With Salesforce no longer renewing Data.com licenses after July, hopefully you’re well into your evaluation of Data.com competitors as you search for a replacement and build your migration plan. Still need some help? That’s what this blog series is all about.

The first and second posts supplied tips for assessing your data and cleaning it before you migrate to a Data.com alternative. The third post discussed the importance of keeping your data clean, which is the first reason you need to find a Data.com replacement.  Today’s post explores possible data gaps you could fill with a Data.com alternative, because having clean data is important, but making sure you have all the right data is equally important.

Step 4: Fill in the Gaps

Targeting is how marketing is done these days. Generic email blasts of yesterday just don’t cut it anymore. The more targeted and personalized your outreach, the more likely a prospect is going to respond.

But it’s one thing to target a lead because they’re in the manufacturing industry and another to target them with a laser focused message related to their unique metal stamping business and their role as the equipment maintenance supervisor, for example. As you evaluate Data.com competitors, you’ll want to make sure they have the data granularity you need to be highly targeted.

Filling the granularity gap

What additional data fields do you need?  It can vary depending on your industry. For example, if you sell to hospitals, you may need to know the number of beds, which is a proxy for the size of the hospital. As a general rule, however, these fields will help improve your granularity significantly:

  • Sub-industries, as well as industries
  • Job titles and roles
  • Technology used
  • Family trees
  • Reliable location data

And speaking of reliable, more data is only good if you trust the quality. So, as you evaluate alternatives to Data.com, ask how the providers gather their data.  Do they take advantage of data science and artificial intelligence to gather and validate data at scale? This is important, because humans alone can’t keep pace with the volume of data and rate of change in the market today.  How often do they refresh their data? What sources do they use?

Discuss accuracy and keep in mind that “accuracy” can mean different things to different people. Make sure they have a high degree of accuracy for the fields and accounts that matter most to you.

Once you’ve found a Data.com replacement that has the type of data and quality you need, your granularity gap will be filled each time your inbound leads are enriched and your data is refreshed.

Filling your whitespace

Another important gap to fill is your whitespace – all those accounts and contacts you should be targeting that aren’t in your database today. In our experience, the whitespace portion of your total addressable market (TAM) is typically much larger than what you already have, making your search for a Data.com replacement a revenue opportunity for your organization.

To fill your whitespace, you could consider purchasing lists. But just as email blasts are in the “good riddance” pile, the same goes for purchasing lists. The data starts getting stale the moment after you buy it. Better to choose a Data.com alternative that enables you to build lists of net new companies and contacts on demand, ensuring that the data is always fresh.

Some alternatives to Data.com even provide tools to do a TAM analysis, to visualize new markets, do “what if” analyses, and find new look-alike accounts that match your ideal customer profile. This type of tool is invaluable for finding new growth markets and planning territories.  Yet another thing to put on your wish list for a Data.com alternative.

The road ahead

Using incomplete data is like driving with a dirty windshield: you’re not sure what your driving towards. But with a complete view of the road ahead, you’ll make better decisions and get to your destination with less effort. Remember that when you talk with Data.com competitors.

In part 5 of this series, we’ll look at how to boost your data with real-time insights. If you can’t wait, download the full Data.com Migration Planning Guide today. Or, if you’d like to talk with a data and sales intelligence expert, let us know and we’ll be glad to help.

READ PART 5.

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