What stands in the way of CRM architecture excellence? One of the common issues our clients face is the difficulty of gaining a clear understanding of their current client status, prospects, and cross-sell opportunities. Implementing a CRM system that allows you to effectively reach these subgroups can significantly benefit your marketing, sales, and account management capabilities.
To be successful, it is crucial to prioritise data quality. This can be achieved by identifying the key information needed at each stage of the customer journey and ensuring that this information is either captured automatically or added by CRM users in their daily workflow.
As addressed in Validity’s 2020 State of CRM Data Management Report:
“92% of participants said CRM and the data in it was important for achieving revenue objectives;
Lead-to-customer conversion rate and CRM data quality are undeniably correlated;
When leadership prioritises CRM data quality, 90% of study participants report good to very good CRM data quality.” The State of CRM Data Management 2020
One of our clients was facing these very issues. Marketing efforts entered the system with key information missing, while at the same time, the existing contact base contained a lot of partial information and stale data. Efforts were made to rectify this by using tools like ZoomInfo to cleanse and enhance the data set, but ultimately the problem persisted.
In order to resolve this, we mapped out each application (such as marketing automation tools, sales enablement tools) that interfaced with the CRM and which data points it used that coincided with the CRM data. We also looked at all the ways information was captured and ultimately ended up in the CRM database.
At the very start, not every form was capturing the same information - forms on the website and data capture forms at trade shows and events were disparate. As such, the lack of a country field in some forms misaligned the collected data and meant Sales Development Reps weren’t able to effectively triage the incoming leads.
One step further in their lead-to-cash process, there was a gap where lead or contact information was not validated against the right company information and associated industry segmentation data. This led to incorrect assignment of deals to Sales Managers and Sales reporting errors.
By designing a process in a way that incentivises CRM users and managers to keep their data clean, we were able to capture the necessary information before deals entered the sales funnel.
Because most companies now use a plethora of different Sales enablement tools like SalesLoft, LinkedIn Sales Navigator and ZoomInfo, we also made sure any application that was syncing information during the lead-to-cash process adhered to the same data validation rules. Although most of these tools are now “plug and play”, it is often overlooked how important it is to define a data governance strategy for them and what information is owned by which application.
Most of these steps seem pretty straightforward and logical updates yet are commonly left out of foundational CRM setup planning, with grave consequences. Applying the right data validation at the right time in each process, and making sure this is done across the entire system landscape, will allow you to build on top of a solid foundation.
Being able to trust your information allows you to easily identify key decision-makers, the most important upcoming deals, and the right industries to focus on. Building on top of that - the topic of a future blog entry - is the ability to start reporting across your entire customer journey. Think about things like capturing contract and user information that can be used by your account managers to identify renewal or upsell opportunities. Or analyse usage data to be able to spot cross-sell opportunities or potential deals that are at risk.
Continue learning about how a great CRM ecosystem can support your understanding of your company’s performance, and read our next article, CRM For Reporting On Company-wide Performance, From Granular Segments To Big Picture View
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