Posted By: Justin Bukoski /
Its late on Sunday afternoon and for most of the day my wife and I have been scrubbing, sweeping, mopping and washing trying to get our house somewhat clean. It’s a great feeling to have a clean house but we look around and know that by the weekend the place will be a wreck. With two young children, two shedding dogs and both of us having busy careers, house chores tend to slip down our daily priority list. It’s not mission critical in our daily lives.
As I sat down to relax after the day’s labor, it struck me that my domestic situation and chores weren’t all that different from what companies experience with their prospecting database. You start with clean data but as the marketing and sales organizations go to work the data becomes a mess. Marketing teams are constantly bringing in data from outside sources and for the most part trusting that the data is accurate. Inside salespeople are doing research from a variety of sources and in some cases even guessing at information like email addresses and phone numbers. Salespeople are finding opportunities from customer referrals and referrals from their own personal network. They enter the barest amount of information required to create an opportunity and get on with the business of selling. This is likely the situation at your company and your channel partners, too.
Wasted Time and Money
All of this behavior is driven by the desire of the various teams to do one thing: their job. Marketing wants to touch as many people as possible and drive them to the company website or some other location where they can then be passed off to the sales team for follow-up. The inside team is motivated to have as many conversations as they can, as quickly as possible, and the outside sales teams are motivated to close as much revenue as they can. No matter how many policies and procedures you put in place the data in your CRM tool always ends up a mess. I’ve seen it countless times in my 20 years in the IT industry.
So, who cares? When your prospecting data is inaccurate you are wasting time, money and energy on marketing and prospecting to contacts that either no longer exist or have lost interest in your company. When we look our customers' databases we often see that less than 40% of the data they have is accurate. Either the contact information is incorrect or the person no longer works at that company or there just isn’t enough information to effectively market to that person. That means that 60% of the time the efforts companies are putting into marketing and prospecting have little chance at success. The same is true for your channel partners. In fact, because their companies often have fewer resources, their data quality may even be worse off than yours.
All of this leads me back to that Sunday afternoon thought: sure we can clean the house but it will be a mess again by Friday. No one in our family likes housework and we've often dreamed of having a full-time house cleaner to make sure that once we tidy everything up it will stay that way. But it really is just a dream because there are just so many other obligations we have that we can’t justify the expense. Sound familiar? The thing is, companies can’t afford to treat data accuracy as an odious chore. It’s extremely important for companies to not only clean up their database but also put tools in place to make sure it stays that way. While you and your partners spend time cleaning up data, what else could you be doing with your time?
Software is the New House Cleaner
Rather than spending time and resources manually cleaning up data, there are software services that can be used to validate, cleanse, and enrich customer and prospect data so that sales and marketing professionals can focus on engagement, not house cleaning. The ideal solution is to make a connection to one service that can tell you if someone is still at their company, fill in or update any missing data, and provide any information that would be helpful to develop a personalized approach for a salesperson. We've been working a service like this that can be offered inside the Averetek platform or as a standalone service. Want to learn more? Give us a shout.