Here is a situation almost every salesperson has faced at some point – you identify an account, find the right POC, do all your due diligence, and then you dial the number. A short conversation later, you find that the person left the company last year and never updated their LinkedIn. At other times, your database might show different people for the same job profile or conflicting contact information for the same person.
For example, suppose you want to reach the sales director at XYZ company, and your database shows the following two records:
Which record is correct? There is no way to find out except by dialing each number. So there is at least a 50% chance that you’ll embarrass yourself before reaching the right person. And that’s actually not the worst case if you consider this second scenario:
You dial Jeff and discover that he no longer works at XYZ, but you don’t have Mike’s phone number. So you wasted your time and failed to reach the right person.
These are not isolated instances. Most salespeople face these challenges daily. It’s no wonder that an average salesperson spends around two-thirds of their time on non-revenue generating tasks.
So what’s the solution? The answer lies in enriching the data, but before we talk about it, let’s grasp the nature of the problem.
A database transaction works on a principle commonly referred to as ACID where each letter represents one of its properties:
A – Atomic
C – Consistent
I – Isolated
D – Durable
For this discussion, the first two – Atomic and Consistent are most significant.
A database transaction is said to be atomic when the entire transaction takes place at once or doesn’t happen at all. In sales terms, it means when you are creating a record, you either input all the information or do not create the record at all.
So if your prospect database keeps records with the following fields, having any of them empty for any record will violate atomicity.
Generally, the records are created in one of the three possible ways
- Manually created by a sales rep
- Submitted through a lead gen form on the website
- Exported through third-party data sources
Here is a detailed explanation of the challenges with each of these methods and their ideal solutions.
Consistency is about having the same record everywhere. The example we discussed earlier with the two sales directors at XYZ is a classic example of a consistency violation. Data decay is the most common reason for inconsistent data.
Typically, B2B contact data decays at around 20-25% every year. That means even if you have 100% consistent data at this point, it won’t be the same next month. As people switch jobs, change titles, etc., you have to accordingly update your database with the new information.
At this point, we have a fair understanding of the issues with data quality and how inconsistency and incompleteness are two different problems which require different solutions. Enriching data is a rather broad term that encapsulates all the solutions for high data quality, such as appending data and frequent updates.
This solution involves adding missing data pieces to ensure completeness. So if an SDR is creating a record with only Name and Email Address, enrichment will automatically find data for all missing fields like phone number, job title, and more. This allows salespeople to prospect more accounts and have more conversations as they don’t have to spend time searching for contact and company information.
This feature is extensively used by marketers to increase form submission rates on their websites by shorting the webforms. Instead of having a large form with numerous fields (that visitors are less likely to fill), they ask only for an email address and enrich the record at the backend to get all the other required information.
Frequent updates work to remove inconsistencies in the database by frequently validating the existing data. So if a prospect switches their company, job title, or contact information, enrichment automatically finds the most recent information and updates the records in the database. This level of double-checking is often impossible for an internal team but is one of the key benefits of a data provider.
This feature is instrumental for improving call connections and bringing down bounce rates. Also, tracking customers as they switch companies allows sales professionals to leverage their existing relationships for creating new opportunities.
Overall, enriching inconsistent and outdated data is one of the fundamental requirements of building a robust sales and marketing process. With fewer gaps and high confidence in data, sales and marketing teams can be more expressive, cast a wider net, and be more effective in their campaigns.
Do you have low confidence in your CRM data? Request a demo, and we can help you with a free health checkup of your database.