Why invest your company’s time, energy, and money into maintaining CRM data?
This is a question for which many organizations don’t have a good answer—until they grow. That’s when the true cost of low-quality, poorly maintained data begins to rear its ugly head. In fact, IBM estimates that bad data costs U.S. companies more than $3 trillion per year.
So when do companies realize that they have a problem? It usually starts with a data-related aggravation that negatively impacts business. This is when companies start to look for solutions.
The more that they are able to sort out their issues, the more acutely aware they are of the business problems those issues caused. It’s a feedback loop. The more companies dive into data maintenance, the more obvious their problems become.
Customer data touches nearly every department in an organization. Marketing, sales, support, success, IT, and finance all rely on it to do their jobs. The problematic issues within that data can affect a single department or the entire organization. In some cases, a particular problem only impacts a single department. For instance, a phone number formatting issue that runs afoul of your sales team’s autodialing solution doesn’t hinder other departments. Other issues won’t be so confined, however, and will impact everyone in some way.
When you have duplicate records, everyone that works with those records must either merge the records or work with only partial context. A seemingly simple problem, such as an uncapitalized first name, can cause a slow-down for every person that comes across that record. Sure, it’s just one record. But multiply that by the number of records in your database, then by the number of fields in your database, then finally by the number of potential data issues in each field, and what do you have? A towering mountain of data issues. And each of those issues impacts your organization’s overall performance.
Let’s take a look at exactly how poorly maintained CRM data impacts different departments in an average company.
The Impact of Poorly Maintained Data on Marketing
Personalization is key in marketing. Good marketing makes customers feel like they are being spoken to directly. This means, of course, that marketing campaigns are only as good as the customer data they use. Clean, updated customer data allows those marketers to segment their list and personalize their communications to resonate with the audience.
On the other hand, low-quality customer data holds marketing campaigns back. Data that isn’t cleaned and maintained can’t be used with confidence, which often means that it won’t be used at all.
For example, if you don’t fix issues with first name capitalization, you might refer to someone as “sara” instead of “Sara.” Injecting error-riddled data into your marketing automation campaigns breaks the veil of personalization. More people will mark your marketing emails as spam, hurting your deliverability. Your email reputation will suffer. You’ll send emails to prospects that will bounce or end up in the Promotions tab in Gmail and other clients.
Your marketing team’s confidence in your data will be shaken. Knowing that you have capitalization problems throughout your database, they might shy away from using the prospect’s name in future communications. The resulting messaging would seem automated and wooden.
The same problems exist in every field throughout your database. You can’t use phone numbers or addresses if they are not formatted correctly. Filtering and segmenting contacts can be incredibly difficult if your fields aren’t standardized. Good luck segmenting out “CEOs” when this role is represented in dozens of ways: CEO, C.E.O., Chief Executive Officer, Founder/CEO, etc. It’s impossible to account for every variation, so some will be missed, leaving money on the table.
Prioritizing data maintenance can nip these problems in the bud, making marketing teams more effective and improving their morale.
The Impact of Poorly Maintained Data on Sales
Failing to focus on data maintenance will also cost your sales teams.
Unmaintained data isn’t reliable. Your sales teams can’t trust that the information is accurate. This impacts their ability to sell. Over time, they may begin to conduct their own research outside of your CRM to make up for the gap. And since they can’t trust your records, they will keep their own. This adds extra steps to their processes. As a result, analyzing and optimizing your sales processes becomes impossible because too much work is happening outside of the channels that you track.
When sales processes slow down in this way, it limits the number of new deals your reps can close. If part of their pay is commission-based, this directly impacts their bottom line and sours morale.
Ask any sales director about their data-related problems, and you’re likely to hear that getting their reps to trust their data and appropriately use their CRM is an ongoing struggle. Account-based sales (ABS) strategies are particularly reliant on well-maintained data. In ABS, you don’t just need accurate data about one prospect in a company—you need accurate data about every stakeholder in the organization. Depending on their position, you may want to employ a different approach for each one.
Accurate data impacts sales reps at every stage of the sales process. The data’s usability directly affects their ability to connect with prospects in a meaningful way and close new deals.
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The Impact of Poorly Maintained Data on Support Teams
Like marketing and sales teams, your customer support teams also rely heavily on accurate and usable CRM data.
Customers expect support reps to have a full understanding of their previous interactions with your brand. That seamlessness between conversations is a great experience for the customer, and 66% of customers expect companies to understand their needs.
But It’s impossible to accurately guess what your customers want and care about. You have to interact with them and study those interactions to learn what’s important. And your ability to pull insights from those interactions and respond in ways that will make your customers happy? This relies entirely on your ability to collect and maintain customer data.
There are some common issues that can get in the way of a positive experience for your customers. Duplicate contact records is one example. When a contact’s data is split between two or more records, finding the information that you need becomes more difficult. Finding it in a timely fashion is almost impossible.
Data issues mean slower, less-informed support from your reps. Their recommendations will be less precise, which impacts the customer experience as well. Customer support plays a critical role in how your customers feel about your company. Don’t hamstring your support team with poorly maintained data.
Data Plays a Key Role In Experiences Throughout the Customer Lifecycle
Whether customers are just discovering your product or service, or have been with you for years, sound data allows you to speak to the issues most important to them. On the other hand, inaccurate or missing data limits your ability to understand what matters to them at all.
Better data means more personalized experiences which lead to:
- Higher order values. When you can predictably determine what other products your customers would be interested in, you can offer appropriate upsells that increase average order value.
- Improved customer loyalty. When customers believe a brand truly understands them, they develop loyalty over time. Data maintenance puts you in position to show that you care.
- Increased word-of-mouth referrals. When your customers are loyal, they will be more likely to recommend your company to friends and colleagues.
- Improved brand awareness. Beyond referring customers to you, your customers will be more likely to share positive experiences that they have had with your company.
- More repeat customers. When customers have a great experience with a company, they are much more likely to return. It can cost five to 25 times more to acquire new customers than to keep current customers.
In short, your commitment to data maintenance improves every engagement that you have with customers and prospects.
How Insycle Automates CRM Data Maintenance
Insycle automates CRM data maintenance so that you can focus on optimizing processes, not running complicated data maintenance tasks by hand.
Using Insycle’s Customer Data Health Assessment, you can identify many of the most common data issues, including things like:
- duplicate records
- capitalization issues
- inaccurate data
- missing data
- inconsistent data
With just a click of the “Fix” button, you’ll be taken to the right tool, where the correct template will be pre-loaded for fixing specific issues in your CRM data.
Then, you can schedule those same templates to run automatically on a regular basis.
Imagine never having to fix simple data issues by hand again. No more filtering data, exporting it, running complicated Excel functions, then re-importing it back into your system.
With Insycle, your data updates run automatically on a set schedule, allowing your team to focus on big-picture optimizations that limit the impact of unmaintained CRM data across your organization.
Insycle Helps Improve Data Maintenance Across Your Organization
Maintaining your CRM data boosts the effectiveness of all teams that use that data.
Insycle enables operations teams to fix CRM data quality issues in bulk and automate the data maintenance process. Without Insycle, the cost of bad data is a major blind spot for marketing and sales teams.
Do you find a wave of data issues is slowing down processes, hurting morale, and keeping you from using your data effectively? Learn more about how Insycle can help streamline data maintenance and free your team to focus on other critical activities.