Is your marketing data in fighting shape to meet your pipeline numbers? If you’re like the typical B2B company, it’s probably not: the average B2B database is 25% inaccurate at any given time, according to SiriusDecisions.
Just like getting yourself in shape, getting your data in shape takes dedication, commitment and a training plan. And it doesn’t hurt to have a personal trainer to keep you motivated and help you the right steps. Here’s five steps to get you on the path towards data fitness.
Step 1. Baseline: Establish Your Data Starting Point.
Diagnose the accuracy and completeness of your customer data so you know your starting point. This is like hopping on the scale or taking your resting heart rate or timing a one-mile run on the first day of your new exercise routine. You want to know your starting point so you can know how much you’re improving and how much effort it will take to reach your goals.
Tip: Benchmark a sample set of data to understand just how out-of-shape your data really is. You can use an automated service, or survey your sales reps to understand how often they run into bad data, or look at your marketing email bounce-back rates.
Step 2. Stretch: Clean Your Dirty Data.
Before you start any big campaign or program, you’ll want to be sure your data is ready. Cleaning helps you identify and correct inaccurate data, remove duplicates, and complete missing fields. But, just like stretching before exercise, you have to turn it into a routine. Keep your data clean and in shape with regular updates, at least twice a year after the initial cleaning.
Tip: Run a thorough cleaning on your existing database to get it ready. You don’t just want to identify the bad data, you want to correct it as it’s found so be sure to use a cleansing service that has current and accurate data.
Step 3: Enrich: Supplement Data Deficiencies.
Even the best athletes like to enrich their diets with things like vitamins and wheatgrass and flax seeds. And just like supplements enrich your intake of vitamins and minerals, your intake of data benefits from enrichment as well. Plan to automatically enrich leads as they enter your CRM or marketing automation systems, correcting and appending information and adding what’s potentially missing.
Tip: Enrich your data by filling in missing fields as new leads come in. It not only helps you connect with the right targets, it helps you target more accurately and effectively by having more data for each of your contacts.
Step 4: Boost: Fortify Data By Adding New Prospects.
It’s bad to have a boring fitness routine that follows the same cycle every day. You can boost your mood and your energy by changing it up, and you can boost your data by adding new prospects that are already accurate and up-to-date. Better yet, instead of heading down an uncharted path, get highly targeted lists of new prospects that fit your ideal customer profile and expand your total addressable market.
Tip: Frequently add new data to keep your database fresh. It’s easy to find a list vendor, but most offer the same as the latest fitness product on late night TV, empty promises and an empty wallet. Get fresh data from a reputable vendor who has accurate and relevant data.
Step 5: Power: Pump Data Into Sales Engagements
Exercise helps you burn the flab, but you also want to build a bit of muscle in the process. Give sales reps the power they need to out-compete—like breaking news on companies they’re pursuing and coworkers’ connections to the decision-makers they’re trying to reach. You’re not trying to be a bodybuilder; you’re just looking to improve your game a bit.
Tip: Focus on building strength and power where it matters, and that means adding insights that help your sales reps engage, compete, and win. Knowing who to call on is just the first step. Knowing who they are, what their business needs, and where they’re feeling pain puts you in the lead.