Time to confess: are you guilty of the 7 deadly data sins?

Colette Hagan-Young

Posted on: October 10, 2022

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Category: Prospecting

Time to confess: Are you guilty of the 7 deadly data sins?

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Does your prospecting data make you a sinner or a saint? Here’s the 7 deadly data sins – and how to make your prospecting habits heavenly.


Databases – not a subject many people lust after. 

But your sales outreach results will only ever be as good as your customer data, and if your data looks like something out of the sin bin then your campaigns won’t be nearly as effective as they could be.

A Forbes report found that 84% of business leaders worry about the quality of their data, and that a fifth of businesses actually lose customers (and revenue with it) because of old or missing data.

1. Using a static database (Sloth)

The data you have on your prospects and customers should live and breathe as they do. Data loses relevance the longer you store it, affecting your prospecting results and costing you money. So if you’re keeping your customer list in a database that isn’t updated or even worse – a spreadsheet 😨 – you’re going to loaf your way to failure.

If your data is months old, you risk wasting personalised messaging on a position that no longer exists. And without accurate data to inform your decisions, your best work could end up doomed to sit in a zombie inbox. That’s one way to make your campaign more expensive for fewer results!

Having a live, dynamic data set means your sales teams can be totally customer-focused and makes prospecting much easier. If their database reflects the latest customer company updates and personnel change, their messaging will be bang on point and give them a better chance of closing a deal.

2. Buying data (Greed)

Your prospecting list is seriously powerful – if you don’t get greedy and take shortcuts.  

Buying a list of potential prospects to hand to your sales team might seem like a quick and easy win, but you’re setting yourself up to go straight to the sin bin.

If you buy one of these lists, it’ll usually be a static spreadsheet of basic contact information with no indication of whether they are a fit for your target market. It’s better to have a list of 20 relevant prospects than 200 mostly irrelevant ones.

And bear in mind that companies that sell email lists sell the same details to everyone, so you can imagine how tired the recipients are after getting the hundredth irrelevant “Dear sir/madam” email.

There’s a much better way. Our database is pretty much the entire B2B universe – but over 99% of that data is completely irrelevant to you. What matters is homing in on the 1% who can truly benefit from your offering.

Our experts toggle 41 different variables to find your target persona and build your unique sales database. We verify every contact individually, so every single prospect has been hand-picked, by us, for you. See how it works.

3. Having a siloed sales team (Envy)

Sales is devilishly competitive, so it’s tempting for reps to stick to their own little black books to stop envious team members pinching their leads.

But managed properly, a shift towards technology and processes that provide a single view of prospects and customers can revolutionise your sales function. A good CRM system and sales engagement platform (like us!) can help you do this. No more fighting for leads, just a slick sales process where everyone gets a piece of the angel cake. 

4. Not keeping to regulations (Wrath)

I’ve definitely shoehorned this one in here, but wrath is what you’ll encounter if you fall foul of data regulations such as the GDPR (we’re fully compliant of course, so you get peace of mind when we run your outreach campaigns.)

Collect in haste, repent at leisure. If you’re storing any form of personal data, you need to make sure it’s handled properly and kept safe. In order to be GDPR compliant, you need to get consent from users to process their data, clearly explain how you collect it, only collect as much as you need for as long as you need, and do whatever you can to protect your database from security breaches.

5. Collecting too much data (Gluttony)

It’s easy in this online world to gorge ourselves on the tons of information at our fingertips. But as we’ve covered above, you should only collect the data you need. 

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t research your prospects. You can collect a certain amount of information to make sure they’re in your target audience and that you can personalise their messages – without getting creepy. 

72% of consumers admit to being nervous about sharing personal info online. So don’t overstuff yourself – it’s all about knowing what to do with the information you have, and using these insights to make strategic decisions. Here’s how we do it. 

6. Chasing the wrong data (Lust)

Can data ever be sexy? To get your customer info singing like an angel and actually working for you, it needs to be accurate, relevant, and up to date. You can then tailor your sales enablement content and outreach messaging to fit the needs of your individual prospects. 

Flirting with the wrong type of data will cost your sales teams time and resources, so keep it simple:

Who are your customers?

Name, email, age, gender identity, profession

How can you reach them? 

Email prospecting, social media platforms, browsing habits, industry spaces

How have they interacted with your brand?

Site visits, browsing habits, content downloads

Once you have this intent data, wasting it would be a sin. More than half of B2B sales reps and marketers don’t do anything with the data they collect. So leverage the opportunities to continually improve your sales process and use it to inform your decisions and personalise your customer experience

7. Trying to do it alone (Pride)

40% of sales reps say prospecting is the hardest part of their job, with the hunt for leads leaving them with only a third of their day for actually selling. 

And if you’ve confessed to committing the six other sins, it’ll only be tougher to get results. That’s where working with a sales engagement partner comes in – bringing your data to life and helping you make real connections with relevant people.

We source every prospect just for your campaign – scanning, segmenting, and verifying a data set just for you. Take a look at how we’ve transformed businesses – putting data to work, and doing it right. Now that’s heavenly. 😇

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