Your Fleet Data Profile
Key info you need is:
Data about specific vehicle type
What you should know:
A variety of sources could build your market.
Most fleet data focuses on only headquarters locations, so local data can be difficult to find.
You might have the sneaking suspicion that you miss selling to a lot of fleets in your specialty market? You see them driving by. And maybe you hear of them online. But you don’t see them in the data you get.
This is because, not all fleet data is the same.
Data can affect your ability to reach potential customers, and you deserve to know the inside baseball about this.
Once you know, you can make better investments in data. You’ll be able to ask questions of data vendors and evaluate if they can meet your needs. (And of course ask these questions of us too, if you explore our data.)
For some fleet suppliers like retail locations, maintenance and repair services, mobile and onsite fleet services, it’s critical to find nearby businesses and governments with fleets of vehicles and trailers. And beyond that (literally!) businesses with headquarters elsewhere – all across the country – can have fleet locations in your area.
But most fleet data has only the headquarters location.
Here’s an example of a waste management company, where you can see its headquarters location in Houston, versus all of its fleet locations:
The problem is, if you are not in Houston, you would not get information about this company. But what if they have fleet locations in your area?
This is only one example of tens of thousands of companies that have locations regionally or nationwide.
There is also state data available from a small number of partners. State data is one option when you are looking for very specific vehicle body types, because all vehicles on the roads must be registered in states for license plates. But some states have privacy laws that limit how commercial fleet data can be used. If you sell in any of the 10 states below, there may be very little or no data about fleets available:
If you need info about local fleets or fleets in these states, there are options for you. We talk more below about data that could meet your needs.
Meanwhile, if it’s been hard to find enough relevant fleets to grow your business, this explanation about federal and state data should shed light on why.
If you want more detail about these data sources, we have a longer article with more information.
Specialty vehicle data
A common source of fleet data is from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). If your market involves hazmat, fire trucks and other emergency vehicles, or larger passenger vehicles, you may be familiar with this data. Most “trucking databases” are using the FMCSA data. You should know that the FMCSA has information only about headquarters locations, so if you sell locally, this may limit the amount of data available to you.
Now, we’re not here to criticize FMCSA data. Not at all. We include it in our database because it’s good data if you’re looking for fleets with medium and heavy duty vehicles, hazmat, multi-passenger vehicles, and other vehicles that are subject to federal regulation. We include that data in our ProsperFleet database.
To get the most complete view of the fleet market, it’s best to build your database with information from many sources.
To reach your specialty vehicle market, you may want to explore trade shows, trade media, and associations that are designed to reach your market. They’re good at building focused, special interest communities. Keep in mind there are national associations as well as regional and smaller state associations. Though it’s not likely that any of these would be a “one stop shop” comprehensive picture of your market. This is why we recommend that you pursue a variety of sources.
When you’re trying to find enough fleets to sell to, it’s important to know that the vast majority of fleets have fewer than 5 vehicles. This is true from any data source:
If you are looking for the small fleets, this is good news for you.
But if you’re looking for larger fleets, well, as an example, fleets of 50+ vehicles are only 2% of all fleets.
So it’s important to invest in the data that has enough fleets for your prospecting.
Checklist: Get the fleet data you need
These are questions you could ask data vendors, that can help you evaluate how much data is available for the vehicle body type:
- How many fleets with the specific body type are available in the area you sell to? Try to identify a quantity. (Just like how we shared quantities in the examples above.)
- If your revenue is driven by number of vehicles: How many actual vehicles are in your area?
- Do they have detailed body type data? And can you acquire only this data?
- If body type is not available, see an alternative below in Industry …
- Do they have corporate linkage and fleet locations?
- Can you find data for your specific geographic area, whether it’s nationally, regionally, a state, county, metro area, city or town, ZIP code, radius?
In addition, some of these questions might be relevant:
- Can they give data only for specific fleet sizes that are important to you? How much data is available for the fleet size you target?
- Do they have SIC/NAICS/Industry filters? Because you might want to focus on data from industries where your best customers come from. Does the data have good coverage in those industries? Also when body type is not available, detailed SIC-4, SIC-6 and NAICS could help you identify your specialty vehicle market.
- What job titles do they have? Data sources tend to have fleet data OR extensive contact data and it is rare to find both.
How to find fleets with specialty vehicles
As we worked with our customers on analytics, we heard that they had a fundamental problem: Reaching enough of their fleet market to power their growth.
They tried many data vendors. But it wasn’t always easy to find data in certain industries with specific vehicles.
So we created a database of companies with fleet vehicles called ProsperFleet. It’s multi-sourced to eliminate the weaknesses of single-source data. The numbers shared above from a “fleet database with many sources”? Yes, they’re from ProsperFleet.
We can give a complete fleet market view for all 50 states, from local contractor fleets to the largest long haul trucking companies. Our data includes fleet locations as well as headquarters.
We invite you to learn more about our data and see how it might help you too.