Businesses often seek to optimize processes, increase efficiency with automation, employ more business data, and use data to drive their decision-making. These objectives can help any organization in its efforts to continually grow and improve. The problem is that many businesses see each of these objectives as individual projects and fail to realize that a single, underlying cause can make all of them difficult—or even impossible—to achieve.
Businesses are built on systems integration and data architecture. Your processes, automation, reporting, and go-to-market approach are only as good as this foundation. As the adage goes, “garbage in, garbage out,” and it rings especially true for business systems. If you’ve got incomplete data and information living in different areas, it’s practically impossible to get a full view of where your business has come from and where it needs to go. Improper data architecture impacts every level of business. Follow these tips to help ensure your organization is set up for success.
1. Dirty Data
Dirty data can have many detrimental effects. For example,
- Incorrect contact information can cause irreparable damage to your email domain.
- Improper segmentation can cause sensitive information to be sent to the wrong contacts.
- Lack of clearly aligned data structures doesn't allow you to create automations to scale your approach.
43% of businesses cite poor data as one of the biggest challenges to aligning their sales and marketing teams. The impacts of poor data are far-reaching. It is imperative to have a clearly defined and properly structured customer relationship management (CRM) system as well as correctly integrated systems to create a constant feed of up-to-date information.
2. Data Silos
47% of marketers have reported that their data is siloed and difficult to access. The separation of information has many implications for an organization:
Decisions Based on Partial Information
Data living in different systems and databases limits the perspective of your leadership team when it’s time to make vital business decisions by not providing holistic views of performance.
Time-Consuming Searches of Multiple Systems for Information
When you don’t know whether the information you need is in the CRM, email address book, spreadsheets, sticky notes, or email automation system, your teams will spend time needlessly searching multiple locations to find it.
Resources Wasted by Redundant Systems
Your organization may have the same contact information living in multiple systems. If it’s not properly integrated, you won’t know this. You may be able to eliminate platforms altogether that are housing redundant information.
Limited Team Collaboration and Communication
Inter-team handoffs are tricky enough without worrying about notifications or data being lost in the process. When different teams work in systems that aren’t connected to one another, this is exactly what can happen.
Siloed information isn’t just a headache for team members who are trying to access information. It also affects your bottom line and can severely impact your organization’s trajectory if decision-makers lack understanding of the whole picture.
3. Opaque Forecasting
Forecasting is necessary for all facets of an organization. All teams need a holistic view of past performance to gain insight into what is coming next. Whether for product teams wanting to understand which features have performed best or sales teams that need to know what segments are most profitable, historical data needs to be properly structured and accurate to enable projections. Siloed, inaccurate, and poorly segmented data leaves leaders making business decisions and investments based on incorrect conclusions.
Transparent and accurate information allows your team to fully understand your organization’s journey, what has worked and what hasn’t, and how best to move forward. A business needs to know where it came from to understand where it’s going, and proper systems architecture makes this possible.
4. Lead Management
New leads are the lifeblood of a growing organization. You can’t build sustainable growth without new customers. An MIT study indicated that when inbound leads are called within 5 minutes, teams are 100 times more likely to connect with them than if they wait 30 minutes. Furthermore, teams are 21 times more likely to qualify a lead they’ve called back in 5 minutes than if they reach out in 30. Fast response time is crucial when converting leads. You need to have steady processes and automations in place for a scalable approach that takes advantage of this 5-minute window. To do this, you need the proper systems and infrastructure in place. An automated process can eliminate manual touches and ensure the information in forms is correct, leads are routed to the proper lead recipients, and contacts are engaged in a timely manner.
Improper data architecture affects every level and segment of your business. It is imperative to have proper structures in place to optimize your go-to-market approach. Blue Frog’s team of integration specialists work with clients to identify gaps in their current processes and/or tech stack and develop a comprehensive strategy to structure data in a way that is simple and actionable. To learn more about honing your organization’s marketing and sales processes, browse the Blue Frog Blog or our free resource library.