It’s natural to trust your CRM system to provide you with valuable insights on prospects and customers. However, data decay is a massive problem that can cause a drop in sales and customers, increased employee turnover, and discord among management and staff.
A whopping 95% of survey respondents reported that CRM data quality issues hinder their ability to use their CRM system effectively, and 44% of those surveyed by Validity say their company loses over 10% in annual revenue due to CRM data decay. Respondents estimate that their CRM data will continue to decay by 34% annually without significant improvements.
The effectiveness of a business’s CRM solution is dependent on its data’s accuracy and freshness. We’ll explore data decay and its ramifications and share strategies for preventing CRM data decay and prioritizing data quality.
Data decay happens when the information you have is no longer viable for determining a healthy prospect. These are some of the issues with poor data quality:
When your sales team reaches out to prospects based on poor-quality, decayed data, they’ll run into dead ends and wasted time. They may end up contacting prospects who have forgotten about your products or services, aren’t interested in whatever you’re selling, or aren’t at the right point in their customer journey to be convinced.
Data decay isn’t just about having inactive leads. In fact, inactive leads can be a virtual gold mine for your marketing and sales team if handled correctly. When they’re still qualified, inactive leads offer businesses a second chance – a rare but valuable resource.
To effectively reach inactive prospects, it’s crucial that your CRM system has their up-to-date, accurate data. Additionally, you can’t reach out with the same old value proposition and expect to yield new results. You never know how someone’s business has changed over the course of a few months or years.
With proper customer tracking, your data should tell you why the leads are inactive so you can craft your messaging in a way that reignites interest and addresses any concerns present the first time around. Automated marketing and smart messaging are ways to stoke the fires of an inactive prospect and reboot the relationship.
According to Validity’s CRM report, data decay adversely affects businesses in the following ways:
Here are a few ways to ensure that your customer information stays fresh and your customers stay engaged through your CRM software.
Minimize your customers’ workload. High expectations are great for corporate culture or classroom teachers, but they’re awful for customer landing pages. Lower your expectations, and your customers are more likely to meet them.
In practice, that means asking fewer questions and requiring less information from prospects. Email addresses and contact information are the quickly rotting fruit of the data world. Instead of asking customers to fill out fields of information that will soon be outdated, let your software do more of the work. With the right software settings, you only need to ask for the most basic, shelf-stable information and drop a cookie to gather more specific information later.
The less information your prospect has to part with, the lower the barrier to providing that information, and the less likely it will be that the information will be entered incorrectly and rot immediately.
Office workers may receive hundreds of emails daily. With such overwhelming content and limited time, your prospects are likely skimming your information instead of reading it in-depth.
To boost your odds of prospects reading and responding to your marketing emails, and therefore gathering relevant data, keep your emails short and to the point and use concise subject lines of four words or less.
Use the same caution in your email frequency. If you constantly reach out by sending generic, long-winded emails or just pitch a sale over and over, you’re driving a nail into the coffin. Be straightforward, and don’t be a pest. If you bombard your prospect with lengthy emails, you’re begging to be ignored or marked as spam.
While your sales message must be brief, it must also be clear. You must tell prospects exactly how your offering will make their lives easier. Apple took this approach to sell its products with headlines like “Why is iPhone so fast?” The company goes on to tell potential customers
how the iPhone is the only product with the battery life they need or the camera resolution they crave.
The challenge is to clarify what makes your product uniquely positioned to solve a potential customer’s problem and then push that message. Address concerns and objections head-on, and present your clear value proposition by answering this question: Why is your business better suited than your competitors to help prospects overcome those obstacles?
With a clear value proposition, you’ll generate more leads and attract genuinely interested prospects.
To ensure your business’s data quality is high, take the following steps:
No one likes bad data. Prioritizing thoughtful data capture when forming client relationships and strategic messaging can preserve the health of your CRM system and your bottom line.
Kimberlee Leonard contributed to the reporting and writing in this article.