Often I see various starting points for data when executing B2B sales and marketing campaigns. The spectrum ranges from a newly cleansed list of contacts & verified phone numbers to a spreadsheet with only a list of account names. Regardless of where and how you get your data, you must develop a plan to obtain and maintain updated information. This is critical to your lead generation success.
In 2009, I wrote an article entitled Economy Drives up the Importance of Data Hygiene, which highlighted how the recession was impacting contact data within organizations. While one could argue for or against being economically better now than before, the same mindset must remain when evaluating customer and prospect data for marketing activities. The harsh reality is that businesses still lay off employees and re-structuring organizations is a seemingly endless cycle. So what are some activities one must consider when getting data geared up for lead generation campaigns?
- Data Hygiene: Consider taking a deep dive into the data you have before doing more complex teleprospecting. Place phone calls into accounts and leverage operators and administrative assistants for help. Confirm whether your prospect contacts are still valid and update phone numbers & extensions – and identify new contacts for those who have left the organization or have changed roles. Checking for spelling of names, email and physical address is also critical as these components are used in integrated marketing campaigns involving email and mail. Social media has evolved so much in a few short years that we’re now able to connect with others in a much different way. LinkedIn is another great resource to confirm prospect roles.
- Data Profiling: Research and profile the accounts that you’re targeting to help you to more closely align your campaign message. Through profiling activities, you can find out about their environmental landscape (i.e hardware & software infrastructure), fiscal calendars, etc. I’ve seen some of the most successful lead generation campaigns come from sweet spot focused lists. Proper profiling allows for sweet spot calling and other prioritization.
- Data Supplementation: Utilize third party vendors to supplement your existing account lists with industry, revenue and other valuable data points. In my experience I’ve seen a number of great resources that provide reliable append data. This tactic can also assist in profile efforts mentioned above.
All of these tactics are by-products of teleprospecting campaigns to some degree. However, when focused on these efforts, you can set yourself up for greater future success. These may seem like common sense but as I mentioned, I’ve seen many different starting points for data when executing campaigns.