You have a company which matches your criteria as a perfect prospect. You have your pitch ready, plenty of good collateral and now all you need is to find perhaps one key decision maker and 2-3 influencers to target your cleverly crafter message to and get a foot in the door. So you look up the company website, find and address, a contact number and you dial in. A friendly voice greets you and asks you how they could assist you. You tell them you are looking for someone in a specific role and need their name and email address.
The friendly voice turns suspicious and says "are you selling something?". End of round one. Round two and you repeat the process, this time only a bit more tactful not to get caught. The friendly voice says its against company policy to give you that information but they can transfer the call. Reluctantly you agree as you're running out of options. The call is transfered and you reach their voicemail. End of round two. Round three... Locating decision makers and building a high quality marketing database is a lot of work.
If you have cold called to locate specific decision makers who are the right targets for your marketing you would know it takes a lot of time. Infact, quite often it takes up time that can otherwise be spent on pitching or selling. As with a lot of other business activities such as data processing, technical support and so on, marketing database building and management is often best outsourced. Again as with most other outsourcing decisions the main questions you need to ask yourself are:
- Is it crucial to what we are doing?
- How much overhead does it add doing it in house? Cost? Time? Additional Staff? Management time?
- How many resources would it free up if it were done by someone else that can re-directed towards something of more value?
- Evaluate a number of vendors and select the one that delivers the best value. Dont base it completely on cost because quality of your data is directly releated to the results you can generate from it.
- Try out a smaller project or insist on sampling the services even if it is paid. It's better to start off with a smaller project which gives you a chance to evaluate especially when you have a larger requirement or you are looking for a long term relationship with your vendor.
- Be very specific about your data requirements while conveying them to your vendor so as to avoid disappointment later. If you run email campaigns extensively on your data make sure they understand that email ids are critical for you. If you run direct mail campaigns ensure they know that accuracy of location and address details are very important.
- Select a vendor you can rely on to deliver quality and reliability. In the end, if you are spending more time and resources with getting your vendor to deliver, then it defats the purpose of outsourcing to free up resources that can be better allocated somewhere else.
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