What to Be Aware of When Choosing a Data Provider

Choosing a Data Provider - Hero Image

As insurance agents, much of your business relies on strong, comprehensive data, so that you can effectively generate fresh leads. But when it comes to B2B (business-to-business) data providers in your target market, how can you be sure whom to trust, and what actually constitutes “good” data?

There are a wide range of factors to consider when choosing a data provider. These vendors can offer a wide range of services, but generally serve the insurance sector by offering contact information such as names, email addresses, company revenue, employee size, and other critical demographic factors that will allow you and your team to pursue a new lead. Incorrect data or data that doesn’t align with your overall business goals will ultimately waste time and money. Here’s an overview of four key things to look for when it comes to data providers.

Correct and Complete Data

First and foremost, the data you receive from any B2B provider needs to be accurate and complete. If you waste your time reaching out to leads only to find that a cell phone number is out of service, or an email address is missing, then valuable marketing money has been wasted.

When conducting an initial meeting with a new data provider vendor, ask them how they source their data and how regularly the database is updated. You can also ask for a small sample to test yourself — measuring an email bounce rate is a good way to determine the overall quality of the data. It may also be worth discussing contract clauses with your legal team to ensure you are protected in the event significant amount of data turns out to be inaccurate or faulty once already purchased.

Alignment with Your Specific Goals

There are a vast number of data providers available, so a key goal to keep top of mind when meeting with vendors is customization. How can they provide data that fits with the goals of your company?

The inclusion of a buyer’s persona is usually a key consideration when choosing a vendor. A buyer’s persona includes information beyond hard data like age and geographic location — instead, it creates a picture of the customer’s motivation and interest. This will allow you to organize customer data into more actionable leads that should make for better sales conversions.

Easy Integration with Your Workflow

Another factor to consider when evaluating data provider vendors is how easily their datasets will integrate into your existing agency management and CRM systems. It’s one thing to purchase a massive amount of customer data; it’s another to actually implement it seamlessly into your day-to-day.

A good data provider will have a variety of customization options to ensure that their data can be used by different parts of your company, and on different types of software, depending on how you’re looking to incorporate the data into your overall workflow. Take time to ask questions about the usability of the data, and don’t be afraid to speak up if you don’t understand how the data is managed — ease of use is key when selecting a vendor.

Data Security and Protection

A final key step when evaluating a data provider vendor is assessing their data security methods. It’s likely that a number of agents within your company will be accessing this data, on a number of devices, so how is the data protected?

This is important not only for the sake of the many customers listed in the database, but it also ensures that your data doesn’t get leaked to competitors. These days, there are a wide range of ways to strengthen online security, from firewalls to two-factor authentication, so beware of any data provider who is laid-back about the protection of the information they’re selling you. After all, this is a significant business investment that you’ll want to protect appropriately.