Looking for ways to get that extra edge in 2017? You’ll be surprised to learn that going out and landing more sales isn’t one of the tips. In fact, I advise you to stop right where you are, turn on your computer and stare deep into your current customer database.
Your customer database is the most important asset of your business. It not only underpins all of your marketing and sales campaigns, it bolsters every executive decision you have to make.
What's the one tip that will increase profits by 15%in 2017? Clean your customer database!
A recent report from Experian Data Quality found that 91% of businesses are using data to optimize the customer experience, but yet IBM has found that 3.1 trillion dollars is lost every year in the U.S alone because of poor quality data.
How is this playing out in real life? Let’s say you’ve got a solid sales team. They’re great at going after those hot leads and closing deals. They’re often on the fly, so they tend to tap in new lead’s phone numbers in their phone. Maybe these new contacts make it to their CRM, but they’re probably not going to get further than that.
Marketing is also reeling in qualified leads using a combination of inbound and outbound strategies. They capture all of this information into their marketing automation platform. Every now and again they’ll pull this data and hand it over to sales.
Perhaps your marketing has input a customer in as “Chris” while sales has the customer in their database under the name “Chrissy” - turns out her name is Christine. Without knowing it the sales database could become inundated with duplicates and riddled with inaccuracies.
Clean your Data
Where to get started? Your first port of call is to clean your data. The number one enemy to your customer database is duplicate data. Use a program that de-duplicates your contacts. Or if you prefer to get it done right the first time, go through your database and manually pick them out. It might take some work, but do it right once, and you’ll never have to do it again.
Implement a company-wide three-point check system. Ensure that anyone who has access to the main database searches for contacts under three criteria, such as first name, last name and email. This will help to reduce duplicates and errors into the system.
Want some more tips on how to clean your data? Check out this blog post "4 Clean Data Tips for your Database".
Once you’ve cleaned your data you're ready for the next step.
Eliminate Data Silos
The main problem is your teams are working in “data silos”. A report from Aberdeen found that 61% of sales and marketing teams had problems accessing timely information from data silos.
This can impact decisions such as the message of marketing campaigns, or if sales need to realign their resources in a new territory. Faced with C-Suite decisions, you need to be able to make timely decisions based on solid data.
Back in the old days, five years ago, lots of small businesses would try to work around this type of scenario with cumbersome methods. Hands up who has tried the good old import/export, a mail merge, or worse yet - manual data entry.
Not fun, right? What’s worse is that your data isn’t up to date for long. In fact, you find yourself on a hamster wheel trying to catch up with all the new data coming in, and old data going out.
But seriously, this is 2017! You don’t need waste your time and risk data inaccuracy.
Data silos can be combated in two ways. You can find apps that natively integrate together. For example, Salesforce has a whole suite of apps that link together, transferring customer information in real time between the apps.
Or you can look for a third-party data syncing service that connects your chosen business cloud apps together and syncs customer and lead information between your apps - like PieSync!
Whichever way you choose, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions for your teams, your sales and marketing departments will be able to implement their campaigns with more accuracy and better results.