Today, as the economic recovery picks up steam, it’s no wonder there’s a lot of emphasis being placed on the power that customer insight brings to the business process. Quality insight has significant and tangible benefits for the business, including
- Sales cycle time reduced from 120 to 108 days
- Customer retention rates increased by 4-5%
- Day sales outstanding reduced to 2-3 days
- Time required to resolve customer issues reduced by 3-5%
Marketing and sales executives understand that accurate, current and relevant insight into customers and prospects make a big difference in their effectiveness. Getting it, however, has been a lot like the quest for the Holy Grail. A lot of research for list vendors, a lot of sources saying they’ve got the answer, a lot of money spent on what promises to be the solution, and a lot of disappointment in the results. The challenge is real—the Sales and Marketing Institute and D&B estimate that more than 95% of email addresses and contact data within customer files and customer relationship management (CRM) systems are partially inaccurate. The rate of change in customer information is daunting; every 30 minutes
- 120 business addresses change
- 75 telephone numbers change
- 15 company names change
- 10 businesses close
- 20 CEOs leave their job
The question then becomes is it really possible to get accurate customer insight in front of all stakeholders who could act on the information: marketing, sales, customer service, finance and more?
Yes. Absolutely, unequivocally, yes. Savvy chief marketing officers (CMOs) are asking their CRM vendors:
- Where is the data coming from?
- What processes are used to ensure quality, accuracy and relevance?
- What specific data is included?
- Is the information updated in real-time?
- Can we score/sort/filter the data with preferences specific to our needs?
With the right insight into customers and prospects—complete, relevant, pervasive—all at your teams’ fingertips, so much more can be accomplished. Knowing which customers to pursue, engaging them with relevant information on their industries and their own conditions makes every effort more effective.
What are you doing to make customer insight the engine that drives your business?
At the very least, make sure your CRM has access to on-demand customer and prospect data so that you have the most current and accurate information to meet your goals.
Photo credit Dana Beveridge.