• Iain Irvin

Essential Tips for Buying b2b Data – The questions you should be asking your suppliers

Updated: Aug 28, 2020

Whether you have purchased b2b data to support your in-house data driven marketing campaigns or are planning on doing so for the first time, there are few questions which you should be asking your suppliers.

1. Where is your data from?

Most suppliers of b2b data are resellers, which makes this a really important question, especially with there being such a wide range in quality of data available.

Your supplier should be totally transparent about where they source their data. You may have purchased data in the past, which will lead to a high degree of duplication or you might have had a bad experience with the data they supply, having already bought it elsewhere in the past.

If you get the feeling a supplier is being evasive on this question, I would be asking myself why.

2. How up to date is your data?

This is a really standard question and one that you should want to know the answer to. The important thing about asking this question though, is it will draw out of the supplier any accuracy guarantees they have.

You should be looking for a supplier that will guarantee the accuracy of the b2b data they are supplying and ask them for those guarantees in black and white.

3. What other b2b data services do you offer?

When asking this question, you should be looking for the lack of an answer. A serious supplier of b2b data solutions will offer a range of services as well as just provision.

They are likely to offer data appending, enrichment and analysis services.

If the answer comes back, “we just sell data”, you are unlikely to be working with a sophisticated data solutions supplier.

4. What advice can you give me on the best ways to select relevant data?

This is a great question because it helps you get a better feel for the supplier. The response you get from this question will tell you if they have your best interests at heart or their own.

A good data provider will take time to understand your business, markets and current strategy to win new business in order to provide a really relevant product that will generate tangible results.

A bad one wont. You will find that they will try and take you through the sales process as quickly as possible while bulking up the numbers as much as possible.

5. Can I have a sample of the data?

It’s essential you receive a file that you can work with. A supplier should at the very least be able to provide you with the headers for a database, many will be more transparent and offer you selected parts of the database.

6. Can I see a breakdown?

Asking a supplier for a breakdown enables you to get a complete overview of exactly what you are getting.

You can get breakdowns on numbers or employees, company turnovers, geographical locations, sectors and job titles.

7. What are the terms of usage?

Data is made available on various licences. It’s important that you understand the licence you are purchasing, and that the data meets your needs and aligns with you current or future data-driven campaign strategies.


These are a few basic questions you should ask of any data supplier prior to purchase and they are questions that should be easily answerable.

Asking them enables you to get a better understanding of exactly what you can expect to receive and how it will be presented.

They will also help you get a better ‘feel’ for the supplier. If you get the impression that this is all starting to sound like a bit too much work for them or they try and avoid them, you should be asking yourself the question, “do they deserve my business?”

We hope that you found this helpful and would welcome you to ask these questions of us the next time you have any data requirements.

Contact us on 0191 603 6399 or for a free consultation.

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