Operations Teams: How can you use web data to boost your company’s growth?

Challenges, advantages, methods… Quit scrambling to cobble together web data; instead, improve your data processes with Captain Data and SocieteInfo.

Operations Teams: How can you use web data to boost your company’s growth?
Guillaume Odier

Guillaume Odier

Co-founder

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Maximizing your resources, growing your teams, making sure the business plan is solid… When a startup decides to scale up and put things into a higher gear, everything has to be put in motion to succeed 🏆.

But oftentimes they forget that internal processes will become more complex and can take up much more time.

To give everyone the means to reach their objectives, each team needs more and more data coming from different sources to direct their efforts and provide the information to make good decisions. As such, the number of internal tools being used often multiplies in the blink of an eye.

But to have the right context and info needed for pertinent insights, internal data isn’t enough. You’ll also need web data, which aren’t as easily accessible, or as well structured, or always up to date… These are problems that can make process maintenance quite painful.

It all adds up to operational teams quickly finding themselves underwater, depending on outside providers.

Ops have to juggle internal data sources and connect them to web data sources, having everything end up in the same place and ensuring that all of the data is trustworthy and updated. This is the only way to make the data work for you, boosting growth and maximizing your bottom line.

Let’s face it: this can all become a nightmare if your processes aren’t automated and built to scale up when you need them to! 🤯

Luckily, in this article SocieteInfo and Captain Data will explain how to stop hoping when it comes to web data and instead build, step-by-step, a scalable, effective process that will help your company grow quickly and methodically.

Let’s start at the beginning 👇

Pulling web data manually: sounds easy, but just plain isn’t

If you started trying to use web data to give your sales or marketing teams some more information to use while prospecting, or maybe to better understand your TAM based on other sites in your sector, you’ll have quickly understood that when dealing with web data, patience is not only a virtue, but an absolute necessity 🧘.

And that’s just the beginning: your dose of patience needs to double if you want to then input that data into other tools for further use.

Let’s say that you have a solution that sends an alert to restaurant owners when they get a poor review online.

You’ll likely begin by going to Tripadvisor to get a list of restaurants in your area. Then you’ll need to extract some particular data for each restaurant in order to contact them and close deals.

Easy enough… or not.

What about the data available on Google Maps? Or Facebook? Tripadvisor might require a phone number, but Google doesn’t necessarily. And what happens when there are phone numbers on the different sites, but they aren’t the same?

Sources of web data aren’t all the same, whether it’s in terms of data quality, reliability, or simply structure.

Then there’s the time factor: how are you going to keep your list up to date, making sure that it can be used effectively as the months roll on? 🤔

Manually, data retrieval and maintenance can become a constant task that takes up hours and hours.

No matter your specific case, when you’re trying to handle web data manually there are a number of steps to go through:

  1. Find sources of pertinent data
  2. Define good searches that will find the data you need (for example, a thorough Boolean search on Sales Navigator)
  3. Launch the search
  4. Extract the results
  5. Store it all in a Google Sheet
  6. Have hours of work result in a few usable lines of data
  7. Find business registration info one-by-one, copy/pasting each one into your sheet
  8. It’s a day gone by, without having contacted decision-makers, and with no guarantee of having usable data…

All of this, simply to be able to get a few steps closer to the real work.

Because then, there’s still the intermediate step of sending your data into your preferred tools: Lemlist, Dropcontact, Make… only to realize that the bigger your list of data, the more maintenance has to be done to keep your data up to date in all those tools 😅.

In the end, doing things by hand might be necessary, and even useful in some ways, the first time. It helps you understand the different steps you’re going through, identify the information you need, and A/B test some early prospects. But it’s also not a long-term solution.

As you start to grow, you need to give your Sales, Growth & Marketing teams enriched, updated data all the time. You have to put trustworthy processes in place, processes that can scale alongside your business.

Getting there will open up a world of advantages 👇

Ops: Why should you be using web data as a growth lever, and how do you get started?

Despite all of the challenges, the task of accessing and utilizing web data is essential for improving your results.

Whether it’s to gather more insights and increase your open/response rates, identifying purchasing intents, creating and executing new growth experiments… The list just keeps going!

For the Ops team, improving your data game helps you to avoid a lot of painful situations:

  • Having a salesperson spend an entire day of working coming up with a list of only 50 prospects by hand
  • Wasting time contacting prospects who don’t fit your ICP
  • Not prioritizing the most promising leads
  • Not being aware of important changes happening with your clients, losing opportunities to cross-sell or upsell
  • Not identifying the right buying intents and screwing up your first contact

That’s why it’s so critical to be extremely precise in your approach to data.

So: what’s the right starting point for using web data and putting it to work improving your business? Let’s zoom in! 🔍

Build your own database using web data

You may be familiar with B2B data providers such as business registries, ZoomInfo or Crunchbase, which all provide pre-built databases. They can be useful when you’re just getting started.

Nonetheless, you need to be careful with these, since they’re solutions that bring together tens of thousands of data points and lots of information may be incomplete or outdated. Always verify the data quality as you go along.

