Overall Satisfaction with D&B Hoovers (formerly Avention)
In my current role, we have been using D&B Hoovers to identify prospect companies and key contacts to connect with to promote our SAAS product. This product is primarily being used by a single department (marketing) although the information is shared company wide. There are a lot of different kinds of information you can use Hoovers to source, including financial data and other business insights, but our primary use has mostly been acquiring contact information.
- Aggregates publicly shared company data very well. Can be useful for getting information on a specific company without doing a lot of web research.
- Integrates with a few different CRM platforms so you can import data
- Much of the data on this platform is stale or inaccurate when it comes to identifying company contacts. We determined that there is about a 70% accuracy in any given data set. This is in stark contrast to the 90% or better that the D&B sales rep sold us on.
- Customer service is terrible here when you have any kind of complaint. In our experience, they escalated our issue (poor data quality and a request for a refund or termination of our contract) to a manager who never bothered to return any emails or calls.
- You pay (heavily) for exporting data outside of their system. If you're not able or willing to pay for exports, the interface they have for just viewing the data in grid format is clunky and inefficient.
- Honestly cannot say we really drove any new sales using D&B Hoovers to prospect new companies and leads. We obtained higher data quality with other tools like ZoomInfo and Skrapp.
- A year long contract that isn't honored on their side due to lack of customer service and poor data quality definitely does not equal ROI.
- Spent significant time sanitizing and cleansing inaccurate data provided by their service. Since time is money in business, that was a loss in that aspect.
We compared ZoomInfo to Hoovers and ultimately went with Hoovers due to the "deal" that our rep worked out in order to get the sale. In hindsight, we spent more time and effort having to identify and cleanse incorrect data than we saved by not going with ZoomInfo who politely let us know they were firm on their pricing. As a lesson learned, ZoomInfo most likely stands behind their product a lot more. It should be noted that ZoomInfo offered an actual demo where we had access to their system for 7 days. Hoovers, in contrast, has their sales rep do a screen share of their platform and never actually gives you access. It's now apparent why they do that.
In this case, we mostly used the platform to identify potential contacts for sales. The data for this kind of prospecting was only about 70% accurate. If we had used Hoovers more often for things more along the lines of financial reporting, we might have a few nicer things to say about them.
If you're with a big company that can afford to pay $500 - 1000 per month or more for data, then this platform may have a lot of value for you. That's in part because you could use it to produce actionable insights on a mass scale and you may not be worried about the cost of incorrect data. If your company is a smaller company working on a budget, this most likely is not the solution for you.