Editor’s note: This guest blog post was written by Rachel Serpa the Content Marketing Manager at Base.
In today’s highly competitive market, knowing your prospects and providing them with targeted, relevant information makes all the difference between winning or losing their business. In fact, McKinsey & Company claims that organizations that have invested in sales platforms that build on big data and analytics have seen a 5-6% increase in profitability.
Data is the lifeblood of your business, but the only thing worse than having no data is having dirty data. According to Ovum Research, bad or “dirty” data can cost a business 30% of revenue! Without an accurate view of your sales opportunities, your reps will struggle to close, your pipeline will be nothing more than a pipe dream and your business as a whole will suffer the consequences.
Let’s take a look at 3 ways that you can improve the accuracy and completeness of your sales data.
Companies use an average of 7 different business management tools. Within your CRM, marketing automation platform and support system resides a goldmine of lead and customer data, but without the ability to make these systems talk to one another, each part of the business will remain blind to the others. This, of course, results in fragmented, impersonal lead and customer experiences.
For example, suppose a customer has had a support ticket open for some time now. Without knowledge of this issue, sales may reach out to this very same customer for an upsell. Not only are the chances of securing this upsell slim to none, but this obvious lack of customer awareness and understanding may even result in losing the business entirely.
To avoid putting your sales team in this sort of sticky situation, make sure to sync data between your sales and other business platforms. Not only does this power more meaningful conversations and contextual selling, but it also reduces the chances of introducing human error through manual data input across multiple systems.
Think about it: just one transposed number, one misinterpreted conversation or one rogue keystroke and you have dirty data! Whether we like to admit it or not, human error is a major culprit when it comes to inaccurate and incomplete sales information. That’s why minimizing manual data entry within your sales tools can have a huge impact on data quality.
Perhaps one of the most common areas where valuable contact information is lost is communication. What did that prospect say his timeline was again? Who did he identify as the decision maker? Which day are you meeting? Forgetting to log a call or losing an email in your inbox can have serious repercussions on prospect and customer relationships.
Choosing an all-in-one sales platform that automatically logs your calls, emails and meetings ensures that this key data is always captured, as well as saves your reps the time and stress of documenting their every interaction. In addition to having the dates and content of your communication on-hand, as calls and other interactions are continually logged, your team will be able to start measuring the impact of these activities using reports like the one shown below.
Every business has certain data points that are extremely valuable to their sales process and outreach efforts. For a solar company, this may be the average amount of sunlight in a prospect’s region; for a publisher, it could be historical click-through rates. It’s important to create customized CRM fields and tags to collect these data points in a clean and consistent way.
Once you are aware of the data points you would like to collect, (if you need help deciding what these might be, check out this blog post), one of the best ways to ensure consistent capture across teams is to formalize a sales process. A sales process outlines the exact steps reps must take and data they must collect to move a deal from one stage of the sales pipeline to the next.
Some sales platforms provide Automated Actions, which prompt reps to provide certain information or take specific actions each time a lead is moved in the pipeline. For step-by-step instructions on how to build a solid sales process that drives data capture and analysis, download this free eBook.
Another way to ensure that you’re getting the data you need is to revisit the information you’re requesting via your lead capture forms. Step two here is to make sure that when a lead fills out this form, all the information is being passed directly into your CRM. Some sales solutions even offer the ability to create, customize and manage lead capture forms directly within their UI.
Remember, not all data is good data. While keeping your sales information squeaky clean is a big undertaking, following these 3 steps is a good starting point. And for more insight into how you can better manage and make use of your data, check out the eBook Shedding Light on Dark Data: How to Unearth Actionable Sales Insights.
About the Author
** Rachel Serpa** Rachel is Content Marketing Manager at Base. She’s a Bay Area native who works out of the Base HQ in Mountain View, CA. When she’s not writing about the Science of Sales, she loves reading historical fiction, traveling Europe, cooking up a storm and spending time with her husband and her dog.