Smart decisions depend on the right information. This is true whether you’re shopping for a new car or running a business. Without high-quality data, how can you be sure that you are driving your company in the right direction?
Customer relationship management (CRM) systems are a great data repository, offering opportunity to store information on sales and marketing activities around customer interests. But, just having data isn’t good enough: You need to have data that is good enough on which to base strategic decisions. So-called “dirty data” is costlier than you’d think: dirty data costs the U.S. economy about $3.1 trillion annually and individual businesses stand to lose up to 12 percent of their revenue because of bad data.
While your company isn’t immune to the problem of dirty data, there are improvements you can make to ensure future decisions are made on squeaky clean data.
Three Common CRM Data Problems and Solutions
- Problem: Customer records are missing key pieces of information.
You open the data file and find that important pieces of customer information are missing from the file. Records are incomplete. Customers cannot be contacted because you don’t have an accurate email address or telephone number to reach them.
Solution: Check with your customer service, sales, and marketing staff to make sure they are collecting all the relevant data when they are in contact with customers. Integrate other systems in your company—such as your ERP—with your CRM system so that purchasing information, orders, and invoices are also brought into the system to complete each customer profile. Make sure your CRM system is set up correctly, so it is capturing all the available information.
- Problem: Records are outdated.
You send out a company newsletter to the email addresses in your CRM system and you have a high number of hard bounces (bad email addresses). There are old records in your system dating back several years and you spot companies you know have gone out of business, been sold, changed names, etc. Your database contains a great deal of stale information.
Databases can become stale and fatigued if they aren’t used frequently. If your CRM has sat idle for any length of time, or no one has been actively managing it, data can become outdated.
Solution: One way to fix this problem is to always confirm customer information when you are in direct contact with customers. For example, if your call center receives an inbound call from a client, ask the client to quickly confirm their address, phone number, and email address. Any campaigns you might have done around GDPR will have served double duty to clean your data as well as gain consent for communication.
There are also services available to scrub and clean databases. These services match records from your database to reputable sources of data, such as the U.S. Postal Service’s forwarding database which tracks all notifications to forward mail because people have moved to a new location. Using such a service from a list broker or list company can get your mailing list shipshape quickly.
- Problem: Not enough new prospects.
Your sales remain stagnant because you’re reaching out to the same customer base. You don’t have enough new prospects coming in.
Solution: Your CRM system is great for contacting your current customers and for keeping in touch with them. What it can’t do for you is prospect to find new customers. You’ll need to ramp up your sales and marketing efforts to get new customers back into your sales pipeline.
CRM Systems: Customers First
CRM systems put the customer at the center of the relationship. Managing your CRM data is the first step to building trust between you and your customers. Take time to make sure your CRM database is updated and ready for business.
Need a little extra help managing your existing data? Sage created a “test drive” feature to help users understand how Sage CRM functions to make your job easier. Walk through top features such as company-wide dashboards, integrated marketing campaign tools, sales pipeline management, and detailed customer-case tools. Click here to see the Sage CRM in action!
CRM Solutions from ASI
Don’t let dirty data get the better of your business. Accounting Systems Incorporated (ASI) is here to help you get the Sage CRM and data solutions you need to run a business on the cleanest data possible. For more information, click here or call us at 803-252-6154.