Then, once you have a growth strategy and understand your ICPs, it’s best to create your own database using web data and/or to clean up/update your existing database.

Why? Because the web is a gold mine of data - if you’re looking in the right spot 😉

By creating your own database, you’ll be able to:

  • Choose the data source(s) that are the best suited to your business needs and your teams
  • Find only the information you’re interested in, in the format that matters to you
  • Decide where the data should be sent for further use (the CRM used by your salespeople, for example)
  • Control how often it is updated

And the more you use a good process for web data, the more precise your results will become. That in turn means your ROI will increase - becoming a real competitive advantage! 🚀

Concretely, by using web data sources properly, you open up the possibility of:

Finding the right company and contact

In enterprise, it’s all about leads, but there has never been a time with people moving around this much. Today, it’s estimated that 25% of workers change companies each year, meaning that in 4 years, a database will be completely obsolete (and effectively unusable well before that).

When reaching out to people, you definitely want to avoid contacting someone regarding their position in a company that they left 6 months ago… 😅

Depending on your sector, there are varying criteria that determine whether or not a company fits your target: number of employees, niche, annual revenues, geography, C-suite age, corporate structure, company age, whether or not it’s digital-friendly…

By using web data, you’ll be able to update that information automatically, guaranteeing that the company still fits your Ideal Account Profile (IAP).

In France, for example, this is the kind of information available via SocieteInfo. But you can also use LinkedIn Sales Navigator, company rankings, conference and event sites, or any number of other sources to generate a company list in real-time.

Finding the right person

Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) has been defined, and you’ve already identified key posts that you want to reach. Thanks to enriched web data, you’ll be able to get the essential data that lets you contact the right person!

After all, no one wants to send an email to Louise when the lead’s name is Sarah… 🙄

LinkedIn Sales Navigator lets you obtain fresh data on someone’s current company and position. There are multiple filters that can help you find profiles that fit specific criteria.

SocieteInfo also offers contact filters, such as position within the company hierarchy and the company’s principal sector.

To go even further, Captain Data lets you enrich your lead profiles with emails verified via SocieteInfo.

Finding the right moment

Up to here, there’s lots of good ideas for building a solid process; but what if you can make things even easier by concentrating on prospects who are already sending out the message that they’re open to your offer?

This is what’s at stake when we talk about “intents”.

For example, a person who has recently changed positions or companies will likely be looking to put new tools in place. A company with lots of open positions gives a certain idea of their current ambitions/growth. Or maybe there’s news about fundraising or M&A activity that suggests lots of upcoming changes in an organization…

The key 🔑 is to figure out the best purchasing intents for your particular industry!

Finding the right message

Buying signals intents are also important since they give you an opportunity to design a highly personalized approach that leads to a better ROI.

Effective messaging shows how you’ll bring added value to your prospect, and it does so from the very first line. To do that well, you have to understand your ICP, their business priorities, and their specific missions. Once you’ve defined those, you’ll be able to find a set of leads ready to be contacted every week.

The best part is that web data is limitless - you’re only constrained by your own imagination!

 <div class="cms-tips"><div>💡</div><p>Captain Data has created a complete guide to help you find easily the most relevant data sources for your business, according to your specific ICPs and use cases. Access the guide right here 🚀</p></div>

True or False: Accessing web data is easy

So if you think web data can help your business, the only thing left is to go out there and grab it 😉.

It doesn’t seem that complicated. There are lots of public databases like business registries, and you can scrape individual sites with custom scripts.

But the problems show up pretty quickly.

Technical resources

Scraping websites, extracting data, scaling the process, and maintaining everything over time takes up technical resources, meaning developer time:

  • You have to know how to code the scraping scripts (and learning/writing could take up time that would be better spent on your product)
  • You have to read all the documentation and manage the requirements of all the APIs
  • You have to pay attention and be on top of things whenever a bug pops up

Unstructured data

Data isn’t always structured in the same way - it all depends on the source.

That’s why it’s complicated to mix data from different sources: the cleaning and formatting time can become a huge time sink.

Not doing it isn’t an option, though; after all, if you scrape a bunch of data that’s never put into a usable form, all that research and recovery work will have been wasted.

Maintenance

Data is “alive”, it’s always evolving (whether on LinkedIn, business registries, individual websites…). If you don’t keep updating your own database, you’re going to make some mistakes that could quickly prove to be quite serious.

And keeping the data updated is just the first part; you also have to keep your scripts and processes up to date!

If the “business” field on X registry was located in the top left, 2nd from the top, and now they’ve changed the front end to make it be 4th from the top, your whole process will fall apart 👋.

This is how scale-ups, medium-sized businesses, and big corporations end up managing dozens of tools and still dealing with data that’s scattered around and in the wrong format. In all sincerity: we wish all the best to the technical and operational teams out there dealing with and using web data!

Web data automation to the rescue ​​🚀

Luckily for you, there are data automation solutions like Captain Data that let you easily work with web data without tearing your hair out.

