There are a lot of parallels between the old adage about leading a horse to water and tasking sales people to keep their CRM records current. You can task your sales team to update customer records, input new prospects, and enter information on the sales process, but good luck getting them to do it consistently and with any level of quality.
Ask most sales people why they object to being the keeper of the customer records and you’re likely to hear some variation on one of three common themes:
- “It takes too much time, and besides you are paying me to sell – not enter data.”
- “These are my relationships – I’ve nurtured them and grown them and I am not going to let anyone poach them.”
- “Why do you need it? Don’t you trust me to do my job?”
At last, there may be a way to break through this entrenched mindset: the integration of data-as-a-service (DaaS) into CRM systems. Companies like Microsoft and SalesForce.com with CRM solutions and Eloqua with marketing automation solutions are upping the ante on their offerings to help customers accelerate the sales process with customer insight and a whole menu of “big” data.
For sales teams, this is great news. Remember, sales is “coin operated”. Anything that helps them put more commission in their pocket gets their attention. Integrating D&B DaaS into your systems provides three big benefits that positively affect the sales person’s ability to sell:
- Immediate access to richer sources of data and far less data entry
- Easier ways to identify new opportunities and insight that facilitates targeted, relevant engagement
- Faster paths to “warm” leads for cross-selling and up-selling
With these benefits it means that Sales spends more time selling and sells faster.
When your CRM is fueled by DaaS, it’s not just Sales that wins…with business insight on customers, news and market information and even content from social media, accessible directly within the CRM, marketing, customer service, finance and other stakeholders have information they can use to change the entire dynamic of the customer experience. And deliver some pretty powerful business results.
Photo credit Lisa Yarost
Related article: Big Data as a Service