Who Owns the Data in Your CRM?

How would you feel if all the data in your CRM suddenly disappeared? Thousands of qualified leads, months of pipeline, are all suddenly gone. Your sales funnel would collapse. Marketing would come to a screeching halt. and You’d probably suffer an overall massive loss of revenue, right?

Now we aren’t talking about CRM failures. There are highly robust databases that maintain backups to prevent this from ever happening. Yet, there is still another way you can lose your data.

If you have a large database, it is likely that you have partnered with a data intelligence vendor like SalesIntel or some other well known data company to get the information you need to fuel your sales, marketing and growth engines.

Here’s what happens – some data providers have clauses in their contracts that demand you delete all their data you have exported to your CRM from your database when you unsubscribe from their platform and services. Sadly, most are not aware of this until it is too late and is then pointed out in the fine print/T&Cs of the contract you signed.

Now you might think, but how would they know whether I have deleted data from my CRM? Well, there are ways to figure out. For example, one common practice is that these data providers seed a few dummy emails in the contacts their customers export. Let’s call these emails “trackers”.

So if you continue to use the data after unsubscribing, you could unknowingly send emails to one of these trackers and the data provider who monitors that account will know. At this point, they’ll have all the leverage to strong-arm you into either purchasing their license or potentially some legal action. This is why we highly recommend you check if you are in a shady contract with your data partner.

That said, the worst part isn’t the shady clause or its deceptive enforceability; it’s the implication. Picture this-

  • You want to build a database
  • You purchase a license to one of those data providers
  • You export all the data you need and build a database

At this point, the purpose of your purchase has been served and you might want to cancel/ not renew your license. But the moment you do that, you’ll also have to also delete the data – sending you back to the square one.

So what are your options?

The best thing to do is be more aware of these practices and search your contract for removal of ‘licensed materials’ and auto-renewal clauses so you do not sign up for those providers.

SalesIntel does not have any such contractual obligations. In fact, building a large database by exporting the data we provide is one of the core use cases for our customers. As a few of our clients said:

“We …. were looking to grow our database,” – Inspirata

“Thanks to SalesIntel, e-Builder has quickly built the database we needed” – eBuilder

In short, if you cancel your SalesIntel license, you still keep all the data you have exported.

That said, we highly encourage people to continue to partner with a reliable data provider so your CRM data does not organically decay over time. On average, B2B data typically decays at around 30% every year – people switch jobs, change contact information, companies upsize/downside, etc. So even if you do not delete the data, it becomes less reliable as it ages.

At SalesIntel, we re-verify our data every 90 days so that our users always have the most accurate data possible. So if you want to build a database for life and partner with an organization dedicated to quality, set up a trial with us.