The following guest post was written by our friend’s over at echogravity, a marketing consulting agency that focuses on marketing and lead generation for contact centers and IT staffing clients.
Did you read our recent blog series on “Why you didn’t meet your quota last quarter”? Maybe you skipped reading it because the truth was all too real and you’re still in denial. Or maybe you didn’t read it because, well, you did meet your quota last quarter – not to mention you’re ready to crush your end-of-year goals and have set yourself up for an awesome 2016. Kudos to you!
In fact, so much of what contributes to not meeting quota actually stems from bad contact data. How do you know if that is the reason why your team didn’t meet theirs? Or, if you team did meet their quota, maybe it’s time to do a gut check so that trend can continue. Here are three signs that your team might be in desperate need of better contact data:
1. A Stagnant Book of Business
We’re going to make the generous assumption that your ATS/CRM doesn’t have data that dates back to the 1990s. The business landscape has seen so much generational shift over the last couple of decades that the days of 40-year careers with the same company are far behind us. Instead, the average employee tenure is currently about 4-5 years.
This is especially true in the high-tech world, where demand for top talent is highly competitive and the best IT professionals are moving regularly. It’s this trend that has created a fairly unique challenge for the IT staffing industry: contact data is becoming obsolete at faster rates than ever before.
Maybe you’ve built strong enough relationships with your IT decision makers so that even if they leave, they make sure to introduce you to their successors. Or, they introduce you to their new employer and get you on the preferred vendor list ASAP. That’s the dream.
The more common scenario is not even knowing your contacts have left. They’ve moved on to brighter horizons without thinking of you at all, no matter how many placements you’ve facilitated. You only find out when your email to them bounces or their direct line re-directs to someone new. Bummer.
Some other clues include: if you send frequent email campaigns to your clients, you may notice your bounce rate steadily increasing. Or, your percentage of repeat business is slowly dwindling. These are signals to do an audit of your contact data for accuracy because sometimes the toughest realization to swallow is that your contacts are becoming outdated much faster than you can gain new ones.
2. Missed Opportunities
With a high demand for talented IT professionals comes a high demand for competent staffing partners. If you’re finding that every other call you make regarding a newly opened position has already been snapped up by your competitors, you’re probably feeling the pressure. Even if a client is willing to work with multiple vendors to compare submittals, it’s likely that if you’re not there first, you’re going to miss out.
This happens not only if your contact data is outdated, but also if your contact data simply isn’t very deep or comprehensive. If you’re getting stuck with the gatekeepers or you’re getting passed too slowly up the chain of command, those open requisitions are going to be filled before you even find out what they entail.
While networking can be an effective tool in building valuable relationships, we all know it takes time and genuine effort to do so. Many of those connections might help you get your foot in the door at great companies, but until you get deeper insight on the company’s decision-makers, you’re still going to encounter a lot of competition. And those rare mutually-beneficial relationships that do yield significant return for your book of business are seldom on a scale large enough to result in company-wide and long-term success.
What you need here isn’t simply better contact data; it’s contact data that is regularly and accurately updated according to career moves and department changes. It’s also data that is organized to reflect company hierarchy, so that you know exactly who reports to who and how many people are involved in a final decision. This kind of data gives you the inside look at a company’s infrastructure so you can go from a mere ‘foot in the door’ to a ‘seat at the desk’.
3. Wasted Time
The final, obvious problem here is that building this kind of in-depth data is extremely time consuming. Better data means that either your sales people have to do more research or you need to hire researchers to supply your salespeople with better contacts. Either way, if you are regularly spending time and money researching leads, companies, infrastructures, technologies and more – then you’re sacrificing time that could be used for building rapport with those contacts and taking job orders.
If the research into the ins and outs of companies isn’t done, your sales people will probably end up relying on your old data or even their own outdated books of business. Once again, time wasted.
And finally, when you do eventually get through to the right decision-makers only to find you’ve missed your window of opportunity, you’re once more going to lament that wasted time.
The answer, of course, is that you need better data without having to spend hours creating it.
To attain a true competitive edge and achieve long-term company growth, you need to be solution-oriented.
At DiscoverOrg, we’ve battled with the same challenges of stagnancy, missed opportunities and wasted time, which is why we know our solution works. We put in the time so you don’t have to. Our team of researchers ensure that your contact data is as up-to-date possible, so you can open more and more doors to bigger business.
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