Your business relies on sales leads, but if you are unable to confirm those leads, your marketing effort to convert the lead into a customer or client is for nothing. You can certainly spend countless hours on the internet validating the information and searching for additional leads, but that’s not really cost effective, or doable, given most time constraints.
Ramon Ray, editor of Smallbiztechnology.com, recently published an article for Dun & Bradstreet, that explores information databases, straight from some small business owners who use them. Here is a quick look at the four most notable information databases he speaks of:
Obility Consulting’s Nick Herinckx swears by ZoomInfo®, a contact database that allows you to search leads by industry terms, job titles, and more. ZoomInfo provides targeted lists that help sales staff to channel marketing efforts. ZoomInfo® has won several awards, including the 2010 Best Sales Productivity Tool from the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals.
MSP marketing and business consultant Stuart Crawford of Ulistic, a firm that specializes in I.T. marketing and business development, recommends Jigsaw.com, a directory that provides both phone and e-mail contact information for businesses. Jigsaw boasts a database of more than 30 million business contacts, with 40,000 added daily. Jigsaw’s user base reviews each entry for authenticity, comparing its service to Wikipedia, where content is created and maintained by users. Because Jigsaw’s database is refined by users, the site has a community-like feel, where members help each other.
For your social media marketing growth, Amsterdam Printing’s Slavik Volinsky recommends Follower Wonk, a site that allows you to find and organize Twitter followers. Follower Wonk allows you to obtain information on a contact’s followers and the people they follow, along with the user’s real name, location, and level of activity. The level of activity is graded by a “Wonk score,” which credits a user for how active they are on the site.
For users of Salesforce, this is the obvious choice, but it’s interesting that none of our entrepreneurs mentioned it. Salesforce’s Data.com prides itself on its accuracy, with all information verified by other users.
“Companies today work in an environment where there is more information available than ever before,” Salesforce.com writes. “Businesses struggle to identify the right information from the right source in a timely fashion, and to efficiently bring this data together with their business processes. Data.com is showing customers a better way: with clean and accurate business data, customers can grow their business more efficiently by allocating resources effectively, improving campaign ROI, and increasing productivity.”
Click here to read the full article from Ramon and check out some of these other great articles on Dun & Bradstreet: