1. July 2011 14:36
Part 1 Purchasing the right data
We surround ourselves with data in the work place and sometimes quantity does not mean quality.
Rather than spending copious amounts of money on data take a few moments to figure out what you need? Why you need it? and whether the data you get will get you the result you want.
Take this example, I want to sell an IT system to a large company overseas, therefore I wouldn’t find it beneficial to spend a fortune on data for small companies in the same country. Similarly I want to sell my product that helps with account and PAYE issues, so there is no point spending a fortune on finding out who works in their marketing department.
When buying data from data companies, SPEAK to them first. Ask them whether you will get the information you want, what data accuracy is like and in a perfect world if you know a company that does purchase in productive data, ask them where they collated it from. Some data companies provide a small amount of data as a sample so that you can measure its accuracy and relevance, and this can be a great way of evaluating the data before investing in a large sum.
I have seen data that is amazing, with everything from the inside leg measurement of the company to how many car parking spaces they have. That’s great if you want to know that, but if you just need a name a number and website then why clutter up with the excess information? Keep it simple and effective, and make it work for you.
Some people forget to ask data companies the important question of how will the data be presented. What on earth is the point in buying in data to find out you don’t have the programmes to read it? It may sound like an obvious question but it is one that does get forgotten.
When you have finished with your data work out whether it has helped you or could help with any future projects and if you have the facility or workforce, keep the data up to date. There is nothing more demoralising than a sales team using data that is outdated where most of the details have changed or are irrelevant.
So to summarise, work out how it will be used, what you want to achieve, and you cant go wrong in creating a productive database that will give your sales team a head start in getting new business.