Want AI to Power your CRM? Then it’s Time to Clean Up your Data

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In this special guest feature, Jody Glidden, CEO and Co-Founder of Introhive, discusses the impact of dirty CRM data. Jody is an experienced business leader with start-up tenacity, public company rigor, and an innovative passion for technology. Introhive is the 4th company he’s been involved in founding and building, with three successful exits including Chalk Media, icGlobal, and Scholars.com. He has always enjoyed learning, teaching, and building and those three core passions have fueled his career path in programming and business. Jody is passionate about product, machine learning, automation, sales technology, mobile-first and social marketing, and of course engineering.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms have revolutionized how companies understand their customers, but a CRM is only as reliable as the data it holds and dirty data is a real problem – a problem that is costing companies $12.9 million or more every year according to Gartner’s 2020 Magic Quadrant for Data Quality Solutions. As CRM software evolves into sophisticated systems that help manage new business, cross department interactions with customers, and help companies increase and generate revenue, the data it manages needs to be reliable, accurate and consistent. But, that is not always the case and two thirds of sales leads don’t close because of bad data quality

Dirty CRM data isn’t just an expensive problem to have–it can have much broader implications for your efficiency and productivity. As Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to be integrated into CRM systems, its promise of using efficient real-time data to unlock stronger, more powerful customer relationships that will increase revenue will not be successful if a company’s data isn’t clean. With poor data quality, AI is only a distant dream. Dirty data is holding companies back from fully leveraging an AI-powered solution. Dirty data is a liability.

Dirty data drops the ball

Dirty data, also known as  inaccurate, incomplete and late data, is caused by a variety of reasons, but most commonly by human error. When an employee changes jobs or positions internally, the prospect and customer data can become out of date if it’s not tracked and updated within a CRM platform. Through a lack of proper knowledge transfer, improper data entry can create holes across teams, accounts, and opportunities, causing missteps and poor business outcomes. The ball gets dropped. Essentially, having a CRM system in place isn’t enough – team members need to constantly maintain it to avoid having dirty data because CRM is only as powerful as the data it holds.

Business teams should not be wasting their time with inaccurate or useless data – and neither should your data scientists. While that’s easier said than done, businesses need to know that clean data drives productivity, efficiency, and the opportunity of AI-driven automation.

Automation is key

For AI to effectively power CRM platforms to predict and personalize customer data and increase employee productivity, the data needs to be clean. Which is why data entry should be automated.

Clean automated data allows businesses to generate insights and run applications on top of the existing data. AI-powered CRM automates the process of data entry, uncovers contacts, predicts behavior, discovers untapped opportunities, and paints a picture of each account in a digestible way based off of every touch point. From the collection and analysis of all transactional data, social contacts, behavior and activities of your clients, your team will know when and how to engage existing and new relationships for the greatest outcome. In today’s competitive fight for the online customer, AI-powered CRM is the only way for a company to differentiate itself from its competition because it speeds up the ability to increase a referral database and secure and retain customers through thoughtful relationship intelligence. Relationship intelligence paints a complete 360° picture of your clients and your connections with them so you have the information you need to close the deal.

Once CRM is automated and scaled across your organization, your team can focus on kindling the relationships that have been identified as high value, instead of wasting time parsing through irrelevant dirty customer data. These relationships are what turn customers into engaged loyal brand advocates that help grow your business. 

The promise of clean data

A lot of companies claim they can clean your CRM data, but knowing the difference between vanity metrics and useful CRM data will save your company a lot of money. Businesses should look for complete, accurate, and timely data in a data cleanse. The interactions that matter are the touchpoints between your customer or prospect and your company, such as calendar meetings, emails, phone calls, webinars, transactional data, behaviors, etc.

Some of the most valuable data can be found during the onboarding experience. The time to value (TTV) metrics will give you insight about how your customer feels about the product early on. This is a strong indicator for not only retention and upsells, but also revenue generating metrics. Engagement metrics, such as bounce rates and the like, may not help your business accomplish its goals. Knowing what data matters is key to quality data management.

It’s clear that dirty data is in the way of AI-powered CRM to do what it is designed to do like automate data entry, increase productivity and uplevel a company’s relationship with its customer. While every business can benefit from a CRM solution that helps them understand and nurture their customer relationships, its important for businesses to stop spending time manually maintaining one of the most critical tools in the business toolbelt. 2021 is the year for enterprise companies to make room for AI, and it starts with clean CRM data.  

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  1. I have been using the CRM system for a short time now and I am delighted with it. Managing my business and customer relationships is so much easier. In one program I have all the most important information about the activities of my company, when the employees work, what they do, who is my contractor and when do I have a meeting with him. These are some of the few improvements of FIRMAO software that I use.