Sell Smarter: Why Accurate Contact Lists Matter

The hard truth: if your sales leads haven’t been updated in the last 12 months, most of them are worthless. Thomson Reuters estimates that 70% of contact data is outdated after just a year. Investing in proper list maintenance can keep your contacts valuable.

Many companies struggle with inaccurate contacts. According to Sirius Decisions, 25% of the average B2B database is inaccurate; 60% of companies surveyed had an overall data health scale of “unreliable,” and 80% of companies have “risky” phone contact records. Problems with quality included incomplete records, duplicates and disconnected records. That’s a lot to keep accurate, but once contact information is lost, that sales opportunity is gone.

Keep your contact data clean to give you transparency into what’s resonating and what’s not. I recommend using email tool to track open rates and response rates. This doesn’t need to be a huge investment. Work with your marketing team to see what emails have the highest response rate—and ask your marketing team for lead scoring details.

It’s important to stay top-of-mind with sales prospects using monthly or even weekly emails blasts. But there’s no point in sending a creative email or sales pitch if the email is never delivered.

So here are 5 best practices for data hygiene and maintenance to perform quarterly:

  1. Audit. Do an initial audit. Clean records and determine where your gaps are. You can even purchase a list import tool or email verification software that prompts people to re-enter an invalid domain.
  2. Scrub. Scrub your email lists. Update non-subscribers and hard bounces
  3. Detect. Find missing information—call and ask a person for their email or add them on LinkedIn to re-connect.
  4. Augment. Use third party vendors to augment data, once clean.
  5. Trigger. Create a reactivation touchpoint to trigger and entice those who haven’t been active within the past year. Once a year, send a personal email to those who haven’t been active. Use a unique subject line with their company name or first name. Also, create a drop-off point: those who haven’t clicked in 2+ years aren’t interested.

With accurate data, you can see the big picture and better predict prospect interest.  By investing five minutes a day, you can save hours researching prospects in the long-run.

 

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