Thorough knowledge of your customers enables you to provide personalized customer service and develop marketing strategies which target their specific needs, increasing your sales by up to 29%.
But, unfortunately, many CRM initiatives fail. According to one study, upwards of 63% fail, primarily due to the fact that businesses don’t make their CRM system a priority, oftentimes amassing a database that is out-of-date, incomplete, and irrelevant.
Data integrity and quality are critical to developing and maintaining a strong CRM database. Dirty, duplicate, and incomplete data will only lead to missed opportunities and operational inefficiencies: wasted marketing dollars, resources, and support staff time. Experian Data Quality reports that inaccurate data impacts the bottom line of 88% of companies, resulting in a 12% average revenue loss for each company.
Improving Your Data Quality
More than half the businesses in a recent study cited lack of high-quality, accurate data as their biggest obstacle to success. These businesses have seen first hand how bad data creates bad business decisions and lost revenue.
The importance of maintaining a clean, up-to-date CRM database cannot be overstated, but neither can the time, energy and expertise it takes to effectively manage the database. To help you develop an effective and efficient plan-of-attack, here are four recommendations we suggest for making necessary improvements to your database:
1) Purge useless customer information
In all likelihood, your CRM system contains customer data that is generic, incomplete, or irrelevant to your sales strategy. After all, if 8 out of 10 businesses cite useless customer data as a common disruption in their sales pipeline, there is a good chance you, too, are experiencing the same problem. Your first step should be to delete all of that needless data. Doing so will eliminate the clutter and ensure that every single data point in your CRM is useful.
2) Complete missing data
40% of business initiatives fail as a result of erroneous or incomplete customer data. It is difficult – even impossible – to effectively reach customers if you are working with limited demographic or purchase history data. Customers’ lives change: they move; they have different buying needs; their buying habits change. If you are not working with complete data, you will not be able to accurately target your sales and marketing initiatives, or provide a relevant customer experience which, for 64% of customers, is more important than price in their decision to do business with a company.
3) Eliminate duplicate data
You are certain to accumulate duplicate data if you haven’t been using a centralized database to store all of your data which, according to one recent study, is true for 64% of businesses. If different users are storing data in several different places, you are likely creating duplicates or creating files which, although not identical, still include much of the same data. And the lack of a centralized database could lead to problems like making multiple sales calls to the same contact, causing your company to look incompetent, giving customers a good reason to defect. Or you could be sending multiple discounts to the same customer, costing you more than expected. Removing duplicate data from your CRM is crucial to improving both your customer service and bottom line. In fact, Price Waterhouse Coopers cites duplicate data as one of the biggest hidden costs for many businesses.
4) Enhance your data
If you don’t regularly enhance your existing data, you are limiting your data potential. Enhancing your data ensures greater accuracy and, according to one study, reduces by 20% the amount of time sales employees spend researching leads, freeing them up to generate more sales. Enriching CRM data with additional information – job titles, preferred social media feeds, relevant personal or business information – will provide a clearer, 360-degree view of each customer, making it easier for you to target the right products and services every time a customer interacts with you.
Don’t Pay the Price for Bad CRM Data
Data quality is a continuous process. Customer information can quickly become dated, obsolete, and irrelevant, which is why it is imperative that the data in your CRM database is regularly managed. The more relevant data you have, and the easier that data is to access, the better your chances are of connecting with your customers in a meaningful way.
Your CRM data is the key to your business success, making it easier to sell to existing customers and nurture leads. Implementing these four suggestions to update and clean your data will no doubt put you business on the right path to success.