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5 Steps to Get Your Lead Data Ready for Account-Based Sales Development

3 min read
Updated Dec. 10, 2020
Published Nov. 23, 2015

You’ve gotten the lowdown on Account-Based Sales Development (ABSD). And you’ve hopefully also read about the common myths busted by ABSD, and how it can boost your team’s morale.

By now, your team should be ready to take the plunge. But what about your lead data? That’s right — even if your mind is right, you need to get your data right before you go all-in with ABSD.

Lead Data = First name, last name, email address, company name, etc.

Account-Based Sales Development is all about quality over quantity. The first thing you need to do before kicking off your ABSD program, is to make sure that you have quality lead data. Better yet — the highest quality data possible. So how do you maximize the quality of your data?

To give you an idea, here’s a good place to start: take the Toyota Corporation and their invention of the Total Production System after World War II, for example.

Engineers from Toyota observed assembly lines at Ford and checkout lines at Piggly Wiggly, eventually coming up with the “5S” methodology of process improvement. 5S was designed to maximize quality, but it was also designed to foster a sense of employee ownership to said quality that really isn’t that complicated — it’s just five simple steps: sort, straighten, shine, standardize and sustain.


Leading each rep through a 5S exercise with their data is an effective way to set them up for success. Here’s how you can apply 5S to get your lead data right:

1. Sort

You know those 2-year-old, stale leads that stink worse than the sandwich that’s been in the office fridge for weeks? Get rid of them. They’re not buying, and they’re not in your target accounts. This step is just as much about preventing future messes as it is sorting. Make sure you keep the bad leads out.

2. Straighten

Make it easy for you to work: straighten out your lead data by putting it the right place in your process, and you have all the right tools to manage your leads. Salesloft CRM integration can help you with this — big time.

3. Shine

Clean it up! Make sure that the leads you have leftover (after sorting and straightening) are quality leads. Do they have valid phone numbers and updated titles? Do they match validated data sources (like and updated info on social media (like LinkedIn and Twitter)? This may be the most time-consuming step, but it will help you from reaching “Milton in the office basement” when you get into your cadence.

4. Standardize

What makes a lead worthy of being in your database? You obviously need more than a first name, an email address and a prayer. Create standards for any lead that enters your database. If it doesn’t meet the new standards you create, don’t let it get into your cadence.

5. Sustain

Go through the steps above on a regular basis to keep your data clean, and keep your process in working order. A regular audit of your lead data is a must.

Get your data right with these 5 steps — Check out our new eBook on how to supercharge your cold calling and start putting that data to work.