Salesforce: Build Your Lead Database with Data.com

By Tom Wong, Liz Kao, Matt Kaufman

Data.com is used to compare, update, and clean lead information in your Salesforce org, against information that exists with D&B. It’s an online source of millions of business professionals and Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) information about companies.

Data.com’s partnership with D&B provides the industrial-strength, third-party validation of lead information, because many people who sign up for things online can often use as little real information as possible when they’re in the early stages of researching a product.

A free, light version (Data.com Connect) is even available if you don’t have much of a budget, and it’s based on a very simple quid pro quo model. For businesspeople researching others, in particular companies or industries, Data.com Connect lets you view people’s phone and e-mail information in exchange for submitting or updating the contact information of someone within your network.

Data.com is a nifty add-on feature that helps both update and expand your leads (and accounts and contacts). Here’s a high-level overview on how it works:

  1. From within Salesforce, it flags any of your lead data when a discrepancy exists between the information you have and what’s in Data.com.

    You get to choose which lead fields Data.com reviews to determine this and which flagged records you want to be updated. Don’t worry: You can also lock certain records so that they’re not reviewed.

  2. You can mine Data.com for new leads based on certain criteria.

    For example, you can choose criteria like Industry = Manufacturing, State = California, Company Revenue = $500 million – $1 billion, that you choose, to build your own custom prospecting list. Data.com searches its database for matches and adds them to your Salesforce database on a regular basis.

Data.com has a few different products to help with each aspect of de-duping or list building. To get more information, visit its website’s Products section.