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I’ve noticed a trend where marketers want to keep a database of suspects and call it their “house” list. Unfortunately, it can’t be that because those contacts have not tried to engage with you and you think that “pushing” newsletters and alerts to them somehow makes the database a valuable asset because you’ve invested all this money contacting them.

I had one executive comment that “even thinking about creating a status of “inactive” in our database would be a detriment to all we’ve worked to create this great list.” Unfortunately, he just didn’t have the facts. 50% of the database is full of bad data or wrong data. We get return mail and reach people who really don’t want to engage with us. That is costing us in reputation, money in wasted mailings and resources in people focusing on poor prospects – they can’t get to the “needles” in the haystack because there’s too much hay!

Regardless, I’ve broken our golden egg of a database and we are segmenting the data to include suspects, inquirers, marketing qualified leads, sales accepted leads and sales qualified leads. We can measure each stage, determine what is good about our marketing and not, and get the business developers to focus on “sales ready” leads instead of people just searching for information.

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2 thoughts on “Is your database treated like a golden egg?

  1. I agree, most B2B companies have the same problems. Databases get ugly quickly. That’s one reason we’re moving to lead nurturing systems so we can clean the database and maintain relations with those that want to engage with us. We’ll be experimenting with lead scoring and trying to make it so we give the business developers “sales ready” leads. Our problem now is we give a business developer a “hot prospect” that is really just someone that downloaded a white paper. They’re not ready to engage yet so for a BD it becomes a less important contact unless we better define who they are and the Budget, Authority, Need and Timeline. I’ll be posting about this as we are in the “throws” of implementing now.

  2. Great post. Working in the sales software area, I can assure you that the same sins you describe as happening with your marketing database, occur with the sales databases and sales funnels at so many companies. It’s key to be realistic about prospects and having delusions of how many prospects, or leads you have in your pipeline can come back and haunt your company – especially if people start eating their own dog-food and make budget projections based on those false assumptions. Yikes!

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