What is B2B Contact Data?
B2B contact data refers to information about decision makers in companies, including their email addresses and phone numbers. Such information helps us to market our services and products effectively to those that would be interested and turn them into leads.
Companies small and large, local, and international, from all sorts of industries, are looking to get into contact with other companies to sell their products & services or establish meaningful business partnerships. Usually, the first contact between companies nowadays happens remotely, via phone or email. Marketers often take the help of B2B contact data providers to get access to the contact information of people in their desired prospect organizations.
What is B2B contact data for, and who uses it?
Access to accurate and complete details about customers and prospects has become crucial for every marketer. There are loads of use cases for B2B contact data. Usually, it’s being used by marketing and sales organizations, as they need access to a high quantity and quality of B2B contacts.
Marketing organizations leverage the contact lists for their lead qualification and scoring purposes.
Marketers use B2B Contact databases to boost their Email campaigns fast, push personalized content and messages to business leads based on the different attributes, such as company size, country, the title of the contact person, and so on.
Sales teams also need contact information to fill their pipelines. Managers can also generate excellent business intelligence insights for future marketing campaigns and sales outreaches by combining contact datasets with others, such as intent data. This enrichment process will create leads that are highly qualified and have a high probability of converting.
What are the typical B2B Contact Data attributes?
B2B contact data consist of various attributes. The need for specific elements is often dependent on the use case. For example, whether the outreach happens over the phone or via email, the data buyer should know its objective beforehand. At the moment, we see many buyers searching for b2b email lists and decision maker’s phone numbers.
Often, relevant business contact data attributes are:
- Type of company (Public, Education, Private, Government or Non-Profit)
- Company size (number of employees, annual revenue, annual profit)
- Company industry (industry category, industry name, NAICS code, SIC code)
- Company geography (region, country, state, city, zip code, metro region).
Some might argue that these attributes relate to firmographics, which is true. The two data types are often intertwined and/or used together.
Depending on the use case, at least one direct contact person should be assigned to each company. For that person, you want to have a full name, honorifics (Mr., Mrs., Dr.), e-mail address, the position in the company (VP of marketing, CTO), and mostly optional the phone number. The variety of attributes help you to collect for that contact person will play directly to the quality of outreach you will be able to perform.
How are B2B Contact Data Sets collected?
When it comes to collecting B2B contacts, data providers use various methodologies to fill their B2B database. Even marketers have been continually coming up with innovative ways to garner customer data. The process typically begins with defining buyer personas and ends with customer satisfaction surveys.
Primary data collection sources for data aggregators in the B2B field are trade shows, events, conferences, government records and listings, annual reports, B2B directory partnerships, business and trade magazine subscriptions, and many more. Other B2B customer contact data collection sources may be B2B portals, blogs, opt-ins from email marketing campaigns or surveys, and feedback forms.
B2B companies also use powerful data analysis tools like Hotjar, Mixpanel, Databox, Chartmogul, Klipfolio to collect important data. B2B Marketing data analytics helps marketers to see the progress of their campaigns across different channels and later, thus optimize for the best ROI.
A customer survey is another powerful way to collect qualitative B2B contact data about your customers. Rather than beginning with time-consuming surveys, smart business is nowadays integrating small surveys into their official website. It helps them to get crucial details of the targeted user without putting much effort.
While data collection from tradeshows and events can count for a lot of manual labor, online web scraping for contact information is more scalable. It has become a common practice among third-party data aggregators.
What any potential data buyer should know up-front is whether their data provider pulls the contacts out of a static contact list or if they run real-time processes to validate the accuracy of the data sets. Data providers that run real-time verification can guarantee a higher data quality than vendors that don’t.
How to start the data acquisition process?
When looking to acquire a database of company contacts, your organization should internally align on several questions:
- What data attributes do we need?
- Who will use this data?
- What is the purpose of this data?
- How much data do we actually need?
- What is our budget for acquiring this data?
- Will we need this data only once, or are we looking for a long-term partnership with a data provider?
Taking the time to think about these questions is critical as it helps you find the best data vendor for your specific needs. Once you find the answer to those questions, define the potential ROI of the contact data acquisition. This will also help your organization to justify the budget internally. You can use the ROI to benchmark dataset quality; Are these contacts relevant for our business, do they drive ROI? Do they match our ideal customer profile?
