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Technographics

Technographics 101: The Fundamentals of Sales Intelligence

It may be considered a cardinal sin for any modern day business to respond too slowly to change. Technographic data is one such change that can harness the maximum potential out of your business by letting data do the hard work for you. 

As more and more businesses jump on the gravy train of using business intelligence tools and big data to drive their numbers, it becomes integral for one to understand what takes place behind the screen. Data is what drives businesses today and living in the information age means that there is an overabundance of it. It is therefore vital that you, as a business, use the right data in the right place. This is exactly where technographics comes into play.

What is Technographic Data?

Technographics can be defined as a market segmentation tool that consolidates profiles and the interactions between different technology and its user—their behavioral patterns and the characteristics of their usage of it. Technographic data consists of distinct consumer profiles defined by characteristics, variables, and parameters attributed to a user, based on their actions and behavior towards technology. 

Profiling users based on technographic intent serves the purpose of identifying and segmenting target markets with extreme specificity. The cumulative data can then be harnessed by marketing and sales teams, to define and target sure-fire audiences and potential customers that are bound to deliver almost certain conversions.

Just like everything else in the world however, the term technographics has evolved since its conception. It was originally used in the 1980s as a market segmentation tool, to graph the behavior of VCR owners through their usage and interaction with the device. The segmentation of these users into specific profiles was further used by marketing and sales teams to get more out of less. 

The term however, has semantically altered over time to encompass a more specific definition, as a result of technological proliferation. The internet, mobile computing, and other modern technology as we know it today has given rise to widespread and easily accessible user platforms and tools that record and quantify billions of interactions and data points on a daily basis. This further enables technographics to join the dots and ease the burden, not just for sales and marketing teams, but for a variety of roles and teams across an organization.

In a more contemporary sense, it is the data pertaining to the usage of different technologies by an organisation or a professional, canonizing them into a certain category of intent. Buyer personas, buying patterns, competitor and market intelligence can be processed from the segmented data points and turned into insightful and actionable market information. These form a clear basis on which anyone, right from sales to HR or from product design to IT, can hinge their decisions upon with the utmost certainty of accurately predicted outcomes. 

Furthermore, technology stacks have become an important factor, especially for software providers looking to exploit key data pertaining to a competitor’s customer base. A company’s technology stack is the assemblage of all the software, programming languages, tools, frameworks, libraries and other technologies that mould its product or service. Information about when a certain software was purchased or when a license might expire can serve to be crucial information for competitors to exploit. Segmenting users based on such data can serve as critical information that can greatly influence business decisions.

How Can Technographics Help Your Business?

Today, business intelligence tools have become a key part of the fabric of modern businesses and the way they function. Technographics, an integral business intelligence tool can enable businesses to seize high intent opportunities and transform the way in which businesses function.

1. Data-Driven Results vs Gambling

Technographics, consolidated using the wealth of modern-day technology, can be considered the holy grail of segmented data for not just software providers, but any business today. As business becomes increasingly data-driven it is imperative that organizations make their decisions based on highly accurate data. Employing user interaction data to refine the functioning of your business helps remove uncertainties, risks and roadblocks that arise from working without accurate and well segmented data that serves your business’s cause. 

Conversely, failing to use data to propel business decision-making in the modern-day almost equates to gambling. The use of technographic data enables businesses to be fully in control of their own fate by forgoing the risk of uncertainty through the incorporation of data-driven results.

2. Fine-tuning Composite Interaction

Technographic data serves as a great indicator of what your actual market looks like. Gauging user interaction provides detailed insights into precise variables such as buying patterns, affordability, individual preferences, consumer history etc. Providing a personalised iterative experience to your clients can be a game changer for your business.

Businesses can avoid gambling on decisions and use these indicators to calibrate sales and marketing endeavours to individually suit composite audiences. This allows businesses to pique the interests of convertible prospects by catering to them on a personal level — telling a potential customer exactly what they want to hear, addressing problems based on consumer history, etc.

3. Staying On Top of Industry Trends

Staying adept with current industry trends can help any business improvise on their product, sales and marketing efforts on-the-go. Making the first move in your Industry makes you a market trendsetter, fostering credibility and authority for your business. Failing to use technology-user interaction data and sales intelligence to drive your business might deem your business to be laggardly.

With growing technology comes a growing appetite for business, as the past decade witnessed an influx of SaaS start-ups that promulgated the concept of sales intelligence. Sales intelligence is slowly becoming a staple across businesses as the coherent incorporation of tools such as technographics, firmographics and psychographics has helped transform the way businesses function. Sales intelligence allows you to stay ahead of the game by being proactive and capitalising on the latest trends.

4. Customer Retention Diagnostics

One of the most important aspects of any business is ensuring that your customers remain satisfied. Being proactive about the happiness of your customers is what technographics brings to the table. Customer retention is an area that must be dealt with using the utmost care. With barely any room for error, it is only imperative that businesses use accurate user interaction data to tackle customer issues, thereby averting the risk of finding yourself in a ‘too little, too late’ sort of situation.

