Are Low Quality Lists Impacting your Sales Pipeline?

We've been iterating our list development process since day one to ensure your lists convert. Sapper's Executive Director of Prospect Data shares how.
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Are Low Quality Lists Impacting your Sales Pipeline?

When it comes to building a sales pipeline, there’s no substitute for a good prospect list. Pursuing unqualified leads is a huge drain on resources, impacts the confidence of your sales team, and ultimately affects your bottom line.

The best lists begin with the best data. Since poor-quality data is costing U.S. businesses on average $14.2 million annually, we think it is fair to say that list data is worth the investment.

But what exactly separates the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to prospect lists? And what processes can be put into place to streamline your lead generation processes?

In this post, we’ll take a look at what makes a great prospect list, how to tell if your prospect list is giving you results or holding you back, and steps you can take to improve your prospect list quality and avoid common pitfalls along the way.

At Sapper, we’ve been developing and improving our list development processes since day one to ensure your prospect lists convert. Sapper’s Executive Director of Prospect Data Mack McAninch shares insights how. 

What Makes a Great Prospect List?

One of the key differentiators of a great prospect list is the attention to detail that went into building it. Many lead gen companies will simply pull and plug contacts, regardless if they are outdated and inaccurate. You may hear “we’re reaching out to over 2000 prospects on your behalf”, but how many of those prospects are qualified? Bulk lists of low quality prospects won’t make much progress towards your ROI.

To create highly targeted lists, our team at Sapper is intimately involved in the process from start to finish. “We have set up a process that allows my team to look at the prospects that we’re giving clients on a very micro-level,” McAninch said. “They’re looking through these Excel documents and hand-pulling people out that don’t match [established targeting parameters].”

Sapper’s list building technique includes a thorough cleansing process, wide access to prospects, a heightened pulse on targeting profiles, and our own proprietary software that makes the process quick and efficient. 

“We have the cleanest data that’s been looked at by our team going right to our database and outreach,” McAninch said. “Our database has millions of prospects that are updated in real time. This allows us to make sure that all of our clients have prospects and they’re the most accurate, highest-quality we can give.”

Are Bad Lists Holding You Back?

Whether you’re buying prospects, tapping your personal network, or using a lead generation provider, most sales and marketing teams today have seen their fair share of bad leads. Even the most skilled and ambitious teams can be held back by low quality prospects. It’s time to ask – are your lists impacting your sales results?

Here are a few telltale signs that your prospect list could use some work:

  • Missing, inaccurate, or incomplete data: A little organization can go a long way to making a prospect list work for you. Whether you store your contacts in a CRM or spend time on manual builds in Excel, understanding each prospect’s demographic and stage in your sales funnel, while having their accurate contact information can dramatically improve your conversions.
  • Outdated data: Data is constantly changing, and many lead generation companies simply cannot keep up with data cleansing processes. Most user data expires within a year, as a person’s job position, company name, or surname can change. If you’re partnering with a lead generation provider, seek to understand the cleanliness of their data.
  • No targeting profiles: So you have 100,000 names in your database. Now what? You might think a wide net approach will simplify your efforts but your targeting profiles must be well thought-out in order to reach key decision makers. Consider the size of the company, role and title of the contact, and revenue/employee number and segment your lists appropriately.
  • It was cheap: Data is expensive. You can expect to have to pay more for a quality prospect list. 
How Does Sapper’s Process Compare to Other Lead Gen or Marketing Companies?

Developing successful lead generation processes is difficult. Sapper’s process utilizes years of experience targeting, segmenting, and engaging key decision makers to provide high quality prospect lists.

“The process has evolved over time to create more perfect workflows,” said McAninch. “We make informed decisions based on the targeting process to enhance the performance of our clients. We are able to give really good recommendations and fulfill the needs of everyone.”

Selling to prospects is all about matching opportunity with the right person at the right time. You can’t do that if you’re gathering inaccurate or outdated data. After years of compiling data from a variety of sources, we’ve found that even the best sources require cleansing, updating, and reviewing. So our team does just that.

“In fact, we went out and made our own software, SapperSuite, because of the listing process,” McAninch continued. “Prospect converter was the very first feature. SapperSuite allows us to do more tasks in a shorter amount of time, and with increased accuracy. Without SapperSuite, we would be trying to work off of multiple vendors at one time, which could be really difficult.”

Our proprietary and 3rd party list cleansing processes paired with our robust targeting profiles that draw from the collective experience of Sapper’s team creates a database of incredibly clean, accurate prospect data. And our SapperSuite software has made the process quick, efficient, and almost foolproof.

In short, not all list sources are created equally. You (or your lead generation partner) might be investing in unqualified, outdated prospects. At Sapper, we ensure that is not the case. Our prospect list building strategy is highly nuanced and improved over time. Clean, accurate data can improve prospecting by providing your sales team with the information they need to close more deals. Find out more about lead generation strategies in our Ultimate Guide to Lead Generation

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About The Author

About Sapper Consulting

Sapper's sales prospecting team becomes a natural extension of your existing sales efforts, helping you find new leads that are a great fit for your business.

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