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B2B Data Enrichment: Get Best Contact Data

Have you ever asked someone a question you probably should’ve known the answer to? 

“How’s that dog of yours?” 

*sad face*

B2B data enrichment helps you avoid costly mistakes like that, but in a professional setting, where more than feelings are at stake. 

In essence, data enrichment gives you accurate data on customers and companies so you can sell to them in a data-driven and personalised way. 

In this article, we’ll cover all you need to know about B2B data enrichment — what it is, the benefits, and how to do it right.

What is data enrichment in B2B?

Data enrichment is the ongoing process of gathering and refining first-party customer data with data from third-party data providers to increase your database’s range and accuracy. Enriching your data with external sources helps update your existing dataset and supplement incomplete records.

This quality data, in turn, improves the sales, marketing, and RevOps processes that rely on it. For example, you can enrich Sales Navigator lead lists with actionable data, such as B2B emails and verified mobile phone numbers

Typically, B2B companies use data enrichment tools to automate the data enrichment process. These tools analyse social media profiles, public records, and other sources to find data about the companies and people in your database. 

They then update your database — often a CRM — to reflect these findings, filling in the gaps and rewriting inaccurate data, like a good editor. 


Why should you enrich data?

Data enrichment is usually used to fill in the gaps in customer data and to provide more context for marketing, sales, and customer success teams. But that’s not all. Let’s go over some of the results you can expect from enriching your B2B data.

1. Remove inefficiencies and build pipeline faster

Bad sales data can hinder your ability to sell. First of all, false information can misdirect salespeople, causing them to spend time on fruitless activities. 

Imagine a salesperson sees that a lead is the VP of Marketing. Trusting this CRM data, they spend five minutes crafting a perfect cold email speaking to common issues senior marketers face. 

They send the email and follow-up multiple times but it’s all in vain. Unbeknownst to them, the VP actually became CEO a year ago and is now too high up the ladder to ever respond to a cold email about a marketing point solution.  

Data enrichment prevents such waste of effort. It ensures that salespeople are making decisions based on sound information. And this reduces inefficiencies and improves your pipeline velocity. 

2. Improve lead scoring and customer segmentation

Lead scoring is when you use demographic, behavioural, and other data types to assess each individual lead's qualification level. It helps you separate the wheat from the chaff. 

For this process to give you accurate results, however, you need to feed your lead scoring tool accurate data. 

A tool can’t judge a new lead’s qualification level if all it has on them is what they submitted in the contact form — usually just their name and email address. 

Data enrichment fills in these contact records with data that the tool can use to assign an accurate score. Additional information about leads improves the routing process as well.

On another note, your customer segmentation also improves when you take data enrichment seriously. You can easily divide buyers into similar groups based on specified attributes, like job title or company size. 

3. Reach the company’s decision-makers

Contact data enrichment helps you contact decision-makers in your target accounts in two ways. First, it ensures that you have access to their correct, up-to-date contact information, like direct phone numbers or emails.

Access to these empowers your sales team to bypass gatekeepers and switchboards.

Second, with intent data and selling signals that some data enrichment tools provide, you’ll have more visibility into the decision-makers' situation and company.

For example, you may find out when a new C-level executive is appointed or the company receives new funding. This knowledge empowers you to create personalised emails that get their attention. 

4. Deliver a tailored message

Customers and prospects all want tailored messages from the B2B brands they buy from. They want to feel like you know them and are privy to their specific needs. 

In fact, in a Salesforce survey, 73% of customers agreed with the statement, “I expect companies to understand my unique needs and expectations.” 

When you enrich marketing data, you’ll have more information about your buyers and be able to craft email campaigns, sales call scripts, and cold emails that anticipate their needs. 

For instance, technographics give you insights into a company's workflow, how it can be improved, and what pain points the company might be facing. You could then contact prospects with a solution that complements their workflow or offer to replace a competitor’s technology. 

5. Avoid compliance issues

Countries are instituting more regulations around B2B data compliance. It’s crucial that your business stays in line with these policies to avoid serious penalties and fines. 

By using a compliant data provider like Cognism, you can rest easy knowing that the B2B data you’re using has been lawfully sourced and processed. Check out the Cognism compliance checklist.

6. Increase email delivery and connection rates

Your CRM and other tools should always reflect any changes in your customers’ email addresses. Otherwise, you’ll send too many emails straight into the ether.

Consistently enriching your B2B data ensures that your contacts’ email addresses are up-to-date. And this leads to greater email delivery and connection rates.

How to automate the data enrichment process

Manually enriching data is painstaking work. Most B2B companies automate the data enrichment process with software. Below are some benefits of doing this. 

1. Segment and organise your data

Automated CRM data enrichment allows you to segment and organise your customer data into similar groupings. This improves your ability to create personalised campaigns.

For example, when running an email marketing campaign, you could divide your prospects into two groups — e.g., VPs of Marketing and C-Suite Executives — since you have each contact’s job title.

2. Personalise your outreach

When you have a 360-degree view of a lead and their company, it’s easier to tailor your sales and marketing outreach to the lead’s situation.

