In a recent webinar series with Ben McCarthy and Lucy Mazalon from SalesforceBen, we explored the three inseparable principles of CRM success, and how – especially when it comes to data and marketing – shared responsibility yields the biggest returns. We also presented unique analysis based on Validity’s DemandTools users and answered key questions such as which modules are most used, when this happens, and why there are significant regional variances.
Let’s start with the three inseparable principles – adoption, productivity, data quality – and how the interrelation between them drives CRM success. The common thread is people –how users accept, interact, and adapt working life to their CRM. Here’s why:
- Adoption. This depends on the type of implementation. Users don’t necessarily have to use opportunities or leads to sell and will often use their own methods (e.g. Excel or paper-based). Kickstarting good adoption starts by involving users throughout implementation, along with quality training. Over time, productivity and data quality will take over as the driving forces.
- Data quality. Data is the engine powering the CRM and should be up-to-date, correct, and relevant to create trust in the system. Management teams want reliable reports, but it’s a challenge having the right data to deliver the insights people need. Data quality requires validation, automation, and a shared responsibility among all teams using the CRM.
- Productivity. By using their CRM, users become more effective. When they’re more effective, they contribute to the overall business success. Salesforce, in particular, is becoming increasingly user friendly thanks to great productivity features straight out the box.
As this diagram illustrates, each principle interplays with the other. For example:
- Data Quality drives Adoption. This is a two-sided coin – users won’t adopt if they don’t trust the data. Conversely, the data won’t build trust without user input. Investing in data quality is a vital part of adoption success.
- Productivity drives Adoption. If tasks take longer to do users won’t be rushing back to their CRM. For example, salespeople are far less likely to adopt the solution if it takes longer to put together a quote in Salesforce than it does in MS-Excel.
- Data Quality drives Adoption & Productivity. High quality data is more actionable. For example, better visibility of buying history means better identification of upsell opportunities. Data quality positively impacts adoption and productivity together.
These principles are backed by hard research. In Validity’s State of CRM Data Management report, 95% of respondents noted at least some CRM data quality issues, with almost half calculating estimated revenue losses between 5% and 20%. Respondents classified “good” or “very good” typically had clearly defined CRM data management processes, with high levels of cross-functional ownership.
We also analysed Validity’s global DemandTools users and learned:
- Most Commonly Used Modules: MassEffect, MassImpact, and Single Table Dedupe are most regularly used and service key data quality requirements like data standardisation, de-duplication, and high-volume record modification. This aligns with our report, where missing/incomplete data (69% of respondents), duplicates (49%), and incorrect data (49%) present the biggest challenges.
- Cross-functional Use: Cleansing modules (e.g. DupeBlocker and Single Table Dedupe) are most likely to have a single user within an organization, while Discovery modules (e.g. EmailConnect and Find/ReportIDs) have multiple users. Intuitively this makes sense. For example, email marketing teams have a strong interest in using good addresses to achieve top sender reputation, deliverability, and engagement metrics.
APAC customers are the heaviest users of Cleansing and Discovery modules. This may reflect their rapidly growing CRM market and how with increasing levels of data CRM is becoming more central to businesses as the single source of truth. APAC users may also be more proactive in correcting potential data issues at source.
- Day of Week: Lack of weekend use was striking, with usage rates of only 1/8 of those Monday to Friday. Data doesn’t take weekends off, and when inbound leads are picked by early bird sales reps on Monday (before the Admin has cleaned them up), bad things can happen. This presents a strong argument for automation, so data quality becomes a true 24/7 process.
- Regional Variances: We saw substantial differences in modules usage across regions. This could stem from variances in data standardisation. North America has two different post code formats and multiple phone number formats. European admins can deal with upward of 50 variations because of countries and language, making accurate record matching much harder, while APAC is more homogenous by comparison. These factors all influence the ease of identifying potential duplicates.
These observations clearly illustrate the relationship between better data, better engagement, and better ROI. Together, they deliver greater trust, completing a virtuous circle that leads back to better data and continuous improvement.
Note that while our analysis is Salesforce centric, DemandTools has supported additional CRM platforms since the 2018 release of DemandTools for Dynamics. We’ll soon have DemandTools 2, which will support both Windows and Mac users.
GridBuddy Cloud also tells a bright, multi-platform story with potential future support for other CRMs and data sources.
Missed the webinars or want to learn more? Access the full recording here.