These are usually SaaS solutions that meet several criteria in order to be genuinely useful for your business:

1. They work

Ok, it seems obvious, but by “work” we mean that the tool is actively maintained and quickly corrects any bugs. That way, you don’t need to have any in-house tech resources involved, and you can forget about updates since they’re already taken care of!

2. They cover a wide range of web data sources

Lots of tools let you scrape web data, but you have to make sure that the solution you choose is compatible with the web data sources that fit your business.

We advise you to make a list of all the sources you need to cover, and make sure that any solution is able to get the data you need.

3. They deliver structured data

You’re trying to save time, not lose even more of it!

Make sure that the web data you’re getting is in a form that you can easily use. For example, if you’re receiving a file that includes javascript in a spreadsheet cell, that won’t be super if you then want to send the results directly into your CRM…

4. They have an API and solid documentation

In order to scale, every business needs well-defined processes. Thanks to APIs, you’re able to push these processes further, faster.

If you have the necessary expertise, it’s highly advisable to look through a tool’s API documentation to make sure you know how to use it easily and precisely.

5. They have a responsive Help Center and offer personalized assistance

Whether you’re already an expert at data extraction or you’re just starting out, a solid Help Center is needed to provide important information about how the tool works and to facilitate communication with the support team. FAQs, How To’s, chat… It’s always good to have the resources you need when a question arises.

And as a bonus, you should be able to have a personal relationship with your specific Account/Customer Success Manager.

6. They show off their Success Stories

Take a look at the tool’s client success stories that they (hopefully) present. These stories are a great way to see how the tool is actually being used, by whom, and to what ends; the right tool will show off success stories that tend to match with your own needs.

Captain Data is the best tool for creating your own database of web data, using multiple workflows that fit your specific needs. And yes, the team is very responsive and the workflows continue to work in spite of the frequent updates that happen on various platforms (LinkedIn, etc.) 😇.

<div class="cms-tips"><div>💡</div><p>Want to know how Captain Data can help you create your own database that pulls data from all over the web, letting you automate lead generation and achieve your business goals?
Get in touch with our experts today!</p></div>

Now let’s get into the real stuff, and set up a workflow that lets you scale thanks to enriched web data managed automatically thanks to Captain Data and SocieteInfo 💪

Automate data recovery and updates for your database of companies and contact info

Step 1: Building the database or extracting an existing database

If you’re starting from scratch, you can use Captain Data’s Generic Scraper to extract data from any website, and thus create an initial list of companies.

Otherwise, you can also use data extracted from your existing CRM, for example.

 <div class="cms-tips"><div>💡</div><p>To find web data sources that match your industry/sector, you can consult this guide.</p></div>

Step 2: Choose the Captain Data <> SocieteInfo workflow

Once you have a list of companies for which you’d like to have enriched data (whether coming from your CRM, a Sales Navigator account, scraping a conference site…) you can configure the Captain Data workflow. 

This will automate the retrieval of the company’s business registry number and enriched company data; it will then go through LinkedIn Sales Navigator to find employees and enrich the contacts found via LinkedIn with data coming from SocieteInfo.

Access the workflow

Here’s how to use the workflow:

  • Create an account on SocieteInfo and then connect it to Captain Data using your API key.
  • Create a list of businesses for which you’d like to have up-to-date information and contacts. You can enter the list of businesses manually or import a .csv file including the column headers listed below.

The parameters are optional, but the more information you give at the beginning, the better and more precise the results sent by SocieteInfo.

  • List all of the desired criteria to target your ICP using Sales Navigator (keywords, position, geography, amount of time at the company). Don’t forget to use the Boolean search created using Captain Data’s free template.
  • Choose a maximum number of results, for example 3, to extract the most pertinent profiles.
  • Launch the workflow!
  • You’ll have your company list enriched with both business data and contact info 🎉.

Step 3: Scale the process and get 3x more leads in 1/3 of the time

Whether you need 10 results or 1000, the process is the same!

And you can go even further, automating all of the previous steps by using an API:

  1. Scale the search for and import of company names

Whatever your source(s) of data, you can automate the recovery of business names in a file that will then be sent to the starting point of the above workflow.

  1. Scale the search for contact info

The Captain Data <> SocieteInfo workflow lets you put in place a system that will recover enriched data on the employees at your target companies. You decide how often you want to have that information available: every day, every week, every month, or even every quarter.

  1. Import everything to your CRM and send the data to your sales team

This is key if you have a growing team! The file produced at the end of the workflow can be sent directly into your CRM.

To conclude

The ROI coming from operations teams isn’t always easy to calculate. Even if this detailed calculation can help shine a light on things, if you’re not using web data in an optimal manner, you’ll quickly find yourself in a difficult situation.

By choosing the right tools and automating your processes, your Sales and Marketing teams will be able to concentrate on what really counts: selling and bringing more value to your prospects and clients. And that’s the kind of activity that can easily bring in thousands in additional revenue every month.

So in using Captain Data + SocieteInfo, your teams can save hours per month while also improving the overall quality of data available for use by your teams. It’s a great way to use web data as a real growth lever!

Ready to create your own processes and scale? 😉

This article was proudly co-written with our partners at SocieteInfo who published the original article in French 🇫🇷

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