Data collaboration is more important than ever for sales, marketing, and support teams. Every win that we secure with customers flows from our understanding of our company and those customers. Effective data management is the gift that keeps on giving in business.
The quality of your customer data impacts the experience that customers have throughout the lifetime of their engagement with your company, and frees your teams to be creative and clear in the way they engage with them. As customer databases grow, maintaining and utilizing that data becomes a time-consuming task that eats into the work time of every major team in your organization.
Of course, all companies want customer data that is reliable and accurate. But actually investing the time and effort into improving your data quality, enriching your records, and maintaining your database as new information is added is a difficult task. That requires consistent effort and collaboration among your teams. Everyone has to be on the same page, working together toward the common goal.
Data collaboration is also required for reasons outside of simply improving quality as well. There are many reasons why your teams may collaborate on data updates and changes to prepare it for use in new campaigns, and improve processes within your business.
Marketing teams need to collaborate on data to update it for consistency so that they can segment the data for use in their campaigns. Ensuring that your data is consistent means clean, full segments without missing important customer records because of formatting issues.
Sales teams are constantly passing around data sets for update assignments or data enrichment tasks. The more information that your reps have on each prospect, the more they can incorporate that information into their approach.
Additionally, you may need to collaborate on data for sharing data with vendors or non-integrated software. To share that data in a way that makes sense for both sides, there might be an update or editing phase that has to take place before the data is passed off.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the common reasons why companies require data collaboration, look at why that collaboration is so important, and then examine how Insycle can help to facilitate that effort.
Why Data Collaboration is More Important Than Ever for Sales, Marketing, and Support Teams
As data continually plays bigger roles in an organization, the reasons why teams work together on data tasks grows with it — and across all departments that use customer data.
A properly maintained customer database enables your teams to confidently conduct their work. But it’s going to require a group effort to get there. Maintaining large customer databases is more than one single person could realistically handle on their own.
Marketing teams can personalize communications with prospects and customers without worry about being embarrassed by delivering low-quality data. No one wants to be referred to as “jane” instead of “Jane.” They can more effectively segment and filter their customer records to boil things down and speak directly to prospects in a way that will resonate.
Sales teams with quality customer data are more agile and effective. They don’t have to dive into the database and look for duplicate contacts to ensure that they have the full context. When they have faith in the data, they can confidently engage with prospects without feeling like they are missing critical information that could act as a barrier to closing sales.
No potential customer likes to feel that the sales person they are speaking with is only working with half of the story. Likewise, no salesperson wants to engage with a customer feeling like they only have a portion of the data that they need. Additionally, segmentable customer records give sales teams more options regarding the content they share with prospects and the automation they can implement into their sales process.
Support teams need quality data to answer questions and provide help with context that shows that your organization tracks interactions with and listens to your customers. It can be incredibly aggravating to feel like the support agent you are speaking with has no access to previous conversations and information that would be relevant to the current request. Things like that impact the way your customers feel about your brand and the likelihood that they make future purchases.
Even teams like finance need access to reliable customer data to deliver important documents and track customer documentation. Timely financial reporting and data is necessary for maintaining positive relationships with customers.
The need for quality data runs throughout an organization, which means that the organization as a whole should share in the burden of updating and maintaining that data. But managing data collaboration can be difficult when you have to export the datasets, deliver it to the right person, and then re-import the updated data back into your CRM.
Day-to-Day Reasons for Data Collaboration
There are many reasons for data collaboration across your teams. So much so, in fact, that many companies are not aware of how much data maintenance and collaboration is happening weekly throughout their company.
Some of the most common reasons why employees collaborate on customer data maintenance include:
Your marketing teams are only as effective as their ability to speak directly to customers in a way that will resonate. Every customer persona has their own unique set of concerns, wants, and desires.
But they can’t accurately speak to those concerns and desires without segmenting them and using the data that they collect to better understand those segments. The concerns of a CEO are often completely different from those of a CMO. Two people may hold the same job title, but the day-to-day worries of an executive in China are likely very different from someone in England.
You can’t pinpoint these differences and tailor your messaging without reliable and consistent data. Customer data is the only tool marketing teams have for understanding prospects, other than direct conversations.
Effective customer segmentation sets the stage for impactful messaging for the full customer lifecycle of each prospect. The ‘bucket’ they are segmented into affects the marketing materials they will receive in their lead-up to converting. It affects the knowledge, understanding, and trust that they come into sales conversations with. Later, it impacts the quality of the customer service that they receive.
Segmentation impacts not only the conversion rate of prospects through the funnel but also the speed at which they move through it.
In B2B, sales cycles are long. In fact, the average enterprise B2B sales cycle is 6-9 months long. The speed at which organizations are able to move prospects through that sales cycle and sign on the dotted line has a huge impact on their organization. For example, an average sales cycle of 5 months instead of 8 could result in dozens of more high-ticket deals per year.
