On May 3rd, 2018 Salesforce.com discontinued selling Data.com Connect – you can read more about the product retirement here. As a result, RampedUp.io is honoring all Data.com credits for existing customers. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details or learn more about our Data.com exchange program – https://rampedup.io/data-com-credit-exchange-program/
The question on most account-based sales and marketing professionals however is why. Data.com was making money for Salesforce.com so why turn that revenue away?
In 2010, Salesforce.com purchased Jigsaw for $142,000,000 thus creating Data.com. For those of us around during that time, Jigsaw was a wonderful tool used by so many sellers to democratize contact data. The crowd sourced data model worked because there really was no other alternative aside from compiled sources built from tradeshows, tax or mailing records. I could exchange my records for another’s records and we would both be the better for it.
- Winston Churchill once famously said that Democracy is the worst form of government, save all others. But the same cannot be said of contact data because simply voting on what a person does and for what company they do it is not the best form of contact sourcing. The individual themselves are a better source of the truth and social media outlets like LinkedIn were proving that very quickly. As a result, account based sellers went directly to the source instead of data.com and the tool became somewhat of an afterthought.
- Next enter account-based principles that de-emphasize mass mailings and put a premium on targeted communication. By its very definition, data.com is a contact-centric solution where account-based solutions are company-centric. The concept of proactively soliciting companies and people who that are the best fit for your solution instead of reacting to demand has grown in popularity because the ROI is proven. ABM concepts result in 171% higher contract value! As a result, the need for contact tools like data.com has waned where account-based tools has grown. Learn more about RampedUp’s Account Based Readiness Report!
- Perhaps another reason Salesforce.com is moving away from contact data space is GDPR – or the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation. The law is quite punitive and happens to take effect the same month – May 25th. “Under GDPR organizations in breach of GDPR can be fined up to 4% of annual global turnover or €20 Million (whichever is greater). This is the maximum fine that can be imposed for the most serious infringements e.g.not having sufficient customer consent to process data or violating the core of Privacy by Design concepts. You can read more at the GDPR’s website https://www.eugdpr.org but obviously this law puts a crowd sourced data model in jeopardy.
- Lastly, when Salesforce.com purchased data.com, Marketing Automation was in its infancy. Eight years later, many organizations go outside of Salesforce.com to house contact data in tools like Marketo. Salesforce purchased Pardot and ExactTarget to account for this new reality thus proving that CRM is no longer the only source of truth. Today, marketing automation tools don’t need PII, or personally identified information – to communicate with contacts. Digital advertising has become very micro focused by either garnering online intent for re-targeting or proactively displaying ads to your chosen accounts.
In conclusion, data.com was a wonderful tool that outlived its usefulness. Crowd-sourcing was surpassed by social sourcing as the best methodology, mass mailing was surpassed by account-based selling in terms of effectiveness, and lastly marketing automation surpassed CRM as the database of record for most organizations. Now with the GDPR looming – its on to the next chapter of Salesforce.com.