May 24, 2022 2:44 pm

Brett Shaw

Many successful businesses carry out both outbound and inbound marketing campaigns. Both ideally should complement each other when performed effectively. Within this article I will give advice on outbound sales and marketing campaigns and explain how you can turn cold data into hot leads and ultimately new clients.

So, let’s say you have a product/service, and you know exactly who will benefit from what you offer. However, to sell your product/service you need to get in front of key decision makers within practices that would likely purchase your item. To tell your story you need an audience that will listen. Where can you find these individuals?

It can be extremely costly to exhibit at trade events or even to take an advert within a magazine, doing this on the off chance the correct people see you and take the time to understand your message. So, you decide to deliver an outbound sales and marketing campaign, which ultimately is to grow your brand awareness, showcase thought leadership in the sector and most importantly, generate leads that turn into business.

Before you can deliver an effective outbound sales and marketing campaign, you firstly need to have in front of you a way of contacting individuals, that are the key buyers to the product/service you offer. Hopefully, you know exactly who your key target audience is, but even knowing this inside and out, you still need to know how and where to contact them.

Luckily, in B2B sales, you can contact an individual without them saying yes to an ‘opt-in’ if you have a legitimate business offer for them that you believe will help. You must understand however, that if an individual asks to not be contacted by you in the future or in other words ‘opts-out’ of being contacted by you, then you must respect their wishes and do not contact them again.

So, you have a product/service, and you have a great understanding of whom will benefit most from your product/service, and you now know that you want to reach these individuals with an outbound sales and marketing campaign. Next, you need quality data. This can be quite a daunting process and if you’re not careful, which can lose you a lot of time and money only to find out the data you have acquired, is not accurate or in-date. There are unfortunately a lot of data providers out there that have inaccurate and out-of-date contact details and they are happy to make a quick buck off you and move onto the next victim. I have had this done to me before and it stings. Fortunately, not all data providers are like this, and some can really help you when it comes to delivering an outbound sales and marketing campaign. Quality data is essential to being able to reach your key target audience without receiving tons of bounce-backs or undelivered mail weighing your campaign down.

How do you choose a quality data provider? Well, firstly you need to look at the industry you are in. The legal sector for example, is unique and different to other sectors. You may have a product/service that you know law firms can benefit from, but not all law firms are the same and there are many different job titles, practice areas, size of firms, etc that can make finding the correct contacts a minefield. You therefore need a data provider that is experienced within the sector you target. If you have a service for example ideal for a Conveyancing solicitor, there’s no point you are receiving a bunch of data where most of the solicitors specialise in other practice areas such as Family, Crime or Immigration. You need to reach heads of the Conveyancing department or at least Solicitors within the Conveyancing department. It’s the same as going to a networking event if your product/service is ideal only for a Solicitor that practices in Family law. There may be hundreds or even thousands of Solicitors at the event, great, but only a small percentage of them might be Family law related and how do you spot them? It’s like finding a needle in a haystack. Imagine targeting 5% of the legal sector and you receive data that covers 100% of the legal sector, you’ve essentially just wasted 95% of your budget. Find a data provider that knows the ins and outs of the sector you target so they can provide you with niche data that narrows in on your ideal key target audience, down to firm size, job titles, practice areas and more.

Next, what could help hugely is if the data provider you’re looking at offers some kind of free trial or a way of sampling the data before purchasing a huge amount. if you can’t see an example of the data they offer then chances are they aren’t offering quality data. However, beware, if they are only offering a tiny selection of data as a sample, you can’t be certain they don’t have a snippet of quality data only to provide you with a whole chunk of useless data afterwards. This was how I was burnt when I first purchased data for a business. I was given 10 contacts as an example, and they were exactly the type of individuals I was targeting. So, I purchase 2,000 more contacts only for 98% of them to be furniture companies. Unfortunately, I wasn’t offering interior design specifically for furniture stores. The data was completely useless to me and a total leap from who I was targeting. They took my money, and they ran. This was my first experience with a data provider. Make sure if they do offer a free example, it’s more like 50 records and not 10.

Also, look at what quality data they are offering. You’d like to think that if you are purchasing data, then the data will be accurate and up to date. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect 100% accuracy or at least above 95%. Some data providers say they provide money back on inaccurate data, however in the small print it says only after 70%. So, if you spent £1,000 on data, you’re basically throwing away almost a third of it. Data should be 100% accurate and up-to-date and if they can’t offer this, or the opportunity to replenish the records within 24 hours or even your money back on any data that’s incorrect, then move onto a different provider. You deserve the best quality, not 70%.

It might also help if the data provider can perform a cleanse on your existing data within your CRM system. You may already have thousands of contacts that you’ve already established are your ideal prospects, however, they have been sitting in your database getting stale for over a year. People move around all the time especially in the last 2 years, so if you haven’t kept your data cleansed it can be damaging to send out lots of communication to unknown addresses and can waste a lot of time and money. If a data provider can perform a cleanse on your database, then you will be in a much better position to contact the individuals and also purchase more data that complements contacts you already have.

One last thing that could help when purchasing data is having it in small instalments. Sometimes, if you’re planning on let’s say, getting your sales team to call through the contacts, there’s no point getting dumped 20,000 contacts on your desk and then it’s your job to keep it cleansed. Why not ask for a more reasonable amount per week/month depending on your teams’ capabilities. Getting sent through 200 per month could be easily enough and will allow you sales team to handle the workload much easier without the data getting colder.

When it comes to price, it needs to be reasonable however I wouldn’t choose the lowest priced data on the market. I would much rather have data that is accurate, up to date and targeted than a much cheaper bunch of data that is inaccurate, out of date and contacts that you aren’t even targeting. Quality is the most important thing to think about when it comes to data. Ideally, you want high quality data and competitive prices.

Finally, and as I will explain in later parts of this blog, data is just a small part of delivering a highly successful outbound sales and marketing campaign. As discussed, it is a vital part however there are plenty more layers to think about and potentially you need help with. You may now be able to get sent the best quality data on the market, at a reasonable and affordable price, by a supplier that knows your industry, however, the questions that follow could leave you on pause. There’s no point having high quality data if you don’t know what to do with it, or don’t have the resources to. If you haven’t got several sales, marketing, and admin staff then it could prove difficult to have the time and opportunity to follow up on the data you are sent. People move around all the time and within 2 – 3 months even, the data you have been given could be almost useless.

SCV Bespoke is not just a data provider, we are experienced within the legal industry and with outbound sales and marketing campaigns, which means we are qualified to help not only deliver you 100% accurate and up to date quality data but also help you utilise the data effectively and reach your key target audience, build relationships with them, and ultimately generate more sales.

Why not use our ‘Build a sales plan’ function on our website, answer a few short questions and we will send to you within 48hrs, an in-depth sales and marketing campaign, which I like to call an Engagement plan, which will help you turn cold data into hot leads and ultimately new clients.

Coming next – part 2 – Utilising the data effectively