"Your CRM is only good as the quality of your sales data and how actionable it actually is."

How to enrich your CRM with actionable sales data

Data is powering a new era for sales (and marketing too) so much so, that the lack of proper sales data seriously undermines a company’s sales department effort to track, measure, and improve its performance. Customer expectations gradually continue to grow, and the stakes for small and medium businesses are at an all-time high. Keeping up with these increasing needs and demands can be back-breaking, especially with time and/or resource constraints. According to SalesForce’s Small & Medium Business Trends Report, SMB teams spend 23% of their average workdays manually inputting data. Could that time be reduced? Of course. Even though they understand technology can make their lives easier, only one-third of SMBs use a CRM system, with growing companies placing CRM technology as their top tech budget priority compared to their stagnant or declining counterparts.

Where’s the holdup? First and foremost, the technology needs to be easy to set up and use, as well as maintain in the future. Amongst the multiple systems and touchpoints, there needs to be a link between data and your CRM solution that allows you to update, manage, and share your information effortlessly. After all, your CRM is only good as the quality of your sales data and how actionable it actually is. Here are some tips on how to enrich your CRM with data that drives actionable sales insights.

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Track prospects throughout the entire sales cycle

Before entering any form of communication with your prospects, it’s imperative to constantly gather data on them. However, data collection doesn’t stop there; as Steve Jobs so keenly remarked, customers don’t always know what they want. Your sales team should actively follow your potential clients throughout the sales cycle and keep track of content that resonates the most with them at any given time. This includes data such as where they are most active in terms of geography, their tech stack, web traffic, business vertical, their best clients and everything else that can help you pinpoint their needs. Once you have this information, not only will you better understand their current needs and hone your message accordingly, but this will also open the doors to new potential clients through untapped verticals and geographies. Needs change and tracking prospects non-stop will allow you to hatch a sales pitch you can pull off with confidence and utmost precision.

“A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them.”-Steve Jobs

Keep up with major changes

The B2B environment doesn’t have a steady set of rules to go by. Changes happen all the time, changes that can completely alter the quality and impact of your data. Whenever you want to approach your prospective clients, you need to be aware of two things: timing and context. Effective lead nurturing demands your sales reps are on top of their accounts by using real-time alerts to be aware of every important event, be it a technology change (tracking if a specific company added or removed a technology or a specific technology being installed or uninstalled), traffic increase, customer increase, or else. These key triggers allow you to craft a message that your prospect wants to hear, creating a meaningful relationship that can bear fruit for a long time. It also allows you to engage them at a perfect time for maximum receptiveness to your defining USP (or more of them).

Don’t use CRM as a standalone system

That’s pretty much the whole idea behind enriching your CRM. It’s not so much about what information your CRM solution already holds, about what is missing and how you can get it in there. Yes, customer relationship management already holds tons of data such as sales, demographics, contact information, social media, etc. However, to successfully implement all of the advice and strategies mentioned above, you need to integrate a sales insights platform. CRM software doesn’t start and stop with sales. On the contrary, it needs “help” to make your customers information 100% relevant and accurate. For instance, omitting a prospect generating tool, and your sales force may not be aware of the recent changes to their status, new potential verticals and markets to tap into, and most importantly - they won’t have all the necessary facts to create a rejection-proof sale pitch.

CRM Image credit: CloudCall

Strategically collecting and employing customer data across the entire customer landscape allows you to create a highly personalized sales approach that your prospects will have a hard time saying no to. Thanks to tech advancements, this is easily attainable since it’s possible to integrate almost anything these days without breaking a sweat. It’s important to note that sales intelligence tools aren’t limited to prospect and lead generation efforts as the primary challenges of both sales and marketing departments. They can also be utilized to enrich entire accounts and contacts, either to discover or load additional contacts within a target business so you can rest assured your sales team is reaching the relevant position holders and not wasting their (and ultimately the company’s) time.

Keep your CRM clean and up-to-date

You should never underestimate how important data is to your entire sales effort, not just your sales force. Still, there is a difference between data itself (it is called “big data”, after all). It’s about separating the wheat from the chaff: filtering actionable from non-actionable data whereas one can be a source of motivation and delight, the other a source of strain and miscommunication, to put it mildly. For SMBs, it’s crucial to have a reliable and consistent process for updating and enriching their CRM solutions. Fortunately, today’s tech easily solves that problem, both in terms of accuracy and efficiency.Getting each and every sales representative to submit customer information after every interaction can be a painstaking task, but with an easy-to-use integrated platform, you can rest assured actionable and accurate data is logged in every time. And the best part? Sales intelligence has never been more easily available.

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