B2B Database – Is it better to build or to buy?

Technology | 3 minutes to read

12th Jun, 2020

Data is the lifeblood of businesses. Be it a start-up or an established business, business leaders often ponder over the thought of whether to buy or to build the B2B database they need. The dilemma is real and the factors from where it come range from cost, quality, shelf life, eventual conversion rates etc.

Let’s solve this confusion once and for all.

What does it take to build a database?

The quality and quantity of database govern the same attributes of leads which you get from it. Therefore, you cannot let go of either of them. So, you need an accurate, targeted and high volume of the database to be able to reach your sales goal.

Now, to build that kind of B2B database from scratch would mean extensive investment in terms of time and data digging expertise. While you would be the perfect bet for qualifying the ideal B2B customer (since you’d have the best understanding of your precise customer persona), it may still take more than a year to build a substantial foundation ground in terms of a database before you start your operations.

Right from defining the customer persona, you’d have to identify the target companies, decision-makers before you start combing the web for their contact details. Lastly, validating the contacts would also take its own sweet time but without that, you’d risk wasting your time on incorrect numbers or emails. These are just the broad set of steps which in turn includes multiple activities like checking the fortune ranking of the company, sieving their social links etc.

It is also likely that by the time you’d be ready with your prospecting lists, multiple people would have undergone a role change or even the services they might be using a year before, would have gotten a revamp owing to the fast pace of technological revolution or even some company level mergers would have happened.

Right there, you’d have already hit the redundancy button.

So, what’s the work around?

It makes more sense to buy

With all these hassles, buying a B2B database and building over it sounds much better than building one from scratch. Trusting the experts might fetch you better results since you’d be utilising your time (and of course monetary and people resource as well) in doing what you ought to do – generate business from the database (instead of building that database).

Let us look at the benefits of buying a database:

Significant reduction in total cost of ownership (TCO)

When you buy a database in line with your defined criteria, you get access to up-to-date data, latest tools, pre-built integration and APIs without employing your engineering resources on building all that up. Thus, you get to save a major chunk of cost which you’d have incurred in building maintaining the database completely by yourself.

Shorter time-to-market

In the world where time equals money, reaching your audience faster becomes a key differentiator when it comes to market competition. When you get a predefined (custom) database architecture with enriched data and all the APIs built-in, your team is focused on selling instead of building all the aforementioned. The time you save here translates into getting more time to connect with the audience, thus, your time-to-market reduces.

Agility & access to innovation

With an outsourced database, you get the flexibility of customisation as well as scaling up as per your need. You also benefit from the constant innovation taking place at the vendor’s end (thus, access to intelligent database and not just database) along with the scope of experimenting yourself. Beyond that, you also get access to the most modern technological tools to get more out of that data. In the data-driven age, these tools are a boon for marketers. This extensibility along with a constant scope of innovation-leverage makes B2B data buying an even more lucrative deal.

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Ease of maintenance, constant access to support teams and the provision of on-demand database are also some of the ‘cherry-on-the-cake’ benefits which you accrue when you choose to buy a database instead of building it.

Conclusion

As per Gartner, “Organizations investing too much in building or customizing systems of record have less funding available for differentiating applications.” This statement also fits as a response to the original question we started with. Utilising the funds, time and resources for doing the ‘actual’ business is always more fruitful than to spend all of those valuable entities on building a foundation which can be easily bought from the experts. The key lies in finding a perfect partner instead of settling with a mediocre database vendor.

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