But reducing sales cycles requires that you become more effective and speak more directly to prospects and accounts on an individual level. Without segmentation, that is likely impossible.
Data Update Assignments
Customer data becomes outdated quickly, particularly in B2B. According to ZoomInfo:
- 40% of email users change their email address at least once every two years
- 20% of all postal addresses change each year
- 21% of all CEOs change every year
- 18% of all telephone numbers change every year
- 60% of people change job titles within their organizations each year
How much of your customer data is more than one year old?
Beyond the fact that your customer records are likely to be out of date within months, records can also be incomplete or include low-quality data.
A prospect could have a missing job title, which impedes your ability to segment them into the correct bucket and engage with them. Or maybe their location data is wrong, leaving them out of critical geographic campaigns.
Or, if you rely on customers entering their own information into forms to populate data in your CRM, then you can bet that your data will also be rife with errors — the kind of errors that are hard to identify and weed out using Excel. That means that your team will often have to update the data manually to clean up those issues.
These kinds of missed opportunities reverberate throughout your company and often go undetected. Data update assignments are a constant, ongoing need in nearly every company.
The more accurate data that you have for contacts within your CRM, the more genuine connections you can make with them through your messaging, throughout the customer lifecycle.
While some companies invest in third-party data enrichment software or services, which requires that you share your existing data with them. Additionally, enrichment tasks often end up getting taken care of in-house. Sales teams, for example, cannot always wait for the company to invest in data enrichment. The lack of updated data affects their sales in the now, which is usually where their primary concern lies, for better or worse.
And this fact is true across many of your teams. It’s hard to predict when someone on your marketing or support team may seek out a specific piece of data, only to find that it is missing or outdated in many records, creating a need for enriching a set of records.
For instance, consider if your marketing team wanted to send a direct mail campaign to CEOs that were currently in your pipeline, but found that many of the contacts were missing zip codes. Before that campaign could go out, that would have to be rectified, or else you’d burn through your budget and see many of your mailers go undelivered.
Data enrichment is a necessity. All companies enrich their records, whether they are making a concerted effort to do that or not.
Vendor collaboration and relationships are another common reason for data collaboration. In fact, any vendor relationship that involves sharing customer data requires some data collaboration, even if that collaboration only goes as far as sharing records with them or receiving an updated set of records after they deliver their services.
For instance, if you were working with an outbound sales team, you might work together to update records and enrich data so that they can be more effective. They would send back customer data with fresh notes about their outbound efforts, which could then be loaded into your CRM.
Often, your vendors are only as effective as the data you can deliver to them. In those circumstances, well-fleshed-out and maintained customer data works in both team's favors.
While software integrations are common and third-party solutions like Zapier can help you to share data between software solutions, there will always be situations where those options are simply unavailable. In some circumstances, the only option may be to build a in-house customer solution, which is not always feasible for lower-priority projects.
In those cases, exporting data from one system and importing it into another may be the only way to ensure that both systems have access to the same data.
But even then, updates and changes may need to be made to ensure that your data ‘plays nice’ in both systems. Often, that means that your team will have to work together to prepare the data for import in the new system.
Collecting monthly or quarterly reports using customer data is often collaborative. You may need to combine customer data from several different sources or need to make adjustments to the data to prepare it for reporting.
This is an ongoing need and something that every organization has. In that way, data collaboration for reporting is likely already happening within your company. It’s already taking up valuable time from important team members, who often handle data collaboration tasks and projects through email, which can quickly become difficult to manage.
How Insycle Facilitates Data Collaboration
Insycle is a powerful data collaboration tool enabling your team to work effectively on customer data.
If you’re tired of passing around Excel files through email and dealing with complicated formulas and VLOOKUP, Insycle can be a lifesaver.
Here are some of the features that facilitate a better way to collaborate about customer data within a team and drastically cut down on the amount of time you spend.
Templates allow companies to streamline and automate many of their data management tasks.
You can set standards and rules for different data processes that all members of your team can use or see. Because Insycle allows you to invite an unlimited number of people from your team without paying per seat, you can use those templates to define the way that certain data maintenance processes are conducted — such as formatting phone numbers or standardizing job titles (CEO vs. Chief Executive Officer).
Because anyone can be invited to Insycle, you can easily collaborate with each other on template definitions. Additionally, Insycle tracks who makes the edits, so that you have an audit trail for both the data and the templates themselves.
You can also clone and repurpose templates. With cloning, you can create duplicate templates and then create small modifications to quickly slice and update your data in helpful ways.
Insycle facilitates data collaboration because everything within Insycle is linkable. On any page in the system, you can copy the browser URL, then share it with your team in Slack or Email. Anyone who clicks on the link and has an Insycle account will be able to collaborate with you on the data, with no need for email attachments or CSVs.
Any report that you link will always be fresh, with up-to-date data. Before you view a linked report, someone may have changed some data directly in the CRM. This eliminates the risk of ever mistakenly working off of stale data.
