5 Key Questions and the Answers You Should Expect When Choosing the Right B2B Sales Data Partner in 2023

Smart buyers understand that digital audience data influences ad performance. When data is clean, current, and relevant, it provides a meaningful boost to KPIs. But mediocre data can deplete your marketing budget – or, worse, your client relationship.

The good news is that there is a lot of amazing data out there, and recognizing it may be as simple as asking a few basic questions to the B2B data provider. Quality and validation go beyond basic demographic criteria.

This article explains five questions you should ask yourself and any potential provider, as well as, the answers you should expect when choosing the right B2B sales data partner in 2023. 

Let’s get started.

1. Can you define the size of your ideal customer profile? (You might call it your relevant market or your sales addressable market.)

Creating an ideal customer profile (ICP) helps you enhance personalization in your sales activities, marketing campaigns, interactions, and overall customer experience. This approach engages your audience better and leads to more successful deals. 

Choosing data is not limited to contact data. Smaller companies and individual sales teams frequently don’t fully grasp all the other data assets available. To define your ICP, the more important dimensions are not the contact data. You’re looking at the company level. Firmographics and technographics are the foundation. 

Firmographic Data:

Firmographic information includes both company-wide and specific user-level data. B2B segmentation using firmographics allows you to construct a picture of who your clients are to target certain markets with relevant content. Firmographic data includes information such as:

  • Annual Revenue
  • Industry Type Employee Count 
  • Location(s)
  • Decision-Makers

Technographc Data:

Technographics data determine your prospects’ technologies and software. With technographic data, you gain insight into a company’s tech stack and its plans to purchase technical solutions.

Both data types will be how you get to your market size and how to describe and narrow it to an ICP that makes sense for you. You then will layer on the titles and personas for the number of contacts you should start targeting. 

2. What data do you need to go to market effectively, and does the provider have it?

You have defined ICP as a launchpad. In the first answer, we saw how crucial firmographic and technographic data are. 

How do you leverage all this data to make your marketing and sales efforts efficient and effective? Buying intent is vital because you understand who’s in the market actively searching for your solution. 

Buyer Intent Data is the set of behavioral signals indicating the intention and likelihood of your prospects to purchase a product or service. It helps you to identify those prospects who are actively engaged in a buying decision based on the type of content they are consuming.

There are two ways to build a sales pipeline. Either you can create a demand for your solution, or you can harvest the demand already there. Where you need to create and when to harvest can be identified with buying intent. 

Another data set you need is website visitor data (VisitorIntel). But, it is about understanding which organizations are sending traffic to your site. With a visitor identification tool, you can know which companies to target even if they don’t fill out any forms. 

Mobile dial numbers are another crucial data set you should consider to boost sales interactions. Mobile numbers help you connect with decision-makers quicker than other phone options. 

So, what type of data should you look for while evaluating the B2B data providers?

Number one – Firmographic data 

Number two – Technographic data

Number three – Buyer Intent data

Number four – Website Visitor data

Number five – Mobile Dials

3. Can you leverage and query the platform effectively to filter and find what you need?

When comparing different data platforms, you want to focus on the data quality and how quickly you can access the data you need. For quality, you need to consider the average accuracy of all the data and not get too hung on one data point that is wrong or right. The best quality comes from human-verified data that can have a maximum of 95% accuracy.

Just because a provider has a massive number of contacts doesn’t mean all those contacts have complete data points and are useful for you. Missing data points (like mobile phone numbers) can be as bad as inaccurate data. Beware of empty contacts and data based on machine guesses. 

There are two types of verification processes:

Human-verified data: 

Human-verified data, as the name implies, is data that has been confirmed by humans. The volume of human-verified data is less than that of machine-processed data. However, you can rely on human-verified data to be highly accurate.

Machine-verified data: 

A machine learning algorithm is used to gather (and verify) machine-processed data. Massive amounts of machine-processed data are collected. However, without double-checking, the algorithm can make guesses or add out-of-date information. 

As you search for your necessary data, how hard is it to set useful filters and how easy is the interface to use? Even if quality data is there, if your team can’t easily find it then it’s not helping you.

4. Is the data intelligence accurate and actionable?

Your data should lead to results.

The whole point of actionable data is trusting that you are spending your time and energy and getting the results you want. The ability to know that your potential customers are there in the market, the data is correct and if you put the data (say email addresses) into a campaign or a cadence, you are not going to get a bunch of bounces. Actionable data from a sales engagement and cadence tool perspective is about the contact data. 

There are different requirements for actionable data depending on who in the go-to-market team is leveraging it. Actionable data is an important concept to think about across your entire go-to-market team. The marketing lead deciding on content themes and target industries will need different data from a sales rep making calls.

You should demand a test drive from any provider you’re considering. It’s all about your ICP when looking over data. Define your ICP in the platform. Execute on a random sample of say 200 or 300 contacts that match your ICP. Look at deliveirability. Don’t allow any vendor to cherry-pick. 

Truly interrogate the data. Check the deliverability of emails and the connection rate of mobile dials.

5. Does the data flow to where you need it?

You should have the tech stack you want to have. You shouldn’t feel like you’re trapped in any one set of technologies. Integration with CRMs and marketing tools is the key here. This is about how well the B2B data platform is integrated with your existing tech stack. You don’t want to manage different tools separately and constantly be switching platforms while working. 

For instance, if you are using Salesforce as a CRM and your data platform is not integrated with Salesforce, you will have to first export the data you want, adjust all the headings in the spreadsheet to match your Salesforce naming conventions, and then upload carefully without creating duplicates. That’s too much to do. 

Check if you can export the data to your email marketing tool and avoid human errors. If yes, how easily can you do it? Do you have to send a support request to export the data or does it update automatically? Can you manually trigger updates?

Ideally, data providers offer a platform where you can use the data instantly with integrations that include CRM, email marketing systems, and more. Having a native integration enables you to export the contact list directly to your existing tools, preventing human errors while entering the data manually. 

Your data should be where you want it.

Reasons to Consider SalesIntel as Your Next B2B Data Provider

Following are a few of the reasons to consider SalesIntel:

  • SalesIntel focuses on contact data for decision-makers. You don’t want to reach entry-level sales reps and random employees. We focus our researchers on contacts with buying power.
  • SalesIntel provides 95% human-verified data. Our staff verifies every contact every 90 days to avoid data deterioration and ensure accuracy.
  • SalesIntel has the most direct dial numbers, allowing your sales team to circumvent the gatekeeper and talk directly to decision-makers.
  • SalesIntel goes beyond basic contact information by providing technographic, firmographic, and intent data. 
  • SalesIntel focuses on integrating with your tech stack, allowing you to export data directly to where you want it.
  • Our RevDriver free browser extension lets you retrieve prospect contact information while viewing their LinkedIn profile or website.
  • For our clients, SalesIntel provides Research on Demand. So, if you want information on a certain industry or contact list that is not currently in our database, simply make your request, and we will locate the information for you.

If you want to give it a try, schedule a personalized demo!