What challenges to expect when buying B2B contact data?
A challenge that many looking to acquire B2B contact data often face in the first place is identifying data providers that offer B2B contact data. This often takes a lot of workforce and is a costly process for companies. Once you identify relevant data providers, the next challenge is to check whether their data offering matches your current needs.
For example, if the data provider does not have information about your industry, they obviously are not the right one for you. Therefore, you should definitely request a sample from each data vendor that you are considering to engage in a partnership with.
How to evaluate the quality of the B2B contact data?
Quality means a great deal. In a recent survey of marketing and sales directors of B2B companies, 50% said they were not confident in their B2B contact data quality, and only 11% said they were extremely confident. This lack of trust in data quality undermines the potential business impact that marketing and sales departments can get from contact lists.
Additionally, it was found that B2B contact data decays every month by 2.1% in light of the natural turnover that occurs in companies. That turnover is even higher for middle management. The research found that up to 25% of contact data sets can be flawed. 3 most common aspects that negatively affect the data quality of B2B contacts include:
A typical attribute that is prone to be invalid in B2B contact data is office location, as the specific contact may be sitting in a local office and not at the company’s HQs. Also, company size or revenue measures may be inaccurate if not regularly updated. Employee turnover additionally leads to invalid data of B2B contacts, as already mentioned.
When fields in the database remain empty, it affects filtering through the database and creating sub-sets massively. Let’s take an example of a marketing campaign targeted at specific company industries. But when those data are missing for a high percentage of entries, it reduces the impact of the campaign tremendously. Similarly, business intelligence cannot derive as much value when analyzing and dissecting the contact list for different attributes.
This error can be defined by having the same contact repeated in the table. This is an issue for marketing organizations because it could lead to the same person receiving the message twice. Often times, duplicate data comes from poor formatting, where the same company could have different spellings.
E.g., Nestle and Nestlé or Procter & Gamble and P&G. The cost associated with those duplicates comes from manually going through the database and filtering out the duplicates, which could justify choosing a different provider and paying a higher price for better quality.
To evaluate the offering of the data provider, you should definitely ask for a sample for your required data attributes. If the data vendor does not provide one, this can be a sign of poor quality. Besides asking for a sample, a list of reference customers of the data provider can be a good indicator of quality. Ask for a name and contact information for the reference.
How is B2B Contact Data Priced?
You can find multiple pricing models in the data market. Pricing often depends on the nature of the use case you are having in your hands. Options vary from monthly, quarterly, or annual licensing fees to pay per batch and custom quotes.
We see custom quotes provided to large enterprises. While the prices for B2B contact data can vary a lot, depending on the region, the seniority of the contacts, the quality, and many other factors, $1 could get you as many as 4 B2B contacts that your growth teams can leverage in their daily work.
Questions to ask your B2B contact data provider
When taking an in-depth look at your data provider, it’s best to consider the 6 V’s (Volume, Velocity, Veracity, Variety, Value, and Validate). It will ensure that you have a high-quality business list. Here are the key questions you might want to ask your data provider:
- How much of your data come from one source?
- Which attributes of B2B contact data does your dataset cover?
- How and where do you collect the diverse data sets?
- How do you verify and guarantee the quality of the data?
- How do you integrate with our current CRM technologies? (e.g., Pipedrive, Salesforce)
- Do you use software processes to validate new information?
- Do you perform regular data updates?
- Do you depend on web scraping when it comes to compiling new data?
- Can you offer me a few data samples?
Tip: Digital marketers must craft a detailed ordering methodology to boost the chances that the data they get is what they are looking for. If you need rich data and better coverage, its best to choose a custom list complier. They generate a tailored list as per our needs, typically via a mixture of outbound contact and internet reach.
When you know the vital details about the agencies and contacts you are targeting, you get a better chance to engage your leads and turning them to permanent customers to have better sales. Statistics show that sales and marketing departments lose nearly 550 hours from the use of bad data. So, make sure your business carefully creates and maintains high-quality B2B contact data.
Get all your data and lead information from only a trusted source. Best b2b contact data providers frequently update and verify data to ensure that you get only the highest quality leads. List b2b companies in your area and take the help of the most reliable one to outreach your marketing efforts.