Frequently Asked Questions

Ok, you've read all about the different elements of our service. It looks promising! The pricing is easy to follow and seems reasonable. BUT, you still have some concerns.

Well, at Alert Business Insight we pride ourselves on the fact that our clients stay with us because we can provide what they want at a price they can afford. So let's take you through some of the concerns raised over the years, together with the solutions we came up with:

Question: I understand that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be changing in 2018. How will that affect what data I can buy from you and how I can use it for B2B communications?

Answer: When dealing with employees of corporates, ie limited companies, LLPs, partnerships in Scotland and government departments, the rules for telephone, direct mail, email or texting are the same – they need to OPT-OUT if they don’t want to hear from you, i.e. the default is that they’ve opted in. But when you make contact with them, you must provide the means for that individual to easily unsubscribe from future communications and you must make it clear who you are business-wise.

When dealing with sole traders or partnerships, the general position for email and text is that you will need opt-in consent before you can communicate (i.e. they must have agreed at some point beforehand to receive your communications, i.e. by ticking on your website or through a response card); but for telephone and direct mail, you don’t need an opt-in first, but you do need to offer the ability to opt-out from future communications.

For any B2B marketing communications, regardless of channel, the content must be about products and/or services that are relevant to the recipients’ job roles. This is why Alert’s drill-down facility on key contacts is so important for future communications because we can provide details about the individuals with specific job titles that exactly match your products and services.

Question: I'm interested in your subscription services but don't know if I can commit to or afford a year. Do you offer shorter terms?

Answer: Yes – we offer 3 month, 6 month and 12 month subscriptions to suit you. However, we offer a discount on the 12-month subscription and the ability to pay monthly by direct debit, which we don’t offer on the shorter terms. We recommend the 12-month option to avoid any disruption in the continual supply of live data and insights.

Regarding affordability, our subscription services are delivered either as a full service or as a bespoke Data Dashboard.

The full service provides access to all our data across 300,000 organisations, every sector and every job title, UK-wide. A bespoke Data Dashboard has the same user features but delivery of data is filtered according to your selections on sector, location and job types. This is a less expensive option than the full service and is particularly useful for businesses with a very specific focus.

Question: We know who our ideal customer is. How can we find other companies that replicate the same profile so we can expand our client base in a targeted way?

Answer: We have the expertise and the technology to match up other companies against your existing clients' profiles. We call this client cloning. If you give us a list of your clients or their profile if you prefer (if the information is sensitive) and we will find the number of matches you need according to your criteria.

Question: We've bought business lists before and they've always been a disappointment – either the information is considerably out of date, it's inaccurate or it’s too general. How is yours different?

Answer: All one-off business lists and data sets we provide are pulled from a live, constantly up-dated system. The date each piece of information was last checked is given (we're the only company doing this) and you can drill down to very specific job titles and accurate company profiles with complete confidence. However, if you subscribe to our services, which include business lists and data sets, they will always be current.

Question: We've got business information in our CRM system so why would we want to buy yours?

Answer: The accuracy and quality of customer data decays at around 30% per year. Unless you are constantly checking, amending and updating it, the results from its use in sales, marketing and customer service will continue to decline. You don't have to buy ours, but as it can be costly and time-consuming to keep your data up-to-date, why not let us cleanse and append it either as a one-off or a regular service.

Question: It's all very well having access to millions of pieces of data, but I'm a single trader and there are limits to the number of leads I can physically follow up each month. What options can you offer so I receive a manageable amount of information?

Answer: There are several options here. If you're on a 12-month subscription service, you can take out a 'Stop-start contract where the service is turned on and off on alternate months over two years. Or, you can opt for a 3-month or 6-month subscription at a slightly higher monthly rate; or you can buy reports and data sets as you need them from the on-line shop.

We also offer Kick-start packs which give you manageable amounts of data on all our key features. This is supplied as a bespoke data set, tailored around the criteria you give us.

KICK-START PACKS

Question: I'm only interested in the transport and logistics sector and don't want to be swamped with information on the other 20 sectors that are irrelevant to me. What can you offer.

Answer: If your interest is in an online subscription which delivers a constant flow of information, we could set up a bespoke dashboard displaying the precise data elements you want to see. So your Key Decision-maker Contacts, Business Lists, Corporate Health Checks, Business Leads, etc. can be refined to exclusively reflect the transport and logistics sector.

Question: I'm a scientific supplies trader and am only interested in organisations that have laboratories. Offering me a single sector option wouldn't be the right choice for me as I work across different sectors, but I don't need access to data on thousands of irrelevant companies. Do you have a solution?

Answer: We can either undertake specialist research so we can provide you with the exact information you need, or, you could subscribe to an on-line subscription with a bespoke dashboard which just presents the data that matches your criteria. It would still give you the full range of features in our normal subscription service, such as Business Lists, Key Decision-maker Contacts, Business Leads, etc. but without swamping you with non-essential information.

Alternatively, some elements of our service can be bought as one-off data sets or reports which could also provide the answer for you.

Question: My staff are reluctant to change and it will be difficult to get them on board to regularly using a subscription service. How could you help with this challenge?

Answer: There are several options. Firstly, we could provide a FREE live online training session to show your staff the main features of the system and answer any queries they care to raise. Or, you could purchase a hands-on full-day data training workshop in which we take them through not just how the system works, but show them how they can use it to meet the particular requirements of their job - whether that’s looking for sales leads, researching markets, building up business lists, etc. When they see how this data can revolutionise the way they work and the results they can get, we think you’ll find that getting them on board is no longer a problem.

DATA TRAINING WORKSHOPS MORE ABOUT SUBSCRIPTIONS

Question: I don't know how effective my sales team is and what opportunities they are missing that could become potential leads. How could your business intelligence services help me?

Answer: We have a number of services which could really enhance the performance of your sales team, such as business leads and insights, business lists and key contacts, detailed company profiles and market data, as online subscriptions or one-off data sets.

With your own access to these services, you could review and discuss the opportunities alongside your sales team, enabling you to steer them in the right direction and to make a judgement about their effectiveness. It puts the control back in your hands without adding to your workload or having to rely alone on what your sales team tell you.