How to find the best B2B contact database for sales

B2B contact data: Finding the best contact database

Lets talk about the basics of B2B contact databases, where providers get their data, and how to choose the one that's right for your GTM team.
Anthony Mennie
11 minutes

Ever since the Yellow Pages was introduced in 1886, data has played a foundational role in fueling outbound prospecting efforts. 

Over the ensuing 140-odd years, the data game has evolved considerably. Whitepages was introduced in 1997, the service that is now known as ZoomInfo came online in 2007, and LinkedIn Sales Navigator was rolled out in 2014. 

In 2015, LeadIQ was founded with the goal of eliminating inefficiencies inherent in traditional outbound sales processes. Our goal is simple: helping sales and GTM teams build pipeline and revenue faster using data. 

But what about B2B data today? It’s time to clue you in on a little secret. There’s something a lot of B2B databases don’t want to talk about: the fact that all of our data pretty much comes from the same sources.

Truth be told, most B2B databases aren’t quite as helpful as they should be. Especially if that database doesn’t help sellers activate on that data in any meaningful way. 

Not to worry; we’re here to help. 

This post provides an overview of B2B contact databases, the state of the current B2B database landscape, and how LeadIQ offers a different way to source data. Keep reading for a comparison between popular B2B contact information solutions on the market today to help you find the best B2B contact database for your organization.

Sellers on LinkedIn are figuring this out on their own.

Truth be told, most B2B databases aren’t quite as helpful as they should be. Especially if that database doesn’t help sellers activate on that data in any meaningful way. 

Not to worry; we’re here to help. 

This post provides an overview of B2B contact databases, the state of the current B2B database landscape, and how LeadIQ offers a different way to source data. Keep reading for a comparison between popular B2B contact information solutions on the market today to help you find the best B2B contact database for your organization.

What is a B2B contact database?

A B2B contact database is a structured collection of contact information for businesses and professionals that companies use for marketing, sales, and networking purposes. Such databases contain information about prospects, customers, partners, suppliers, and other vendors that organizations may want to engage with for various business purposes.

While B2B contact databases may vary on a provider-by-provider basis, each database typically contains:

  • Company information, including name, industry, size, location, and general contact information (e.g., phone numbers, office addresses, and email addresses);
  • Contact information for key individuals within the company, including names, locations, job titles, phone numbers, and email addresses;
  • Demographic data, like company revenue, number of employees, and geographic information; and
  • Industry-specific data, like an IT company’s tech stack and infrastructure or information about a financial services firm’s assets under management.

Companies across all industries use B2B contact data to fuel growth and drive revenue. At a high level, B2B contact information can be used for:

  • Lead generation. Sales teams use B2B contact information to identify potential prospects and target companies. With a robust, reliable data set powering prospecting efforts, reps can find would-be buyers that match their ideal customer profile (ICP).
  • Sales and marketing campaigns. B2B sales and marketing teams can also use databases for outreach, cold calling, outbound email sequences, and direct mail campaigns. With accurate data and contact lists guiding their efforts, they can connect with the right people in the right place at the right time. 
  • Networking. B2B contact databases also help sales reps build relationships by connecting with potential customers, partners, and suppliers. 
  • Market research. Companies also use contact data for B2B market research and analysis purposes. With data fueling their strategies, organizations can better understand market trends and make smarter decisions.

The current B2B contact database landscape

Getting the most mileage from your B2B database starts with ensuring the data you’re relying on is accurate. Unfortunately, in an age where folks change jobs regularly and many organizations are conducting layoffs to navigate a tricky business landscape, it’s getting harder for many providers to maintain high-quality data. 

When sales teams are forced to use outdated or incorrect data sources, they waste time and resources. For this reason, it’s critical to ensure the contact database for sales your organization relies on is trustworthy.

In the world of B2B data, we hear a common refrain: We need more data, and we need better data. To build pipeline and drive revenue, sales organizations hop from data provider to data provider in a never-ending quest for better data.

Yet far too often, teams start slipping for pipeline numbers after a new data provider is onboarded. Failing to hit their quotes, folks blame the data, and the organization begins searching for yet another new data provider only to encounter the same experience once again, and the cycle repeats, becoming more frequent.

