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List Development: 4 Ways to Win the War Against Bad Data


Quality Data Success

Sales Prospecting Perspectives is pleased to bring you a guest post from Kevin Stemple, Database Manager at AG Salesworks. 

Securing clean and accurate contacts is a battlefield; there are data mines everywhere, ready to cause mass destruction to your day and CRM system. One must tread carefully, or risk near certain doom in the form of financial loss, duplications or wasted time.

But don’t worry! AG’s data man is here to provide you with some advice to clear the mines and win the war against bad data.

First, know this: no data or lists are perfect. You will never have a list that is 100% accurate. Trust me -- that just does not exist. There are too many moving parts; people are always switching companies, titles, phone numbers and email addresses. Many third party vendors claim that their lists are 85%, 90% or even 95%+ quality, but that is just a bunch of marketing hoopla.

If you work off a strict data budget like me and don’t have the ability to shell out thousands of dollars for data on a monthly basis, here are some techniques you can use to mitigate your risk and costs:

1. Never pay more than $1 per unit. There is typically a correlation between the cost per contact and the quality of data that gets turned around to you. On the cheap side, you can get data for 50 cents a contact while on the opposite end I have heard of contacts going up to $10 a contact. There are certainly other factors that go into what you are looking to gather out of your list, but if you are looking for a general set of contacts with metrics like revenue, industry and employee size, you should never pay more than $1 per unit.

2. When purchasing through a data vendor, ask for a preview file of your requested list.This file should provide you with all the company and contact’s information without critical information like phone and email. Now you can review and edit the list yourself or with anyone else on your team to make sure you are receiving all the metrics you requested.

3. Send a targeted mass email using a marketing automation tool. Right after you purchase a list, I recommend sending a quick targeted mass email blast with a marketing automation tool like Act-On before you even put it in your CRM for active dials. A mass email will yield a bounce report that will contain hard and soft bounces and most (if not all) vendors will refund or provide you with an equal amount of free contacts for your next purchase. Why pay for contacts that are not valid? I typically see a 10-15% bounce rate on new lists, which can easily add up to hundreds of dollars of bad data purchased. This also filters out all the inaccurate emails in your list so inside sale reps are not focusing their time on sending emails that go nowhere.

4. Sign up for a service like Jigsaw or data.comI like to think of Jigsaw as the “Wikipedia of Contacts.” It is the world’s largest database of contact and company info and it’s based on a give-and-take point system with its over one million user base. Here you can build your own data empire and receive royalty points when other Jigsaw users purchase contacts that you added to the database. You can purchase anyone on the system for 50 cents or you can use your points at 5 a pop. I accrue about 150-200 points a day. This may not seem like a lot but over a month, this can turn into 1,000 free contacts.

Hopefully these techniques will help you win the war against bad data so you can accrue quality data for your inside sales team at a small price.  Stay on the lookout for more ways to save money and accumulate good data.

What do you use to find data for your inside sales team?


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