Are you sick of targeting contacts that are out of date or irrelevant?

Buying databases can seem like an easy way to start generating leads, but many sales departments become frustrated when the contacts they are trying to reach have moved on, or do not have the relevant decision making power required. This wastes valuable time and energy that could be better spent targeting the right people.In the first of two posts about the importance of building a good database, we will be explaining why there is such a need for a specific database and how you go about creating one. In the second part, we will be discussing the best practices for successful database building. You'll find a link to part two at the bottom of this post.

A successful lead generation campaign is only as good as the data you have to work with, so it is important to have a database specific to your needs and requirements to provide optimum information and help generate ‘good leads’

Read on to find out how to start building your own contacts database:


Why Should You Build a Database?


NetProspex states that “a 2% monthly data decay rate is almost unavoidable for any company with a sizable database, even a B2B database.” This equates to 24% per year, or almost a quarter of your data. Data decay happens be for many reasons but some include:

  • Contact information changes as prospects move from one company to another
  • Unqualified leads opt out of your email updates
  • Companies may move addresses or update systems which causes lost data

This decline may be exacerbated if you are using bought data, as on top of the natural decay you may also have contacts that are irrelevant to your goals. As a result, your database will go stale very quickly if you don’t continually introduce new leads and prospects appropriate to your business model.

Bear in mind that in most businesses the buying process for new products and services is complex and often involves a large number of decision makers, influencers and budget holders. This is why it is so important to supply your Business Development Consultants with accurate information to allow them to get into the organisation at the required level to hopefully create a lead.

So how do you Build that Database?

The first step to building a database is to conduct Firmographics. Firmographics are organisational characteristics which help you find your ideal customer organisation. This may include name of company, company size, location, geographical markets served, industry, and many more.

  • Firmographics will help you narrow down the large field of companies to target and allow your Business Development Consultant to begin to focus on those where the highest probability for leads exists.
  • Reachforce tells us that when we ‘utilise firmographics, you can improve your targeting methods to better catch leads during the awareness and research phases of your sales funnel by identifying those most likely to buy’.

Next, now that you know which organisations you want to target, how do you know who best to contact within? This brings us to stage 2 in database building – demographics:

  • Demographics is where we begin to profile the type of person we feel has the best potential to bring their organisation forward as a lead.
  • Demographics in a B2B market may segment contacts by Gender, Role, Years of Experience, Education, Age, Income – which will help your marketing department to begin developing Buyer Persona’s.
  • From here, your business goals will help you decide which employees you wish to target – whether this is IT Managers or Directors, HR Managers or further up the food chain with C-grade Executives (CEO, CFO, etc.)

After creating a successful and specific database, it is important to continue engaging and re-populating the contacts over time. This will keep you from falling into data decay again.


Buying in databases or information relies on a set of rigid, unchanging rules for every potential target which may not be accurate in today’s market. There is no guarantee that one organisation’s HR Director has the same decision making power as another. Best results are often found by taking the time to call into your targeted organisations; discovering their decision making processes, their chain of command, the most appropriate people for you to contact and from there mapping a route to that person to allow your Business Development Consultants to spend more time engaging with contacts that are more likely to produce leads.


 We hope this blog has given a small insight into how to develop your own contact database and why it can be so important to your business goals and it’s future. If you follow these steps to properly build and maintain your list of contacts, you will begin to attract and develop a trusted network that can help bolster your business and work for you as a brand ambassador in the long term.

Let us know in the comments if you prefer to ‘Build or Buy’ your databases, or a combination of the two, and why?

Read part two of our Contact Database blog; "How to Build a Quality Contact Database"

You might also be interested in: "How to Profile Your Target Market in 5 Steps

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