Salesforce Data.com: Why is it shut down now and what to do next?

Salesforce discontinued data.com, which was reportedly making money for the company by offering qualified leads to the businesses. And if you are wondering and still trying to make sense of what happened, here’s why the leading cloud-based CRM services provider decided to pull the plug on its sales and B2Blead generation component. It seems like the end of an era, but a logical conclusion to a technology solution that has served its purpose and outlived its utility.  

What is Salesforce Data.com?

According to its official website, Data.com is the first complete and native data solution inside Salesforce. Conceived with Dun & Bradstreet, the company scraps off the internet to build a contact list. The Salesforce CRM tools can access this contact list for workflow automation, email automation and marketing automation. 

The company offers data mining services and data scrubbing services to businesses to maintain and update this data.  The clean, reliable and qualitative data enables businesses to generate actionable insights and empowers them to stay ahead of the curve. The services of Data.com are classified into two segments, namely Clean and Prospector. 

Salesforce Data.Com Clean

The Salesforce Clean boasts of powerful data verification tools that improve the quality of contact and lead data, enrich it further by adding relevant and target-specific details to it. The entire process, right from data appending to data scraping takes place inside Salesforce via Data.com

Salesforce Data.Com Prospector

The Prospector is native to Salesforce and is a tool used to search or filter through the target. Since the businesses are targeting a specific set of customers, the pipeline is much faster, bottlenecks are reduced, and the connection to the customers is more streamlined. The outreach program becomes more aligned to the marketing objective. The Prospector offers you a 360-degree view of sales and marketing processes right within Salesforce.

According to Salesforce, the existing connects within the system will be used to maintain the Data.com towards the end-of-life. Once it is achieved (by 2020), the contact database will be archived and will no longer be in use. 

While the licenses of Prospector and Clean can’t be renewed now, these tools are slated to go out of circulation entirely and retire on July 31, 2020.

The journey of Salesforce Data.Com

Data.com came into being with Salesforce’s acquisition of Jigsaw. Even before this collab, Jigsaw was considered to be a quality tool that enabled businesses and sellers to democratise crowd-sourced data from different sources such as tax, mailing records, events or tradeshows. Businesses could exchange their compiled data and make the most of it. 

Rechristened as Data.com, the Jigsaw’s democratisation of data appears to feel like more of an afterthought that was on the way to become irrelevant sooner than you might think. The advent of social media, especially LinkedIn, the sellers are getting better at contact sourcing and contacting the person directly without the circuitous routes of a lead generation portal.  Then, there were targeted email marketing campaigns that emphasised on personalisation, whereas data.com provided contacts for mass-mailing and which were company-centric. The businesses, however, moved on to a proved ROI-based strategy where they communicated with buyers and companies that are the perfect fit for their business and services. The ROI-oriented account-based tools and not the ones handing out contacts is the need of the hour. 

Since last year, it has stopped taking new customers. However, it is not the only one. Other big data and data mining services providers such as Salesloft’s Prospector, KiteDesk have closed the doors for new customers too. B2B companies and sales reps that relied heavily on contact data provided by the Data.com are still trying to understand the ‘whys’ and ‘whats’, and we help them find out exactly that! 

One among the many reasons that Salesforce decided to call it quits with Data.com was to abide by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that brings crowd-sourced data under the scanner. According to this law, “Organisations found breaching the GDPR can be fined up to four per cent of annual global turnover or an amount of €20 Million (whichever is greater).” 

 It is the maximum fine that can be levied upon the businesses that don’t adhere to most serious infringement yet the basic requirements of an outreach campaign such as having sufficient consent from the customer to use their data. Crowd-sourced data comes without any liability and is often duplicated. Once it enters into a system, it is difficult to ensure its hygiene. Regular CRM data cleaning and various checkpoints are the ways to keep data current and complete. 

Besides, there are several data mining tools available in the market as opposed to when Salesforce started. While marketing automation has still a long way to go, the businesses now have a variety of tools outside the periphery of Salesforce while being highly compatible and platform-agnostic. The lack of new features to accommodate targeted and micro focussed marketing campaigns also contributed to its demise.  

