It’s evident that more and more data vendors are entering the market so it’s important for you to stay organized and work with proper guidelines when procuring a B2B list to prospect. As a client success manager I want to ensure that my clients are receiving the best data possible so after I receive the list from our partners I also scrub the list myself to make sure all of my client’s criteria has been fulfilled. Below are three questions I ask myself before importing a new list into our CRM for our clients.

  1. Was I able to be as specific with my search as possible?

    What I have found is: the more specific the criteria, the better the list, especially when it comes to job titles. If we have a client who targets CFOs as their desired point of contact, there is also typically someone below that title who handles the more specific job functions associated with the client’s product. For example, VP of Financial Planning and Analysis may be more informative than CFO if the technology is more applicable to the former.

    Expanding on list criteria, it is also important to be prepared with criteria the client may not have thought to include. Are there specific states that we should assign priority? Is there a certain technology they should have in place to qualify them as a fit? I think about it like my old job as a seating hostess at a restaurant… it’s always easier to remove members of a party from a reservation at the last minute than it is to add. (You try squeezing 12 people at a table meant for 8 on a Saturday night!). It’s the same with lists; there is nothing worse than acquiring a large batch of data and then having to add additional criteria afterwards.

  2. What is the number of contacts per target company that I’m working with?

    This one I find very important to a successful campaign. Ideally, when kicking off a project, I want 500 target companies spread across 1500 contacts, with 3 contacts per target company. I know that if the distribution is way off I need to go back to the drawing board and revise the search. You need a good sized, diversified list to kick off a campaign properly.

  1. Was this list properly suppressed against my client’s “do-not-call list?”

    One of the challenges with acquiring B2B data from a variety of sources is that they may all label an organization name differently (i.e Home Depot vs The Home Depot), making suppression all the more difficult depending on the format in which the do-not-call (DNC) companies were delivered. We use a few different strategies to attack this. If URLs were given, it is often easier to scrub by field over basic company/organization name. Whether you have a data team, a data manager, or do it yourself you can always manually cross-reference both lists to ensure you won’t be contacting any DNC targets. The best practice always is to also provide the client with a preview of the data for final approval.

What other questions should you ask yourself when evaluating new B2B lists before you begin prospecting?