For good or bad, data fuels all your sales and marketing outreach efforts. In order to run a profitable company, it is imperative to work in relationship with your prospect and customer. That’s why you should take benefit of the data you receive from them. As a result, creating and maintain a sales and marketing database to generate more qualified leads is the best course of action.
But before we go any further, first figure out your primary goal for creating a sales and marketing database. Like, are you trying to create a database from scratch? Are you working on to increase the size of your existing database? How do you find your prospects easily? How do you verify the accuracy of your data? Is building a database is cost-effective?
Maybe these questions are too much for you, especially since you are already in the process of figuring out how to build your sales and marketing database. But, the answer of these questions is very important as these answers will ensure you don’t have to come back and start building your database again from scratch whenever you encounter an issue in your first attempt.
Once you have answered these questions, building a sales and marketing database is quite easy then.
But, first what is a sales and marketing database? A sales and marketing database is the collection of data for each prospect and customer that is relevant to your company. The relevancy depends on the nature of your company and your specific requirements.
So, a sales and marketing database can have contact data, firmographic data, transaction data, etc. The type of data you request from your prospect and customer depends on your goal and how do you intend to use it.
What is the goal of your sales and marketing database?
Since you are building your sales and marketing database from scratch, it is quite imperative to know your goal.
Didn’t ring any bell! Don’t worry we have got you covered. Just consider the following;
- Who is going to use your database (just you, just your team, or several departments)?
- Do you have an inside sales team or are you planning to create one?
- Do you have an outside sales team? If yes, will they be using the data?
- Are you building this database for a specific purpose or an event?
How do you intend to use your sales and marketing database?
Who from your company is going to use this database, and for what reasons? Is this database going to be used for “direct email campaign”, “outbound marketing campaigns”, or “promotion of an event” or “are you just trying to build a database”?
How do you intend to use your database now and in the future will affect how you create your data strategy.
Why is it important to build a sales and marketing database?
Having relevant data about your prospects and customers, from their contact data to intent data to their specific preferences enables you to;
Generate more qualified sales lead: It helps you to get more qualified sales lead and as a result close more deals using various techniques like email marketing, remarketing, telemarketing, etc.
Offer personalized communication: You can now send personalized messages to each prospect and customer depending on their needs, specific requirements, or interest available in your database.
Keep your prospect and customers informed: You can build a strong relationship with your prospect and customer by keeping them informed about your special offers, your loyalty program, or any other important news.
Provide quality assistance: Thanks to your highly valuable sales and marketing database, now you can give them quality care and assist them according to their specific requirement using the communication channels of their preference.
What type of data you should collect for your sales and marketing database?
There are three major aspects of data that mostly determine the type of data you should collect. These are;
It enables you to collect hard data or specific data of your real prospects and customers. You can register the name of your prospect and customers, their postal address, email address, payment information, transaction information, what they purchased, when they purchased, their overall experience, etc.
Apart from being the virtual office of your company, your website is a valuable and complete source of information to get specific information about your targeted audience. Meaning, those people who are genuinely interested in your proposals regarding your online offers.
And using analytics tools, you can learn more about who visits your website, where did they come from, how long did they stayed on your website, which web pages of your website have they explored, and many more.
Your social channels
Social channels are a great way to create engagement and build fruitful relationships with your prospects and customers. Apart from this, social channels are an excellent source of information for your sales and marketing database.
It is also a great way to improve your content marketing strategy as you can see the impact for each of your post and for various types of content. As a result, you will be able to determine what your target audience likes.
Now that you understand the huge benefits of having a sales and marketing database, let’s discuss the best ways to build your sales and marketing database and start filling your sales pipeline;
Buying access to a database
This is the most simple, easiest, quick, and arguably the most popular method to build a sales and marketing database.
You can easily buy access to a verified and accurate database from companies (like Infotanks Media) that includes verified email addresses, phone numbers, job title, and many more, all from people within your target market. Although, the pricing could vary a lot based on whether you are buying access to a technology generated database of names and numbers or entire database that has human verified accuracy. The pricing will also vary based on the volume of the database and the time period for which you want access to their database.
This is the best course of action, especially when you have a tight budget and intend to use it for a longer time.
Manually build your database
If you are working in the industry where contact data is publically available (like city or state governments) or have to work on a very tight budget initially, it could be a good idea to manually build your sales and marketing database.
But, before we go any further, ensure that you have access to a significant amount of data.
Also, this is the most cost-effective method to build your sales and marketing database, especially if you consider yourself to be a small business or bootstrapped startup.
Now, one could easily wonder why not use this method to build a database in the first place or all the time.
The reason to do so is time and resources. Doing infinite searches on the internet for email addresses and phone numbers is highly time-consuming and a quick way to build your sales and marketing database with bad data from the beginning. Building an effective and large enough database that could fill your sales funnel may take several months or even years.
