Not all consumer data is eligible for a sales call; we’re not just talking about the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) but ensuring the data you own, the data you purchase and ultimately the data you use is compliant, valid and more importantly usable.
As a responsible data owner or purchaser, running your data against the TPS register is obviously a must, but often this is where most companies begin and end their data validation. Data is as organic as the consumer it belongs to and is therefore unpredictable. In short, if you don’t take a proactive approach to maintaining the integrity of your data then the wide end of your sales funnel could be down to 60% accurate inside of 12 months.
There are many variables that chip away at the freshness of your data:
- The TPS Register
- Phones and SIM cards being passed on to siblings or sold
- Purposely fraudulent data
- Moving house
These variables erode your data overtime and if you’re not aware of the importance of data housekeeping then the shelf life of your data could be that of warm milk. You may think that this seems a little alarmist, but your database is the foundation of all sales and your faith in the integrity of that data is becoming more and more important in this competitive market.
The effort and cost of maintaining the integrity of your data will always offset the effort and cost of investing in better staff, a more dynamical sales manager, more motivating tactics or even larger incentives to offset a slow decline in sales, but if you’re data pot is going stale then you need to tackle the root cause of the problem.
What checks can I perform to verify the data I have is valid and usable:
- The TPS Register
- Known global stop lists
- The Royal Mail files
- Deceased registers
- Data device list
- Dead numbers
- Basic and advanced HLR
- Real-time status of a device
Not all data is created equal
We covered the variables that can help or hinder your data performance but fundamentally you need the right data in the first place. Calling landline data has been the mainstay of telemarketers and outbound call centres for decades but low contact rates and with the TPS register preventing you calling 73% of all landline numbers, this is now simply failing to stack up.
It’s no secret that Mobile phones are the ultimate point of contact for the mainstay of the population, but for a company that has being dialling landline data for any length of time the “If it aint broke, don’t fix it” saying crops up more often than is possibly healthy.
Making the transition from calling landlines to mobiles can sometimes be a bold step with fears of high call costs and the perceived transient nature of the numbers, but in reality the call costs are at an all-time low and mobile phone numbers remain attached to the consumer during holidays, house moves and even divorces.
Landline data may have been cheaper to purchase or even easier to source in the past, but if you factor in your call centre workers’ wages of dialling dead numbers, their outbound dialling costs of dialling no-one and the biggest reason call centre workers don’t reach their targets, lack of enthusiasm due to a poor conversation rates and you have unmotivated sales team that struggle to reach their targets.
Luckily, good quality mobile data, clean, filtered and backed by a reputable company may cost a little extra but your sales force are going to talk to more people and this will ultimately boost your bottom line and motivate your team.
5 questions you should ask when buying consumer mobile data
- Is it Live?
This question seems obvious, but some less than scrupulous data provider will cut your order with dead numbers. Get a guarantee on live only numbers with an agreement to replace any dead ones.
- Can the number be called by a live agent?
If the data you’re buying contains numbers that are attached to data only plans, tablets, dongles etc then you’ll get no answer no matter how many times you try.
- Has the number been recorded as switched on in the past?
Real-time Home Location Registers (HLR) can give you a false negative on numbers. Say you HLR your data at 8:30 in the morning, all those tube passengers are going to return an “off” status on the HLR. Find a company than can cache the on/off status to prevent this.
- Has the number been checked against the TPS?
A £5,000 fine faces anyone who doesn’t, and that’s for each number! You’ll also need to do this every 28 days.
- Are you and your data supplier ICO and DPA compliant?
To buy sell, trade or use consumer data, you’ll need at an ICO registration and DPA compliance goes without saying. Don’t deal with anyone who can’t reach at least these two standards.
A bountiful sales funnel
In the past telemarketing may have been a numbers game, but the game has changed. Your sales funnel should be filled with the best quality leads and prospects you can find and you need to ensure that you’re not wasting time, money and your sales team’s morale.
If you’re trying to stay ahead of your competitors by buying data discs purchased in shady car parks or tearing sheets from a telephone directory then you need to rethink your sales strategy.
What to do next?
If you require more information and some free expert advice on the subject then contact Kelly Ball for a free consultation.
0844 884 3018