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Data Sourcing Types And Best Practices

There’s no shortage of companies out there providing sales and marketing data to B2B businesses.

However, how do you know which one is the best? These vendors will use different methods to compile their data, but the quality of their data will vary greatly.

You need the highest-quality B2B data to facilitate effective B2B lead generation, producing the qualified leads that your salespeople can then turn into customers.

In this article, we’re going to talk about data sourcing, explaining what you need to look for when bringing data into your organisation.

What is data sourcing?

Data sourcing refers to the methods the vendors use to extract and integrate data from different sources to create lead lists. Broadly speaking, there are three types of B2B data sources:

  • Compiled data
  • Crowd-sourced data
  • Self-reported data

Let’s look at each of these in turn.

Compiled data

Compiled data is sourced from a variety of sources over time, then merged and packaged up to sell to B2B sales teams.

The problem with compiled sales and marketing data is that on average, the profiles will be 18 months old when the vendor compiles them. So, when they sell the information on to B2B businesses like yours, the profiles will be even older.

This can lead to big problems with data accuracy. The average person changes jobs 10-15 times during their career.  A lot can happen in the 12-24 months between the data being correct and it reaching your sales team’s CRM.

People can change jobs or move companies. Businesses can be acquired or even cease trading during that time. That leaves a great deal of room for error.

Crowd-sourced data

Crowd-sourced data is collected from a group of people. Often, contributors are offered incentives to input their data into the wider data pool. In marketing, this data is usually lists of contacts.

Crowd-sourced data also has significant margins for error. The data that goes in is only as reliable as the source that inputs it.

Plus, pieces of data can conflict with each other, so how do you know what is right or wrong? For example, six data sources could give information on the same profile, but they could all be incorrect or out of date. 

Self-reported data

Self-reported data is information that the subject has contributed themselves. For example, a LinkedIn profile contains information that the subject has provided willingly.

Self-reported data is more likely to be accurate and current. Therefore, it’s the most reliable method of data sourcing for sales and marketing data.

However, even when you’re buying in self-reported data to generate leads, you must find out how often they update their database. Even self-reported data is not worth much if it’s more than two years old.

Want to know more about B2B data? Watch this helpful 6-minute video:

How do you source data?

When shopping around for B2B data sources companies turn to B2B data providers. Here are some tips to bear in mind when choosing your data source:

  • What do you want? – Be clear on the criteria for your data. If you want your leads to be in a particular industry, or in a specific location, make sure you tell your vendor.
  • How and when was your data collected? – Self-reported data is more reliable. The more recently it was collected, the better.
  • Can you test the data? – The best vendors offer you a chance to test the data for a short period. This is your opportunity to assess its reliability.
  • What’s the price? – Data is an area where you get what you pay for. You will find vendors that are offering lists exceptionally cheaply, pennies per lead. This is not likely to be accurate data, meaning the money you save is worthless.

Dangers of sourcing bad data

Sourcing bad data when generating leads results in inefficient B2B sales and marketing campaigns.

We know that the older your data is, the less likely it is to be accurate. Every lead you contact where the person has changed roles or left the company wastes time for the salesperson.

Around a third of customer and prospect data goes out of date every year. Because they don’t refresh their data often enough, most sales teams are using data that is up to 60% out of date. This creates significant problems for B2B marketing and sales teams.

When scaling a B2B company, it’s essential that you find new customers quickly; for that, you need the highest quality data possible.

Talk to Cognism today

At Cognism, we pride ourselves on providing the best quality data in the marketplace. With our two flagship products, we help B2B sales teams find customers quickly, with data that is well-sourced and up-to-the-minute.

With Prospector you can:

  • Calculate your Total Addressable Market from Cognism’s global database of 400 million business profiles and 10 million companies.
  • Work with an evolving B2B database, managed by Cognism’s patented Revenue AI engine.
  • Gain access to high-quality, actionable B2B data, gathered from a wide variety of public and private sources.

Data sourcing tips for marketing and sales success -  book your demo with Cognism

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