Covid-19 And Your Contact Data
Like many things that have changed and will change with the Coronavirus Pandemic, your contact database is going to be one of them. The impact on the employment market has been grievous and and is likely to continue for some time. We also anticipate the the effect of the economic crisis on classic stakeholders in your sales cycles has yet to play out fully in 2020 and into 2021. We are referring to personas such as:
Executive and Management Sponsors
What are the ramifications of Covid-19 On Contact Data?
Unfortunately, this is going to wreak havoc on most companies business development projects as contacts at all levels of the funnel are laid off, furloughed or leave for perceived safer careers.
In the last few years the average cross industry employee attrition rate in the US has been around 25% according to the ADP Workforce Vitality Survey. The current crisis is going to have a multiplier effect on that attrition rate in negative terms. We anticipate that workforce disruption in 2020 alone could be 50% across the US economy. That basically means half of your contact or lead databases could be useless left untreated.
We are going to be frank with you here. We all know friends and colleagues whose lives and careers have been touched by this crisis and wish them a speedy return to good jobs and their career paths. However, if you continue to expend time on non-productive marketing and business development activities being aggravated by fast-decaying contact data then some of your own workforce run the risk of joining them as your funnel and revenue stream pays the price.
How can we tell contact data is degrading?
There are going to be some emerging indicators that what we are predicting is starting to manifest itself in your sales and marketing funnel. For example:
Your marketing email bounce rates are creeping up because recipients are gone
Field sales teams are getting email responses like "XXXX is no longer with the company, please direct inquiries to YYYY"
Your SDR and Field sales folks are reporting more disconnected numbers or client's no longer responding to emails and voicemails where they did previously
Your field sales teams contacts in LinkedIn are announcing they have changed jobs or are looking for work and seeking help doing it
Some people may go back to school and update their profile accordingly
What can we do about it?
The first order of business is to clean your database and scrub as many contacts as your can determine are no longer there, the quicker you stop the business developers wasting time the better it will be for your funnel.
Next, decide whether you want to follow the people who have left to their new companies? If you have metrics that show they are higher probability that they are future buyers then you should update their contact information. If not, scrub them from your DB permanently so they aren't a distraction.
Next, you might want to think outside the box and add more options & channels for reaching prospects like social media channels. Adversity can be a powerful catalyst for thinking outside the box.
Contact Persona offers a service for screening and cleaning existing lists of prospects and leads called ContactPERSONA On-Demand. Key features of this service are:
Non-invasive email validation testing
Contact job change detection
"Follow me" updates to add new employer and role details for existing DB contacts that have moved
Enhanced data enrichment of existing contacts that are still there
Addition of more contact options such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
Separation of valid and invalid contacts to aid updating purging of CRM databases
Large scale validation and cleaning instead of contact by contact record checking by many other vendors
Making Lemonade From Lemons
Despite the wrenching economic disruption that comes with a crisis of this magnitude, its also an opportunity to shake things up, think outside the box and take a candid, introspective look at the way you acquire and use data for sales and marketing activities.
Just like Covid-19 has been exploiting and surfacing underlying health problems in many of its victims, the follow-in economic dislocation may show up structural weaknesses in your business development tactics. These could include:
Over reliance on Emails and phone numbers
Not aligning contact and call scripts to reflect the roles and responsibilities of the personas you are calling on.
Not incorporating social outreach and social channels for contact
Stale content on your website and social media presences
Reviewing your product and product marketing strategies to see if they reflect this sudden new age we find ourselves in
Just like distilleries who switched to making alcohol for hand sanitizers and and garment manufacturers who switched to making medical masks and gowns to keep their workforce busy, there are always ways to adapt and survive tough times, for those willing to accept the new reality.
Getting back to the issue of bad data, market sentiment indicates that we have reached the bottom of the curve in unemployment market. Now would be a good time to scrub and update your contact database and refocus your marketing and sales teams on the contacts that really matter to keep the funnel growing. ContactPERSONA On-Demand is how you can do it. Take a look at the service and then reach out through our contact form for a free sample of cleaned data from your contact DB.