A few months back my marketing team had asked me to do some research on the impact that bad data has on sales prospecting campaigns. Since they hear me yammer on and on about this stuff, it was probably their attempt to provide me their version of a psychiatrist couch for me to let it all out. I must say it was both therapeutic and also hammered home my point that data will make or break campaign success.
Having been in the outsourced leadgen game as long as we have, I would say that we have a unique perspective on the factors that impact an SDR’s capability of getting the job done. With any of our partnerships with clients, we like to think that we come in as a completely blank slate with an unbiased perspective. For us it’s just about getting the job done well by finding the best qualified leads we can uncover for our clients.
In our 14 years of business, we’ve run over 400+ engagements calling on nearly every software and hardware technology out there. They all have their inherent challenges. For example, some are more evangelical, some have a narrow marketplace, while others have target titles that are nearly impossible to get live… the list goes on. The one thing we know is that through our process, approach and people we WILL find what the market has to bear. Assuming you’re setting realistic lead expectations, we have a firm belief that if you put the time into your people (and I mean real time) then you will get predictable results from your leadgen efforts. But guess what throws all that off….you guessed it- BAD DATA.
The biggest problem with crappy data is that it clouds your assessment of your employees and at times, your product. Are you not getting a great response from prospects because your tech isn’t what the market needs? Is your sales development rep bad at their job if they can’t seem to get anyone live on the phone? It drives me crazy because you really don’t know when you have questionable data fueling your effort unless you have a system or process in place to append and clean your data.
In the infographic I assessed the data on 200,000+ activities over the course of the 3 month timeframe. While I understand that no list is perfect, you shouldn’t accept a list containing anything below 85% data accuracy. Otherwise you’re not getting what you paid for. Let’s face it- data is too friggin’ expensive to begin with so we shouldn’t just accept mediocrity.
As you can imagine we receive data from a variety of sources to run 30+ campaigns we typically have going at one time. Some of it sourced from inbound inquires, website hits, whitepaper downloads and the remainder comes from a variety of reputable list vendors. We do all that we can to keep the data cleansed but it will never be perfect since data ages quicker than I did after my first child.
So what are you doing to shorten the amount of time your reps are taking to get their target titles on the phone? If it’s taking them an extra 8 touches to convert an opportunity, are you attributing that solely to their sales skill set? Or are you taking outside factors into consideration?
Don’t get me wrong- crappy data should NEVER be used as a crutch for your team. If they’re hungry enough, they should find a way. But all I ask is that you do everything you can to help. Buy a data cleansing tool, use interns, pay $5 a contact if you have to. All you’re doing at that point is setting your team up for success. It’s at that stage as a manager that I honestly feel you can truly evaluate what you’re working with.