ready prospects and close more deals. Plus, you can access professional profiles and organize them by work experience, job title, location, educational background, and other criteria. 

Because of its complexity, this platform can be an excellent choice for large enterprises, but not so much for SMBs. Subscription plans are on the pricier side, starting at $15,995 per year

UpLead: The Best B2B Database for Contact Search and Real-Time Email Verification

UpLead is a B2B contact database for prospecting and real-time email verification. It features more than 91 million contacts, 14 million companies, and 50 search filters that allow users to narrow down the results. 

As you would expect, it provides mobile and direct-dial phone numbers, email addresses, and multiple data points for each contact. 

B2B companies can use UpLead to identify sales leads, research customers, and collect intent data. What’s more, the platform enables marketers to segment prospects based on the technologies they use. 

Another interesting feature is its email verification tool. Basically, users can validate single or bulk email addresses in real-time before they start doing outreach. This makes UpLead ideal for companies with a strong focus on email marketing

The platform offers a 95% data accuracy guarantee, but the phone numbers are not always accurate. Additionally, some leads are dated, according to customers

However, you can sign up for a free trial before committing to a monthly or annual membership. After that, you’ll have to pay $99 to $399 per month, depending on the plan selected. Meanwhile, you can also check out the best UpLead alternatives to compare your options. 

LinkedIn Sales Navigator: The Best B2B Database for LinkedIn Prospecting

This handy tool makes it easier to identify and reach potential clients on LinkedIn. You can use it to connect with prospects, monitor buying signals, and get engagement insights in real-time. 

LinkedIn Sales Navigator’s database includes more than 800 million contacts, and you’ll also gain access to LinkedIn Learning, InMail, and other premium features. Plus, it integrates seamlessly with the most popular CRM systems, allowing users to gain further insights into the target customers. 

Organizations can choose from three membership options starting at $99 per month. The Core and Advanced plans include a free trial but have more limited features than the Advanced Plus plan. 

If you register for the Sales Navigator Core Plan, you won’t be able to use the platform’s enterprise tools, advanced outreach tools, or CRM integrations. The same goes for reporting capabilities and customer engagement tools. However, you can still reach out to prospects by InMail and run an unlimited number of searches. 

Clearbit: The Best B2B Database for Data Activation

Sales and marketing teams need access to accurate data, but data in itself is pretty much worthless unless you turn it into actionable insights. This process is known as data activation and allows you to derive value from the information you collect. 

Clearbit offers the tools you need to extract value from data and boost your marketing strategies. This sales intelligence platform collects information from multiple sources, helping users find qualified leads. Moreover, it provides insights into your website visitors and their actions, such as the pages they spend time on. 

The platform features over 100 data points for each company in the Clearbit database. Users can look up company names, phone numbers, social media pages, industry codes, financial metrics, and more. 

With this information, you can create detailed buyer personas and data lists for cold outreach, lead nurturing, prospecting, advertising campaigns, and so on. 

Like most B2B data providers, Clearbit offers several subscription plans at different price points. Some of its features, such as the Logo API and Batch Enrichment service, are free of charge. However, users can expect to pay at least $18,000 per year, depending on their membership plan. 

Choose the Right B2B Database for Your Needs 

Selecting a B2B database comes with its challenges. First of all, each service provider claims to have the best, most accurate data. 

Second, there are subtle but important differences between their services and features. 

For example, Datanyze works best for technology-driven companies, whereas LinkedIn Sales Navigator focuses on social media data. Both platforms can provide valuable insights into your target audience, but they serve slightly different purposes. 

You also need to consider the price, which can vary by thousands of dollars from one company to the next. If you’re a startup or small business, you might not be able to afford a service like ZoomInfo or Clearbit. However, these are great choices for large enterprises and corporations.

Aspects to consider when comparing B2B database providers

Ideally, choose a B2B database that offers the kind of information you need. If, say, you want to target SaaS customers, it makes sense to go for Datanyze. See our guide to the best B2B company information providers, too, so you can make an informed decision. 

Take some time to read customer reviews and testimonials. See what others have to say about Datanyze, UpLead, Adapt, Lead411, Pipedrive, and Owler. Any of these options can be a good choice, depending on what you’re looking for in a B2B database. 

For starters, install the Datanyze Chrome Extension to see how it works and whether it’s right for you. 

After that, you’ll be able to capture B2B data in real time while browsing websites, social networks, and other online platforms. Plus, you’ll gain access to over 120 million business contacts and advanced prospecting tools. 

But don’t just take our word for it. Sign up for a free trial to see Datanyze in action and maximize your outreach efforts!