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Do you know how out-of-date your CRM is?

September 13, 2021

Data is the fuel for your B2B sales engine. 🔥

But, just like a real engine, fuel burns off quickly and then you need to put more in the tank.

As soon as your customer contact data hits your CRM, it starts to deteriorate. According to research by Salesforce, 70% of the data in your CRM becomes inaccurate every year. This can lead to several serious problems for you and your organisation. 

In this latest edition of Get down and data, we’ll look at: 

  • Why CRM data deteriorates.
  • What that means for your business.
  • How to spot decaying CRM data.
  • And most importantly – how to fix it.

Scroll 👇 or browse the menu to get started.

Why CRM data goes out of date | The dangers of out-of-date CRM data | Other CRM data issues | The warning signs of bad CRM data | How to keep your CRM data up-to-date | Go from stale to sale with Cognism

Why CRM data goes out of date

You can only really guarantee that a piece of data is accurate at the moment you enter it into your CRM. After that, anything can happen.

The company could change location or sector, or even go out of business altogether. The individual contact could change job roles with an internal promotion. Maybe they left to join a new company – the average tenure in B2B sales roles is only ten months; many people have changed their employment circumstances in the post-pandemic shake-up.

Whatever the reason, their entry in your CRM is no longer accurate – and you’ve got a problem.

The dangers of out-of-date CRM data

1 - Wasted time 

If the information on your customers and prospects in your CRM is out-of-date, your salespeople will be wasting valuable time. They’ll literally be trying to contact people and companies that don’t exist anymore.

Then, once they’ve established that the contact they wanted to speak to isn’t there, they then have to spend time and effort finding the right person.

Just think of the thousands of working hours that are lost to this.

It’s inefficient, right?

2 - Not closing deals 

Out-of-date information could also lead to you missing opportunities to close deals. If the data on your customers isn’t correct, it could mean that you won’t be able to find them at the time you need them, such as the contract renewal date.

3 - Ineffective prospecting

It’s SaaS sales 101 - the more you know about your customers, the more effectively you can sell to them.

When your salespeople are talking to prospects and customers on the phone, they need the most up-to-date information at their fingertips. If the information is out-of-date, it’ll be harder for them to personalise the cold call and make a pitch.

4 - Legal issues

Finally, holding out-of-date data on prospects and customers could land you in legal trouble.

The GDPR sets out rules for businesses on how long you can keep personal data. It also prohibits companies from holding data on people who no longer want to receive communications. 

If your CRM data is messy and disorganised, there could easily be some entries in there that breach GDPR regulations. You don’t want to be served with an eye-watering fine!

Other CRM data issues

It’s not just out-of-date information that can make your CRM inefficient. There are other areas that you need to be addressed:

  • Duplicate information – Many CRMs will have multiple entries for the same contact or company. This can cause problems if you don’t know which is the right one.
  • Missing information – Filling out every field in your CRM can be time-consuming, especially when you have other jobs to do. But blank spaces in your CRM can lead to missed opportunities.

The warning signs of bad CRM data

How do you know if the B2B data in your CRM is due for an overhaul? Watch out for the following warning signs:

1 - Your salespeople aren’t connecting with prospects

Are your salespeople not registering as many meaningful conversations with prospects as they used to? Have their call and conversion rates gone down across the board? 

When you investigate the issue, what are your reps telling you? Are they spending too long trying to get hold of contacts who have moved on or changed roles?

If so, it’s probably down to out-of-date data.

2 - Your email marketing is tanking

When your marketing team sends out email newsletters or campaigns, are they getting a higher number of bounces compared to previous months or years? Are their campaigns far less cost-efficient than they used to be? 

If so, it’s a sign that your contacts have moved on and have had their company email addresses closed down. You need to update your CRM!

3 - Your revenue figures are slumping

Finally, has your revenue taken a nosedive, but you’re not sure why? 

If the components of your sales engine are still the same, but you’re not getting the same results from it, it may be the data that’s the problem.

High-quality data is integral to high-performance sales and marketing teams. If you don’t have it, you won’t win.

How to keep your CRM data up-to-date

To get your data quality back where it needs to be, you need to take a two-pronged approach.

Firstly, you need to fix your data problems. Then you need to implement best practices to make sure standards remain high.

You can use sales intelligence tools like Cognism Enhance to enrich your data. Sales intelligence will fill in all your blank spaces with the correct information. Most importantly, it will update every piece of data to make sure it’s accurate.

When starting a data enrichment programme, it’s good to have some goals in mind before you give the green light. What do you want your data to do?

Remember that the data types you’ll need for sales or marketing will differ. It’s also best practice to segment your data enrichment, rather than do it all in one go. 

Once the data in your CRM is up-to-date, don’t think that that’s the end of it. You’ll need to take steps to ensure it stays that way. Because of the speed that B2B data deteriorates, enrichment can never be a one-off thing. It has to be an ongoing process. 

Our advice is to make data enrichment part of your normal routine. Schedule times for yourself and your team to enrich your data regularly.

You should also make sure that your teams enter accurate data into your CRM as a matter of course. Maintaining your CRM can be time-consuming, and we all know that salespeople have a lot to do. But in our opinion, anything that ensures the long-term quality of your data has got to be worthwhile.

If your reps struggle with this, consider implementing some training; your RevOps team can help you here. There are also several tools out there that automate the transferring of data into your CRM.

Go from stale to sale with Cognism

Cognism Enhance gives your stale data a new lease of life, unlocking new revenue opportunities.

Here’s what it can do for your team:

  • It populates any missing data points on a person or account level, including job title, location, industry and financials.
  • It generates new sales opportunities from clients that have changed jobs or companies.
  • It improves campaign effectiveness, email deliverability and response rates.

Want to see the tool in action? Click 👇 to schedule your screen-share.

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