Category Archives: Business Data Management

Introducing ZoomInfo Email Validation

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An automated and low-cost option, email marketing has become a major arrow in the demand generation quiver. Since the average business spends $150,000 to generate 1000 leads – at a $150 per lead – maximizing campaign value really rests on where your email communications go, namely to the in-boxes of the right people.

Until now, when a contact left a business there was no way to ensure that future email campaigns wouldn’t be sent to them. Undeliverable emails run the risk of ruining your reputation and the effectiveness of your campaigns, because emails aren’t going to where they’re supposed to.

But that was until now.

Today ZoomInfo is pleased to unveil the newest offering in our spectrum of Data Services, ZoomInfo Email Validation, so you never have to worry about your reputation or deliverability again.

What is ZoomInfo Email Validation?

Step One: We will take your email marketing contact database and run a live deliverability test, checking (without emailing) that each email address has an in-box attached to it that can receive emails. We will then report back to you which emails are valid and which are not.

Step Two: For the invalid emails, we will harness the power of the ZoomInfo database of 5 million businesses and 50 million professionals to cleanse your database by the following:

  • Updating your existing email contacts where applicable
  • Providing new email contacts to replace invalid ones
  • Approximating new contacts at the same company and in the same position
  • Locating existing contacts who have moved on to new companies, and providing the new information

Step Three: You get a complete, updated and verified contact database to power your demand generation campaigns!

It needs to be noted that ZoomInfo continuously runs the same validation process on every email in our entire database to ensure deliverability.  No matter the size of your database, this is the solution you have been waiting for!

Ready to talk to ZoomInfo? Click the link for a Data Consultation today!

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ZoomInsights

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Today we launched what will be the first of many editorial features that will offer real, actionable insights into sales and marketing automation and database quality issues.

Our first ZoomInsight feature is on the “10 Steps to Avoid Spam Filters…and Protect Your Company’s Reputation.” In it we feature tips from industry leaders that you can take directly to your email campaigns to make them stronger, more productive and less likely to end up in the spam folder.

Check back as we update and post more ZoomInsights!

Click the link for more information on ZoomInfo’s Products and Services.

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Best-in-Class with ZoomInfo

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The voracious pace of information consumption brought on by the evolution of technology makes it increasingly difficult for a company to make market inroads, establish brand and eventually translate increased efforts into sales and revenue. In the high stakes of modern sales intelligence the difference between “Average” and “Best-in-Class” enterprises can mean millions of dollars in lost productivity, revenue and perhaps eventually a company’s existence.

In attempting to cut through the noise and stand above the rest, the core issue often boils down to simply connecting with the right people more often than your competitors do. The major key to this, other than a motivated sales staff, is possessing more accurate and detailed data than that of your competition.

A recent report issued by the Aberdeen Group draws insights from two of its research papers, Streamlining the Top of the Funnel: How Inside Sales Teams Source, Qualify and Close Business (March 2010) and Email Marketing: Customers Take it Personally (December 2010) where data was collected on the behavior and performance of ZoomInfo customers as well as other Best-in-Class companies.

Of the 319 end-user organizations providing information for the research, 30 companies indicated utilizing ZoomInfo as their provider of sales intelligence and showed that they improved their performance around various Key Performance Indicators as compared to the rest of the firms polled:

The findings show that ZoomInfo customers saw year-over-year increases that beat the industry average in overall company revenue, average deal size and saw increases in key aspects of sales team quota achievement. In addition, Aberdeen also reported the following:

  • The average deal size for ZoomInfo customers was 2.8 times larger: $409,000 compared to $148,000 among “Industry Average” firms.
  • Inside sales teams using ZoomInfo reported 47 phone dials per day vs. 39 dials for the average as well as 20 human connections vs. 17 per day for the average.
  • ZoomInfo customers reported faster lead response time from their field sales or “closer” staff: 2.29 days vs. 2.62 days as well as a higher lead acceptance rate at 56% vs. 41%.

Visit ZoomInfo to learn about our products, register for a FREE demo or talk to a live person about how our solutions can refresh your data to help your business grow and capitalize on your investment.

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Getting More From Your Data: Steps Three and Four

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Part II in a series by guest blogger Carlos Hidalgo about how manage your data’s hygiene. Read also about developing proper data control and consolidating your data.