Once you have successfully build your sales and marketing database, you will have to consider the price of cleaning and verifying your database before you start to use it for any outreach purpose.
But, if you lack the expertise, time or resources to clean and verify your sales and marketing database, it would be a wise idea to buy a data cleaning services and then do periodic maintenance to get the most value out of your sales and marketing database. Periodic maintenance of your sales and marketing database will also add to the total cost of building your sales and marketing database. And periodic maintenance of any B2B database is imperative (if you want to keep the quality and accuracy intact) as more 30% of all your B2B contact data decays annually.
Pay Per contact or buy a list
You can easily find many companies (like Infotanks Media) that let you purchase data on per contact basis. It is the most simple and approach to quickly build your sales and marketing database and also saves you a lot of time. As a result, many companies are building their sales and marketing database for long-term and for specific events. This method is also great for companies on a tight budget and wants the most out of their investment.
This is the ideal option if you are planning a targeted campaign. You can choose the industry, job title, location, departments, and many more, and then get the list of contacts you want to target in your targeted campaign.
But, before you purchase your list form any company, ensure they are a legitimate company by visiting their website, LinkedIn page, or by talking to a real person of their company on the phone.
Always ask for a sample of their data and understand how they collect data. Then after checking their sample data for the total number of data fields, and accuracy, only then close the deal.
Using inbound marketing
This is the best option to build your sales and marketing database, if you have relevant and informative contents like blogs, podcasts, e-books, reports, webinars, etc, as part of your inbound marketing efforts. You can leverage your content marketing efforts and use web-forms to collect contact data of your prospects and customers and then add them to your sales and marketing database.
The best part of using this method is that you will have highly engaged contacts that are interested in your company as they have been added to your sales and marketing database organically and have given you their explicit permission.
Inbound marketing is a great addition to any database building strategy and should always be used if possible (meaning if you have an inbound marketing strategy in place).
But, it could not be your thing if you are on a tight budget and don’t have an existing inbound marketing in place. As building an inbound marketing strategy requires an upfront cost, resource, and time as well.
Apart from this, it is a quite slow process to build your sales and marketing database and at the same time may have significant user-generated errors.
You can build your sales and marketing database using your inbound marketing in the following way;
Questionnaires and surveys
Engage with your audience through surveys and questionnaires using different channels like social channels (Example; LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc) and emails.
Ask for their contact details
Always ask for contact details like email address, phone number, and their address from your customer during the buying process.
Carry out contest
Using your social channels and emails, carry out contests among your audience where they can participate to win by entering their contact details and answering a few questions or doing an activity. See the below examples;
Add subscription forms
Add subscription form on your website and blogs, so that people who are interested in your company and want to subscribe to your newsletters can easily do so by submitting your subscription form. See the below image from TechCrunch that is placed at the end of their blogs;
Incentivize new subscribers:
Offer something to your new subscribers in exchange for their contact information. You can promote on your social channels and your website to offer your audience a discount or some other lucrative offer when they subscribe to your newsletter.
Top three profitable uses of your sales and marketing database
You would have understood by now that the data you collect from your prospects and customers and the method used to collect these data are very diverse. So, the best way to use your sales and marketing database are quite diverse and depends mostly on your creativity. Although, we have shortlisted the top three uses for your sales and marketing database;
Database marketing is the collection, analysis, and interpretation of prospect and customer data to drive better customer experiences.
One of the best ways to use your sales and marketing database is for your sales and marketing strategies. A major part of it is, understanding the purchase habits, demographics data, and psychological attitudes of your prospects and customers to build your ideal customer profile (ICP).
An ICP allows you to optimize your existing sales and marketing strategies and at the same time enables you to create new strategies that resonate with each type of buyer category and allows you to build product or service developed specifically for a buyer category.
Parallel, after creating your buyer categories you should leverage your email marketing channel to send highly personalized emails to various groups of prospects and customers.
Sales and marketing foresight
A highly strategic way to use your sales and marketing database for boosting your sales and marketing efforts is by predicting your prospects and customers behaviors based on their past engagement with your company.
For example; If you sell analytics software, you can collect information about all the companies that are offering the same products, what’s your daily sales average and then compare it with your
market study to develop an understanding about your position in the current market situation and what you can aspect in the near future.
Understanding buying habits
Understanding the buying habits of your customers is the analysis of purchase, which was made by buying any of your product or service by your customers and how they made their purchase decision. This comes quite handy in optimizing the user interface of your product or service website to sell more using cross-selling and up-selling.
Irrespective of how you choose to build your sales and marketing database, it is very important to re-check and update your database periodically (three months is recommended) to ensure you get the most out of your every campaign.
To quickly build your database or to rapidly grow your database, contact Infotanks Media today!