Despite its importance to sales and marketing campaigns, the quality of data is not treated with the same amount of scrutiny as crafting a message, getting the design nailed and reviewing a press release line-by-line.
Truth be told, data is often an after-thought.
It may be because prospect or contact data is not as visible as other areas of campaigns which is why it is not given the attention that it deserves.
The other school of thought, and perhaps more likely, is that good quality data in niche sectors is particularly hard to source.
One common approach is to rely on in-house administrators to build databases. The drawback is that this is often an expensive personnel cost and they rarely have the industry experience to sense check whether they have found the right people to target.
Alternatively, many sales and marketing teams buy or rent data for campaigns. If you’ve sourced contact lists from B2B data providers you may recognise the following scenario:
Marketing manager (MM) calls B2B data provider (DP).
MM: “Hello, I’m looking for contact details of all heads of IT, clinical or medical directors and chief clinical information officers (or variations of these job titles) at all 144 NHS acute trusts. I need names, job titles, telephone numbers and email addresses. Can you help?”
DP: “Yes, certainly, happy to help. The cost for this is £4,000. This data is under a three-month usage licence, meaning after this period you will no longer be able to use the data. I’ll provide you with a sample database for review.”
MM: “Many thanks. I have received the database and everything looks great. Happy to approve the quote.”
One day later…
*Receives full database and notices gaps and duplicate records*
**Starts campaign and notices multiple bounce-backs from emails**
***MM puts head in hands knowing he will receive wrath of sales team***
It’s common for purchased databases to have up to 50% email addresses missing or incorrect. Part of the reason is that NHS trusts are migrating employee email addresses over from an individual trust domain to a simpler @nhs.net account.
But unfortunately, variations exist meaning it is challenging for B2B data providers to research and supply this information to customers. How do you track and make sure that you have the right email address for IT director Joe Bloggs?
Joe.Bloggs@nhs.net – looks like this is the one?
Bloggs.Joe@nhs.net – it could be this?
Joe.Bloggs2@nhs.net – are there two Joe Bloggs? Which one do we use?
The upshot is that your campaign will be half as effective with half the correct or available email contact data.
And how does this affect your telemarketing activity?
Direct dial numbers are extremely difficult pieces of information to source and they are rarely supplied by B2B data providers.
If you or your sales team have to call a switchboard, it could ring 30 times before anyone answers, meaning a less productive day for your sales guys.
At Elemental, we build bespoke databases and always endeavour to get a direct dial, and at the very least, source a department number (where respondents usually pick up in 2-3 rings).
My point is that your sales team is reliant on accurate and complete information to get the cold call right, on the first attempt. And poor data will cause delays to your sales engagements.
Have you bought a B2B contact list recently and are concerned about the validity of the data?
We provide a data checking service to ensure your next campaign has the best chance of success.
We know the health technology market, so we can sense check job titles, whether your targets have the appropriate responsibility for budgets and projects, as well as filling the gaps in your data.
Get better data and improve your sales activity. Interested? Call us on 0808 168 6426 or email firstname.lastname@example.org