The quality of CRM data impacts your B2B organization, from bottom to top.
Various teams in your company rely on quality data to segment contacts, create marketing campaigns or build a sales pipeline.
Your marketing team needs it to create targeted campaigns. Your sales team needs it to close deals.
Even after knowing the importance, many organizations do not consider the importance of clean data.
It signals there is a lot of room for improvement for CRM data management, especially for B2B companies. As they heavily rely on data to make day-to-day business decisions.
Inferior CRM data poses an enormous risk for the marketing team. If you can’t be sure of your data, your marketing team cannot identify the target customers, resulting in a loss of revenue. Hence you need accurate, reliable data to be confident in your assessments.
So let us understand CRM data and how it affects B2B marketing:
What is CRM Database
A CRM database is a system to collect, store, and analyze all the information that a company collects about its customers.
The contents of a CRM database could be:
1) Personal information of customers: Lead or prospect information like email addresses, phone numbers, Skype ids, job titles, etc.
2) Source of leads: Depending on your method of acquiring new leads, the CRM can maintain information concerning the platforms used (Social media, PPC campaign, website).
3) Purchase histories of all the previous customers.
4) Level of Engagement: Last time they engaged with the company, the website, or their current stage in the buying cycle.
5) Interest-based information: Their favorite hobbies, dream destinations, places they hang out on weekends can also help companies curate personalized marketing experiences.
All this information helps B2B companies to figure out who their target customer is. It can also identify the most loyal customers or most crucial prospects. A B2B company can also forecast sales and create marketing strategies.
Why CRM Data Management is Necessary
While poor-quality data manages to impact the whole organization, it has an especially volatile impact on the marketing and sales department.
With digital marketing, everything that a marketing team does is strategically based on the data they possess.
Let us look at some specific ways a substandard data management process may impact various marketing activities.
Segmentation is a basic marketing activity. All marketing campaigns first start by segmenting the audience into different categories.
You wouldn’t want your B2B marketing product to approach the same way to a CEO and a marketing manager. They have different needs and concerns. The same message may never work on both of them.
Marketers cannot segment the contacts accurately if the data is inconsistent. Unreliable data may lead to poor ad targeting and impede their ability to bring results quickly.
Data issues and segmentation forces your marketing team to perform segmentation less often – leading you to get less creative and work just on assumptions.
Personalization is key in today’s B2B marketing world. Insufficient or substandard data will also impact your ability to personalize the marketing campaigns. Since you are unaware of customer pain points, you run campaigns just on your assumptions.
Personalization is key in developing a long-term relationship with your customers. B2B products with longer sales cycles will suffer most due to the lack of personalized data.
Inconsistent data will lead to inaccurate lead scores and your sales team will be asked to follow up on customers who are not ready to buy yet.
Ultimately, this difference in lead scoring will affect your sales funnel, resulting in poor conversion rates.
Issues with segmentation and personalization lead to a bad customer experience. With less accurate data, your brand messaging will suffer.
Your customer reps need accurate information to answer customer queries. Duplicate data, for instance, can lead you to target the same customers twice. And you end up wasting your marketing resources and harm your brand reputation in the customer’s eye.
The quality of data impacts your marketing campaigns every step of the way. Without reliable data, customers may churn out of your marketing funnel, and you will never know why.
The only way to fix CRM data issues is to recognize and embrace the data management strategies.
CRM Data Maintenance Strategies
CRM data maintenance is an ongoing process of auditing your CRM data.
The data maintenance strategies can be broken down into the following focus areas:
Data quality refers to the data that is accessible, consistent, and relevant.
Accessible means that all the relevant stakeholders should be able to access the data when they need it.
Data consistency refers to how consistent is the data in your database. Are your data records standardized? Have a systemic pattern to store your data.
Relevancy refers to how relevant is your data in assisting you to reach your goal. It doesn’t matter if you have a million records of a B2B customer base if none of them are perfectly aligned with your target audience.
Data cleansing is the process of fixing incorrect data and formatting it with a standardized process.
Fixing incorrect data needs time and patience. You need to break the data into chunks and then divide the tasks among your team members. Then use various tools to verify the fixed datasets. Once complete, you need to upload the data back into your CRM.
The process is never 100% accurate. You are likely to miss many issues and need to repeat the process frequently.
All CRMs face data duplication issues. No matter how they are created, duplicate data can be problematic to your marketing team.
It increases campaign costs and results in high inefficiency. More critically, it affects the customer experience. With duplicate data, they are likely to receive redundant messaging through the same platform. It leads to unfulfilling interactions throughout the sales cycle.
Data operations are day-to-day processes you set up to ensure you maintain a clean database.
The tasks are necessary to maintain a high-quality database and to put your data in a position to be leveraged.
Data processes encompass the removal of all data that is unnecessary to your B2B business.
Purging the data is critical to ensure the usability of your data.
Without clutter, your team will easily sift through data while creating marketing campaigns.
To fix issues in your CRM database, you’ll need to monitor your data, understand where the issues lie, and optimize the process.
Having clear key performance indicators defined, such as the percentage of clean information available in your database, allows you to track progress and monitor the health of your customer data.
CRM data maintenance is an iterative process. It is something you’ll keep on doing frequently. So you need to have a documented process in place.
New data is consistently flowing in your CRM, and each new data will have potential issues. A good CRM data maintenance process will help your business extract insights and fix the data to make it relevant.
Quality CRM data means you can represent your brand authentically, be professional in your communication and improve the overall customer experience.