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Why your revenue team needs contact data

June 3, 2021

Welcome to the first entry in an exclusive new series on the Cognism blog! 

Over the coming weeks and months, we’re going to cover things like…

  • How contact data fuels your marketing campaigns and speeds up sales.
  • How to get the most out of your CRM data.
  • Easy steps for building a contact database in record time.
  • The data your team needs in its CRM, right now.

It’s time to Get down and data!

Start your journey by scrolling 👇 or using the menu to zip 🏃 to a section.

What is contact data? | The five types of contact data | Where does contact data come from? | What happens if your revenue team uses bad contact data? | How can you spot if your team is using bad data? | How do you bring quality contact data into your organisation? | How revenue teams can align around the data they use | The benefits that quality contact data can bring to your revenue team | Cognism: the real sales intelligence solution


What is contact data?

Put simply, contact data is all the nuggets of information you can gather about prospects and customers. Things like names, email addresses, phone numbers (more on them later).

It’s the fuel that keeps your lead generation engine motoring along – after all, without contact data, you’ll never know who your team should be targeting, and how.

So it almost goes without saying that your revenue team (that’s sales and marketing combined) needs to be working with the highest quality contact data.

And throughout this series, we’re going to show you how to do just that.

But first, a little data 101.

The five types of contact data

In B2B, there are five types of contact data. They are:

  • Demographic data – the most basic type of contact data. This category includes names, email addresses, phone numbers, location, employment and skills.
  • Firmographic data – contact information for organisations. This category includes company name, location, industry, headcount and revenue information such as ARR.
  • Technographic data – the types of tech and software your prospects use on an everyday basis. This is gold dust for B2B revenue teams selling cloud-based products and SaaS.
  • Chronographic data – often called sales triggers, this is data that refers to an event which could signify the prospect is ready to buy. Examples include a company location move, company acquisition, new funding rounds and a new recruitment drive.
  • Intent data – the latest and greatest type of contact data. Intent data tracks the online behaviour of web users and makes predictions based on the content they consume.

Where does contact data come from?

Contact data is collected in two ways.

The first is public sources – where data is freely available, such as websites, LinkedIn, blogs, press releases and videos. Contact data from public sources tends to be incomplete and unreliable.

The second is private sources – where data is kept away from public view, such as websites behind paywalls, financial and market intelligence or data as a service (DaaS) providers like Cognism. Contact data from private sources is usually reliable and highly actionable.

What happens if your revenue team uses bad contact data?

Using inaccurate or out-of-date contact data can lead to serious problems for your revenue team.

Just check these out 👇

  • Reduced productivity – that’s your salespeople wasting valuable time researching and trying to contact prospects who have changed roles or even left the company.
  • Inability to build a connection with prospects – without high-quality data, your marketers will struggle to provide the easy, personalised customer experiences that today’s buyers demand.
  • Low morale – if your revenue team are wasting time and not achieving results (and not earning commission!), they will feel frustrated and undervalued. Your staff churn will be high, which opens up a whole massive can of worms!

So you can see how having bad contact data is about much more than just cold calling the wrong people. It can have a real, lasting, material effect on your business, from signing new deals all the way to hiring new staff.

How can you spot if your team is using bad data?

Look for warning signs that show you if your contact data needs an overhaul. 

This is the Cognism checklist:

  • Is your CRM full of gaps where there’s no information? 
  • Does your marketers’ content fail to connect with prospects? 
  • Do your salespeople call or email prospects only to find that they’ve left the company? 
  • Is this leading to drops in productivity and revenue?

If the answer to all these is “yes!”, it’s time to start improving your contact data.

How do you bring quality contact data into your organisation?

There are so many B2B contact data providers in the marketplace, all saying that they’re the biggest or the most accurate. How do you know who to choose?

It’s simple - by judging each provider on these criteria:




  • Make sure the data comes from well-known, reputable sources. 
  • Data that has been self-entered (e.g. LinkedIn) is most likely to be correct.


  • What can you do with your contact data?
  • For example, how many data points can you filter down to make an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)?

Sales triggers

  • Are your prospects in buying mode?
  • Ensure your data can tell you when your prospects are likely to be interested in receiving a call.


  • The best contact data contains a large number of data points.
  • With deep contact data, you can find out as much as possible about your prospects.


  • Does the data show the intent of your prospects?
  • What’s their readiness to buy?


  • Your data must comply with regulations such as the GDPR and CCPA.
  • The systems you use to store that data must also be in compliance.

How revenue teams can align around the data they use

Once you’ve sourced a reputable provider, and you’ve got quality contact data in your organisation, it’s time to move to the next level.

Your salespeople and marketers can (and must) use the same data to inform their decision-making. It’s optimal to develop a B2B data strategy that works for each part of your revenue team.

There are several attributes your data strategy must have in order to be successful.

  • Your data strategy must align with your company’s broader objectives. How is your data going to help you achieve goals and reach milestones?
  • Have a plan to install the data and any accompanying tech. Your RevOps team will be the guides at this stage.
  • Devise a process for your revenue team to access the data – and how each team and individual will use it.
  • Provide ongoing training and education to your team around issues of B2B data compliance.
  • Develop procedures for data enrichment. Contact data is never static; you must review and update it regularly.
  • Codify a playbook for evaluating the impact of your data on the organisation, including ROI.

With these components in place, your revenue team can reap the many benefits high-quality contact data can bring.

Speaking of which...

The benefits that quality contact data can bring to your revenue team

When you have excellent quality data in your revenue team, you immediately gain a number of key advantages.

B2B marketers will be able to create a narrow, detailed ICP. Then, they will find it easier to craft customer-centric, personalised content which speaks to your ICP’s actual pain points and truly connects with them. 

Data will also point you in the right direction regarding which channels you should be distributing your content on.

For B2B sales teams, better contact data means salespeople can spend more time talking to prospects and less time struggling to connect. You’ll also be able to take advantage of sales triggers and intent data that give you something to talk about with your prospect, at a time when they’re most receptive. 

It will also help you craft your pitch in a highly targeted way, so you can address the exact pain points that your prospects are feeling right now.

Cognism: the real sales intelligence solution

Remember the judging criteria from above? 

Cognism meets all six ☑️


Our company and contact data is updated in real-time:

  • Cognism’s patented AI refreshes up to 800K data points every day.
  • We employ a team of data scientists and analysts to ensure accuracy.


Cognism is designed with revenue teams in mind. Our data helps:

  • Sales - prospect predictably with better data.
  • Marketing - never worry about finding ‘net new’ contacts again.
  • Go-to-market - drive efficiencies and expand into new markets.
  • RevOps - fuel your revenue engine with clean, consistent data.

Sales triggers

Our platform provides several event-based triggers, including:

  • Contact events - location move, job join, job leave.
  • Company events - funding, IPO, acquisition, appearances and hiring.


We’re the largest global B2B database:

  • 400M contacts.
  • 15M global companies.
  • 7K intent topics.


We’ve partnered with Bombora, the leading intent data provider:

  • Our data is sourced from their consent-based co-operative.
  • Move beyond simply ‘WHO’ to target, to ‘WHEN’ to target.


We’re committed to full compliance with international data regulations:

  • Registered with the ICO, the UK regulator.
  • Partnered with a top legal firm to ensure ongoing compliance.

Sign up for a demo of the world’s best sales intelligence platform 👇