Guest Post from Carlos Hidalgo, CEO of The Annuitas Group, provider of sales and marketing process consulting services for B2B technology, financial and manufacturing companies.
Arguably the most crucial element to your marketing success is your database. After all, no matter how good your message or offering is, if it doesn’t reach the right people, then your chances for marketing and sales success are greatly hindered. And by “success,” I’m not just talking about low response rates. I’m talking about loss of revenue. Not having solid marketing and sales data will actually cost your company money. As seen from this chart from SiriusDecisions, bad data has financial ramifications for organizations as well.
Data is such an important organizational resource. Yet, most companies fail to establish the proper processes to manage it effectively. Why? Because they don’t know where to start. So, to help get you on your way, here are four steps you can begin implementing to ensure your data is paying dividends.
1. Develop the Proper Data Controls
I once worked with a client who told me they had an open access policy to their CRM database. Even their front desk administrator had open access. Not only could anybody in the organization access any record in the CRM database, they could alter it, modify fields, etc. It was a recipe for data disaster. The result was a database that was filled with errors and duplicates.
To help avoid data corruption, you should establish controls on who will be able to access the data, who will be allow to change/append records (and to what extent), and who will be allowed to change the data structure. These controls should be documented. By establishing and enforcing these controls, your data will remain more consistent.
Too many companies have disparate databases throughout their organization. Sales has their database. Marketing has theirs. So does finance, customer support, etc. This creates a problem. Each group has customer data that is important to them, but they fail to get the whole view of the customer. As a result, engagement with the buyer fails because customer and prospects don’t feel like the company knows them.
The solution? When possible, consolidate your data to get a better view of the buyer. Consolidating doesn’t necessarily mean putting the data into one database. It usually means integrating databases so that each group can still have the data they need, but can also have supplemental data that gives them the whole story on the buyer. Organizing data this way will improve the results of buyer engagement.
Read more about developing an ongoing hygiene process and making it dynamic.
Carlos Hidalgo, is the CEO of The Annuitas Group, provider of sales and marketing process consulting services for B2B technology, financial and manufacturing companies.