It’s not accurate to say that the world is becoming more data-centric. Fact is, we already live in a world ruled by data. For modern sales and marketing professionals, high accuracy and better insights are extremely relevant. There are many B2B data providers out there, however, not all are equal. The real question that arises here is – is the data supplied by the B2B data provider valuable information for you? The truth is:
“You can have data without information, but you cannot have information without data.” –Daniel Keys Moran
You’re looking at your pipeline and it doesn’t look as vibrant as it should be. There are so many options out there. You’re looking for quality data. However, it always isn’t that straightforward. The time where you go and buy a random, ready-made list of contacts is gone. You need to find potential buyers.
Such people can come in the category of your ideal customer profiles. The only people you should be concerned with, especially if sales is your objective. So, before you go and search on google “B2B data providers” and select the company you want to work with. I’d strongly suggest that do these 5 things before going ahead with a B2B data provider:
1 – Ask for a sample
We are in the SaaS age and it’s great to have ready-made data. Nevertheless, what you really want are contacts your sales team can work with. Obviously, you’re not going to buy data just to get sub-par results. For this reason, always request a sample of contacts. What’s more is, you need to use that list and gauge the results too. This is one of the most crucial steps when deciding to pick a B2B data provider.
In short, take your time to test the waters – B2B data – with a healthy sample. For example, don’t settle for a sample of 5 or 10 contacts. Ask for at least 50-100 contacts (depending on your required data usage) so you can properly test the data quality and response.
2 – Check the Total Addressable Market (TAM) available
This is extremely important because you don’t want to be using 5-6 B2B data providers to acquire your entire TAM for your campaigns. Sales is a numbers game if you’re making 150 dials and 30-40 of them are incorrect then you’re going through a huge potential loss. Some B2B data providers include:
Cloudlead: We use the power of technology and human-verified sales leads with access to over 500 million+ leads globally. We help enrich pipelines with custom insights that help companies sell to their desired audience better. Cloudlead has the vision to help sales and marketing professionals with the help of high quality and accurate data and insights.
Discoverorg: Their software is great for accessing leads by an organizational chart which allows users to spot potential decision makers easily, in addition to deep insights. Their data is human-verified every 90 days. They have access to almost 20 million contacts divided between 500,000 companies.
LeadGenius: LeadGenius combines machine learning tools with human intelligence to provide targeted custom lists. They have access to almost 32 million plus leads in the U.S. alone. What’s more is that they have access to researchers around the globe who find and enrich new leads for their clients.
Hoovers (Dun & Bradstreet): With access to over 300M+ leads D&B has a massively impressive database size. They typically provide access to their database based on annual contracts, where clients can download a set number of contact data.
Zoominfo: Zoominfo has about 150 million + leads on their portal. They update about 20M contacts every 6 months. Furthermore, Zoominfo has some useful insights on their platform as well which allow clients to a large number of leads with personalized content.
InsideView: Looking for a data.com alternative? InsideView offers some great offers for data.com users. The platform also has some impressive insights too. They give access to almost 32 million+ leads.
And a lot more! There are truly a lot of B2B data providers out there – it’s always best to submit multiple requests and see which company fits into your objective best.
3 – Availability of other data solutions
When opting for a B2B data provider you probably feel more inclined toward a solution rather than just one single product. Make it an obligation to always see if your B2B data provider offers other products like lead enrichment, lead cleansing, integrations, lead scoring and more. Acquiring data comes with a lot of other hurdles so if you dislike re-negotiating, be sure that your data provider of choice has all these services in-house.
Remember, the point is to opt for a B2B data provider that can serve your B2B prospecting and lead generation needs so you don’t have to hop around looking for other providers or software.
4 – Pay for only the personas you need (and nothing else!)
When choosing a B2B data provider you need to make sure you’re buying only the data you need. A problem in this industry is that too many sales and marketing professionals are forced into features and excess data they just don’t need. This accumulates to a massive cost in the long run. Bad data can come in the form of:
- Incorrect email address
- Wrong branch numbers
- Incorrect status(employment, position etc.)
- Wrong names(Yes! you’d be shocked)
- Generally wrong and outdated company insights
5 – No initial long-term commitments
At Cloudlead for example, we understand that sales and marketing professionals are in constant need of new leads to crushing quota. This doesn’t mean you should sign-off those annual contracts straight-off. It’s what good salespeople are great at – convincing you to opt for long-term commitments.
Kinds of commitments include:
- Annual – paying for the entire contract up front for a year. This is the most common since most businesses would like to lock in sales for the entire year.
- Bi-annual – paying in 2 equal instalments. In such cases, it’s not uncommon for your contract to also be renewed after 6 months.
- Quarterly – Paying in quarterly instalments which means being billed after each quarter cycle – January, February, and March (Q1); April, May, and June (Q2); July, August, and September (Q3); and October, November, and December (Q4).
- Monthly – paying up front on a monthly. This type of commitment is also fairly common and means your card will be billed automatically at a certain date on a monthly basis.
- Pay as you go – For many service-based products, pay as you go model is not unheard of. What this essentially means is that you can pay as and when you utilize a particular product or service.
Whichever type of commitment you choose to enter into with your B2B data provider of choice, just remember not to make a hasty decision. Hence, a data provider that promises you a trial for a full month (free or on a discounted price) is an excellent option. This way, you can fully test the waters, see if the B2B data provider can meet your lead generation leads on a continual basis AND figure out the quality of leads.
Whichever B2B data provider you decide to go ahead with, I strongly suggest that you make sure of the following:
Accuracy is crucial: Almost all B2B data providers claim they provide verified leads and integrate software’s to help them do that. Real accuracy in this day and age comes from a combination of software efficiency and human-verified leads. Accuracy can jump to almost 95-98% in terms of deliverability and data accuracy.
Have a clear understanding of your ICP: To find your TAM you need to construct a complete ideal customer profile. When you know your customer. You’ll know where they spend their time and hence you can request custom data points for better selling. For example, if the person your targeting spends time on LinkedIn then you should certainly request social profiles for multi-channel targeting.
To acquire the right data, a rule of thumb is to think in terms of the end user, that is, the salesperson. If they’re not satisfied with the B2B data provider then there’s no point in continuing with that provider. In fact, if the data is not cleansed you could be paying for 25-50% of bad or invalid data. This is due to data decay.
Cloudlead has to date processed over 8 million+ leads for our clients all over the world. Whats more, we love watching our clients grow with the power of leads backed by human intelligence. Request your super targeted list here today!
Co-founder & Marketing Professional at Cloudlead, a B2B data company aiming to make outbound predictable and smarter. Moaaz is a certified Content Marketeer, Graduate in Marketing and Management, completed an enterprise sales course for SaaS at Stanford. He also has a keen interest in analytics and data-driven marketing.