Data in Sight: A New Horizon

Validity likes data. Validity might even love data. Olivia Hinkle, senior product marketing manager for DemandTools and Gridbuddy Cloud, surely loves data, which is why she’s the regular host of Validity’s Data in Sight webinar series! In our January edition, Olivia welcomed two data quality and CRM management powerhouses: Corbin Neike, senior Salesforce administrator at 84.51˚, and Branden Bellanca, director, consulting expert, at CGI.

While the full webinar is embedded below, here’s a few can’t-miss highlights to give a sense of the wealth of knowledge shared, to prove the webinar is beyond worthy of 45 minutes of your time.

To encourage adoption, get leadership buy-in early.

Your CRM isn’t going to use itself! Unless it does, then please share your secrets. Anyway, it’s incredibly important to ensure there is consensus and belief in the software and the process at all levels of the organization. To find your strongest advocates, get leadership to champion and support your efforts to promote CRM usage cross-functionally. They’ll relay what their teams’ day-to-day looks like and will help you identify where their teams will benefit by using a CRM. When you know what their needs are, you can find a system to increase users’ productivity, and leaders will feel invested in its success. Plus, the fact is…it’s hard to say no when your boss’s boss wants you do to it, right?

End user impact should guide all governance decisions.

Don’t forget the little people! Except in this case, they’re definitely not little; end users are some of the most important figures in your data quality and CRM goals. As you consider your governance plan, think about whether end users will find the decision positive, if it will negatively impact their process, whether it will help or hinder CRM adoption, and so on.

And data governance is not as negative as it sounds. It’s like checks and balances for your CRM, so when you include people who can articulate the needs of all the people using the system, the dedicated data governance team can promote adoption, lessen technical debt, and increase your CRM return on investment. Wins all around.

Minimize creating technical debt.

Debt is bad. No one likes debt, of any kind. So, when you’re managing your CRM data, you want as little technical debt as possible. Do this by documenting every process and flow, so you know what each field is used for, the purpose of each process and flow and why certain development decisions were made. And, for the times when you can’t avoid the tech debt, it helps you create a future plan to fix it. This is probably 3% of everything they covered in this webinar, so check it out below!

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Speed Up Your Sales Cycle with Data

Let’s be honest, 2020 was not a great year for many businesses. With COVID-19 still ravaging economies around the globe, finding ways to improve sales continues to be top of mind for many.

Thankfully, there are some simple steps businesses can take to help enhance their sales processes and customer engagement efforts. Making sure customer data is up to scratch is one of the best places to start.

Appreciate the power of data

It’s great to have lots of data, but it’s equally important it is good quality. Accurate data is critical for deriving value from KPIs such as conversions, call and win rates, as well as response times and sales cycle lengths.

Low quality data can result in poor decision making across lots of areas of your business including marketing, sales, customer service, and product innovation. If your data isn’t reliable, you can’t be sure your marketing efforts are successfully reaching and engaging your customers. And without this, good sales results are hard to come by.

Locate your data

It’s likely you’re already using a CRM to manage your company’s data, but knowing you’re capturing all data properly to begin with is critical in determining how effective you’ll be when using it.

To ensure you’re collecting all the data available to you, start by performing an audit of any places data could be hiding. This might include website analytics, Google Analytics, email subscription details, and sales and inventory records. Also consider your daily interactions with customers to see how you might be able to glean extra intel.

Clean your data

Common data quality issues include duplicate data, incorrect data, invalid data, incomplete or inconsistent data, and poorly defined data (sectioned in the wrong category). You can prevent bad data from becoming a recurring issue by looking at how it enters the system initially.

Establish protocols for keeping data accurate and educate all employees who interact with the system on how to correctly input and manage data. Rules for adding data should include using standardised naming conventions and formats (including abbreviations), inputting all required fields for a record, and updating customer details as they change.

Prevention should also include evaluating third-party tools to help ensure data quality. For example, Validity’s DemandTools suite offers DupeBlocker, a useful tool that finds and prevents duplicate data from being entered into the system.

Don’t forget about your CRM system

A good CRM helps you go deeper with your data and metrics, allowing you to collect, collate, tabulate, organise, interpret, and use your data more efficiently to improve and accelerate the sales cycle.

Your CRM system is an incredibly powerful tool and it’s likely you haven’t discovered all it has to offer. Take some time to explore your CRM features so you can maximise its value and take advantage of its clever functions that could save you time and generate even more sales leads. Most CRMs work seamlessly with third-party data quality tools and other software designed to support your business activities, so take advantage of this.

By making the most of your data and the tools available to you, you’ll be in a much better position on the journey to recovery and growth in 2021.

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