As social sourcing the contact becomes the widely-accepted form of lead generation, account-based selling takes the place of mass mailing, stringent laws for outreach campaign come into being, and businesses look beyond the CRM for data solutions, Salesforce has no option but to shut down Data.com

Nonsensical and Irresponsible Data Sanitation Practices

Data.com gained popularity for leading the way forward to the democratic availability of data. However, the idea of ‘of the people, by the people and for the people’ didn’t work out well. There were no sanity checks to the data uploaded, the data scrubbing practices were non-existent, and users could upload any data lists that they want. Experts like Neil Patel have always emphasised on the importance of paying attention to the origin of data rather than building an overloaded system. However, companies often fail to understand the 101 of data quality. Salespeople forget the core principle of their work that it is ever-evolving. People tend to change their jobs, address and email IDs, but the changed details rarely make it to the contact list. 

When businesses hire a third-party database, the CRM gets inundated with outdated, duplicated and incomplete data.  So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a sales rep end up wasting more than 546 working hours in a year owing to the bad data in the system. 

Lack of regulatory practices

Data.com was cool for businesses before the latter realised its uncool lack and utter disregard for personalisation and data mining services. An outreach campaign to reach out to your customers isn’t about sending the same mail to an odd list of 10,000 people (Fact check: it is spam).  It is about connecting with the customers they want it or the way they would prefer. So, when this data prospecting tool closes down completely, it shouldn’t come as a surprise.  Missing fields, duplicate data, invalid formatting and invalid values just add to the madness of crowd-source data. Here’s just a sneak peek at enterprise lead disposition for businesses, showcasing the impact of poor quality data on B2B lead generation.

salesforce data.com

 

The lack of reinventing

Companies, these days, are thriving on data and focus on making a data-oriented system for their business processes. However, it is the quality of data that often gets overlooked.  The email marketing campaigns are now interactive, more personalised and tend to serve a niche target segment. Cold calling or emailing is still relevant, but it is also quality over quantity. If only Data.com had reinvented its practices and had adopted a proactive approach towards email appending and data scrubbing, we wouldn’t be here talking about the downfall of it. 

 

A salesperson making an unintentional typo while entering the details in the system, not following the format, or a customer changing a job – it all leads to unstructured and poor-quality data.  According to this research by Marketing Sherpa, every year, up to thirty per cent of data becomes inadequate and inaccurate. At the same time, businesses do nothing about it but continue to base their business decisions on it.

Bad CRM data leads to higher bounce rates of email, inaccurate details of customers result in poor business decisions, wasted time and efforts. The practice of keeping data up-to-date is rare than you might think despite its criticality. 

At times when companies are opening up to nudge-based user personas, buyer behaviour, social listening and predictive analysis, data is what drives them all and quality data is non-negotiable. However, Data.com scored a big ZERO when it came to offering relevant and current data to its clients – the only job that it had.

So, what to do now?

Data.com is gone, and with it being out of the picture, you need to find data appending companies that adhere to international CAN-SPAM regulations and have data appending services in place. A data solution provider that takes the ownership of the data it is provided to you and ensures it is updated, complete and accurate. It should offer value-based solutions such as CRM cleaning, email data validation, email verification, email address validation and scrubbing simultaneously to ensure that the data is checked and looked into for discrepancies at various checkpoints, especially when it enters into the system. 

Accurate, verified, and targeted contact data is the need of the hour. Your salespeople shouldn’t spend their time double-verifying email address details off the social media or finding out the right information for a targeted segment when you have already paid for it. 

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5 Reasons to Outsource Data Mining Services

Let’s face the truth; our world is made up of raw data. Data mining services is the need of the hour for every small to large business alike. The demand for data mining services is increasing exponentially. Data mining services is an essential tool for every business because it helps with the extraction of useful or relevant data out of an infinite set of raw data.

Proper maintenance of data leads to the growth of any business and facilitates the decision-making process. Thus, data is the backbone of any business irrespective of the domain and size.

Still Shooting Blind Arrows for Lead Generation?

Gone are the times where marketing teams shot blind arrows to generate leads. The world now is driven by quality data, which is relevant and appropriately mined by extracting patterns and relevancy. The world now has moved to an age of personalization. Marketing strategies are evolving every day with the help of data mining. Not just that, revenue estimation, company’s growth graph, competitor’s growth analysis, everything is determined with the help of data mining.

However, usually, the responsibility of useful mining data falls under the lap of the company’s marketing team, which is more than often not well-equipped neither trained. Thus, it leads to a haphazard between sales and marketing teams and also leads to their misalignment. Sales team fail to generate revenue out of inferior quality leads, and the entire marketing strategy goes for a toss.

