Signals vs. Data vs. Database

Signals vs. data vs. database

Is there a difference?

B2B sales professionals are familiar with the terms signals, data, and databases, but their distinctions may be confusing. Part of the reason for this is that different CRM and marketing automation vendors use the terminology differently.

That is why we believe it is necessary to clarify the differences, particularly between signals and data, and their functions in the sales process. Below, we’ll look at the significant differences between these data-driven B2B sales techniques.

Signals vs. Data vs. Database sales efforts

What are data, databases, and signals?

In today’s climate, the B2B selling process might be more complex than before. Sure, your company has a lot of data, but making sense of it and utilizing it at the right moment requires a strategy. You must establish client profiles, do market research, generate relevant and current content, and meet buyers where they are in the B2B sales process, at the very least.

Data is about buying signals, events, or behaviors that statistically indicate a transaction will occur shortly.

They’re particular to a buyer’s desire to act during the purchasing process, which means they can give out signs about what they’re keen on and when they’re most likely to purchase.

When you know who’s ready to purchase, it’s a lot easier to focus your sales efforts.

This data may be obtained in a variety of formats and from a variety of sources. First-party data sources include CRM software, websites, and conversational marketing platforms. Then, there is third-party data, which originates from outside sources and is frequently bought by B2B marketers. This information is often used to serve targeted advertisements or produce tailored content.

For the most part, though, data is unstructured, unfiltered code. That is where signals and signal intelligence come in. 

Gathering signal intelligence on accounts that are part of your total addressable market is something that cannot be downplayed. At PipelineSignals, we focus on the category of compelling events specifically.

This is accomplished by using signals, which are occurrences that signify an opportunity for you to contact a prospect as a salesman. Signals allow you to predict when a company will want your product or service, allowing you to focus on the accounts that are most likely to convert into paying accounts right now.

ideal client profile

Signals that suggest a great opportunity for you vary depending on your company’s offer, the companies you target, and your sales approach, just as there is no standard ideal client profile. You’ll have to make some effort on your end to figure out what signals to watch for, such as an increase in the likelihood of buying.

Looking carefully at your existing accounts is a good place to start when determining what signals to watch for. It’s the same way you’d go about creating an ideal client profile. Before they became consumers, what happened in their organizations? You may already know the answer if you know your market well, but even if that’s the case, make sure to back up your gut instinct with signal intelligence before following certain hunches.


You should base your prospecting on this information if you can recognize an actionable pipeline lead by one or a set of signals. You’ll uncover a significant number of warm, actionable leads after you find a link between a pleased new client and a signal.

Sellers may find it challenging to discover B2B signals and much more difficult to transform those signals into actionable information. Companies at various phases of the B2B buying process send continuous messages to vendors, whether we realize it or not. The challenge for organizations is to recognize and comprehend the signals produced and sent forth across global B2B networks.

Some signals are stronger than others, and not every indication shows buying intent. The fundamental objective of predictive marketing is to understand what those B2B signals are, how to successfully interpret them, and put measures in place to take advantage of them. This results in more informed – and successful – marketing and sales teams.

Compelling event signals

Different Compelling Event Signals

Competitive compelling events are divided into three categories.

Relationship Roadmaps

A relationship roadmap can help you evaluate your present connections and plan for future ones within the same account. It provides answers to important queries such as: 

  • Who do you presently know at the account?
  • Who do you wish to find out about?
  • What must you do to receive an introduction?

It also allows you to organize yourself into three degrees of outreach: high, broad, and deep, which will help you enhance your impact inside your accounts.

Time and Maturity

A buyer’s path isn’t always straightforward, and interaction, whether once or numerous times, isn’t always enough to determine intent. To ensure that a prospect is ready to do a transaction, your sellers must add more and more factors to their qualifying criteria. Innovative solutions for isolating and connecting with narrower groups of prospects are required.

Signals may also help you prioritize accounts and determine whether it is appropriate to connect with a prospect.  

buyer interaction

Competitive Intelligence

Simply put, competitive intelligence enables you to make better and more informed decisions by collecting and analyzing data about your competition and the surrounding business environment. Competitive intelligence allows businesses to see market trends or undiscovered opportunities and predict their competitors’ next move.

Because of the vast quantity of data available in today’s digital environment, you may capitalize on the efforts of others and build on their achievements. In the end, you’ll save time and money since you’ll be able to avoid the mistakes they’ve already made.

competitive intelligence

How to recognize and interpret buying signals

As they go through the buyer journey, prospective accounts send out various trigger signals. The first step in the buyer’s journey is to conduct research. The majority of the time, this research begins with a visit to a website. Website visits may be a significant intent indicator, yet most of the time, website visitors stay anonymous.

These prospective accounts are actively and progressively visiting websites and consuming different types of B2B content online throughout the research stage of the buying process. Internet visits, newspaper articles, webinars, e-books, social networking sites, and other online information tools enable prospective buyers to inform themselves extensively while keeping sellers away until they are prepared to discuss.

On the surface, it appears like potential clients have gained an advantage by effectively avoiding direct contact with a salesman. Until now, that is. Predictive marketing and selling utilizing signal intelligence have given revenue teams a means to see what’s going on behind the scenes in terms of research and content consumption.

Each of these online behaviors produces a consumption event that indicates where a prospect is in the buyer journey, as well as their potential intent. Businesses are supporting the rise of predictive marketing using signal intelligence by gathering, organizing, and converting billions of daily consumption events into compelling event signals that can be connected to, say, an anonymous website visitor identity.

Signals can allow companies to prioritize their time and resources to move more qualified demand down the funnel. This is the pinnacle of predictive marketing.


Both data and signals will assist you in determining where your prospect is in the sales cycle, but you have to know how to utilize them correctly. You’ll be on the right track for success if you pay attention to these indications the next time you communicate with potential new clients.

PipelineSignals partners with several companies all over the globe, helping mine sales intelligence from their total addressable market and all important accounts inside that TAM. We provide you with sales intelligence daily, weekly, or monthly basis so that your sellers can respond swiftly to generate faster and more successful possibilities or reduce risks in their accounts.

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