Why is this happening?

There are four key reasons:

  1. Most data providers are working with the same foundational data. Gone are the days of switching from one database to another and ending up with 50% more coverage. For the most part, legacy data providers are relying on the same underlying data, so the differences between different B2B databases are much smaller than they used to be. As a result, sales teams end up in the cycle of constantly looking for a new provider and never hitting the sweet spot. 
  1. It’s increasingly difficult to maintain accurate B2B contact information. Due to a confluence of factors — layoffs, remote work, privacy laws, and people switching jobs to earn more money — it’s getting harder and harder for big data providers to keep pace. As a result, data decay rates have increased considerably, making it that much harder for organizations to truly trust B2B business data.
  1. Data is no longer the end all be all of pipeline. In the past, having the most data meant you’d hit pipeline, but that’s no longer the case. These days, it’s not about how much data you have; it’s about how much data you can activate each day, week, and month.
  2. In fact, data is a commodity. With legacy data providers using the same foundational contact information, B2B data has become a commodity. In other words, it’s table stakes across all providers, so if you want different results, you need different solutions.

A different way to source data

Over the last several years, legacy data providers have all focused on the same goal: building as large a database as possible to appeal to as many industries as they can. In a quest for scale, these providers prioritized data sourcing instead of the infrastructure needed to serve as checks and balances against data to keep it accurate. As a result, some b2b contact databases are unprepared for the reality of today’s job market and the speed of job changes. 

At the same time, when sales teams have access to reams upon reams of data, they simply can’t use all of it. So, it becomes stagnant, unverified for six months — or even a year. When reps finally get around to using it, they find out that it’s inaccurate — wasting time and money.

Here at LeadIQ, we’ve always thought about data differently. 

We have our core data set, but we are constantly expanding and verifying that based on what our customers need. Our data operations team keeps tabs on the data our customers are searching for. Paired with ICP exercises we conduct with some of our customers, our team is laser-focused on sourcing data that customers will actually use.

By focusing on these smaller but more highly used data sets, our data is more active, meaning we are verifying it more often. Unlike legacy data providers, we’d rather add 10,000 new contacts that will be used instead of 1 million contacts that won’t be touched because they’re not helpful.

B2B contact database comparisons

When it boils down to it, choosing the right B2B contact database is critical for business success. Not only will the right database give your sales team the ability to reach the most relevant and receptive audience for your products and services, it also helps build trust while reducing the risk of wasted resources. 

For these reasons, it’s critical to do your due diligence when selecting a B2B database. With that in mind, let’s examine some of the top B2B data providers on the market today.

LeadIQ

LeadIQ is a powerful prospecting platform built to help GTM teams teams reach their full potential by connecting them right the right people in the right places at the right times. LeadIQ lives and breathes data accuracy, ensuring all B2B contact information is accurate by leveraging data partnerships, public domain data, data communities, and a proprietary algorithm that proactively verifies data on an ongoing basis. 

LeadIQ features a closed system feedback loop within the platform. The more data our customers use, the better and more accurate it gets — something that legacy providers struggle with. On top of this, LeadIQ uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to continuously improve verification, bringing signals directly from platforms like Outreach and Salesloft to cleanse and verify data at the source, which keeps it accurate for our customers.

An ICP-driven database that is continuously growing based on customer needs, LeadIQ verifies upwards of 90 million records a month. The platform — which integrates with the tools sales teams use every day, like Salesforce, HubSpot, Outreach, Salesloft, Gong, and Gmail — helps organizations increase pipeline-leading indicators, like qualified first calls, number of prospects in sequence, and cold call email reply rates, the ultimate measuring stick for whether reps will hit their pipeline number or not.

At the end of the day, even the most accurate database in the world is wasted spend if sellers can’t make use of it effectively. With LeadIQ — which is trusted by companies like LeanData, Gong, and Optimizely — reps are able to put more data into action. As a result, sellers can spend more time on activities that build pipeline, such as building relationships with key decision makers — enabling organizations to fully leverage headcount and budget as best as they can. 

