After many years with the clan at Introhive, you definitely get to feel the passion in the culture here. And, the funny thing is, that the passion for certain things is interestingly intertwined in all aspects of the business. The underlying goal is to be obsessive about helping customers in their everyday journey as they leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) to passively improve business performance. Today’s example, Cleanse, is a product that is literally focused on one of the most elusive goals in business: a clean CRM database.
For those not aware of our core solutions, Introhive is known as the “gold standard” for contact identification and enrichment through AI. The unique aspect of using AI is that each contact, for each customer, is developed uniquely and verified and validated each time with our core solution. What that means is that Introhive data is always live and fresh, and never sourced from a master database. This AI engine, because it is always on, has an even greater implication on those needing to manage data stewardship on an existing CRM database.
In the following two scenarios, one which is likely the world you currently live in, and the other your ideal state, let’s discuss the implications of both. Much like when you cast a pebble into the water and the ripples in the water begin to touch everything around it. The ripple effect can have a great effect on people, process, and profits.
For most firms, the concept of contact entry is a constant struggle. Realistically, unless there is an operational reason for entering contacts (with minimal data points), most users don’t see the value versus the time to adequately populate contact details. So, at best, you start out with a percentage of valuable information.
Now, do an analysis of the number of contact records that have ever been modified since the launch of your CRM, and we are into scary territory. The high percentage of contacts will either be modified 0 or 1 time. In addition, layer in the movement of people internally over time, as well as movement to other firms. The end result is that up to 70% of CRM contact information is significantly impaired after only a year.
The implication of this dirty data is tremendous. And the ‘dirty dancing’ that ensures is lost productivity and lost revenue and lost faith in a CRM deployment… even if it has been designed well, championed correctly, and will help an organization execute on its revenue and growth objectives.
The first ripple, if you will, is incomplete data, which will impact segmentation, marketing, and possibly aligning sales efforts by missing out on key decision-makers. The next ripple is irrelevant data or ghost contacts that no longer work for the firm they are listed under in CRM. Seeing these “ghosts” causes front line users to lose faith in using CRM, because of the data accuracy. The final ripple is other systems, like marketing and marketing automation. If the business doesn’t trust the data then marketing will certainly opt for other, more expensive sources.
Every day that goes by the dance gets more difficult because of the exponential effect of the bad data. And companies, especially in the current business climate, need their customer-facing employees focusing on bringing in business, not becoming paralized by trying to deal with the prospect of updating contacts or wading through bad data.
A “Clean” Slate
In our obsessive nature of talking to and listening to customers, we took a phenomenal experience and then built on it. When we first engage with a customer, there are usually two moments where we blow people away. First, the idea that we can actually calculate external relationships, is really cool. But the far and away more impressive solution is that we find and enrich thousands and thousands of contacts.
Those contacts, virtually full and clean, make their way into CRM in a complete state, not putting you behind the proverbial “8-Ball” from the start. The ripple effect is what happens next with the need to keep all contacts clean, whether or not Introhive introduced them in the first place, because we know things will start to change almost immediately after they have been added to CRM.
The first ripple is the movement of people from one place to another. Introhive’s AI can identify those and clean out stale or unwanted contacts. The impact on sales and marketing is a high level of confidence that contacts are current. The second ripple is that contacts that remain change over time, and Introhive will provide updates through it’s proven AI engine of enrichment.
So now that we have good updated contacts the only thing that remains are contacts not entered into CRM and those pesky duplicates that we can never really get our hands around. Adding newly discovered contacts with accurate and complete data provides a new ripple of opportunity with the existing CRM data. And finally, using AI to figure out and resolve duplicates, is the ripple that eliminates “ghosts” to get you back to an astonishingly clean database.
The Final Ripple
What we have seen over the past year, especially, is that those firms that have a complete and clean set of contacts are using this as a competitive weapon in the marketplace. Being able to pair relationship data with good segmentation provides the initial wave of being heard with the right level of follow up. The end state is more business, more often, which is where we all want to be.