7 tips for maintaining a healthy lead database

For businesses exhibiting at trade shows and events, collecting new business leads is their priority. But your database of leads is only as strong as the quality of the data you put into it. Today I’m sharing seven top tips for maintaining a clean lead database. This will help you ensure data accuracy and help improve conversion rates all through your sales funnel.

1) Consider how long lead data stays relevant for

Research shows that B2B data decays at a rate of 70% every year, as people change jobs, change names, and companies restructure. On average, this means that for every ten people in your database, seven of those entries will be out-of-date after twelve months.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking your data will remain accurate forever.

2) Don’t chase vanity lead metrics

Work with management and your sales team so your lead target is tied to revenue. Many businesses fall into the trap of setting a super high number of leads, set without context. This can often lead to marketing chasing a vanity metric, generating leads that aren’t a good fit.

Rather than chasing number of leads alone, focus on lead quality and data accuracy alongside.

3) Don’t be afraid to lose leads

When GDPR came into force, here at Akkroo we lost 3/4 of our marketing database – overnight. Before the introduction of GDPR we’d contacted all the leads in our database asking them to opt back in, and only a fraction did.

On paper, that looks terrible. But it’s actually a good thing: the leads we’re left with clearly¬†want¬†to hear from us.

Losing leads can be difficult if you measure success based on list size, but an accurate list of interested, relevant people will be more likely to buy your product than lots of disinterested contacts, saving your sales team time in the long run.

4) Make it easy for people to leave

If someone wants to be removed from your database, make it easy to do so. Don’t make them jump through hoops to get their data removed. You don’t want to be wasting your time chasing a lead that has no interest in hearing from your business and no intention of ever buying from you.

5) Have a clear process for removing leads

Everyone who is able to add leads to your database should know how to properly remove them too. For large organisations, that’s likely to be your CRM team’s responsibility. But for smaller businesses, your marketing, sales, and even support teams may be able to add or remove leads from your database.

Make sure that you have a clear process for everyone to follow to remove contacts from your database. This is useful both for removing people whose data is out-of-date, and for if your business received requests for deletion of data.

6) Focus on quality data in

The best way to keep a clean lead database is to start with good quality data. If you exhibit at events, getting accurate lead data can be a challenge. Lead retrieval devices such as badge scanners pull through data from when the lead registered for the event – which could have been six months ago, and already out-of-date. Paper forms can be illegible. Business cards, at least, are normally accurate.

Learn how different lead capture processes can help improve the accuracy of the data you collect at events.

7) Run a regular review of your leads

Considering that B2B lead data decays over time, it makes sense to do a regular review of your lead database. Here at Akkroo we do an annual review, where people who haven’t engaged with us for a year get removed unless they opt back in. A lead management process helps to remove old, out-of-date leads, to keep your database full of current contacts, rather than holding on to people who aren’t interested in what your company’s offering.

Key takeaway: lead quality, not quantity

A list with thousands of leads is no good to your sales and marketing team if most of those have old phone numbers, incorrect emails, and the names of people who have long since left the business.

You want people in your database who are ready to sell to. People who are genuinely interested in your company and what you’re selling. Focus on building a database of good quality leads, rather than hoarding as many people’s details as you can get your hands on.
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