Too many businesses seem to think that maintaining the quality of the database can be managed by the sales team and the accounting group. While in absolute terms this might be a bigger problem in smaller businesses without a budget to purchase data hygiene and append services on a regular basis, large organizations could probably save a small fortune in data costs if everyone working with the data took some measure of responsibility for it’s management.
Last week I spoke with a company executive who truly seemed to believe that because the sales team was actively working the prospect database of some 10,000 businesses, they could expect a 90% accuracy rate. How do you tell someone that they’re delusional?
According to Netprospex, the average B2B database decays at a rate of 2% a month, which means that in a year, one quarter of your contact information is useless unless it is regularly maintained. If you believe that your sales people can adequately manage that job in addition to the real reason you have them on the payroll- which is to sell- then I suggest you sit yourself down with a calculator, look realistically at how many different companies they have contact with in a year and you’ll start to get an idea of how ugly your prospecting base might be if you lift up the lid and look in the box. Not to mention that sales teams are not exactly renowned for their meticulous attention to detail.
Make your data everyone’s concern. With well distributed and clear standards for how data should be entered, no one who accesses the data base is too big or too small to contribute in small ways, like tagging/flagging duplicates, filling in fields that they might have the information for and correcting simple, obvious errors.
If, like many businesses, your database is key to the success of your marketing and sales programs, everyone benefits when the information is improved.