When Good CRM Data Goes Bad

Email delivery downward.pptxMany marketers buy lists that are dead on arrival. Only a small portion of them have correct or actionable data. But they remain in the database and dilute marketing success metrics, bringing down email delivery and click through rates, and the ability for sales people to reach prospects.

How does bad data get into your CRM and transactional systems? A big source is manual data entry processes – when customers, prospects, sales reps or service personnel submit contact information that is misspelled, incorrect or incomplete. Then there’s another force at work that’s even more powerful: the passage of time.

Let’s say all your customer, supplier and prospect data gets entered perfectly in your CRM and ERP systems – maybe your teams are following strict data governance procedures or guidelines. How does that good data stay good? The short answer is: it can’t. Because in a week or a month, the business environment will change. Customers will move, businesses will fold, executives will move on.

Let’s look at some statistics to help get a sense of the scope of the problem of data latency, or the amount of time your company data lags behind the real world. By one estimate1, it takes just 30 minutes for 120 customers to change their addresses and for 75 to change their phone numbers. Fifteen companies change their names, 10 go out of business, and 30 new ones go into business — all in half an hour.

That equals 160 businesses closing each day, 320 CEOs jumping ship and 480 new companies starting up – and that’s just in one day. Multiply that over a year, and the numbers are even more daunting: half a million business addresses change, 83,000 executives move jobs and more than 41,000 businesses shut down. How is all that going to get captured in your CRM? Whose job is it to check and verify that the existing information in your database is still correct?

What’s a sales and marketing professional to do?

You can start by subscribing to a service that integrates fresh, on demand data into your CRM, the way that Microsoft Dynamics CRM and  Salesforce.com customers do. We’ll talk about these options in this blog.  In the meantime, check out this White Paper, Slaying the Elusive Data Quality Dragon.

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