Forrester’s Ultimate Guide to B2B Vital Signs

Learn how B2B vitals signs or interaction insights can drive engagement and optimize sales performance, according to Forrester’s survey report.

The business-to-business (B2B) sector consists of two or more businesses transacting together. B2B customers include producers (such as manufacturers and services providers), resellers (like retailers, brokers, and wholesalers), government agencies, and institutions (including nonprofit organizations).

Salespeople and marketing professionals must determine the people responsible for the purchases in the B2B markets. In the same way, they must also know the B2B vital signs or interaction insights that can help boost engagement and optimize sales performance.

Forrester, a market research company, explains the definition and benefits of B2B vital signs or interaction insights and how sales teams can utilize them across the B2B buying journey in its latest trend report.

Forrester B2B Vital Signs Trend Report shows that the average number of interactions for every buying cycle has increased from 17 (in 2019) to 27 (in 2021). Hence, it’s critical to be aware of B2B vital signs or interaction insights and use them to boost buyer engagement and drive sales performance.

What Are B2B Vital Signs?

In the healthcare sector, vital signs include the temperature, respiratory rate, pulse rate, and blood pressure, which provide baseline data to help analyze a patient’s health. The same concept applies to B2B vital signs or interaction insights.

Marketing and sales teams must be aware of, capture, study, and act upon interaction insights to have an excellent basis when creating campaigns. Whether the primary objective is to drive brand awareness, engagement, lead generation, and conversion rates, monitoring B2B vital signs can help boost overall business revenue.

Self-Guided and Personal Interactions

B2B selling companies must design and control interactions to direct buyers toward a specific content piece or experience.

Interaction insights can be self-guided or personal. Examples of self-guided interactions include a B2B buyer visiting an enterprise website or joining a webinar. On the other hand, personal interactions include in-person meetings, phone calls, or email outreach.

Many sales teams find obtaining helpful insights from personal interactions challenging. Staff manual interaction tracking has limitations and can be tedious. While technology is available to capture interaction insights automatically, most B2B buyers prefer digital engagement. Therefore, sales teams must explore and expand their access and use of buyer signals.

Three Categories of B2B Vital Signs 

Forrester categorized B2B vital signs into three, which include the following:

  • Directed Signals

These signals involve B2B buyers directly interacting with the provider’s assets, such as clicking a link on the web page, filling up an online form, and downloading an ebook, mobile app, report, or any digital asset. Moreover, emails, content shares, calls, and web demos are also forms of directed signals.

  • Detected Signals

Detected signals refer to B2B vital signs captured by news reports, office branches, third-party providers, and other entities outside sales organizations. Examples include surveys, peer discussions, and third-party interviews. Sales teams have less control over detected signals. However, they have a human engagement aspect that sales teams can use to help strategize their campaigns.

  • Derived Insights

Sales organizations must use analytics and machine learning to accurately interpret campaign effectiveness and sales performance based on captured directed and detected interactions or B2B signals. The resulting data from this process is called derived insights.

Benefits of B2B Vital Signs

B2B organizations spend too much time, effort, and money building business plans, customer engagement programs, and sales and marketing campaigns. However, many sales B2B organizations don’t maximize the use of interaction insights to their advantage.

There’s a huge buyer interaction gap between theory and reality, negatively affecting sales performance. Forrester explains that this gap can impact sales performance in different ways, such as low engagement, productivity, and revenue.

The utilization of B2B vital signs or interactions can provide promising benefits to sales organizations, including the following:

  • Optimal Buyer Engagement

Sales teams gain insights into buyer engagement preferences. B2B vital signs allow sales and marketing teams to align goals with buyer intent and behaviors. In that way, selling enterprises can quickly capture the attention and build trust and rapport with prospects. 

  • Increase Productivity

According to Forrester, sales organizations have forced frontline staff to enter and process data manually for the last 20 years. But this task results in less consistent success and low productivity levels because it’s not tailored to the sales reps’ needs and the challenges they face. Looking into interaction insights can help boost productivity, aligning and closing the gaps between real-world interactions and enablement efforts.

  • Optimize Revenue

The ultimate goal of sales organizations is to optimize their revenue. However, optimizing individual engagement and sales elements is not enough. Using interaction insights or leveraging buying signals is the best way to optimize B2B revenue engines, driving substantial pipeline growth and gains.

How to Make the Most of B2B Vital Signs

When closing the gaps in B2B buyer insights, sales organizations must consider RO&I technologies and non-tech considerations for a more transparent engagement and sales performance.

Forrester explores the scope of Revenue Operations And Intelligence (RO&I) platforms (the core to a go-to-market technology stack) and non-technological approaches to accurately capturing buyer signals.

Sales organizations must deploy an outcome-focused technology approach to improve buyer interactions and engagement and boost overall business revenue using the right tools. Furthermore, every sales team must analyze their members’ readiness to accept and make necessary changes to provide both impressive buyer and seller value.

On the other hand, RO&I platforms help match interactions to the correct account, contact, and opportunity in a sales force automation (SFA) system. These platforms help eliminate guesswork and close buyer interaction gaps. Moreover, they provide direct benefits to sales reps, which help them in time management and effective sales tactic development.


It’s about time for sales organizations in the Asia Pacific region to consider using interaction insights to drive optimal engagement and sales performance. With (RO&I) platforms and non-tech approaches, sales teams can accurately capture and analyze buying signals to achieve their goals without pressuring sales reps and facing buyer interaction gaps.