For most sales professionals, time spent on manual data entry robs them of more important work. All they want to do is be out there selling (what they’re good at), not stuck inputting information.
Let’s face it, no one—not just salespeople—likes having to do the mundane busywork of entering meeting notes, updating CRM contacts and similar, soul-sucking tasks. Yet so many companies with a CRM are still asking their valued sales professionals to spend an entire day per week of forced manual data entry. (Even though data entry has been consistently reported by salespeople as their biggest challenge when using their CRM.)
By having sales professionals handle the manual data entry, you’re only getting 80% out of your sales force—which means you’re leaving revenue on the table. Not only that, it’s actually costing you even more. When they are out selling, they’re working from a customer database full of errors; errors that they themselves made when entering the data in the first place. Really, it’s a depressing chicken-and-egg scenario.
Top-performing salespeople in the highly competitive B2B environment can’t afford to be working with dirty data, and they definitely can’t afford to be spending six hours per week on manual data entry. So, how can you take your sales reps out of the manual data entry game, for good?
We’ll get to that in just a little bit.
First, let’s look at just how damaging that dirty data is.
Relying on manual data entry is just plain bad for business.
here’s an extensive list of reasons why manual data entry is not part of a strong business strategy but we’ll stick to the top 3 issues that manual data entry creates.
1. It’s a major time suck. As we’ve mentioned before (actually time and time again) the average salesperson who is asked to do CRM data entry manually will spend roughly six hours per week on it. That’s an entire day out of their week. It’s simply not fair, productive, or kind to ask your salespeople to take an entire day per week doing something for which there are plenty of other solutions out there (but more on those later).
One of the biggest drawbacks of relying on manual data entry is the ridiculous amount of time you’re asking salespeople to spend not selling. On top of all that—they’re bored. Which affects overall morale and performance down the road.
2. They’re making mistakes (mostly). It’s been reported that unverified raw data entry has an error rate of up to 4%. Or, two errors are made for every five entries. That’s… a lot. Really, it’s setting your salespeople up for poor performance. How can they do their jobs if they don’t have customer intelligence insights that are based on accurate data? How does it reflect on your business if they show up to client meetings armed with outdated and dirty data? It just looks bad on everyone.
3. It costs a lot of money. Aside from it being unprofessional and embarrassing to use inaccurate data, there are real costs to your business. And more than one kind of cost. You’re paying your talented salespeople a salesperson’s salary to input manual data instead of prospect, connect and sell. That means you’re missing out on sales and ultimately revenue.
It’s been reported that dirty data can cost a business 30% or more of its revenue. Yes, you read that right. And that comes from the 1-10-100 rule of data entry. According to Invensis: “It costs $1 to verify data accuracy at the point of entry; it costs $10 to clean up or correct data when it is in batch form, and it costs $100 or more for each record if no action is taken.”
Increase your sales team value by taking them out of the manual data entry game.
Given that 32% of employees surveyed about manual data entry reported that managing status updates and client info takes time away from more productive work, the only real solution to this problem is to stop asking salespeople to do these tasks. They want to be out there selling. The more they can sell, the more valuable they feel—and are—to the company.
What if we told you that there were already solutions out there that could take manual data entry and management off of everyone’s plate?
Enter: Customer intelligence tools.
These systems actually do the data entry for you, clean up your existing dirty data, and keep everything squeaky clean going forward. It’s how the top-performing sales teams leverage their immaculate CRM data to gain relationship insights to help them stay on top of their game, connect with the right people at the right time and close sales.
Perks of data automation.
In that same survey we just mentioned above, almost 70% of workers said that automation is the biggest opportunity for reducing time spent on repetitive tasks.
And that’s part of how customer intelligence tools work. These systems will automate manual data entry, clean up your existing CRM data, and keep things clean in the foreseeable future. Using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, these CRM-boosting tools automate away mundane tasks and give users valuable insights, allowing for what we call relationship mapping.
So not only are salespeople not wasting time on manual data entry, they now have amazingly clean data to work with, plus a tool that will connect the dots in their client database offering relationship intelligence. It’s the biggest win-win ever.
Want to make more sales even faster? Read more here on how relationship mapping shortens the sales cycle.
Automate away CRM blues.
We all know good salespeople are worth their weight in gold. So why do you want them stuck behind a desk inputting data when you can automate it?
And it’s not just a sales issue. Every department at the company faces consequences when there is missing or inaccurate data. From marketing to customer service to operations—everyone is on the hook when the sales team doesn’t use or maintain the CRM database correctly.
Data automation leads to an increase in revenue, analytics and better adoption of CRM. Read more about Introhive as an automation and relationship intelligence tool or book a free demo today.