3. Develop an Ongoing Hygiene Process

Expecting the sales team to update contact information as they go about their day-to-day routine is the strategy many companies implement for data hygiene. You’d have a better chance of raising the Titanic than having sales people effectively keep data clean. A better alternative is to utilize a database resource that performs regular cleaning, de-duping and appending of data. Although this can be accomplished by utilizing internal resources, often working with an outside vendor brings the highest levels of success. By consistently cleaning and updating your data you will improve the overall return on your marketing and sales campaigns.

4. Make it Dynamic

I’ve spoken to many organizations who view data management as a one-time exercise. They get their data clean, and within a few months, they are right back where they started.

Data can’t be managed statically. Instead, it must be managed as an ongoing, dynamic process. Prospects move from company to company. Customers move within organizations. As people move, their data changes. So, a regular process for keeping data clean is a necessity. Once the data is clean, establish a regular, ongoing hygiene process. Again, outside data vendors can be extremely helpful here.

Data management is important. If you don’t put these and other steps in place, you are costing your company revenue. That’s a fact.

Carlos Hidalgo, is the CEO of The Annuitas Group, provider of sales and marketing process consulting services for B2B technology, financial and manufacturing companies.

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Getting More From Your Data: Steps One and Two

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Guest Post from Carlos Hidalgo, CEO of The Annuitas Group, provider of sales and marketing process consulting services for B2B technology, financial and manufacturing companies.

Arguably the most crucial element to your marketing success is your database. After all, no matter how good your message or offering is, if it doesn’t reach the right people, then your chances for marketing and sales success are greatly hindered. And by “success,” I’m not just talking about low response rates. I’m talking about loss of revenue. Not having solid marketing and sales data will actually cost your company money. As seen from this chart from SiriusDecisions, bad data has financial ramifications for organizations as well. Prospect Database Data

Data is such an important organizational resource. Yet, most companies fail to establish the proper processes to manage it effectively. Why? Because they don’t know where to start. So, to help get you on your way, here are four steps you can begin implementing to ensure your data is paying dividends.

1. Develop the Proper Data Controls
I once worked with a client who told me they had an open access policy to their CRM database. Even their front desk administrator had open access. Not only could anybody in the organization access any record in the CRM database, they could alter it, modify fields, etc. It was a recipe for data disaster. The result was a database that was filled with errors and duplicates.

To help avoid data corruption, you should establish controls on who will be able to access the data, who will be allow to change/append records (and to what extent), and who will be allowed to change the data structure. These controls should be documented. By establishing and enforcing these controls, your data will remain more consistent.

2. Consolidate
Too many companies have disparate databases throughout their organization. Sales has their database. Marketing has theirs. So does finance, customer support, etc. This creates a problem. Each group has customer data that is important to them, but they fail to get the whole view of the customer. As a result, engagement with the buyer fails because customer and prospects don’t feel like the company knows them.

The solution? When possible, consolidate your data to get a better view of the buyer. Consolidating doesn’t necessarily mean putting the data into one database. It usually means integrating databases so that each group can still have the data they need, but can also have supplemental data that gives them the whole story on the buyer. Organizing data this way will improve the results of buyer engagement.

Read more about developing an ongoing hygiene process and making it dynamic.

Carlos Hidalgo, is the CEO of The Annuitas Group, provider of sales and marketing process consulting services for B2B technology, financial and manufacturing companies.

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Getting What You Pay For: Five Tips for Negotiating Data Pricing

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Becoming a better data buyer: Part IPart II, Part III, Part IV

Getting What You Pay For: Five Tips for Negotiating Data Pricing

If you’ve been following our blog series on how to become a better data buyer, you’ve already learned how to critically evaluate the different data sources that are available. In this fourth and final post, we’ll offer some things to consider as you negotiate pricing with your chosen vendor.

