If your CRM contains insufficient prospect and client data, you’re making business decisions based on either best guesses or, worse, entirely incorrect information. In today’s business climate, it is no longer acceptable to guide your business by gut instinct or intuition. Sure, those are still important, but a data-driven approach is imperative to ensure you’re providing the best guidance to your organization. Inaccurate CRM data has many ill effects, including the inability to properly segment contacts and companies, unclear sales forecasting, poor hand-offs between marketing and sales.
Inability to Use CRM Data to Identify Target Customers
An early step in building a marketing strategy is creating buyer personas or ideal customer profiles, semifictional representations of people or companies you’re going to target. Combine empirical data from your CRM (e.g., job title, company size, tech stack) with anecdotal data from your team’s conversations with clients (such as pain points, common interaction types, and contacts’ preferred medium of communication). If your CRM contains incomplete or inaccurate data, the conclusions you reach won’t be a true representation of your target market.
At the heart of inbound marketing is targeted and engaging content that’s created to draw qualified prospects to your site. If you’ve made incorrect assumptions when creating target customer profiles, you’ll waste time and money creating messaging that doesn’t pertain to your target customers’ interests or needs. In turn, your content won’t draw the traffic and engagement you’re looking for, or your team will waste resources by engaging with unqualified prospects.
Difficulties Segmenting Contact Data
Once you attract prospects to your site and they become contacts in your CRM, personalization can help you nurture those leads. If your CRM has incomplete or incorrect data, you lose the ability to build personalization into your lead-nurturing campaigns. According to Neil Patel, 72% of consumers report that they only engage with personalized messaging, and most expect the brands they interact with to understand their unique needs. Highly personalized campaigns, however, rely on current, complete, and accurate contact data.
Not only can proper personalization deliver immense benefits, but getting it wrong can cause irreparable harm. Imagine you’re in the market for a house in Denver and you’ve been working with a local realtor that has multiple office locations. If you begin receiving listings for houses in Portland, you might get the feeling the realtor doesn’t really understand or care about your needs. Personalization is an extremely powerful tool for marketers, but improper implementation can have dire consequences.
Inability to Create Segmented Sales Forecasts
Improving forecasting accuracy is always at the top of any sales leader’s mind. A common hinderance to this process is lack of data clarity and accuracy. Being able to segment current customers by industry, the product or service they’ve purchased, and other defining characteristics relies entirely on maintaining proper data structures. With appropriate data in place, you’re able to view common KPIs like customer lifetime value, closing percentage, and average deal size broken out by each segment you’ve created.
Once you’re able to determine these data points with accurate, current customer information, you can apply them in a forward-looking manner for holistic forecasting so you don’t have to rely solely on your sales reps’ estimates. If you’re able to identify average deal size by each segment, you can create more accurate forecasts by weighting the value of each segment rather than looking at a generic average for the company.
Miscommunication Among Teams
Inter-team handoffs are always tricky. After a prospect or customer has developed a relationship with their incumbent representative, they don’t want to start over with a new one. Furthermore, internal miscommunications can lead to a fumbled hand-off and a bad customer experience. Whether prospects receive email with incorrect personalization or are unreachable due to bad contact info, improper data management can be deadly to your customer relationships. In fact, a 2017 study found that 33% of customers say they would consider switch providers after a single poor experience.
You’ve got dirty data. Now what?
First, take a deep breath; you’re not alone. Any organization you observe will have some (if not all) of the issues outlined above. Data cleanliness and integrity is a perpetual problem that organizations need to review, plan for, and improve.
Building data integrity is not easy, and it can’t be solved by snapping your fingers. It requires a pragmatic approach with proper tools and resources. Blue Frog pairs HubSpot, the leading CRM for scaling businesses, with ZoomInfo, the #1 B2B contact information database, to create self-sustaining data ecosystems. Aligning the data structuring capabilities of HubSpot with data from ZoomInfo, your team can enhance your CRM with updated information for current contacts and have an ongoing flow of clean, actionable contact information for new prospects at their disposal.
Learn more about how Blue Frog is able to feed your CRM with unprecedented data!