Before buying data about companies with fleets, ask your vendor these questions
Long story short: When you’re buying data or subscribing to a fleet and trucking database, ask the right questions to be sure the data is right for you.
Searching for fleet lead data often starts with Google. You browse the results, visit websites, and confirm they have data about companies with fleet vehicles. You talk with a sales rep, ask a few questions, and buy data or subscription access to it.
Most people ask:
- How current is your data, how often is it refreshed?
- How reliable is it, what guarantee do you provide?
- I need “x” number of companies/leads, what’s the cost?
These are important questions. For sure, ask them. And there are more questions just as important.
Because if you purchased a list of companies with fleets or a trucking database based only on the above questions, results likely didn’t meet your expectations.
Likely, the answers did not tell you whether the data fits your specific needs.
Let’s look at how to be sure data helps you target the right companies, right fleets, right contacts for your business …
Identify the Right Companies
Just because a company has vehicles, doesn’t mean it’s a good prospect for you.
There could be many reasons, but mostly, it’s likely your solution doesn’t serve the specific needs for that company. To align your solution with the fleet data you purchase, you could ask the data vendor:
Do they give detailed industry/SIC data you can pick from?
You should be able to buy data from industries where your best customers come from. Does the data have good coverage in those industries? Also, identifying industries to exclude is equally important. This prevents wasting money on data you won’t use.
Do they give corporate linkage, vehicle locations, and location type?
This can be incredibly useful in ABM campaigns in the mid- and enterprise markets.
Can they give you data from specific geographic locations?
If you sell nationally, this is less of a concern. But if your market is local or regional, you want states, city, ZIP code, or geofenced data. You also want to be sure the data source has enough fleets in your geographic area.
Target the Right Fleets
Ask these questions to confirm that the fleet is appropriate for you:
Can the vendor give data for specific fleet sizes that are important to you?
Ask how much data they have for the fleet size you target. Whether you focus on fleets with 10-100 vehicles, or 500+ vehicles, they should give you data with this fleet size detail. The vast majority of fleets have 10 vehicles or less. In fact, 80% of companies with vehicles have 5 or less! So, if you are targeting 50+ vehicles, you should know how much data in that fleet size segment the vendor has. Ask them to provide counts before you buy, or during a demo of an online system, show you these counts. You should have the ability to purchase only that data, so you don’t waste money buying data in the wrong segment. Also, this should tell you whether the list or database has enough data for your needs.
Do they break out data by vehicle class (1 through 8), or light, medium, and heavy duty? And how much data is available in each class or duty?
Especially if you target light and/or medium duty, or Class 1 to 6 vehicles, you need to know this. Because, if your target market is Class 1-3 but 80% of your vendor’s data is Class 6-8 trucking companies, you can waste 80% of spend! The opposite is obviously true too – if your product is for DOT compliance, you want the ability to target only those fleets.
Filtering by body type can also answer whether the data source has the fleet data you need. For example if your business is upfitting for pickups and cargo vans, but the database you’re inquiring about has mostly heavy duty tractors, you have a mismatch between the data and your needs.
Can they get more information such as financing, ownership status, etc.?
This helps you to know the realistic number of vehicles in your target market.
Can they tell if the fleets were acquired new or used?
This can be another important factor in finding the right prospects. If you sell auction and remarketing services, the fleets that previously bought used vehicles might be better prospects.
Can they provide VIN-level vehicle data?
Sometimes you might need to know detail about a fleet such as brand, fuel type, engine type, etc.
Reach the Right Contact
This is my personal favorite, and truly the “rubber meets the road” moment. You are literally throwing away money if the data provider cannot offer significantly precise, accurate, and up-to-date contact info to reach influencers and decision-makers. Some questions to ask here are:
How many contacts per company do they have?
Can they give multiple contacts per company for larger fleets? Because the more contacts at large companies, the more likely you can zoom in on the right contact for your product or service. For example: fleet, transportation, safety, procurement, operations, logistics, DOT compliance, driver training, recruiting, etc.
What job titles do they have?
If they have only one contact and it’s not the job title that you most often talk with, it’s possible their contact data is irrelevant for you. This is a sign that the contacts are mostly coming from FMCSA data. Especially for the larger fleets, this might not be the person you want to reach.
For example, it’s common for fleet data to have only the highest level person at a company as the contact. But the CEO of a company with $5 billion revenue is not the best contact. With some fleet data sources, this is all you get.
Can you get accurate phone and email?
What is the SLA (service level agreement) they guarantee for email validity?
This question will uncover a common problem:
How many companies does the list provider have?
If it’s a limited number, then they are re-selling the same company data (and likely the same contact data too) over and over. That’s bad news. Because a dozen of your competitors likely already called that person, by the time you get the list and call. In addition, those companies and contacts can be overwhelmed with cold email and phone calls from all vendors selling to fleets.
If you don’t get convincing answers to the above questions, continue your search for data.
Not all fleet data is created equal. Hopefully, these questions will help you to vet the data providers (including Valgen’s ProsperFleet data) to be sure it’s the data you need. And, so you can get enough accuracy and volume of data so you can consistently and predictably scale your growth. Isn’t that the whole reason why you started the search for fleet data?
President & CEO at Valgen
Rainmaker extraordinaire for our clients. Turns databases into gold. Analytics executive and entrepreneur with a track record of producing significant and sustained revenue gains for sales teams in fleet, transportation, high tech & financial services.