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Avoiding the pitfalls when it comes to buying company data

There’s one thing that you just can’t live without in business – and that’s leads. As even the best sales person in the world will quickly grind to a halt without anyone to pitch to.

And it’s not just any old leads you need. You want to be spending time and energy on the warm leads and those people who have a genuine interest or need for your product or service. With a consistent stream of these type of contacts you could soon be sat back just watching the deals pour in.

So where and how should you be marketing your company to find this elusive tap of warm leads?

In your quest to find one you may be considering buying in a company data list. On the surface that may appear to be a strategy that ticks all the boxes: It’s quick. They can be very targeted with options to filter down by things such as position, company size, sector and even geographically. They can give you the email and contact number for your primary target and importantly help get you past the dreaded gatekeeper. Problem solved…..well in theory anyway.

But sadly, while that all sounds great on paper, back in the real world things might not be quite so rosy. Now we’re not saying all lists are riddled with issues and inaccuracies. They’re not and you may get lucky and generate a healthy return on your investment. But before you reach for the company credit card, just make sure you are aware of these five common pitfalls and are geared up to ask all the right questions. Compare providers and make sure you know exactly what you’ll be getting.

Avoid generic info

General company emails and phone numbers are not going to help you if you’re after people in specific job roles. You need accurate information on the level of the target individual. It’s no use shelling out for a data list where many leads then come to you with just generic info.

Data that’s past it

The information on any data list needs to be regularly ‘cleaned’ and by this we mean kept up-to-date. People and teams are changing all the time and if it’s not checked and updated often then leads will quickly become worthless.


Nothing is going to annoy people more, and make them less receptive to an approach, than getting call after call. If their data is on a list that has been sold on many times it won’t take much for them to quickly lose patience.

Not opted in

There are many issues of data protection that you need to adhere to when it comes to dealing with people’s personal details, with most breaches coming with a hefty fine. But even on a personal level, if someone hasn’t opted in to say they’re happy to be contacted then they’re not going to be impressed if they start having to dealing with sales calls.

May not even be useable

Before you buy anything you need to think long and hard about how you will use the data. Email marketing systems such as MailChimp are getting more and more intelligent when it comes to stopping you using this type of data, as it can end up blacklisted as spam. If that’s your plan then it could prove a waste of money.

So what should you do? Take it into your own hands. It may take time and resource but there really is no better data source than one you have built up yourself and that you know is being kept up-to-date. If you compile all the contacts and leads that you’ve grown through your marketing activity and organically - such as through networking, referrals, website visits, enquiries, content marketing etc etc - then you’ll start to see real results.

But even more than that, by using software such as Lead Forensics that uncovers previously anonymous web visitors, you are able to build a list of leads who have already shown an interest in your products and services, but who haven’t reached out to you yet. Your own database is the biggest asset in your business, treat it as such, nurture it and grow it and over time it will fill your pipeline again and again.