With the spring season upon us, there's no better time than the present for business-to-business (B2B) companies to analyze and update their databases. If your company uses a database of prospects to generate sales leads, you should clean it regularly to maintain its quality. Even the best databases will grow stagnant over time, resulting in lower email converstions, poor telemarketing efficiency, and a frustrated business development team. So, how do you know when it's time to clean up your B2B prospect database?
It Contains Outdated Entries
If your B2B database contains old, outdated entries, it's time to clean it up. According to KissMetrics, the average email list contains roughly 60% inactive subscribers. That means more than half of the prospects lists are not going to read or otherwise respond to emails. Allowing your B2B database to become cluttered with outdated entries will only hurt your efforts to reach new prospects.
It Contains Duplicate Entries
Here's a scenario to consider: you add a lead to your database but fail to convert him or her into a paying customer. One year later and you add this lead back to your database, resulting in a duplicate entry. When duplicates such as this occur, it results in an efficient sales process, as salespersons must sift through the same entries. This is why it's important for B2B companies to clean up their databases and remove duplicate entries. The make matter worse, perhaps you have multiple campaigns designed for leads and active accounts... If you have 2 lead records in your system, there is a good chance they will be recieving both campaigns.
It Contains Inaccurate Information
Conventional wisdom should tell you that a lead isn't beneficial if it contains inaccurate information. Something as simple as a missed letter in a prospect's email address, for instance, could result in your promotional messages being returned back to sender (you). Or if your email campaigns include personalization, how do you think your email is viewed by a prospect if you have their first name misspelled?
Inaccurate lead information is an all-too-common problem among B2B companies. However, you can overcome this issue by validating your leads before attempting your sales calls and correspondences. Go through your database and verify prospects' contact information, checking to make sure it's accurate and without any discrepancies.
Unqualified Prospects aren't Segmented
While not every prospect is going to buy your product or service during, you should have a campaign specifically for prospects who consistently reject your offer; maybe your messaging is more passive, or a long-term content plan. Regardless, if prospects have continued to say “no,” you should be handling them differnetly that the more qualified prospects in your database.