Step-by-step guide to using firmographics for B2B startups


When every new startup wants a pipeline full of high-quality leads and they’re all trying to leverage data in their sales process, how can you gain a competitive advantage?

The answer lies in the relevance and quality of the data you use – and, of course, how well you use it.

Gain an edge by focusing on the right data

To gain market share in the B2B space these days, most startup companies are looking to data. According to Gartner,  “By 2025, 60% of B2B sales organizations will transition from experience- and intuition-based selling to data-driven selling.” In many companies, this transition is already well under way. For most startups, it’s assumed to be part of their DNA.

With the push towards digitization and the never-ending emergence of new channels allowing ever more sophisticated and targeted marketing, the problem for a lot of new companies isn’t that they can’t access the data they need: it’s that they don’t always know what data is most reliable and useful.

After all, building a sales pipeline is only going to pay dividends if it’s full of the right kind of leads – ones that match your ideal customer profiles and ones that are highly likely to convert.  And your marketing ROI will, of course, be much higher if you address your target customers’ needs and aspirations directly, demonstrating your understanding of the challenges they face and, therefore, your ability to help.

As with everything in business, your chances of success, whatever your market, boil down to how well you understand your customers. So how can you get customer data that’s reliable and actually useful?

Firmographic data: what exactly is it?

‘Graphic’ data is what market researchers use to identify homogeneous groups of individuals or organizations that exhibit similar characteristics and behavior.

Unlike demographic data, which is a set of statistical characteristics of individuals, firmographic data refers to the statistical characteristics of organizations. Marketers, especially B2B marketers, use firmographics for segmentation, targeting, and personalization.

Firmographic data includes:

  • Industry
  • Company age
  • Ownership structure
  • Organizational structure
  • Office locations
  • Company size
  • The number of full-time employees (FTEs)
  • Financial information such as sales and revenue
  • Market share
  • Growth (or downsize) rate
  • Data on decision-makers within the company, such as job titles and departments

Read more about how you can use firmographic data to drive your growth strategy here.

5 different ways startups can use firmographic data to build a pipeline

Start building your startup’s pipeline by looking at these five areas:

1. Identify qualified sales leads

By finding companies with levels of growth and turnover, and other characteristics similar to your ideal customer profiles, you can identify qualified sales leads that have a high propensity to convert and become your customers.

2. Segment your target customers

By analyzing firmographic data, you can group organizations that have similar characteristics. You can start segmenting your target market according to their likely needs, likely budget, similarity to your ideal customer profile, and so on. This means you can segment them for different product offerings, levels of service, and anything else that you want to communicate separately.

3. Deliver targeted marketing

Once you’ve got clearly defined customer segments, you can start tailoring your marketing and sales strategy for each segment. Customize all your messaging and visuals so they speak directly to them, and use the targeting features on paid advertising platforms to make sure you’re getting your name in front of as many of them as possible.

4. Deliver personalized content on your website and app

As well as getting new customers in the first place, you can carry this approach through to delivering personalized content to your existing customers, to create better customer experiences and reactivate them – a crucial part of the pipeline.

5. Improve your whole offering

The smartest startups can even go beyond the immediate sales and marketing applications and explore how to improve their offering as a whole by tailoring it more closely to their ideal customers’ needs. From rethinking your brand purpose, to updating your brand proposition, and improving your customer service, firmographics have far-reaching benefits.

Where can you get reliable firmographic data?

Ian Green, Head of Sales at RoyaltyRange, says: “No startup in the B2B space can ignore data these days. From finding your customers to targeting your marketing – it’s all built on data. But not all data is equal, and we know from experience that not every startup knows what data to trust.”

The main ways you can get firmographic data are:

  • Surveys and focus groups
  • Online research
  • Databases

All these methods have their merits, but how reliable they are can vary a lot. The first two, hands-on, methods require resources and experience, and it can be challenging to standardize your results.

Remember, too, many countries have data privacy laws, such as the European GDPR, and it’s important to make sure you’re collecting and handling data responsibly. That’s one of the reasons many startups choose to outsource their data research and instead buy access to high-quality data they know they can trust.

Build an unbeatable pipeline for your business with the right firmographic data

With firmographic data from the RoyaltyRate database, B2B startups can analyze high-quality data from over 85 million companies across 70 plus countries, meaning you can access rich organizational data, find high-value sales leads, and develop powerful targeted strategies.

It’s easy to use the database with a host of intuitive tools and 60+ filters, meaning you can find the premium company data you need without time-consuming and work-intensive research.

Our data is trusted by organizations including tax authorities, international consulting companies and multinational enterprises across 70 plus countries, so you know you’re building all your marketing and sales activity on sound foundations.

Best of all, it’s simple to start using our solutions. You can request a one-off database search today to start finding sales leads, or choose from a range of subscription packages to benefit from full access to all our premium tools and databases.

Find out more about how our company database can improve your sales and marketing strategies, or book a free demo here.

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