6 Tips for Improving the Accuracy of Your Prospecting Database
4th January 2016 Andy Lynch
Are your leads gathering digital dust bunnies? If you haven’t taken a close look at your prospecting database for a while, you might be surprised at who you find inside.
Having accurate customer data can help your sales team avoid wasting time with dead-end leads, and it can help your marketing team craft campaigns that hit the right target.
Increase your business performance this year with these six tips.
1. Clean Out Your Database
One of the first steps in improving your accuracy is to maintain a tidy database.
Your customer database is like your home: it must be cleaned regularly to keep on working in an optimal way.
The rapid decline of your data quality will cost your business as you spend time and money working to contact connections that have moved on.
According to Gartner Research, sparse data costs the average company $14.2 million dollars a year.
If you have customers who are in entertainment, advertising, food services, human resources, or small businesses, the chances are that your data is even less accurate as these fields have high turnover and failure rates.
If you’re emailing prospects, you may be nurturing thin air if your emails are bouncing.
Look at bounces and auto replies to determine whether your leads are still at the company or whether you’re sending an email to someone who’s switched jobs.
For example, your IT sales leads may have shifted into management positions.
People aren’t going to tell you when they change jobs. You need to collect this information yourself so that you don’t lose touch with their company.
Make sure that you remove duplicate entries from your database as well.
If you need help confirming your data, contact a company that can help you do a spring cleaning of your database and renew your contacts list by checking it with their data.
2. Keep Core Information Up To Date
How do you organise your customer database?
You probably have information about customer interests, but do you have their vital information pegged?
According to OpenView Labs, “All too often, salespeople and lead generators make the mistake of thinking that the more fields, statuses, and activity types they include in a CRM entry, the better informed they’ll be.”
Instead, ensure that your initial information is accurate first.
The necessary information can provide insight into where your customers work, enabling you to conduct simple searches and target your marketing.
3. Get the Right Contact Information
When you’re working with your marketing team, stress the importance of acquiring professional email addresses.
When people use their personal information in your database, their average spend tends to be lower.
Strive to get people to sign up using their business information so that your email content will make an impact at a time when your customers are thinking about your services.
4. Understand Your Relationship
Whether you have a working relationship with a client or you’re nurturing a new lead, you need to classify your data based on the customer’s position in the company and your relationship with the customer.
For example, if your client is in the position to make large-scale purchasing decisions for the organisation, that’s something that you and your sales team need to know to market well to that individual.
Those who are gathering information about your products to give to someone higher in the structure also need to be nurtured, but your marketing strategy may be different.
5. Rate Your Prospects
How are your prospects working for you? Some leads spend a lot of time thinking and talking and less time buying.
By rating your sales leads based on your past customer interactions, you’ll know where the largest payback lies.
You can still nurture these less-promising leads, but you won’t ask your sales team to focus on them.
6. Know Who You’re Neglecting
Many of those in your database receive personal contact from your marketing or sales teams, but many of them also languish.
This large group of neglected leads needs to be nurtured or discarded.
Work with your marketing team to understand who these leads are and how to speak with them.
Make an effort to contact them and see if they’re still interested in working with your company.
If your leads are gathering dust, it’s time to improve your prospecting database.
At Internal Results, we know that you’re working to improve your IT sales leads.