Whether we like it or not, the undeniable truth is that data quality is essential for the sales success and long-term growth of any firm. It’s not necessarily the exhilarating or most exciting work, but firms looking to be successful and build longevity can absolutely not ignore it or underestimate the required investment. Why? Because without it, you’re bound to run into a myriad of preventable, success-eating problems like lost opportunities, wasted time, and maybe worst of all, decreased revenue.
To put all of that into (an unsettling) perspective, Gartner says poor data quality costs an average company $15M per year. In other words, if you’re not investing in data quality, you’re throwing money (and lots of it) down the drain. You’re also setting yourself up for poor customer relations, inaccurate analytics, and bad decisions—all of which can quickly become magnified if no action is taken and repeat errors start to pile up.
Implications of bad data
To set that stage more clearly, let’s explore each of the three main problems associated with poor data quality and the related fall-out in a little more detail:
- Lost opportunities: If your data is decentralized, inaccurate, or incomplete, you are likely to miss out on key opportunities to reach out to both potential customers for new accounts or existing customers for value-add or cross-sell opportunities. What’s worse, you put yourself at greater risk of losing opportunities due to duplicative efforts that lead to eroded client trust and make your firm look messy. (That’s hard to recover from!)
- Wasted time: Imagine spending your scarce and valuable time following up with leads that are no longer interested or qualified, and doing that over and over again by consistently relying on poor quality or out-of-date data. That’s exactly what you’re facing by not taking the proper steps to ensure your data is always complete, accurate, and up-to-date.
- Decreased revenue: Not every deal is a good deal. If poor data quality ends up misleading you into closing deals with customers who are ultimately not a good fit for your product or service, you may end up losing money in the long run when that misalignment eventually rears its ugly head, despite your best efforts to make it work.
How To Stay Ahead of the Game to Drive Better Results
Luckily, poor data quality is not a given you have to just accept or work around. There are a number of fairly simple steps firms and sales professionals can take to improve data quality, therefore minimizing lost opportunities; growing efficiency, and improving deal quality to secure revenue that is more likely to continue and even grow in the future. Here are a few tips:
- Clean up your data regularly: Building data integrity is not a one-and-done type of deal. Businesses experience change every day, and data that was once high-quality can quickly become unreliable if not updated regularly. That’s why firms should be reviewing their data on a regular basis and removing any inaccurate or outdated information as often as needed to ensure quality.
Clean data ensures your sales efforts are more closely aligned to market conditions and client needs, thereby boosting your sales pipeline. It also ensures internal alignment and results in a stronger client experience overall.
Beyond regular clean-up, we recommend you take the time and invest the proper resources needed to develop a complete data integration strategy that ensures your data is not only accurate, but also complete, i,e., being pulled from all the right sources at all the right times.
- Validate your data: In the same spirit of treating data quality as an always-on effort, use tools (like Introhive) to regularly and more seamlessly validate your data and ensure that it is accurate and complete. This will help you ensure you’re consistently making the best business decisions possible and therefore powering better results over time.
- Get input from your customers: This one may seem obvious, but firms often forget their best source of quality information is the clients themselves. Check in. Don’t be afraid to ask them to review their contact information and make sure it’s both complete and up-to-date, and develop a regular cadence for follow-up/reverification. Remind clients that taking these extra steps enables you to serve them better and they’re likely to be happy to fill your request as many times as it takes to support the best experience possible.
All so much easier said than done, right? Luckily, Introhive can help automate much if not all of these critical data quality tasks, bringing your firm greater efficiency, more revenue, and better overall business health, both in the short-term and over time. Interested in learning more about how Introhive can help you drastically improve your data quality to boost business?
Contact us today for a free, guided tour of our uniquely powerful and surprisingly easy to use Customer Intelligence platform.