Here’s a tough fact: CEOs are investing trillions of dollars in IT – and it’s not always paying off. We looked at 1.7 million companies in our global database and found only 30% of them grew.
Companies are focused on growth. Technology offers us an unprecedented opportunity to collect, store, analyze and act on real-time information – and to make connections at speeds never before possible. But if too much of our focus is on the technology, we can forget what’s most important: It’s relationships that matter most.
Relationships are the longest-standing, most proprietary differentiator for any company. Technology will always be replaced, people will change jobs and products will become obsolete. In the end, the most successful companies are those that value relationships above all else.
At Dun and Bradstreet, we believe that relationships drive growth, and in a modern, digital-world, data drives relationships. To truly gain the most value from their relationships – with customers, prospects, suppliers and business partners – businesses need a singular, integrated view of those relationships. Insurance companies recognize that their internal data and insight offers them a competitive advantage. Every organization’s internal relationship data offers them a unique advantage if they leverage it properly. Yet, many companies invest millions into new technology, only to keep their valuable relationship data in siloed containers (CRM, MA, BI) and inaccessible to the rest of the organization.
That’s why we like the concept of a ‘Relationship Platform,’ which offers a singular integrated view of your relationships across CRM, ERP, BI, MA, websites and other applications. We leverage our proprietary global business repository of over 250 million records to cleanse, match and enrich records across the enterprise. We then append a unique number to each record, the Dun & Bradstreet DUNS Number, enabling seamless linking of data across any system.
Use cases for a Relationship Platform include:
- Creating and maintaining a “golden record” for Master Data Management
- Territory management and whitespace analysis for sales
- Data hygiene, market segmentation and marketing analytics
- Identifying and profiling digital audiences
- New customer evaluation and portfolio analysis for risk management
- Supplier onboarding and governance for supply management and compliance
It’s no surprise that a study by a leading analyst firm found that companies that implement data best practices and use a verified referential third-party data within their enterprise applications see dramatically improved outcomes. For sales and marketing effectiveness, the study found as much as 46% improvement in campaign conversions and 29% faster deal-close times. That adds up to a solid financial gain.
So as you develop strategies for business growth, remember that it’s relationships that matter most. Leverage investments in technology to help you execute on your plan, but recognize that technology is only a tool. Establishing a Relationship Platform that connects those tools will provide a singular, integrated view that will enable teams to quickly extract and act on the true insights of their business relationships.
Read more about our idea of a Relationship Platform in this Dun & Bradstreet whitepaper, Growth, Relationships and a New Dialogue for the Big Data Era and see how it can work for to promote business growth.
Posted in Strategic Partners by Jim DietrichJim Dietrich is Vice President of Channel Enablement for D&B Global Product Solutions