How to Gain Buy-In and Budget: Turning Data into ROI

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Stakeholder Buy-In: Overcome a Lack of Confidence in Data Quality

Adam Leslie, European sales and marketing solutions leader at Dun & Bradstreet, explains how to overcome a lack of investment in data quality.

The Issue

The biggest hindrance to organizational data quality is the struggle in generating a meaningful value statement to gain the investment required.

Switching the message to a process that can demonstrate the problem to stakeholders internally means marketers can start to gain buy-in from the board and the board can understand the problem.
Adam Leslie, Sales & Marketing Solutions Leader

Arguably much of the marketing, consultancy statistics, and whitepapers concerning data quality gain little more than a resigned nod of understanding from their recipients. The challenge in gaining stakeholder buy-in is demonstrating and articulating the effect on their own organization’s turnover.


The size of this challenge is exemplified in the recent Dun & Bradstreet B2B Marketing Data Report, where 89% of B2B sales and marketing professionals believe data quality drives the right campaigns. However, nearly 50% of organizations are not confident in the quality of their data, and worryingly this percentage is higher than the previous year.

What Do We Need to Do to Resolve the Issue?

So, it’s the marketing and approach that has to be different – with prevalent market awareness of the challenge, data providers now need to help provide a structure to enable an understanding from those that don’t deal with the data but who hold the budget. This is the reason the Data Quality Return on Investment calculator was generated.

The Solution

The Data Quality Return on Investment calculator splits a business into three categories and 25 metrics covering diverse areas of the organization including:

  • The cost to the organization of processing data (both creation and maintenance).
  • Effect on retention, up-sale and lead conversion.
  • Hours of sales time lost searching and updating the database.
  • Landing page and marketing qualified leads conversion rates.
  • Effects on shipping expenses and support to sales staff ratios.

An organization will usually select the three or four metrics most important to them – at which point the structure highlights the key numbers they need to source internally in order to gain a relevant ROI number that the finance team accept and to which the board can relate, absorb and buy into. If something isn’t working – and the results of our recent survey shows a marked decrease in organizational data quality – then we need to think differently. Little substantiated qualification of the value of accurate data has progressed in the past 15 years, and the Data Quality Return on Investment calculator is designed to work with the consultancy statistics and whitepapers to help organizations successfully gain the necessary budget to unlock the returns they are currently missing.

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