  1. Make sure your vendor understands your business and what you’re after. Are you renting a list for a one-time mailing? Or do you need to regularly update or append in-house lists to keep them current and complete? A reliable provider will view your negotiation conversations as the beginning of a partnership and will take the time to understand your short and long-term data needs. And they may be more flexible with pricing if they think you’ll bring them more business after the initial sale.
  2. Find out what is (and isn’t) included in the base price. Many vendors will advertise a low cost per record, but then charge you extra for additional selects, additional fields or multiple uses. If you need to target beyond what’s included in a standard record — or want to use the data more than once or in more than one way — you’ll need to add those costs to the base price or work with a data provider that offers a data purchase option with unlimited selects and unlimited usage. Look out for other costs and limitations, such as minimum purchase requirements, time limits beyond which the data can’t be used, setup/delivery fees, rush charges, etc.
  3. Don’t buy data you don’t need. If you have an existing customer/prospect list or suppression file that you can de-dupe the vendor’s data against, use it. They may charge an additional fee for this, but you can save in the long run by buying fewer records.
  4. Understand the vendor’s policy on make-goods. Most providers will compensate you in some way for duplicate records in the data set or results that don’t live up to their accuracy and deliverability guarantees. Find out if the dataset you’re buying is covered by these guarantees and exactly what is required to prove that a record is a duplicate, undeliverable or inaccurate. Agree in advance on how you’ll be compensated.
  5. Ask for discounts. Discounts can take many forms: volume (or long-term contract), pre-payment, new customer, bundled offers, reduced rates on net new records after your first purchase, etc. Research the vendor’s other product options, too — they may be willing to offer a free trial or discount on one or more of them to win your data business.

With these five tips in mind, you can feel confident that you’re getting a fair price on your data purchase. But remember the old adage “you get what you pay for” still applies — an extremely low cost may signal a problem, such as inaccurate data, privacy compliance issues, or low response rates due to list fatigue.

Also read “Becoming a better data buyer” Part III: Try Before You Buy: Data Sampling Strategies

Anncy Graziano is ZoomInfo’s Manager of Data Services Operations.

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Try Before You Buy: Data Sampling Strategies

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Becoming a better data buyer: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV

Try Before You Buy: Data Sampling Strategies to Keep Your Data Vendor Honest

Last week’s post covered the different types of data vendors and the pros and cons of working with each of them. Regardless of which type you use, you’ll want to get a sample data set and put your vendor to the test before you purchase your list.

Why sample? Once you’ve identified a few suitable vendors, try to resist the temptation to buy a big list from one of them and blast the whole thing right away. Remember that the goal of sampling is to make sure a vendor has what you need … and it’s also an opportunity for you to do some pre-campaign testing — to ensure both the quality of the data and the accuracy of any vendor guarantees (such as average delivery rate). Sampling can also provide a window for you to test your messaging before your full campaign launches. But remember, in order to be statistically valid, the only variable at play should be the list itself. And it’s very important to have your vendor create your sample on the fly … even while on the phone with you, if possible. Don’t give them time to “rig” your sample!

The three “S”s of smart sampling:

Size: In general, the size of your sample lists should be about one percent of the total size of list you intend to buy: ideally at least 100 records per sample. That should be enough to give you a good idea of the data’s consistency, but don’t sweat it if your samples are smaller.

Selects: If multiple contact methods, or touch points, are required to execute your campaign (for example, email, phone and mailing address), make sure your list samples include each as a select. This can also help you uncover any “hidden” costs you may incur later, as some vendors charge differently for different selects.

Send: For the best results, test each of the contact methods you intend to use. This can be time-consuming for phone and address, but you’ll at least want to test a handful — say, 10 from each list — to make sure that direct phone numbers, for example, are indeed direct calls and an IVR (interactive voice response) menu or a receptionist. And if, when you call, you get the “she no longer works here” response, see if you can ferret out when the person left. If it was years ago, you’ll get some insight into the “age” of the data. Track the results and compare them to see if your vendors’ delivery rates are on target with their guarantees. Then determine which list performs the best against your campaign’s goal metrics.

Using these strategic sampling techniques will help you choose the best vendor and list. Next week, we’ll look at ways to negotiate pricing with your vendor to ensure that you get what you’re paying for, before and after the sale.

Also read “Becoming a better data buyer” Part II: Why You Should Consider the Source When Buying Data

Anncy Graziano is ZoomInfo’s Manager of Data Services Operations.

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Accelerate Revenue with Intelligent Prospect Data Management

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Wednesday April 27, 2011
2:00 PM ET
Sign Up for the Webinar Now

Are you getting the most out of your prospect database?
Chances are, probably not.