Top features

Pricing

  • Free tier
  • Essential at $39/user/month ($45 when paid monthly)
  • Pro at $79/user/month ($89 when paid monthly)
  • Customized Enterprise plans available

ZoomInfo

Since 2007, ZoomInfo — which launched as DiscoverOrg before acquiring Zoom Information in 2019 and rebranding — has offered a B2B contact database to customers across all industries. As a legacy data provider, however, ZoomInfo lacks the infrastructure needed to verify data in real time and ensure your messages actually reach your prospects.

Top features

  • B2B contact database
  • Engagement platform
  • Salesforce enrichment
  • Automated prospect research
  • Contact tracking for job changes

Pricing

  • Starts at $15,000/year
  • Custom plans available
  • Pricing isn’t transparent

Lusha

Since 2016, Lusha has delivered accurate, reliable data to sales teams across all industries. While Lusha is a solid data provider, the platform lacks the robust features necessary to truly supercharge prospecting efforts — like the ability to track buying signals, personalize cold outreach, and surface key insights from your CRM (e.g., opt-outs and former customers).

Top features

  • B2B contact data
  • Salesforce enrichment
  • Integration with popular CRMs (e.g., HubSpot and Zoho)
  • Security and compliance features

Pricing

  • Free tier
  • $29/user/month for Pro
  • $51/user/month for Premium
  • Custom pricing for Scale

Cognism

Headquartered in London and founded in 2015, Cognism is a data provider designed to verify B2B contact information to ensure it’s accurate and reliable. While the company has a strong presence in EMEA, the solution was built for SMB teams and lacks the broad data coverage needed to support global enterprises. 

Top features

  • B2B contact data
  • Salesforce enrichment
  • Integrations with CRMs (e.g., Salesforce and Outreach)

Pricing

  • Two tiers, Platinum and Diamond 
  • Pricing isn’t transparent

Apollo

Since 2015, Apollo has connected sales teams with reliable and accurate B2B contact information. Built for smaller teams as an all-in-one sales solution, however, Apollo lacks the ability to capture to sequence and CRM with one click. It also doesn’t give reps the tools they need to reach their full potential — like automated prospect research functionality or Salesforce enrichment.

Top features

  • B2B contact data
  • Salesforce enrichment
  • Lead scoring
  • Engagement platform

Pricing

  • Free tier
  • Basic at $39/user/month (billed annually)
  • Professional at $79/user/month (billed annually)
  • Organization at $79/user/month (minimum five users; billed annually)

Seamless.ai

Founded in 2018, Seamless.ai is a provider of B2B contact data. As a lead management solution, Seamless.ai is designed to connect sales teams with their ideal prospects. Despite what having “AI” in the name might suggest, Seamless.ai isn’t capable of verifying contact data in real time. 

Top features

  • B2B contact database
  • Pitch intelligence
  • Data enrichment (premium)
  • Contact tracking for job changes (premium)

Pricing

  • Free tier
  • Free trial of Basic
  • Pro and Enterprise plans
  • Pricing isn’t transparent
LeadIQ users reported achieving ROI in 6 months on average, which is more than half a year faster than ZoomInfo and two months faster than Cognism.

Never second guess B2B contact data again!

In an era where data is a commodity and most data providers offer solutions that appear more like carbon copies of each other than anything else, it’s more important than ever for B2B sales teams to deploy tools that give them an edge. As legacy providers continue sourcing more and more data without the ability to verify it, sales reps who trust contact information from these vendors risk wasting time and finding out the hard way just how many people have changed jobs over the last several years.

With a proprietary closed-loop system for real-time B2B contact data verification — a purpose-built solution designed to continuously and proactively ensure data is accurate — LeadIQ helps SaaS sales teams soar to new heights.

Remember, it’s not about how much data you have; all the data in the world won’t help you if it can’t be activated. It’s about having access to accurate, reliable data you can put to use with confidence  — and that’s the LeadIQ difference.

But don’t just take our word for it. Take LeadIQ for a test drive today to see its power with your own eyes.

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