We are absolutely obsessed with 100% lead quality because it’s the only thing that fuels our efficient sales engine for our clients and ourselves. It’s why we acquired the data company known for absolute quality, Steward.

We recently discussed what quality data looks like in our infographic here. 100% quality looks like this:

There is no way to escape the work that must be done to curate an accurate, valuable list of potential customers. You can’t get around it.

What does it take to curate the perfect prospecting list?

We’ve talked to hundreds of sales teams, and most try to solve this curation problem in one of two ways:

1 – Leave it up to the database/list vendor

Databases can get you most if not all of the information you’re looking for. List vendors might also get you pretty far on the research side (they’re really just a specialty database). But, they aren’t built for real-time validation, so the leads are perpetually being outdated. Most databases “refresh” their lists only quarterly, and the worst ones seem to never update their data.

Anyone who’s made more than a thousand cold calls has had this conversation because of bad data:

“Hi is Jim Smith there?”
“Jim Smith hasn’t worked here in 7 years.”
Even worse…“Jim Smith died three years ago.”
If that made you cringe, we feel you.

If you’ve bought a database or list, you’re likely getting the “100% quality guarantee” – but, who is responsible for tracking that? Not the vendor.

This protects your cash investment but leaves your time investment totally exposed.

You still have to do all the validation, eliminate the bad data, and go back for more data. That process can take anywhere from days to months, which is a lot more costly than the original records.

2 – Leave it up to your rep

“If you want something done right, do it yourself.” While it’s true that manually sourcing and/or replacing bad data can lead to the highest quality list, there are a few huge pitfalls here:

1. You can’t source fast enough.
If a sales rep is required to source information, work that information, and backfill bad information, they’re going to spend a lot of time curating a pretty small list. And as much as some folks hate to admit it, sales engines require a lot of fuel and always need to be refilled.

2. Your cost per record is enormously high.
The average SDR’s fully loaded cost is somewhere north of $45/hour. If they can produce 10 totally accurate, well researched records an hour, your cost is $4.50/record. In the best case scenario they’re able to generate 50 terrific records every hour and they’re costing you $.90/record. That’s pretty good, right? Wrong.

The opportunity cost of distracting your rep for an hour from sales activities is immense. You have to add that to your cost per record calculation. And here’s a breakdown of what it can cost you over the course of a year:

3. You’re distracting from precious sales activity.
The throughput of your sales engine will decrease as you turn selling hours into non-selling hours. There’s no way around this if your sales reps aren’t selling.


 

So what’s the right way to do it?

Leave it to the professionals.

We hated these other solutions so much that we built our own: 100% quality data on-demand. It’s a combination of intelligent targeting, hand-picked sourcing, and real-time validation. Interested in learning more? Drop us a line.