The linkability of Insycle’s dashboard also lends itself well to data privacy. If you send a .CSV out, that could leak sensitive information. Because anyone with an Insycle account can access reports, you always know that only those permitted access to your data can view it.
Data Sharing and Notifications
Insycle makes sharing CRM data incredibly easy. With Insycle, you can create and deliver automated notifications and exports.
This means that you’ll be able to send notifications about things like:
- Data-related tasks that need to be done.
- Collecting inputs, collections, or data enrichment.
- Alerts about data issues and business validation (for example deals above a particular threshold, competitors mentioned in conversations).
Since these notifications can be triggered or scheduled, you’ll always ensure that your team is up to date and has the data that they need on hand, exactly when they need them.
Using our previous example of the direct mail campaign, Insycle’s automatic exporting and sharing feature would make it easy to facilitate the data update campaign to update zip codes. Contacts from the campaign with invalid or missing zip codes could be identified using Insycle’s advanced filtering, for example, zip codes with less than 5 digits, and then delivered to the relevant team members to update. This could be scheduled to be done on a regular basis — maybe once a week, or everytime that you want to add new contacts to your direct mail campaign.
You can customize and personalize the message that is sent with each automated export. Then, you just have to tell Insycle when you want the exports to occur.
The automatic exporting feature can also be useful for things like when working with vendors, integrating with in-house CRMs, updating finance systems, managing events, or working with agencies.
Streamline Edits, Updates, and Corrections
Updating data in your CRM either meant endless searching in by-hand updates in a CRM that wasn’t made to facilitate the need, or exporting the data, working on it in Excel, and then re-importing the data back into your CRM.
And if you wanted to work with someone else on it? Then you share Excel files back and forth through email. Each time you work on the document, you have to ensure that you are using the most recently updated version, or else you risk making a confusing mess out of the whole task.
Insycle also allows for collaboration through seamless in-app editing through the Grid Edit tool. There, you can make manual, ad-hoc changes that require human input directly in Insycle. You can edit your data as if you were editing data directly in Excel.
Then, you can push the data directly to your CRM without having to go through the annoying exporting and importing process. This saves you time and allows every member of your team to manually update data without having to pass Excel files back and forth.
One of the biggest concerns — and particularly among enterprise companies — when it comes to editing your CRM data is ensuring that you have a proper audit trail in place.
This way, if something goes wrong, you can always look back and determine what happened. Insycle’s activity tracker gives you a full picture of what was changed (including values from both before and after the changes), along with who made the changes.
Accurately tracking who makes changes to your CRM data and what changes are made delivers peace of mind and tighter data governance processes.
Unlimited Users, Unlimited Operations, Unlimited Usage
Insycle is built from the ground up to facilitate collaboration on your data. You are not limited by the number of users. You are not metered in any way. With Insycle, your plan is based on the number of records in your database. You can make as many changes and updates to your data as necessary, and invite as many team members to help as you would like.
With unlimited people from your teams helping you, you can use Insycle’s powerful features to ensure that your data is always in the best possible shape. All stakeholders can be included in conversations, given access to Insycle, and collaborate with you to build templates, processes, and rules that help your organization improve its data management across the board.
Connect Many Apps to Insycle
Insycle natively connects to many different platforms including CRMs, marketing automation software, and support systems — all under one roof.
With Insycle’s integrations, your revenue, marketing, sales, support, and operations teams can all use the same product. This facilitates collaboration, sharing links, and helps to align teams around their data.
Your data operations are unified. That means one training, security audit, and vendor relationship for all your data management teams. Your procurement and IT departments will be happy too!
Align All Teams — Sales, Marketing, and Support — Around Data Goals
Where Insycle truly shines is in the full organizational capabilities that it brings to the table. Using Insycle, you can create data management alignment among all your teams using customer data.
Insycle’s Customer Data Health Assessment audits your database and identifies common data errors while also giving you the ability to plug in your own templates and track business validation issues that are unique to your organization. This is critical because it allows you to implement your own SLA across all of your teams.
With unlimited team members, you can use the Insycle analytics and health assessment to easily track progress across your organization and provide visibility to the data issues that are holding you back.
Data Management is Better Together
Insycle is a complete data collaboration tool that aligns all of your teams behind effective and consistent data management processes. With unlimited users and advanced data sharing features, Insycle makes collaborating easier than ever on customer segmentation, data updates, data enrichment, sharing software between platforms, and reporting.
But Insycle is for more than just data collaboration, it delivers a complete customer data management solution. With Insycle, you can automatically cleanse, standardize, deduplicate, import, update, and export your CRM data in bulk on a set schedule. When you aren’t stuck handling mundane data management tasks, you are more effective and can focus on the big-picture issues that drive growth.
Want to save yourself time, and headaches, and make your organization more effective with data collaboration? Sign up for your free Insycle trial today.