Contact data decays at a rate of 30% each year, even by the most conservative estimates. For high-turnover industries, this number can be as high 70%. Put into perspective, if you have 100,000 contacts in your CRM, between 30,000 and 70,000 of those CRM records will have suffered some level of decay by the end of the year. The reality is that even initially good data can become bad data without proactive maintenance.
This point was underscored by Jon Metcalf, Director of Marketing Technology for Fenwick & West, who said: “The biggest hurdle to developing a useful, valuable CRM program is not the system … The biggest hurdle is how to get quality data into the system in the most efficient manner; not only at the beginning, but on an ongoing basis.”
The good news? Overcoming these hurdles and staying ahead of data decay is easier than you think. Here’s how you can ensure that your CRM provides meaningful business insights all year long.
3 Ways to Avoid Data Decay in CRM
1. Increase Completeness and Accuracy of Information with CRM Automation
While data decay is inevitable, CRM data quality is exacerbated by the information—or lack of it—being entered into the system. The stats speak for themselves:
- 88% of CRM users admit to entering incomplete contact information
- 62% of CRM users do not log all activities
- 69% of companies have out of date CRM data
- 63% of companies have duplicate contacts
Which begs the question: Why are CRM users cutting corners? Like many things in the business world, it comes down to too many competing priorities for a busy professionals.
The average time commitment for data entry tops the reasons why salespeople dislike their CRM. On average it takes 7.5 minutes to enter notes after a single call. Extrapolate those numbers over a period of time and this translates to a significant impact on productivity.
Then there’s the question of perceived benefit. Seventy-two percent of executives believe sales professionals don’t spend enough time in the CRM because they don’t see value in it. And, in fact, sales pros cite the CRM as their biggest source of frustration and many are turning to spreadsheets to manage CRM-related tasks, a trend that certainly doesn’t help with efforts to quell data decay.
Using contact data enrichment, companies can reduce the primary barriers to CRM adoption and data accuracy. Data enrichment tools with automation save CRM users time by eliminating the need for manual data entry. These tools also reduce the frustration of dealing with a cumbersome CRM interface as the data is entered automatically.
As far as providing value? While some sales professionals may continue to resist the value of the CRM, the good news is that with virtually no effort from the sales team, business leaders will finally get they want: an accurate and comprehensive list of customers and prospects. And if you leverage a data enrichment tool that offers relationship intelligence features, that quality data can be turned into actionable insights, which we’ll get to later.
2. Consolidate and Update Inaccurate Data on a Regular Basis
Changes in customer data are constant; each hour, nearly 60 businesses will change their addresses, 10+ companies will celebrate a name change, and over 40 businesses will open their physical or virtual doors for the first time. Plus, countless other companies will go out of business.
All in, CRM data decays at a rate of 3% per month, a number that may initially seem insignificant, but it adds up. If left unchecked, it won’t be long before the whole CRM is rotten.
For the most actionable data and insights, CRM data should be consolidated and updated frequently, if not in real-time. Very few companies have the luxury of an internal resource dedicated to providing ongoing data quality control. And the use of a list scrubbing provider to manually update the CRM data is neither fast nor inexpensive. After exporting the CRM data and handing it over for analysis, companies wait months for the provider to review and then deliver the updated list, along with a high-dollar invoice. Worst still, by the time the data is returned, a large portion of the CRM data is already obsolete.
A quicker and more cost-effective way is to use AI-powered data enrichment tools and email signature scraping technology at outset and on an ongoing basis. Companies can easily perform a massive data cleanse prior to adding any new CRM contacts. Once contacts are entered into the system, tools like Introhive monitor contact data, flag inconsistencies, duplicates, inaccuracies, or incomplete records, and proactively suggest updates based on information extracted from a broad set of internal and external data sources such as emails, calendars and social networks.
3. Improve Account and Contact Insights with Data Enrichment Services and Relationship Intelligence
The CRM often becomes more of a database than an insight engine, used as a dumping ground for client or prospect contact information. Data that, too often, is entered into the system and then left to rot. While there may be excellent customer insights in a contact record, it’s rare that anyone ever finds them.
CRM data enrichment delivers relationship intelligence which gives companies a competitive advantage. These tools provides insight as to how well one person knows another person, giving companies a holistic view of its relationship strength with customers and prospects. Companies can leverage this information to make inroads with prospects and monitor customer relationships.
An individual with a strong connection to a prospect may be able to provide a warm introduction or valuable intel on the company. By aggregating scores of all connections inside a particular account, companies can see the strength of a customer relationship and if that relationship is trending in a positive or negative way.
Even better, companies can proactively serve up pre-meeting reports and digests directly through email, arming business development, the sales team and executives with actionable insights they can use to drive new business and manage relationships for long-term success.
Use Automation to Enrich Your CRM Data and Sales Process
Due to poor data quality, most CRMs play little role in company strategy or in even in day-to-day activities. CRM data automation and relationship intelligence can help organizations overcome issues such as data decay and user apathy by eliminating manual data entry and, at the same time, providing valuable relationship insights.
Turn your CRM into an insight engine with Introhive’s data enrichment services. Request a demo to learn more.