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Finding the Perfect B2B Data Provider: Your Ultimate Checklist

Evaluating Multiple Vendors - The Approach

When you're comparing different B2B data providers, your focus should be on direct, hands-on testing. Here's a systematic approach to evaluate and compare different vendors:

  1. Ask for a Trial or Sample Data Set: Most providers will be able to provide a small sample of their data or a limited trial of their platform.

  2. Analyze the Sample Data: Use the sample data to perform a hands-on evaluation. Check the accuracy, completeness, relevance, and timeliness of the data. Also, check for any inconsistencies in the data.

  3. Integration Test: Use the sample data or trial period to test the integration of the provider's solution with your existing platforms.

  4. Collect Feedback: Involve your sales and marketing team in the evaluation process. Their feedback on the usability and relevance of the data will be valuable.

  5. Score Each Provider: Assign a score to each provider based on the criteria in the checklist. This will help you objectively compare different providers.

Check out our sample B2B Vendor Scorecard to use in your own evaluations.

Expert evaluation questions

1. Accurate Data: How do they ensure top-notch data accuracy and integrity?

  • How is the data sourced and collected? Are they scraping the data, buying it from third parties, or collecting it directly? Each of these methods has different implications for data accuracy, and ideally you have a data provider that does all three*.

  • What processes are in place to ensure data accuracy? Are the data manually verified, or do they use AI or machine learning for verification?

  • How often is the data updated or refreshed? The more frequently data is updated, the more accurate it is likely to be.

  • What percentage of their overall data would they estimate is accurate? What metrics or measures do they use to quantify accuracy?

*The Inside Scoop: The best data sources do a combination of all 3 collection methods. The most important question here is the frequency of the updates. Real-time data can improve overall accuracy by over 35% since the data is refreshed as soon as you need it. Static databases like Zoominfo or Apollo.io provide updates to a fraction of the database every quarter, meaning the majority of the data you export is out-of-date by several months or even years.

For a deeper dive into how to evaluate data accuracy check out out our blog post: A Deeper Dive into B2B Data Accuracy: An Advanced Guide

2. Comprehensive Coverage: Can they offer data that covers a broad spectrum of companies, contacts, and industries worldwide?

  • How many companies, contacts, and industries does their database cover? Can they provide a breakdown by region, country, or industry sector?

  • How deep is their data coverage within each organization? Does it include contacts at all levels, from junior staff to senior executives?

The Inside Scoop: Your company has a unique target market and persona. It's unlikely you will need to sell to millions of customers as a B2B company, or at the very least you need to prioritize which to go after first - it’s crucial to find out how they are updating your specific market.

3. Enriched Data for Deeper Insights: Are they merely offering basic data fields or enriching it with firmographics, technographics, traits and intent data?

  • Besides basic contact and company information, what additional data points do they provide? Do they include firmographic data (like industry, revenue, and employee size), technographic data (like technology usage), intent data, and other behavioral insights?

  • How do they source this additional data? Is it all from primary sources, or do they use third-party sources as well?

How ExactBuyer Can Help: ExactBuyer's goal is to provide more attributes on people and companies than any other company today. It uses broad crawls (like Google), natural language understanding (to extract skills, interests, certifications, etc.). This means you have more ways to segment your list, and most importantly, more ways to get hyper-targeted on your prospects.

4. Compliance Matters: In this data-driven world, compliance can't be overlooked. Your provider must adhere to data protection regulations like GDPR, CCPA, and others.

  • How do they ensure compliance with data protection regulations like GDPR and CCPA? Can they provide details on their data collection, storage, and processing practices?

  • Have they ever had any data breaches or violations of data protection laws?

How ExactBuyer Can Help: ExactBuyer has robust GDPR, CCPA, and SOC 2 - Type 2 certifications to ensure prospect data is sourced ethically and customer data is never shared with any other companies.

5. Customization for Precision Targeting: Every business is unique, and so are their data needs. Does your provider allow customization based on specific criteria like industry, company size, geography, job title, etc.?

  • How flexible is their data segmentation? Can data be segmented by industry, company size, job title, geography, and other criteria?

  • Can they provide custom data sets based on your specific needs?

How ExactBuyer Can Help: ExactBuyer is the only solution that provides Custom TAM Building. This means that ExactBuyer can help you identify exactly the right companies (ICP) and decision makers (Buyer Personas) and automatically crawl the entire web to identify and enrich each company, find all of the contacts who belong at those companies, get their emails and phone numbers, and deliver it directly into your CRM. Book a demo to learn more!

6. Seamless Integration: How easily does their data solution integrate with your existing CRM and marketing platforms?

  • How does their data solution integrate with popular CRM and marketing platforms?

  • Can they provide a demo or walkthrough of the integration process?

How ExactBuyer Can Help: ExactBuyer natively integrates with Salesforce & Hubspot, and provides Zapier integrations & API access that allows you to build integrations with over 4000+ products. Visit our integrations page to learn more.

7. Clear and Transparent Pricing: Is their pricing structure straightforward, with no hidden costs or penalties?

  • What is the pricing structure? Is it based on the volume of data, a subscription model, or a one-time fee? Are there any additional costs for custom data sets or integrations?

  • Are there any penalties or additional costs for exceeding certain data limits?

ExactBuyer Pricing: ExactBuyer provides a suite of tools for sales, marketing, and recruiting professionals. ExactBuyer offers plans with no-contracts, based on the number of seats you need and the amount of data you consume. You can have 1 seat with hundreds of thousands of credits, or hundreds of seats with thousands of credits each. It's completely flexible to the size of your team and the scope of your projects. Visit our pricing page to learn more.

8. User-Friendly Data Delivery: It's important how you receive your data. Is it a raw data feed, or do they offer a user-friendly interface or dashboard?

  • How is the data delivered? Do they offer a dashboard or API, or is it delivered as raw data files?

  • Can they provide a demo of their data delivery platform?

How ExactBuyer Can Help: ExactBuyer offers both a fully-loaded dashboard & analytics suite as well as API access on any plan. Sign up here or book a demo to learn more.

9. Dedicated Customer Support: A provider with strong customer support can help you navigate any issues and ensure smooth operation.

  • What channels of customer support do they offer (e.g., email, phone, live chat)?

  • What is their average response time to customer inquiries or issues?

How ExactBuyer Can Help: ExactBuyer provides email & live chat support for all of our Growth customers. Additional onboarding & custom project integration can be provided on an as-needed basis to users on Annual or Custom plans.

10. Credible Client References: Can they provide testimonials from other businesses that have benefited from their service?

  • Can they provide references or case studies from clients in your industry or with similar data needs?

  • How has the company improved efficiency or revenue for other companies? Are there specific metrics they improved, and how?

How ExactBuyer Can Help: ExactBuyer is proud to work with some of the fastest growing companies in the world including Brex, Ramp, Gorgias, Northbeam, ABC Fitness and more. Book a demo with us to learn more.

Choosing a B2B data provider is a significant decision for your business. Ensure you make an informed choice by using this checklist and approach. Your perfect B2B data provider is out there - happy hunting!

Get serious about prospecting
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