The life of Data.com is coming to an end, with Salesforce sunsetting the suite of Data.com products that provides prospective leads and associated data. The Connect, Clean, and Prospector products are being phased out and customers urged to investigate other solutions for their business needs.
Why is Data.com going out of business?
The reasoning behind Data.com closing down is likely a combination of an ineffective database (that's Connect, a crowd-sourced database, combined with Dun & Bradstreet's WorldBase), full of stale, incomplete, or incorrect data, along with changes in the type of data that's used to drive sales connections. We see this as a move towards intelligent data systems and systems of management, with customers demanding more from their data.
Which Data.com customer are you?
If you have been using any of the Connect, Clean, or Prospector Data.com modules, there is some pertinent information you'll need to know, as well as plotting your next move in terms of informed lead data. We'll cover all these points in this article.
Data.com retirement key dates
May 4th, 2018: Data.com Connect
Customers are no longer able to purchase plans, contacts, or points via credit card.
May 4th, 2019: Data.com Connect
Customers are no longer able to login to Connect. Customers must make sure to export any contact records before this date, noting that only 50,000 records may be exported at a time.
July 31st, 2019: Data.com Clean and Prospector
Customers can no longer renew Clean and Prospector subscriptions.
July 31st, 2020: Data.com Clean and Prospector
Customers are no longer able to use Clean or Prospector.
Next Steps for Data.com Users
As a Data.com customer, you will now have to find other ways to learn about new prospects, as well as keep your CRM data clean and up to date. That's whether you're using a Data.com product through Salesforce, or using the Data.com Connect product solo or with another CRM.
We've encountered 4 different types of Data.com customers, so skip ahead and mix and match our migration solutions to whichever applies to you.
Using: Connect (Free) i.e. Contact dataset
For customers using Connect via the points system only (update a contact, receive a point), you'll want to head to a similar platform. Unfortunately, there aren't that many options out there that compare. One solution that may suit your needs is ZoomInfo. Their Community Edition allows you to search their entire database of Companies and Contacts, with over 20 criteria, but you'll only have access to 10 free contact details per month -- the rest you'll have to find manually based on your searches. To use ZoomInfo Community Edition you'll need to install an Outlook plugin that automatically shares your own business contacts.
Using: Connect (Paid) i.e. Contact dataset
If you're paying to use the Connect dataset and looking for a replacement, then you won't find an exact one -- Connect is crowd-sourced data. If you're after lead lists, though, there are plenty of options available, of varying size, quality, focus and completeness. The best lead lists nowadays are developed from a combination of complex web-scraping algorithms, AI, triangulation checks, and where needed, a human touch. Datasets that are static, unmaintained, or without proper checks and balances are the past.
If you've been paying to use Data.com Connect for time, we recommend that you update your dataset to a more modern solution, an intelligent one that gives you more actionable insights, more data points, and more importantly, more correct data. Learn more about DataFox Orchestrate.
Using: Clean i.e. clean & enrich existing Salesforce data
Customers only signed up to the Clean Data.com product are generally happy with the volume of accounts and contacts already in Salesforce, but still need to clean and enrich that data.
If you're already happy with the number of records in your database and just want another solution to clean and enrich only, then Lightning Data products are what you need -- and are recommended by Salesforce.
Lightning Data solutions are third-party Salesforce integrations available via the AppExchange that help to clean and enrich your CRM records. This higher-quality Lightning Data is then used to perform your own analysis and lead surfacing by doing activities such as account scoring and segmenting. Consider our Enrich Lightning Data solution if this sounds like you.
[Note:] You don't need Salesforce Lightning to use Lightning Data products, they work with Salesforce Classic, too - but may be missing some features.
Using: Prospector (with or without Clean) i.e. intelligent prospecting using a dataset
Intelligent prospecting tools have grown up since the release of Data.com Prospector. Rather than just having a reliable database where we can search and filter to find new leads, there are now tools that have similar datasets, but have more functionality and powerful insights to save your team time and effort.
New solutions that have emerged include intelligence such as signals that alert sales reps proactively when a company hits various types of milestones like a new round of funding or key executive hire (and reach out, accordingly), matching based on similar companies to your customers (or your competitors' customers), as well as the ability to configure a custom account scoring model to surface prospects that match your Ideal Customer Profile criteria, instead of doing all this manually.
If you're currently a Prospector customer, then it's highly recommended to look into a Sales Intelligence solution, available via the AppExchange - we have one ready to plug in to Salesforce. Our Datafox Orchestrate solution has all these features and more, so request a demo to see just how intelligent your CRM could be.
Data.com shutting down doesn't have to be a problem for your business. Use this transition period to evaluate your options. Many advanced capabilities of new data enrichment and prospecting tools outpace Data.com's solutions in all aspects. Even if it is a forced migration, we promise - it's worth it.