Sales Productivity

What Happens When Sales Teams Can’t Rely on CRM Data?

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Prospect and customer data doubles every 12 to 18 months, and 10 to 25% of contact records include critical data errors. How soon will the CRM data your sales team uses be obsolete?

Sales and CRM Data: How Much Does Poor Data Hurt?

 In a recent Validity survey, we asked, “Which do you think is most reliant on CRM data in your organization: executives, marketing, sales/sales ops, or customer service/success?” 52.9% responded sales/sales ops.

Certainly, the data in customer relationship management systems like Salesforce is a vital asset for any sales team. The problem is, it’s not always treated as such. As a result, sales operations are hindered. Even if your sales reps are rock stars and your sales leaders are stellar at forecasting, managing pipelines, or identifying opportunities, everyone’s effectiveness and efficiency drops in the face of bad data.

It’s essential to ensure sales teams have the high-quality account, contact, and lead data they need to do their jobs. This requires identifying where CRM data quality is lacking, and taking action to resolve it.

The Truth About Poor CRM Data Quality

There are many things that contribute to poor CRM data quality, creating issues for sales teams. Some of these include:

  • Colleagues forget to collect valuable information from leads. Perhaps they don’t ask for firmographic data that would help sales ops determine lead quality. They may forget to record complete contact data, which prevents sales reps from following up on leads quickly.
  • Users don’t record important information when they engage customers. For example, they don’t add information about a customer’s preferences, interests, or needs to the CRM, or they fail to document customer complaints and resolutions.
  • Customers create data problems when giving their information or users make errors in data entry when they are working in the CRM. As an example, customers enter typos on web lead forms, at the point-of-sale, or anywhere customer data is collected. Sometimes, team members accidentally put information in the wrong data fields, assign accounts incorrectly, or connect leads to the wrong campaign.
  • Users introduce errors to the system because they imported an acquired list without first verifying the data, or they add leads after a tradeshow without first checking to see if they already exist in the database.
  • Data decays naturally in lists. For example, customer data changes as individuals change physical addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. Lead and client data also changes as individuals change jobs, or because businesses move, close, or merge.
  • The organization lacks data governance. Errors occur more frequently when there’s a lack of data quality training, user controls, or regular data cleansing and standardization.

Bad Data Has Far-Reaching Implications

No matter who relies on CRM data the most in your organization, the consequences of all those actions and inactions hurt everyone. When CRM data quality is poor, sales and marketing campaign ROI is decreased, lead quality is reduced, and CRM user adoption rates drop. Individuals and departments start to place blame on one another for the inaccuracies. And the more data quality suffers, the more customer engagement, customer retention, and revenue suffer with it.

Getting the right people in the organization to see the challenges poor quality CRM data creates can be a challenge in itself. But we’ve made that easier with our special report, 6 Ways CRM Data Impedes Sales. In it, we detail what happens when sales teams don’t have accurate and actionable data to work with. We also describe the fastest way to identify and resolve the data quality issues that hold sales teams back. Read the report to discover:

  • How to evaluate what’s working and what’s not with your customer data
  • Ways to ensure your sales team has quality leads and the ability to immediately act on them
  • The key to accurate sales forecasting and effective sales pipeline management
  • Why there are no winners in the blame game that goes on among CRM admins, sales, and marketing

Contact us for a demo and see what happens when sales teams can rely on CRM data.