This is an excerpt from our 17 Top Sales Trends for 2017.

While training for sales leaders and their teams is critical to a company’s success, identifying the markers of a promising prospect is just as important to engaging and keeping customers. While things like company size, location and revenue are usually accepted as tried-and-true metrics to determine a company’s need for a product, there are other, more reliable signs. A company’s technographics — information on the software and products a company uses — can be a clearer indicator of their needs.

“SaaS companies are always trying to think about how to make their teams and processes better,” said Jason Vargas, managing director of sales development at Datanyze. “What other data points can we as managers look at to build a more accurate assessment of an account that should be tier one, two or three? People are starting to get hungrier for a different way of approaching an account.”

With more data and insightful sales data software, companies can and should begin to use new attributes to determine prospect fitness.

headshot “I think we’re going to see a rise in companies that use technographics as a way to build a more accurate assessment of the accounts they should be going after.”
Jason Vargas | Managing Director of Sales Development at Datanyze

“You can learn a lot by understanding the technology a company uses. For example, if a company uses Marketo, it means they’re a company that invests in marketing solutions or that they rely on a sophisticated marketing team to drive demand. Examining a company’s technographics can do more than give salespeople an idea of what types of so ware would fit into their existing tech stack; it can provide a clear way forward when engaging them during the sales process.

What next?

According to Vargas, salespeople must be willing to dive deep into data and use it to make meaningful connections to prospects with personalized interactions. The result will be shorter sales cycles, as well as a better customer experience. “I think you’ll see sales cycles decreased and companies that will have deeper and more meaningful conversations with prospects,” he said. “When someone reaches out to you with flattery, that can only go so far. Instead, SDRs should understand the tech a company leverages, and use that information to engage prospects with a more intelligent approach.”

Want more? Get our guide to all the 17 top sales trends for 2017 here.