Some stats I recently uncovered from Ikhana Software indicated the following:
-Typical sales and marketing databases contain 27%-40% duplicate data
-Account level duplicates can run as high as 60%
-Lead generation forms generate up to 40% trash on a daily basis
The truth is that most of us have much experience using CRM systems that contain a fair amount of questionable data. What do I mean when I use the term "questionable"? I mean:
- Leads that are very old and were never converted into Accounts/Contacts or retired
- Contacts that no longer work at the Account
- Incomplete records typically missing any or all of the following:
- direct line
- web address
- Accounts that are no longer in business
Can you relate so far? If so, let's continue. How does this data quality issue impact your sales and marketing efforts? These symptoms may sound familiar:
- high bounce rates in email campaigns;
- low connect rates in telemarketing campaigns;
- high rate of undeliverable direct mails;
- under-performing lead generation campaigns, or new business development efforts, due to incomplete prospect information or engagement history;
- too much time reviewing the prospects web site trying to find contact information rather than trying to engage them;
- missed sales quotas or lead generation quotas
It's a real problem. A client of ours recently went through an exercise to clean up their data. According to them, it hadn't been done in over five years, and the data in the system had potentially traveled through three different generations of CRM systems they'd used over the years. He managed to reduce his Leads volume from approximately 2,400 leads down to 1,400 leads. That impact seems to be spot-on with the stats quoted above. The effort to clean the data took one person four solid days of effort. When it was done, they had quality over quantity, productivity over inefficiency, deliverability over bounces, and morale over frustration. The client felt good. The sales and marketing teams felt good. The impact was good, all around, and they're well on their way to hitting their annual goals and objectives.
So what's holding you back? What is so important that you cannot make this happen in your organization? Is it resources? If it is, then perhaps you need to use technology. All of these products can make your life much better when it comes to data cleanup and new business prospecting:
By using a bit of technology, and implementing some standard data entry processes across your sales and marketing teams, you can spread the load and dramatically increase the cleanliness of your data in a relatively short period of time.
Bottom line is this - data is not something you can get too, eventually, when things slow down. It's something you need to deal with now.