If it weren’t for our partnerships with B2B data providers, I would be lost. They make my days easier in so many ways. Whether a rep needs a fresh new list to help them meet quota or a client needs a list with five pieces of criteria that are nearly impossible to find, our data providers get it done.
Like anything you outsource in business, you want to give up the details to the experts so they can find and create the quality you’re looking for. After working with many providers over the years, I have come up with a list of things to look for when evaluating data providers. Here is what I find to be most crucial:
1. Account management.
What is their customer service like? Are they responsive to your needs? Does your data provider account manager truly understand your target market? I could tell you horror stories about bad customer service. For one B2B data provider, I asked for contacts from a specific industry, such as software providers, and I actually received contacts from zoos. I am not kidding; this really happened. That’s why this is my number one rule for me with B2B data providers: I must feel like the vendor is not only responsive to my needs, but that they will also double-check everything to make sure they are truly sending me what I asked for.
2. Accuracy of the data.
What are their accuracy rates, and does this include both phone and email verified accuracy? This is a critical question to ask throughout the evaluation process. The best I have seen is 95% and the data quality is amazing, yielding the most significant results to date.
3. Age of the data.
Make sure to ask when the data was last verified. Employee turnover rates are higher than you may think – I usually only ask for data that is less than 18 months old.
4. Ability to append data.
Can they work with your existing data? Odds are,you already have some great data in your database. A good exercise to test the data you have is to not only determine its accuracy, but also determine if your list provider can append the information as well refresh it.
5. Delivery time.
How long will your B2B data take to procure? You don’t want to be waiting months for it to be delivered, but you do want them to take their time with it so it is the best quality possible. If they expect it to take weeks to procure the list, I recommend asking for the data in batches so that you can at least get started on your projects sooner rather than later.
Deciding which B2B data provider(s) to choose can be very overwhelming. You can count on making a big investment when it comes to purchasing data, so it’s important to ask the right questions and start an engagement with no regrets. Outside of the obvious rule to talk to current customers, I recommend exploring the accuracy, age, ability to append data and delivery time when evaluating vendors. What would you add to the list for B2B data provider must haves?