The Death of SIC Codes in 2021 B2B prospecting and sales is approaching…are you ready to capitalise?

In 2021 b2b marketing, data is still not a top priority

It’s the same old process I’ve seen a thousand times before….B2B organisations, big, medium and small haphazardly reviewing their new customer prospecting strategy and looking at the role data could/should play in this. But then something gets in the way, maybe many things and the result is that data gets continually pushed down the strategic sales and marketing agenda. 

Maybe it is because its seen as dull away from the glamour of brand and digital marketing? Is it down to a lack of strategic understanding? Or is it because its ownership is sitting away from sales and marketing and drifting in an internal void?  I would confidently say it’s a combination of all of those things…

So picture the scenario….you’ve got an mis-aligned understanding regarding the context data can play in b2b prospecting, multiple senior decision-makers within the organisation with differing views on the importance and strategic role of data, complicated legacy CRM systems, and an emerging set of compliance rules (which continue to bamboozle even the most savvy data gurus).  Sound familiar?

All of this contributing to a scenario where IBM believe only 15% of b2b companies are getting anywhere near the value they need from their data and in the world of sales prospecting that % is far lower. 

What if you increased data optimisation in your sales prospecting strategy to 10/20/40/60/80%?!  Does it really take a Silicon Valley millennial data technician to tell you that, that improvement will fundamentally accelerate and amplify your sales growth almost overnight?  

Data within prospecting does not need to be seen as complicated, hi-tech or even boring…it just needs the right context providing, the right strategy  application (In 2021 this needs to be powered through AI), the right quality measures to business proof it, and without much ado its impact IS and WILL be business changing.

SIC Codes are no longer sophisticated enough for 2021 b2b marketing

One area to perhaps place immediate focus on, is in exploring data components where grounded and outdated fundamentals are working against the benefits data should be bringing to b2b organisations particularly within prospecting.   

SIC codes (Standard Industrial Classification Codes) provide perhaps one of the best examples of mis-guided fundamentals working against simplifying the data world and most importantly giving senior decision-makers the confidence that data requires increased investment to drive growth.

SIC Codes were introduced in 1948 as a way for the UK government to statistically classify businesses and industry.

With regards to b2b prospecting SIC codes form the basis for how organisations decide how to categorise their data records with a view to understanding where gaps exist to purchase additional data records (lists) usually following a segmentation process.  

That segmentation process typically starts to throw up huge inefficiencies which in turn mean the outcome becomes somewhat flawed.  There are two main reasons why this is:

  1. SIC Codes quite simply are out of date.  Last updated in 2003 and revised in 2007, SIC codes are excluding any new business type that has started in the last 13 years…and in the world of fast moving technology, that includes a number of new to market tech companies from fintech organisations to cyber software companies.
  2.  SIC Codes exclude nearly 40% (yes 40%!) of organisations who register their company at Companies House with a ‘Other’ industry classification.  Any data you are matching to a ‘other’ classification will therefore be 40% inaccurate before you do anything else with it….put another way your starting point is already 40% inaccurate, and trying to build a prospect universe with accurate business classifications becomes an uphill task before you even start…not a good thing in the tight economic climate of 2020.

AI is driving the change in b2b data classification and it is happening fast

In 2021, B2B organisations need to start exploring other means of classifying and finding data to ensure their data strategies are fit for purpose in 2021.  AI is allowing us to do this for the first time….

Emerging tech companies are entering the field with the aim of redefining SIC codes and using machine learning to extract data from websites AND companies house to deliver a new modern-day industry classification and data source that is fit for the 2020’s.

AI will categorically refine the b2b data world into far more precise and useable ‘lists’ over the next few years, and the benefits that brings to organisations will be realised so rapidly that those not utilising it will be left behind at the same rate. 

So how do YOU make sense of this?

This may be a subject, which for many b2b organisations who are still trying to work out their overall data strategy, appears light years away. The good news is that Ampli are here to help you.  

Help you provide the context and a strategy to build your prospect universe (your world) using tried and tested processes and AI powered proprietary technology to speed up the build and pull in data from multiple open sources which allows you to prioritise your sales effort and ensure you are always focussing your efforts on the prospects with the highest propensity to purchase…that is our point of difference.  

Ampli has the data solutions fit for today’s economic era, and not only that…we deliver it all cost efficiently and in plain English all aimed with the sole intention of accelerating your sales growth.

Get in touch today