If, for example, you’re able to see that a lead has recently been promoted, you can open your cold call with something like this:

“I noticed you recently got a promotion. A lot of our buyers found us after being promoted to a managerial position.” This is a much better icebreaker than “How’ve you been?” 

With data, you can also more accurately predict a lead’s pain points. And you can include these in your cold email or cold call to spark their interest.  

These personalised messages will stand out because most companies lack the data to do it well. According to Gartner, approximately 14% of organisations have achieved a 360-degree view of their customers. 

3. Find the most valuable leads

Accurate data helps you identify leads that fit your ideal customer profile, and this empowers you to spend your precious time courting leads who love your solution, not on ones who just see your solution as a “nice to have”. 

You can even set up an automated lead scoring system that uses lead data to analyse each lead’s level of fit and passes only highly qualified ones to your sales team. 

When your sales team can focus on selling high-value leads, they’ll increase win rates, speed up the sales cycle, and improve customer retention and satisfaction. 

4. Recognise buying intent

By keeping you abreast of your customers’ online behaviour, enriching customer data help you spot buying intent and capitalise on it. 

For instance, you can learn that one of your target leads recently spent time researching competitors on a software review website. The sales rep can then swoop in and provide them with a case study or product comparison guide to help them with this research and win their favour.

5. Identify your ideal target audience

Enriching lead data helps you analyse and uncover the most common traits of your buyers. 

For example, a consulting firm might find that among their happiest customers — the ones who’ve been with them for over two years — the majority of them are 500-1000 employee companies.

Find enough commonalities like these and you can put them all together to improve an ideal customer profile, a description of your dream target company. 

You can then target companies that more or less fit this customer profile. It’s like if a sheriff had the drawing of their suspect sketched by Leonardo Da Vinci. 

6. Revive old sales leads in your CRM

Trigger events are great CRM data enrichment strategy. These are occurrences like promotions or office expansions that indicate a lead, who formerly dropped out of the funnel, may now be a good fit for your offer.  

For example, sales triggers might inform you that a big target company you haven’t heard from in a while recently opened a new office and doubled its workforce. For a savvy salesperson, that can be all they need to get their foot in the door. 

How to enrich B2B data?

Most companies enrich their B2B data using a data enrichment tool or sales intelligence software. To do this effectively, there are some steps you should follow. We highlight them below. 

1. Evaluate your existing data

Are there specific key data points that a lot of your B2B records are missing? Maybe you lack email addresses for your decision-makers or firmographic data about target companies, like their size and annual revenue numbers. 

Knowing which important data points are underserved by your current data will help you decide which tool to use, because each tool specialises in different types of data. 

For instance, one tool might have amazing intel on the software companies use. But it may lack cell phone number data

2. Segment the audiences to enrich

Many data enrichment software charge based on the number of records you want to enrich. To be cost-efficient, be selective about which audiences you enrich. 

Typically, the top priority is decision-makers from target companies. It’s also a good idea to focus on the already qualified ones. 

Knowing a cold lead’s job title is helpful but not as important as knowing the job title of a lead who’s been interacting with your brand on social media for months now. 

Another factor to consider is whether you have certain campaigns planned for a specific audience segment.

For instance, when I was in sales, we rolled out a new feature meant for NYC property management companies. We, therefore, needed data on these NYC decision-makers, so this is where the enrichment dollars went.

3. Pick a data enrichment tool

Find a data enrichment tool that automatically supplies you with the information you need about your target companies and contacts to sell and market effectively. 

It should also integrate with your CRM. That way it can update your current data to keep it accurate. Also, make sure it’s GDPR-compliant so that you avoid penalties. 

Do your due diligence before committing to a solution. Most companies will offer free demos where you can see the platform in action and ask questions to a product expert.

4. Rinse and repeat if necessary

Data decays quickly. B2B buyers change email addresses, get promoted, and switch companies often. To keep your database accurate, consistently enrich your B2B data as time goes on.

The right B2B data enrichment provider should refresh the data on a recurring basis so that you don’t have to worry about it.

What’s the difference between data enrichment and data cleansing?

Data cleansing replaces and removes inaccurate or useless data, but it doesn’t add new data points to your records. That’s where data enrichment comes in, supplementing your dataset with raw data from multiple sources.

Each plays a key role in the data hygiene process. For example, data cleansing could identify and remove an invalid email address. Then a data enrichment tool could find the real email address from a third-party source.

Why is complying with privacy laws important when enriching data?

You run the risk of incurring serious penalties for failing to follow privacy laws regarding B2B data. For example, breaking GDPR laws can cost your business up to 20 million euros or 4 % of your firm’s total revenue from the last fiscal year. 

That’s why it’s important to use a provider that is committed to collecting and processing data in compliance with laws in your target market.

How to evaluate data enrichment providers?

When evaluating a data enrichment provider, the main factors to consider are the company’s data accuracy, data enrichment attributes, GDPR/CCPA compliance, data verification methods (opt for manually verified), and integration capabilities with your tech stack. 

Also, find a tool that offers the data points that you need. If you need cell phone numbers, for example, find a tool that has this data. 

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