Many companies currently focus on big data. Unfortunately, small data are all too often forgotten, as if this problem has been solved now. In B2B, however, we are confronted every day with incomplete databases, outdated information and customer data stored in individual salespeople’s smartphones or in all kinds of Excel lists. New contacts’ business cards, LinkedIn updates, website visits and email traffic are not converted into a unique database.
CRM should be this unique database compiled by manual and automated data collection. Unfortunately, the potential is usually not fully realised in reality. The problem is often intrinsic to the implementation:
- The screens and workflows are not adapted to the different roles and use situations
- Low adoption rate among users due to a lack of added value for each individual user or user role
- When the CRM system is selected, insufficient consideration is given to the rapidly changing needs and environment
We know what this results in. The forecast requires quite a lot of manual work in every analysis. The sellers perform a single major update just before each deadline and do not keep track of their work on a daily basis. Time and again, Marketing has to request that the sellers manually check the lists before an action can be started correctly. Sales leads are insufficiently qualified and are badly monitored or not at all.
Less data means more data
By using CRM correctly, a whole new world can be opened up for improved collaboration between departments and higher impact on the market. The following elements have most impact on the data quality:
- Make the screens less complex and make the fields consistent with the logic behind them. Also take into account the different situations in which the screen will be used
- Remove fields that are hardly ever used
- Remove workflows which act like a straitjacket because they are not adapted to real situations
- Provide sellers and middle management with individual dashboards which reflect daily and weekly use
- Always use CRM live screens in case of interactions with sellers, e.g. during opportunity, pipeline or activity meetings
This is sufficient in itself to provide more up-to-date information and reduce frustration because sellers do not need to complete countless separate PowerPoint or Excel lists anymore.
If you immediately take this on board, you will achieve significant results within one month.