Are people really buying data? Of course they are! However, the million dollar question is, are they buying quality data?
In most cases, the answer is no. I say this from my own knowledge center having interacted with hundreds of companies saying they need more business, but unfortunately, do not have the contacts.
Sure, they have a CRM system full of names but their hands are tied when they can’t keep that data current. They should be using a proper system for prospecting, rather than using a CRM system. Many are sold on using CRM for prospecting but this is the wrong move because it lacks bells and whistles to keep the data clean.
These days you are lucky to find someone at the same company for more than two years; I started to notice this about 10 years ago even when the world was a more subtle place. Now with the amount of change occurring each day, it’s an even bigger challenge to track people. Here we are a decade later, and I know Sales-Link is prepared to help weather the storm.
With job transition, the business continuity is broken. You build relationships and then they leave. Where do you go from here? Many turn to working with outside groups, bedded in the industry, having a pipeline to the industry contacts. Sales-Link has been operating in the pharma/biotech space the last decade and we have not been standing still. We have been building a path to the pipeline and collecting contacts in the industry.
Our main offering is to support CROs and service providers in the pharma/biotech industry and match them with sponsors for potential business opportunities. If there’s interest out there we will find it! We offer lead generation services and do it on a contract basis for our customers. However, the mistake is usually made when the client thinks we produce the leads and it’s a done deal. I see a lot of challenges that need to be addressed by management in service companies. Selling contacts and/or doing lead generation only pays off if the following key ingredients are also in place:
- Have a sales and market strategy
- Identify which companies are truly your top priorities
- Create a process for bringing customers on-board
- Have a dedicated and trusted sales team with selling skills for engaging new customers
- Build or buy a proper system to house, clean and maintain your contacts – YOUR NETWORK
- Do your follow-up at a pace necessary to close business
- Understand and use social media appropriately
Other offerings that a contact database offers small to mid-size sponsors are solutions for special needs such as recruiting resources and identifying investigators with patients being treated for orphan/rare disease trials. Overall, whether you’re trying to keep your affiliation here in the U.S. or want to reach overseas to reach people in your industry, you need a bridge from you to customers and can do so with a robust database of appropriate and up to date contacts.
Many vendors sell “lists” and I think we can agree their intentions are good but they don’t always go the extra mile. Fifty percent of the contact information is old, emails are general (info@.com) and you receive an abundance of senior contacts that were plucked right off a company’s website. There is no confirmation on the data vendor’s part ensuring you are receiving the best possible contacts for your products and/or services. But there is fault all around. Most companies don’t want to pay for good contacts. Perhaps the following points will help:
- Be patient when dealing with vendors selling data. It takes time to validate the contact. If you have funds, throw it at project to speed up validation.
- Don’t skimp on the numbers. Lead generation is a numbers’ game. A large net is needed to catch a few good fish. The narrower the data selection, the narrower the results.
- Buy from industry knowledgeable vendors, if possible. Speeds up the undertaking however, smart data providers also understand business. The “buyer” footprint is similar from an organization chart perspective from industry to industry.
- Engage with a group that will keep your initial purchase current with updates.
Avoid going the cheaper route and spend the extra money to get quality contacts. Always remember, sales is a numbers game! You need to reach all the influential and potential buyers then appeal to each of them with a claim of proven value that supports their functional area.