A top priority for any RevOps team is automating and managing as much of your sales pipeline as possible. I’ve already covered how RevOps should handle lead definition and qualification for your team. But, RevOps also needs the authority and planning to keep your data flowing throughout your whole sales and marketing process.
Contact data, qualified prospects, and specific lead and company details can all easily get lost within the variety of tools one has and moves data back and forth between. Your data should not be trapped anywhere. Your data management should require minimal intervention to keep flowing.
What Do I Mean by Data Flow?
Think of your data like water. You have a source like a mountain spring. The water flows down as a river, potentially expanding into ponds and lakes. But, the water can be dammed up to restrict flow. The river can overflow and flood an area trapping the water where it’s not supposed to be. Trash can find its way into the river and pollute it.
Likewise, your data flows from a source, your data provider, and moves through your sales and marketing automation system. Your CRM is a like a lake full of data. But if data has to be manually moved or cleaned, it becomes trapped until action is taken like water behind a closed dam. If you have too much unnecessary data or duplicate data, it can flood your system. Errors from a system or manual entry can ruin using the whole system by making the data untrustworthy.
The RevOp’s goal is to make sure data is always accessible where it needs to be without extra labor on anyone’s part or errors being introduced.
When data can’t be found easily or trusted to be accurate, daily frustration is baked into everyone’s workflow, teams are more likely to miscommunicate, and pipelines move more slowly.
What Causes Data Traps?
The biggest difficulty for RevOps when managing data flow is picking the right tools and integrations. Because a piece of software says it works doesn’t mean there won’t be unique issues, bugs, and disconnects. If one tool, like your CRM, only accepts data in a specific format and your data provider doesn’t match, even with their integration, manual work is constantly required to move data over.
Similar data coming from multiple sources can also create errors and duplicates. If a prospect enters a part of their information on a form, a sales rep manually adds the same prospect while on LinkedIn, and they’re part of a contact data batch from your provider, that prospect can end up as 3 different contacts in your database. Duplication bloats database size and costs valuable time and money for everyone in the GTM organization.
Poor data can also come directly from your data provider. All providers are not created equal. While some vendors boast the biggest databases, you must consider how much of that data is actionable for you, how was data the sourced, how was it verified and (most importantly to RevOps) how is that data maintained to ensure continued quality. Without your data provider constantly providing human reverification, errors will develop as the data decays over time.
After setting up an entire workflow and deep integrations, RevOps may struggle to find provider replacement difficult if a provider is not providing actionable and accurate data for their team. No one wants to waste time and energy dealing with expensive contracts, poor customer service from vendors, and a general feeling of frustration.
Fixing Your Data Pipeline
First things first, if your data source is inaccurate, the whole system will face problems. This can be from wrong information or key information missing from your account and contact records. If your data partner doesn’t have 95% data accuracy and ways of consistently maintaining the quality of their data, then it’s time to switch. Your vendor should solve the RevOps difficulties of switching and double-checking data accuracy. Not by your team. (We’ve already helped hundreds of companies switch.)
Second, your vendor should be able to help you use their data to quantify your ideal customer profile (ICP). By combining high accuracy with firmographic and technographic data, you gain the ability to reliably segment your data to find companies and contacts fitting your ICP. Your vendor should integrate with your CRM so you can sync your data to where your team already works with minimal effort. Your data vendor should not disrupt your natural workflow.
Third, you’ll ideally want access to intent data so your time can prioritize outreach based on the level of buying intent different companies show. Even once you’ve narrowed down your target list to companies fitting your ICP knowing who should receive attention first is difficult. Intent data makes priorization easy. Timely and accurate intent data keeps your team working on opportunities with highest potential to close.
If you were searching to buy something online, think of your ICP as how you would filter the search to find what you want. If you’re looking for winter coats, you’ll want to be looking at winter coats. Intent data is how you sort your results similar to how you could sort the list of winter coats to list the highest reviewed items first. You want to spend minimal time searching for exactly what you need.
Lastly, RevOps needs to be able to set the standard processes for data management across teams. Every team should have their input and share their point of view, but RevOps should have the final say since they have the big-picture view. Marketing and sales might have processes that save them time or they’re more comfortable using but that damage overall data quality and usage. After thinking through their process, RevOps shares their reasoning and begins implementation.
If better data is coming in and following processes to avoid duplication and errors, overall trust in data should increase. RevOps should also experience less time fixing data issues or manually moving data. Your whole team should be excited to no longer have complicated and obscure ways to find the data that they need.
Remember, no vendor can’t be replaced when a better one is found. Every vendor should follow through on their promises. And, your team should expect data management to be an easy part of their job. As is often the case, extra effort on setup has high dividends down the line.
RevOps should have the power and be expected to manage the flow of data throughout your whole organization.
- Data can come from inaccurate sources, become trapped in poorly integrated tools, or flood your tools with duplicates and errors.
- When data can’t be used where and when teams need it, teams will lack the resources to collaborate and work effectively.
- Solve data being trapped (and yourself being trapped by poor vendors) by encouraging RevOps to do a full review and revision of your data flow.
- Replace any vendor that is part of the problem instead of the solution.
- Have all your team use the same data process. Any initial resistance should disappear as the new process improves data accuracy, usage, and time spent on revenue generation.