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Waterfall Enrichment: The secret sauce to maximize enrichment coverage

Learn how to boost enrichment coverage and accuracy using multiple vendors.

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Did you ever dream about getting 100% lead enrichment coverage?

Did you ever dream about finding anyone's email every single time?

Do you feel like your CRM looks like a “Gruyère cheese because of disparate data?

If your answer to any of these questions is “Yes” - then I have something interesting for you. As soon as you use multiple enrichment vendors to make sure you have consistent data, as Guillaume Cabane said “Waterfall enrichment is a no-brainer”.

As you grow, you need more lead coverage which can only be found across multiple vendors. Waterfall eliminates these pains, and share costs. No-brainer!”

Guillaume Cabane (Ex-VP Growth, Gorgias / Drift / Segment)

Let’s start with something funny like a definition, and then we’ll go into details about why you should care about waterfall enrichment, and how to implement it the right way for your company.

Ready guys?

Let’s dive in!

What the heck is waterfall enrichment?

Waterfall enrichment is the use of multiple vendors to maximize lead & account enrichment coverage.

This is different from what we call "Total enrichment” where every record is always sent to each of your enrichment vendors. This does not make a lot of sense as you may pay multiple times for the same data.

With waterfall, records are sent to vendors in a predetermined order and will only continue to be sent to subsequent providers until a match is found for all the required attributes.

The idea is pretty simple: If vendor A is not able to find, let’s say, the email of a prospect, then you go on Vendor B, if still, nothing is found, you switch to Vendor C, etc.

Let me explain why it matters

I often talk with SaaS scale-ups and I’m surprised by the fact that they have a pretty decent tech stack, with in most cases, a bunch of enrichment tools, but almost no processes designed to support it.

You hear things like:

"Oh we have a lot of tools, we use Kasper, Lusha, Dropcontact for contact data enrichment"

OK sounds good, and how do you manage it?

“The sales reps are using them on LinkedIn”

Wait… What?

Are the sales reps supposed to be ops guys?

Think about that for a minute

Your sales reps will waste 60 seconds on each profile.

I personally use 3 add-ons on Linkedin (Lusha, VoilaNorbert & SalesQL) and I can say if you don’t do it through automation, it’s a time-consuming task!

Especially once you retrieved the data, then you need to verify it with tools like Neverbounce, Zerobounce or Scrubby (I love the promise of this last that verify catch all emails) to make sure you won’t craft your best sales email to see it bounce as a result.

You might be wondering

“Do I really need waterfall enrichment? I have my enrichment solution directly plugged into my CRM”

Two things here:

The first one is that’s a good shortcut at the beginning, but as you grow, it can become a limitation as you end up enriching leads that are not interesting at all, like a “non-ICP” persona downloading one of your gated content, that will be fully enriched whereas from the beginning this lead won’t represent any business value.

And of course, you‘ll pay for each record anyway.

The second one is that you can't manage natively waterfall enrichment logic within your CRM.

The right way to do waterfall enrichment

The first thing we need to keep in mind is that the enrichment provider you have won’t deliver the same results, in terms of coverage and accuracy, from one country to another.

For instance, Cognism + Lusha are better enrichment providers for Europe while Zoominfo + LeadIQ are greater for the US.

Enrichment providers US vs EU

The idea is to take into consideration the country of your prospect to chain your data providers accordingly.

So the first step is to do a sample test among your data providers. You take 100 leads for which you already have verified data, for instance, you can take data from your CRM and enrich them with each of your providers.

So as you have the ground truth data, you can compare

  1. The coverage: How much Vendor A is able to retrieve compared to Vendor B
  2. The accuracy: How good is the data from Vendor A and B compared to the “ground truth”

Enrichment Vendor Comparison

In the example above, you may want to start with vendor B that have less coverage but trustworthy data, and then enrich further with Vendor A. Obviously, you need a more statistically significant sample 😎. You can also combine the best of humans & technology to get information that no providers have been able to retrieve by picking Virtual Assistants that will find the data and verify it for you.

We have used and tested many systems to enrich contacts and find their emails, such as importing .csv files, Chrome plugins, and CRM-connected APIs. However, the feedback from sales team members was always the same: our current solution was not finding enough emails.

By using waterfall enrichment on 10 email providers, we went from an average completion rate of 60% to 82% on contact data.

Maxime Rondeau - Growth Manager at Welcome to the Jungle

Quick side step: if you don’t have the ground truth data from verified records in your CRM, then you would need an additional step with an email verification tool like zero bounce or neverbounce, keep only the valid email as ground truth, and then compare it to vendor A and vendor B data.

By now, you get the logic, this is the same method if you want to split by country, except that you narrow your ground truth on this specific country and then compare it with enrichment provider data.

And now that’s the easiest and most sexy part, you pick a tool like Cargo to automate the process.

Waterfall Enrichment - Cargo

👉 Interested in enriching the data from your warehouse, using enrichment waterfall? Signup here and we’ll get you onboard asap

Maxence de villepion

Chief Revenue Officer at Cargo

Expert in growing revenue