Every working hour 5,769 individuals will change jobs, 240 businesses will change addresses and 20 will ultimately fail. The pace of business transformation is so great that even the most current prospect database will begin its rapid decay if not monitored closely. But how can this vast information change be managed as to ultimately accelerate your company’s revenue? Tomorrow join Allison Shaffer, Group Manager of Marketing and Analytics at Cisco Webex and ZoomInfo’s own VP of Sales, Brett Wallace, as they present tips for removing the prospect database albatross from your company’s neck so that true and measurable gains can be made from square one – the information you have in your database system.

Get a sneak preview of the presentation below.

[slideshare id=5727945&doc=sales-and-marketing-alignmentebook-101110103203-phpapp02&w=425]

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Resellers, Aggregators, Brokers, Oh My! Why You Should Consider the Source When Buying Data

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Becoming a better data buyer: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV

Know Thy Source

Last week, I mentioned that it’s important to know the origin of the B2B data you’re buying. In this week’s post, you’ll learn about the different types of data vendors and some things to keep in mind when working with them.

1. Owners: There’s a big advantage when you buy your list from a vendor who owns the data they’re selling: it’s accuracy. We’ve all played the game “telephone,” where information passed from person to person is amusingly distorted by the time it gets to the last person in the line. The same thing happens with B2B data.

The Good: Generally speaking, the closer a data vendor is to the ultimate source — the individual or company whose information appears in your list — the more accurate the data will be. Here’s why: data owners are responsible for compiling, de-duping, tagging, filtering, verifying and updating their data. Take email addresses, for example. Say you want a list that records that are new (added to the vendor’s database within the last month). Only a data owner has access to such fine details about records.

Owners of data are intimately familiar with every aspect of their information-gathering and verification processes. Ask them. They should be more than willing to provide specifics.

Lastly, data owners are usually quick to resolve any problems. Inaccuracies that are found can be immediately corrected (it’s in their best interest to do so!), and they’ll have the most flexibility for negotiating make-goods.

The Bad: One possible downside of working with a data owner is that many (a professional association that sells its membership list, for example) do not use other sources against which data can be verified.

The ideal data owner is one that verifies information against multiple independent sources, such as company Web sites, news articles, etc. And if your list vendor allows individuals or companies to easily update their own data, that’s an added advantage that drives superior data accuracy.

2. Brokers & Resellers: The Good: Many brokers and resellers — or the middleman between you and the ultimate source of the B2B data you are buying — offer value-added services for clients, including special tools for uploading and managing data, and dedicated account managers. Keep in mind that part of your purchase price covers these services, whether or not you need or use them.

The Bad: A major disadvantage of working with data brokers and resellers is their lack of familiarity with the data. They may not know how often their list sources update or verify information, if at all. And, like in the game of “telephone,” data accuracy may be questionable because the broker has no accountability for the data quality. These data sellers must also mark up list costs to drive their profits. So the same data you’d buy from an owner for $X/name may cost you $X + X%/name via a broker or reseller.

3. Aggregators: The Good and Bad: The biggest benefit of buying data from an aggregator — which usually includes a plethora of sources — can also be the biggest drawback. You can buy boatloads of data from aggregators. However, there are often duplicate or conflicting records between aggregated sources, which can dramatically reduce your campaign’s success metrics.

Here’s another issue: information obtained from multiple data owners (each fielding, tagging and displaying information differently) is not standardized, making it difficult, if not impossible, to successfully import data to your CRM or SFA system. Additionally, aggregators are often severely restricted in what they can sell. (This is also true for brokers and resellers.) For example, although a particular piece of information may be included in the data set you receive, such as company size, the aggregator may not have the rights to provide that data as an individual select. Data owners and resellers — from whom aggregators get their data — protect their own list business by limiting the ways in which other vendors are able to slice and dice their data. Aggregators may also have minimum purchase requirements, and are generally less flexible in their ability to negotiate pricing.

So how do you decide if your data vendor is right for you? Stay tuned. Next week, we’ll tell you exactly what to ask your vendor when you buy samples, and give you guide to to keep them honest.

Also read “Becoming a better data buyer” Part I: Three Tips for Creating Winning Lists

Anncy Graziano is ZoomInfo’s Manager of Data Services Operations.

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