How to Convince Upper Management of the Importance of Data
Implementing change in any organization usually feels a bit like pulling teeth. It needs to be done, but no one enjoys the associated discomfort. The unfortunate reality of today’s business world is that unless companies continue to evolve their marketing strategies, they will quickly fall by the wayside — particularly when it comes to prospect data.
You need a third-party data source that can deliver up-to-date, relevant prospect information — the kind that can generate leads and help you drive revenue. In today’s on-demand market, data ages fast. Unless constantly maintained, prospect (and customer) data lose accuracy at the alarming rate of 3–6% each month. More than one-third of the information in your database will be flawed after only one year.
If you’re convinced that using third-party prospect data would boost your company’s marketing activities and lead generation efforts, it’s time to make the case for a third-party data service. This can be a challenging task, but these seven quick tips will help you incite upper management interest and kick start the use of third-party data in your company.
Choose your Moment
When you’re in the trenches it’s easy to get tunnel vision and forget that not everyone realizes the obstacles you’re facing. Don’t attempt to engage management about the problem when your frustrations with your current data are at their peak. Step back from the situation and come up with a compelling game plan that will persuade upper management to see the benefits of your approach.
Don’t be the Messenger — Be the Solution
Everyone loves a problem solver. Effectively communicating creative solutions is key. When making upper management aware of the data problem, be sure to clearly address why action is necessary and come prepared with answers to their potential objections. Is your current data inaccurate? Do you need additional prospect data to meet your objectives? Are you lacking prospect data in a specific target market? Clearly describe your objectives for acquiring prospect data from a third party vendor and demonstrate how their services can and will positively impact your company’s bottom line.
Make the Problem (and the Solution) Personal
Customers are out there. You just need the right prospect data to find them. Create a clear link between the results third party prospect data would provide and your organization’s mission and objectives. Illustrate how acquiring high-quality data containing rich, relevant and accurate prospect information can help you meet your (and the company’s) stated goals.
Forecast the Future
The next step is to paint a clear picture of what might happen if your company fails to incorporate third party prospect data into your business strategy, or continues to follow the same path with the current data strategy. Detail your concerns and fears with the current marketing initiatives by emphasizing the cost of ignoring the data issues that you are experiencing. Let management know that inaccurate or incomplete data is making marketing efforts less efficient. Emphasize your belief that customers are out there and quality third party prospect data will help your organization find them.
Get Upper Management Involved
The best way to catch and hold upper management’s attention is to get them involved. Invite their input into the needs assessment phase and learn what they believe is required in terms of data characteristics and a third party provider. A good third party data provider, like Pure Incubation Data Services, is always willing and eager to discuss any questions or concerns including logistics, data sources and hygiene and ROI. Just contact us and we can help to put any of upper management’s concerns to rest.
Beware the “Too Good to be True” Trap
Work with upper management to identify root causes and to discover real solutions to your data problems. Beware of companies with too good to be true guarantees and data deals. A number of unscrupulous firms are in the market that claim they can get you any business names you want, but their data often turns out to be stolen, inaccurate, or unusable. Don’t be tempted by easy offers. Before you acquire data from a third party data vendor, check for a physical company address ensure that their data is validated, clarify what target markets are available and confirm what rights accompany the data.
Keep Management in the Loop
When working with a company such as Pure Incubation Data Services it’s easy to keep upper-management engaged because our data will allow you to report successful results and positive trends. Pure Incubation Data Services is uniquely qualified to help your business succeed because we are a new breed of B2B demand generation service provider. Our data is constantly maintained, tested and refined against the most strenuous of standards. When you choose Pure Incubation Data Services as your data provider, you get targeted access to our exclusive industry specific, prospect universe including installed technology, behavioral attributes and verified email addresses so you are messaging the right prospects — which translates to more customers and more revenue for your business.
What assures excellent customer intelligence, effective marketing, productive and qualified lead generation and eager customers is quality data. Third party data from a reputable source has become a “must-have” tool for businesses across the board. With robust data, you can gain motivated customers who are eager to invest their time and money in your business or product. As it stands, you are your company’s best hope for adopting a third party data use strategy. It may be an uphill battle, but forewarned is forearmed and with our seven tips and tactics (and superb data sources) you can be sure you’re up to the challenge of convincing upper management that third part data providers are way of the future.
Originally published at pureb2b.com on December 29, 2014.