08th Mar, 2022
, , Designation
- B2B businesses are heavily inundated by data today which they can use to make strategic business decisions
- However, B2B data is susceptible to error and systematic data cleansing processes should be prioritized
- This blog will cover five industry best practices for data cleansing in B2B
Data rules the roost in B2B sales and marketing processes today. Nearly all business decisions taken by leaders in B2B industries are backed by comprehensive data collected from multiple sources. This makes it imperative to check and maintain the hygiene of databases that businesses use across different teams, whether it is for product development, sales, or marketing.
Companies ought to leverage a systematic process to cleanse the data they collect or receive from their B2B database provider. They can design internal data cleansing processes or use tools to accomplish the same. Ensuring that data remains accurate, timely, reliable, and error-free is imperative to making the right strategic business decisions.
Five reasons why B2B database cleansing is vital
B2B data is susceptible to errors. Therefore, cleaning the data that a business extracts is vital because this helps:
Acquire customers quickly and efficiently
When companies ensure data accuracy and reliability through cleansing practices, they no longer have to worry about misspent time or resources due to wasted sales and marketing efforts. Given that data validation and qualification are already done, B2B marketing and sales teams can quickly move ahead with the customer acquisition process. The expedited customer journeys and sales cycles as a result of data cleansing can improve the efficiency and productivity of sales and marketing functions.
Reap higher RoIs from marketing and sales efforts
When businesses make use of clean and verified customer data, lead building and client prospecting become more optimized to yield better RoIs. Sales and marketing campaigns can work in better synergy through a structured data cleansing process where data is carefully vetted to remove errors and inconsistencies. It prevents the wastage of time and resources that can hamper performance.
Gather accurate insights for business strategy and decision-making
As was mentioned at the beginning of this article, business decisions in the B2B world are mainly data-driven. Executives in the C-suite leverage data to better understand their markets, competitors, consumer behavior, and internal business practices. Given this dependence on data to draw insights for business planning and strategy, itâs critical to have a systematic data cleansing process in place.
Ensure targeted B2B marketing
B2B marketers require validated data to build customer profiles and segments for understanding their audience. If a database isnât cleaned for this purpose â itâs highly likely that the campaign targets wrong prospects and leads and loses focus. For maximizing engagement rates, lead building, and customer conversions, B2B marketers should leverage data that has been thoroughly cleansed.
When equipped with clean and accurate data, both marketers and sales executives can deliver personalized messaging and pitches to prospective customers. Coupling this with the added benefits of the increase in employee productivity and efficiency, data cleansing in B2B can have a tangible impact on the bottom line.
Enable process automation and workflow simplification
Providing clean and accurate data can help internal AI-driven analytics tools to give more valuable insights. By identifying patterns, challenges, and obstacles in their approach, businesses can also find innovative solutions to decrease costs, increase efficiency, and enhance automation. However, all of this has to be done on the foundation of accurate and reliable data that truly represents the customer and audience. Erroneous or incomplete data can misrepresent customers and distract businesses from taking effective decisions.
Industry best practices for B2B data cleansing
Here are some ways for B2B businesses to start cleaning and validating their databases:
Developing a coherent data cleansing plan and strategy
Itâs important to clearly design a step-by-step data cleansing strategy and appoint dedicated resources to oversee the process. It is ideal to have a properly laid out plan in relation to which metrics will be used to assess the quality and hygiene of data, the methodology used to cleanse data, identify the source of unclean data, and so on. To begin with, businesses can also consult B2B data providers and determine a strategy suitable for their particular requirements.
Standardization of data during collection and sourcing
The longer incorrect data stays in a database, the more negative impact it can have on the commercials and the harder it gets to correct it. For the same reason, itâs essential to have a standardization procedure in place for when data entry is done. This ensures that there are no mismatches, inconsistencies, errors, or inaccuracies when data is entered into the business database. This can be done by training the data collection and input team and having a strict policy on how to store data.
Data validation practices for ensuring accuracy
Apart from the structure of the data, B2B businesses need to ensure that the data itself is accurate. This is done through a process called data validation, where the accuracy of business data is systematically analyzed and verified. This can be done both manually as well as through automated data validation tools. In some cases, the vetting process requires manpower, and there are some service providers who can undertake this as well. List exports and email list verification are some examples of data validation tools.
Removing duplicate data from the database
Duplicate data can be a cause of concern for businesses operating in B2B because it can drive up marketing costs. As there are multiple points-of-contact in B2B, itâs often the case that duplicate data leads to marketing campaigns that target and reach various individuals within the same organization. This can prolong an already long sales cycle and increase the chances of prospects dropping in between sales funnels. Furthermore, duplicate data in the database can impact personalization and lead to a poor sales experience for B2B customers. Additionally, it is easier to manage and store an optimized database with accurate contacts.
Source data from reliable data service providers
While data cleansing can help B2B companies remove existing errors in data, itâs ideal to source data in the future only from a leading and reputable B2B database provider. This reduces the investment in data cleansing as B2B database service providers usually follow robust management and cleaning practices. In addition to saving cost and effort, sourcing data from database providers also increases the flexibility and degree of customization possible for data analysis and marketing purposes.
Data cleansing for B2B businesses
Donato Diorio, tech innovator and software architect has very aptly said, âWithout a systematic way to start and keep data clean, bad data will happen.â Given how data-centric B2B business practices have become, it is essential â now more than ever â to invest in an organized data cleaning process. This can enable B2B businesses to leverage precise data for more marketing ROIs and shorter sales cycles, adapt to increasing automation and gather more accurate insights for improved business decision-making.