The repercussions of a failed marketing strategy lower the morale of not just sales and marketing teams but the entire organization. The company also has to recuperate from a financial loss caused by a failed marketing strategy. Thus data mining services goes a long way in minimizing such losses. Also, it is highly prevalent and also profoundly wise to outsource this centripetal task to companies which specialize in data mining services. Data mining is a broad concept which can be sub-divided into services like CRM cleaning, email appending, Data scrubbing, Web mining, skip tracing and others. At BizProspex we offer all these services at a competitive price.

5 Major Reasons to Outsource Data Mining Services:

reason to outsource data mining services

Let’s admit it. Specialized third party does a better job!

Data is the most tangible asset of any company. Therefore appointing a third party who is professionally trained and well equipped does a better job at mining data. Sales or marketing team is often not trained or equipped at mining relevant data. Thus, it is beneficial to appoint third party companies for data mining-related services. Better the quality of leads better will be the lead conversion. Third-party companies always understand the stakes of providing quality data because of their profit and growth. Thus, it is only natural that they do a better job at useful mining data out of unstructured raw data. Also, such companies specialize in providing data mining services and are bound to do a better job than your sales or marketing teams. They have a hands-on experience and are equipped with all the latest tools which are required to mine data.

Increase in Productivity:

When you outsource a crucial task like data mining to a third party, it gives your sales and marketing teams a lot of freedom and space. Now they can design and innovate a marketing strategy which is highly optimized and bear phenomenal results. Thus this increases the overall productivity of the company. The sales and marketing teams can do what they are better best at, while the third party company that specializes in data do their best too. It’s a win-win for both the parties and also increases the productivity of the company.

We all know companies like Amazon, FedEx are performing data analytics for decades now and have set their benchmarks strappingly. When it boils down to B2B marketing outsourcing data analytics can give a much-needed boost to the company.

Cost Reduction:

This is provided; outsourcing data mining services to third party companies save a lot of money in the long run. When you deploy a marketing strategy on quality leads, this increases the ROI significantly. Especially for small-scale businesses employing and finding a quality data scientist can be a cumbersome task, and what if one employee isn’t sufficient? Also, consider the additional charges such as taxes and perks are needed to lure a quality data scientist.

Thus, it is logical and cost-saving to outsource this task to a third-party company like BizProspex, which specializes in services like CRM cleaning, data verification data mining, data appending services, Web scraping services and others.

Process Management:

As said earlier, data being the most tangible asset of any business requires a lot of diligence and maintenance. Quality data is beneficial for any organization, whereas stale data can be hazardous. Therefore, data requires a lot of security and process management. Maintaining and formulating data is not a onetime thing; it is a continuous process. Thus it is more comfortable and always better to outsource this mammoth task to third party companies like BizProspex.

Third-party companies maintain the security and integrity of your data. It thrives on ensuring that the data adheres the given timelines and is relevant. Thus, it is easier to maintain data with the help of third-party companies.

Scalability:

Let’s assume, you land up on few substantial projects and require immediate data assistance. In such a scenario, it is straightforward to outsource this task to a third party company who can quickly come up with the desired results. Thus, involving a third party allows you to scale-up your business very rapidly and in no time. Hence, outsourcing your data analytics job to a third company is, in all ways, a profitable deal. Appointing full-time data scientists can be cumbersome while selecting a freelance third party is far more manageable.

How can we help?

We at BizProspex provide the following services at very competitive pricing:

  1. CRM cleaning: We perform CRM cleaning by taking over your existing data and fixating it by taking admin rights to your CRM software. Enjoy hassle-free CRM data cleaning with us. We refresh the data on your CRM so that it shines like new.
  2. Data Mining: If you are looking for fresh and high quality leads for your business, BizProspex can do the trick. We offer data mining services where we provide highly accurate and thoroughly checked leads to our clients.
  3. Data Appending: We also perform data appending, by adding relevant information to your existing data and removing the stale data. We also look for missing entries and inconsistencies and make sure what we deliver is complete data free of any incumbencies.
  4. Data Scrubbing: Data Scrubbing is the process of removing stale data and refurbishes it. We at BizProspex provide data scrubbing services at a very compelling price.
  5. Web Scrapping: We also dig up websites on World Wide Web and scrap out information which can be very useful. Data scraping can help you devise a marketing strategy by giving you an idea of your competitors. You can check your growth and analyze and make informed decisions with the help of Web scraping.

 

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