Hunting for prospects and chasing down new leads gets a whole new meaning in the competitive landscape of B2B sales. With the world being more digitized every single day, the sense of competition feels increasingly stronger. It seems there are at least a dozen SaaS solutions for every need or a problem a B2B business has and each one is a potential hurdle that stands in your way to make a sale. With such a fierce company-on-company battle on your hands, how do you stand out?
The difference between winners and losers in this proverbial B2B selling match is market knowledge. Sure, everyone tells you that you absolutely, 100% must do research on your potential customers, but rarely do they mention how to do it: the single best way is by leveraging available data and turning it into insights you can actually use. Sounds pretty easy, right? With the right tool, it actually is. Fear not, we’ll show you the how-to part as well.
Understand your competitive landscape and where you fit in
First, let’s look at the big picture. A lot rides on your proper understanding of the competitive landscape. As one small piece in a giant, Guinness record-like puzzle, knowing your place in the grand scheme of things can help you figure out how to take your business a step further. The reality is that you’ll be competing with a wide range of technologies that either correlate with yours (albeit with slightly different value propositions) or amount to more inclusive solutions that you can barely measure up against. In that respect, you need to know who you’re dealing with, including both those already familiar to you and those lurking in the shadows. Gaining a thorough grasp of your competitors allows you to gain insights into how many clients each company has and valuable data surrounding their their client list.
Once you sort that out, understanding where you fit in in the competitive landscape will enable you to work out how to stand out and step up your sales game. In addition, it will bring to light companies who are potential users for your technology, as well as gain info on competitor clients, namely the type of companies that would constitute as your ideal customers.
“An organization's ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.”
Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric
Identifying the types of companies that represent ideal customers
In order to effectively make a sale, you need to know the companies you’re selling to inside and out. But before that, you need to map them out; not everyone is worth your time and effort nor will everyone be interested in what you have to offer. Once you get a sense of your environment, start developing an ideal customer profile which will be a template for a focused sales effort that targets specific companies (those that fit best with your SaaS) within your market.
To begin, establish criteria to go by: your ideal customer profile should start with some basic information like company size, vertical, geographic location, and then slowly go into expansion mode to include all the finer points such as web traffic, web sources, tech stack, correlated technologies, relevant decision-makers, and so on. Always be sure to adjust your approach according to the company in question. The point is to use all the available data in order to highlight where your offering can provide value, be it a cost-friendly solution, feature-rich, broader solution, or elsewhere. It’s a proven and much more efficient method that uncovers opportunities in the untapped markets, rather than collecting data on relevant position holders and approaching them head-on.
The right tool for the job
To pull these points off, there needs to be a compelling record that your prospect needs to buy into, to believe that your solution relieves all the pain points. One such tool of the trade is SimilarTech’s Sales Insights Platform. Here’s how it works:
We crawl over 317 million websites (and counting) on a daily basis and gather troves of data. That rough data is refined into a clean-shaven, tucked and trimmed format for easy analysis for market research, trends, lead and prospect generation, and more. For instance, say you want to check how OpenX is doing. You get a full overview of its market share and web usage, starting with company description and ranking and then moving on data relating to the websites using it, as well as related technologies and geographical information.
That’s on the technology side of things. As for the company's current tech stack, there are a lot of names and categories in play for you to discover, plus there’s a recent tech adoption history that’s fully trackable, pictured below.
Knowing the full tech stack of a certain domain provides you with insights, like whether your technology fits in, while also helping you understand where the current focus is on. That way, you can swoop in all charming and provide more value with your tech through various ways (better integration, cut down on costs, more coverage, etc.). The good news is that’s just a small taste of insight-rich flavors found in our cookbook. There are also detailed reports with tons of targeting options, as well as the ability to compare correlating technologies to really get the gist of it.
One of the more notable pro features in our SIP are real-time alerts. These customizable notifications are designed to keep you up-to-date when a company adds or removes a certain technology. As a result, this can turn out into a tangible list of prospects you’ve never thought about that’s ready for your tech now. You can reach out to them and present your pitch on how, combined with your technology, they can perform better.
Build an insight-based sales strategy
The need to be more customer-centric is apparent more than ever, growing steadily and turning into a foundation for data-driven sales. The change in narrative and culture is something that every successful business owner and sales manager need to embrace with arms wide open. However, it’s one thing to collect data and a whole different story to turn it into crucial, relevant insights you can use to leverage information and take your business to the next level. With the right tool, you can expand your initial focus and uncover new potential verticals to tap into, as well as provide the information that prospects so desperately need to help them convert (just take a look at this guide to the sales tech stacks dominating 2018). Don’t miss out on the opportunity to collect and analyze data for sales purposes, especially since it’s so easy to obtain it through services like SimilarTech. Your end result will be a strong tie of qualified leads and fulfilled customers that will drive the growth of your company in the long run.