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The Costs of Not Qualifying Leads

Few business tasks prove more beneficial to an organization than qualifying leads. Few business tasks prove more frustrating, too.
Qualifying a List of Leads or Maintaining an existing Customer List consumes chunks of valuable time for a seemingly mundane chore.
If you don't qualify those lists, though, no matter what sources you obtain them from, you will lose time AND money pursuing them.
I've purchased lead lists from third party vendors with as much as 60 percent outdated data. Left unqualified, that would translate into a host of business sins including unnecessary spending on marketing, advertising and sales, and reduced productivity from the time spent chasing leads that will never buy.
One study by Digital Commerce 360 found that marketers surveyed estimated that bad data wasted 21 percent of their budgets, while approximately one-third believe poor data resulted in not only inaccurate targeting but also lost customers (Yikes!).
How do you combat that?
If you want a third party list to expand your own in-house list or need to start from scratch, sign up for a trial from the list provider first and check the data of people or companies you already know, such as yourself or existing customers. A high percentage of errors should be a red flag for that list as a whole.
Once you've settled on a list -- even if the trial data proved largely accurate -- you must qualify it to prevent marketing to the wrong "decision-makers" or sending the wrong message to the wrong leads. 
In B2B marketing, for instance, you need the name of the current CEO, Owner, Managing Partner or Executive Director, not the name of the one who retired or moved to another organization three months ago.
From there, check the accuracy of all other data points (i.e., Income, Revenue, etc.) key to targeting your market.
Once qualified, you must maintain your list to keep it from becoming outdated. 
Don't trust your own organically grown data, either, even if you, like 61 percent of marketers, rate their own data as "excellent" (per the Forrester Consulting report, "Why Marketers Can't Ignore Data Quality", commissioned by Marketing Evolution).
Customers and Leads don't stand still. They change phone numbers and email addresses, drop their land lines, or experience life changes that alter their value to you ... and you'll never know if you don't scrub your lists regularly. 
Over time, outdated lists erode the accuracy of your database, harm your marketing and sales efforts, and create a multitude of business problems including wasteful spending and bad morale that frustrates and drives out top employees. 
I am Eric Magill, an Information Professional. Contact me for help with the time-consuming tasks of qualifying and maintaining your Lead, Prospect  and Customer lists. You can also request an online meeting with me.