3 Reasons Why Sales Development Leaders Never Purchase Static Lists

April 7, 2015 Sam Laber

As Director of Sales Development, Steve Dodsworth helps provide a world class experience for marketers interested in learning about Captora. Prior to Captora, Steve built velocity sales development teams at companies such as Appcelerator, Proofpoint and Marketo. He is passionate about helping reps develop the skills to not only be successful in the SDR role but as account executives as well.

For sales development leaders, static lead lists have long been the preferred method for keeping reps armed with new prospects to pursue. These lists are typically purchased on a one-off basis and include thousands of contacts whose names, titles, email addresses and solution preferences have been acquired and compiled by a third party vendor often through surveys, events or subscription services.

At Captora, we found that purchasing these lead lists simply did not drive the results we needed to hit our aggressive revenue goals. In the post below, I map out three main shortcomings of static lists and provide an alternative solution for sales development managers to consider. Feel free to leave a comment if you’d like to add to the conversation!

1. Static lists start losing value the moment they are purchased

Everyone knows that a new car begins to depreciate the second you take it off the lot — unfortunately, the same holds true for static lists. Once you’ve purchased a list, the vendor that sold it to you has absolutely no incentive to keep the information up-to-date. In fact, list vendors are even incentivized NOT to refresh the information they sold you in order to keep you coming back for more.

The key here is to look for service providers that stake their claim on accurate, up-to-date information. In the sales arena, LinkedIn is probably the first service that comes to mind, because LinkedIn users are incentivized to keep their profiles updated to reflect recent job changes, key responsibilities and technical skills.

2. Your prospects hate bad data even more than you do

As a sales rep, citing inaccurate data when talking to a prospect can be pretty embarrassing, but as a prospect, being cold called by a misinformed salesperson is downright painful. Think of your SDR team as an extension of your company’s brand. They are often the first line of communication with your buyers and how they pitch your product is just as important as the messaging on your website or the copy of your banner ads. One false step with inaccurate data, and your reputation could be ruined with a particular account for quite some time.

3. Static lists are your CRM’s worst nightmare

How many times have you purchased a list and later found that it contains many of the same prospects as the last one, but with marginally different details? (Think Steve Smith vs Steven Smith vs S. Smith, who all work for Enterprise Media Group) With list buys, you constantly run the risk of acquiring duplicate leads and entering them into multiple cycles at one time. Aside from the obvious effect that duplicate emails have on these contacts, ridding your CRM of hundreds of duplicates is also a massive undertaking for your reps, who should be selling your product, not cleansing your database.

What are some alternatives to static lists?

With static lists moving towards obsolescence, SaaS sales leaders are increasingly relying on data-as-a-service providers to help their reps uncover new contacts to approach every day. In addition to delivering basic account information like revenue, company size, location and industry, these companies also help sales reps identify which prospects are testing out similar technology providers, which prospects are coming up on a renewal with competitive technology providers and which prospects are working with a technology provider you already integrate with.

Having this kind of intel is extremely powerful and could be the difference between hitting your revenue goals or not in 2015. To see how Steve is using Datanyze to arm his sales development team with the best information possible, check out the Captora case study.

Featured Image Source: Red rowan fruit with a coffee and a white sheet of paper by Kaboompics License Kaboompics  

About the Author

Sam Laber

Sam is the director of marketing at Datanyze. He's a big John Hughes fan who occasionally fills the DZ office with the sweet sweet sounds of 90s rock giant, Creed.

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