Businesses can now monitor client interactions to ensure that they aren’t looking elsewhere to fulfill the needs that your product is intended for meeting. You can now run extensive diagnostics on your client base, identify and address the exact issue your clients may be facing in real time. Using this data can enable your business to be more dynamic, allowing you to optimise your product and business functioning to best suit the ever-evolving marketplace needs.

5. Competitive Vigilance

With increased competition comes an added risk for every decision taken by a business. Having decisions backfire as a result of competitor retaliation is not a fun experience for anyone to deal with. Technographics enable you to be vigilant of the decisions and interactions your competitors and their customers might be making, allowing you to move quickly and counteract any forays being made by competitors.

Data-driven businesses circumvent the need to sleep with one eye open, with accurate data standing guard at all times. Technographic data is integral as it provides businesses with the farsighted vision to predict future market movements based on user interaction.

6. Higher Conversions, Lower Effort

‘Getting more using less’ is the good stuff that business productivity is made up of, and technographic data is no stranger to this conceptual framework. Why waste time scurrying for leads when they can be handed to you on a platter? Wasting resources, time and effort on unwarranted leads can be quite unforgiving for your business and it’s employee productivity.

In the age of big data, however, an abundance of accurate high intent leads paired with actionable demographic user interaction data can help shift employee efforts towards a more customer-centric approach. Further, user interaction data can be paired with increased effort, now allocated towards personalising sales and marketing efforts based on technographic user segmentation.

There’s no single defined way that an organization must employ technographics. Rather, due to its flexibility, technographics can act as an added arsenal across multiple departments in an organization and help to drive conversions. Adapting towards changing times helps you one-up your competition, which is why employing crucial user interaction data could be the difference that sets you apart from your competition.

Let’s look at a few examples

Let’s say, you’re a business selling a product that supplements other products in the market. Technographics can give you data regarding specific consumers or employees across different organisations who have purchased a product, that your product can further supplement. It can then filter these results based on highly specific variables and give you a list of high intent prospects that are worth pursuing and investing your resources into. 

If you’re a subscription based service then you could easily obtain the list of clients of your competitors, whose subscriptions are expiring. Furthermore, based on extreme specificity, you can filter out those results that do not qualify as high intent or convertible prospects, thereby saving a huge chunk of time, effort and resources in the process.

Technology-user interaction data is not merely constricted towards sales and marketing teams. Rather, it can be integrated into the diaspora of an organization’s functions. For example, technographics can help HR teams find the right candidate for a job based on their interactions with technology — those that are proficient using a certain tool/skill or someone with the right experience that’s looking to shift jobs. On the other side of the spectrum, a product design team can analyze user interaction to ascertain flaws and weaknesses in their product or a competitor’s product and capitalize on it by being proactive and making necessary design or functionality related changes to their product.

There are a plethora of other areas of business in which technographics can be used to sharpen out edges or completely restructure departments in order to revitalize functionality and enhance productivity.

How does technographic segmentation work?

From obtaining specific data points in the eternal realm of technology-user interactions to processing them into accurate predictions of past, present and future consumption patterns, a lot goes into the process of technographics. As technology and the internet continues to grow, the continual creation of new user platforms means that the manner in which data can be processed and segmented is ever-changing. 

New trends lead to new business opportunities, modifications in product design and functionality, and the restructuring of businesses to suit changing times. It is therefore essential that technographics incorporate the most important, encompassing and up-to-date variables and parameters to compile data for the distinct operation that you may be looking to carry out.

The technology-user interaction data to be segmented is mined from a wide range of avenues, including social media, online forums, job listing engines and company technology stacks to name a few. In order to achieve a substantial amount of data that is accurate enough to hinge important business decisions upon, the mining must be undertaken on a colossal scale, encompassing all necessary platforms. The mined data is further accurately processed into actionable market segments that businesses can elicit in order to make risk-free, data-driven decisions.

The actionable market segments obtained from the mined data can be distilled into buyer personas, buying patterns, competitor intelligence and market intelligence among other variables that can enable businesses to make data-driven decisions. 

The future is now

Business intelligence tools that employ techniques such as technographics, firmographics and psychographics have paved the way for accurate data-driven decision making across the world of business and continue to change the way in which organizations function. Expect your business, sooner rather than later, to incorporate technographic-propelled business intelligence tools to steer it’s operations.

Vasisht Nagarkatti

Vasisht Nagarkatti

Vasisht Nagarkatti handles content marketing at Slintel. A content ninja, Vasisht relishes any opportunity to get his creative juices flowing. Marketing, journalism, music, photography, filmmaking and web design are a few trades that Vasisht may find himself dabbling in.

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