How big is your database? From the moment someone detects the need to acquire your product or service and much after the purchase, you are collecting data. Nowadays, thanks to cloud-based platforms, even Small Businesses have access to a broad variety of tools to gather massive amounts of information.
When we talk about data, “massive” seems to be a predominant characteristic, but a much more relevant one is its quality. When having the structure to collect large amounts of information is not a problem, the challenge is to manage data efficiently and ensure its quality. Then, and only then, business owners can make data-driven decisions.
Let’s examine the two biggest obstacles of data management and how to use technology to overcome them.
#1 The overwhelming amount of data… and where does it come from?
According to the 2018 Blissfully Report, the average small and medium-sized business uses 20+ paid software solutions and up to 30 free ones. Each one of these business applications gathers information during different stages and touchpoints of a customer’s journey.
Your marketing team needs a tool able to deal with lead generation, email marketing, and probably a couple more features. On the other hand, your sales team is using a CRM, while your accountancy team manages your finances with a third software. Then there’s GSuite or Outlook, your e-commerce store, surveys platforms, VoIP, etc. All these applications contain relevant customer and lead data resulting from a particular interaction with leads, prospects or customers.
When you are selecting the applications for your SaaS stack, it’s a good practice to go for all-in-one solutions. Integrated systems connect various data sources to offer a wider scope of customer data. For instance, Autopilot can take over your lead generation, capture, scoring and nurturing. This encompassing visual marketing tool covers the complete customer journey. That’s why its Insight Reporting tool represents a window through which marketers can clearly see all the necessary marketing data to determine what converts.
Integrated systems or hubs exist for other areas of your business like sales, finance or e-commerce. But how are each one of these hubs communicating? And next to the integrated systems you selected, as your business grows, new customer touchpoints will be necessary and additional tools can be required. Eventually, you’ll have in place diverse platforms collecting different types of customer information.
These tools have their own way to store data and the problem is that most of them, are not really “talking to each other”. The lack of communication between applications generates the fearsome Data Silo, which makes finding the right integration the number one challenge for small businesses.
#2 Data Silos
Wasn’t the cloud supposed to make things easy for business? Even when you are using cloud-based applications across your business, most of them are not natively integrated. As a result, little fragments of customer data are isolated within these applications. When that happens, you have a Data Silos problem.
Data silos has a fearsome reputation among small businesses. It’s almost impossible to have a complete view of your customers when your data is isolated. Since each one of your teams is looking at their own particular subset of data, their decisions will rarely be aligned.
Even when there is good communication between teams, sharing quality data has its structural challenges. In its B2B Marketing Benchmark Report, MarketingSherpa indicates that 61% of B2B Marketers send all leads directly to Sales; however, only 27 percent of those leads are qualified. That means over 30% of those sales teams might be spending time on cold-leads already identified as such by their marketing colleagues.
When native integrations are not available, the best way to have the right data in the right tools is through third-party integration services. Ray Popoola, Motivational Coach at Mindgroup Coaching Academy, uses PieSync to integrate Autopilot, Google Contacts and his CRM:
“When it comes to data, I want to avoid manual labor. Touching customer data can only lead to errors. Having PieSync syncing my business platforms in the background improves the quality of the information and saves me time. With PieSync I know I’ll have access to the data I need in all my tools.”
Many of the Mindgroup’s new leads are captured on their website and stored on Autopilot, where they'll start their customer journey. Additionally, Ray works with his phone to contact new and existing clients. When someone orders one of the Mindgroup courses, sometimes they want to jump on a call and ask questions. During the purchase, they've already provided information and it’s stored in Autopilot. If Ray wouldn’t have a sync between Google Contacts and Autopilot, it would be an anonymous call.
“Thanks to PieSync, when a client calls we already know who this person is and what they bought. I already have the contact information available on my mobile. That makes the conversation a lot easier and it generates a better experience for the customer.”
At the same time and thanks to the two-way solution, the information collected during the phone call, can be added directly to Google Contacts and then be available on Autopilot.
Data sync solution in action
Before PieSync, Ray had his customer data isolated. That was affecting his ability to align his marketing and sales efforts. The alignment of these two areas is a key aspect of business growth. It is from the marketing insight and from the sales team's ability to close deals, that a business owner can take an informed decision.
Data synchronization can make this alignment a lot easier by having:
- The right marketing leads qualification available on the CRM
- The right customer attributes collected by the CRM available on the marketing tool.
Let’s examine an effective way to have Autopilot and a popular CRMs like HubSpot, in sync.
Your marketing is constantly finding new ways to nurture your customers and generate new leads. They use blogs, eBooks, social content and they reach out with relevant newsletters. Every time a lead engages with your marketing content (For instance, when they filled a sign-up form) they generate information that helps you know a little bit more about them. It allows you to qualify them.
Then, your marketing team has to be fast. You don’t want to lose hot leads when they are ready to convert. With PieSync you can easily hand over this lead to the right person within your sales team so they can actively follow up and convert them to a customer.
Collecting massive amounts of data is no longer the problem. Today’s challenge is managing data efficiency and avoiding data silos.
Integrated systems and synchronization solutions allow you to have the right information available in the right tool at the right time. Then, and only then, business owners can have a clear and complete view of the customer. With that available, rather than taking decisions based on gut feeling or previous experience, they can rely on data to enlighten the best path to success.
Additionally, data synchronization will bring their different teams closer together, aligning their vision of the client. Having your tools “talking to each other” will also leverage in something very valuable for small businesses: time.
Are you already using Autopilot? Empower it with the knowledge collected by your CRM and other business tools via PieSync. Try it for free today!
Is it difficult to set up a sync? Not at all!