B2B Data for Lead Generation
Data is the lifeblood of any B2B lead generation activity which will include direct marketing. How cold the telemarketing part of the mix is will depend on the dataset you are calling from.
Is the B2B data you are reaching out to:
- A cold raw list of companies from your target market, no identified contacts or details . (think Experian, Creditsafe)
- Lapsed clients or leads from your database
- Marketing qualified leads – have shown intent for buying services like yours or you know use services similar to yours.
- Sales qualified leads – are looking to buy what you sell either now or at a time in the future that they have told you about (eg when their current contract expires)
Temperature of the B2B data
There are lots of definitions but for simplicity lets use raw, cold, warm and ready to go as a first grading.
You are not going to convert anything other than a warm, ready to go, sales qualified leads to an appointment in a couple of calls. If they are in the market for what you sell then is more likely that stranger will agree to see you, or if you are working locally then this lead is well worth a call in to nudge along,. If pursuing them from a greater geographical distant then you can use phone, social and email to build the know like and trust. For full disclosure I believe the more you/personal interaction there is in the touch the more familiarity is built and the greater the step along the sales funnel is taken.
If the data is raw and cold then the immediate job of your telemarketing work is to take you from being a stranger to someone whom your prospect is familiar with (the know, like and trust factor). Then we can set an expectation for appointment setting.
Can you see how the KPIs and measures of success need careful consideration in relation to the data – your call to appointment and resolution rates are going to be widely different.
By the way, the best clients are usually those that have followed you for a while, consumed your content, pondered your posts, read your emails. You know the ones that feel like an “overnight successes” as the conversion seems easy. This is important to consider when you get an enquiry “out of the blue” – as well as service their enquiry you need to put in place that familiarity campaign. You can never miss a step.
Relevancy of B2B data for your business
Obviously the accuracy of data is crucial; Here are some key considerations to consider when purchasing or collating a dataset for telemarketing.
Raw lists of the basic information from companies house – company phone, address and directors/shareholders listed at companies house, employees, turnover etc. A list like this is perfect to build a database from the ground up (something we do regularly for clients) using the web,phone and research to build a list of decision makers, influencrs and the end users of your services. We expect 50% wastage so if you start with 100 raw expecgt to end up with 50 to start a campaign on.
Buying in B2B Data
Going to a list broker, most databases offer the same detail as above (with maybe some more recent updates) but also offer the ability to select on profiling fields which will get your database closer to the “ideal customer” profile. These might include:
Generally speaking you can search on key job titles such as those listed below:
- Managing Director
- Financial Director
Other, more specialist job titles may be available from niche data providers, but often it is more sensible to buy data with one senior contact and use this to help establish the name of the correct person through calling.
Don’t buy too niche or from too small a list as if you want to go back and buy more of the same data (perhaps for a wider geographic area) they might not have any left so you end up going to a larger list supplier and probably duplicating leads.
Personal details (phone email Social media)
One thing you will be interested in and will raise the price considerably is personalised information –
- Is it a generic switchboard number or direct dial/mobile number available. DD and mobile numbers are really valuable.
- Email addresses on bought in lists are generally not personal, but rather to addresses like “info@” or ”sales@” . These email addresses have very high “deliverability”, in the sense that few bounce, but the emails are rarely seen by the individual you are trying to contact. One of the first jobs we need to do is to plan for the telemarketer to call as part of the campaign to update and verify email addresses. There are some sources of high quality, individual opt-in email addresses, but they are few and far between.
- Are LinkedIn IRLs available on the list – another part of our database verifying process is we go and locate them on social media.
Buy this enhanced information with caution. Data quality or rather accuracy, is big issue on 2 fronts.
- When was the data last updated, in B2B the “churn” rate is huge. A database, which was updated only last year, might be 30% inaccurate. The more recently updated the data the better – best of all is a freshly cleaned and profiled database.
- The accuracy of the data that was entered at the time of last update is also important – data updates come from a variety of sources. No database is perfectly accurate.
You really don’t know what you are buying – you really do get what you pay for. Taking raw data and working it up in to a bespoke database that works for you is often the best way.
As you start focusing on database building and growth don’t forget to look at all the ways that you can convert audience and interest into a prospect on your database by using your marketing channels to get people to sign up.
The job of your lead generation work is to take you from being a stranger to someone that your prospect turns to when they are ready to buy. Great marketing + professional pursuit will build a quality converting pipeline.