This is the second in a series of articles from Cognism on how data can help sales and marketing teams identify new business opportunities and key areas for growth. Click here to read the first article.
Sales and marketing data can be a priceless resource. However, if you don’t keep control of it, it can be a liability. You will close more deals if the data you use to generate and nurture leads is up to date. When you use data that is even slightly out of date, your sales operation will not be as effective. Entirely current data is difficult to achieve, but with today’s technology, you can get close. Let’s look at how data slides out of date, the troubles it brings, as well as how you can profit from using up-to-date information.
Why data degrades
Like a new car loses 10% of its value when you drive it off the forecourt, data starts to go out of date as soon as it hits your CRM. Every day, people change jobs or move companies. On any given day, an organisation on your target list might change its strategy. External events that change your prospects’ pain points can strike at any time. Just because a piece of information in your CRM is correct today, it could be incorrect tomorrow.
Around a third of customer and prospect data goes out of date every year. Because they don’t refresh their data often enough, most sales teams are using data that is up to 60% out of date. This creates significant problems for sales and marketing teams.
How bad data affects revenue
If your sales team is generating or nurturing leads using data that has degraded, it puts them at a disadvantage from the outset. There will be instances when your team will waste time calling prospects that have left the company. They will have to restart the relationship with the company all over again. This takes up even more time. It can also cause damage to the relationship with the customer.
However, what really affects revenue is the opportunities you miss because your data isn’t pointing you in the right direction. In this way, you leave money on the table.
How to profit from better data
The most effective way to drive revenue using data is to use the fact that it is always in motion to your advantage. When a change happens within one of your target organisations, it’s an opportunity for you to grab. For example:
- If an existing customer moves to another company, you can use that relationship to create a deal with the new company. Leverage the excellent work you have done already.
- If an organisation you sell to has just been acquired, it doesn’t need to be the end of the story. What solution does the acquiring company use? Can you use your relationship to sell a bigger deal to the larger company?
If you have totally up-to-date data, you can spot these opportunities in real-time. Then, you can use them to close deals.
A new approach
To be able to make use of up-to-date data to drive sales requires a new approach. The tech exists to ensure your data never degrades. It’s possible to continually track hundreds of millions of customer profiles against more than 5 billion different data points. It’s possible to organise your data so you are alerted to any changes in your target organisations. You can find out about staff changes, acquisitions, financial results and more besides, as soon as they happen. Then, you can make use of that information. Better customer insight means more closed deals.