Up to 32% of any company’s data is inaccurate, according to recent research, leading to revenue losses of up to 23%. This is because data quality has a direct impact on the conversion rate from lead to customer, says Louise Robinson, MD of specialist lead generation provider CG Consulting.
“Clean data helps you better qualify and nurture your leads, but data cleaning is an intricate task. A tiny mistake in the original data input, or a typing mistake, or just outdated data, can mess up your entire database and negatively affect your sales process,” she says.
“A clean database is complicated to maintain and it can be hard to decide where to start when a company wants to clean its data up. Regardless of how well you have established data governance rules in your organisation, data still manages to get dirty. Dirty data can come in all forms, from a bogus form submission to a test email, to an error in data entry by a rep. Hours and hours can be wasted in manually cleaning the data and rectifying the errors which could have been avoided. The good news is that a data cleansing service will save you the time and money wasted on trying to do it yourself, helping your sales teams focus on doing what they do best.”
Robinson says that there are a number of ways a company can see if they need their data cleaned. The first is an increase in unreachable contacts. “If your bounce rate for any marketing or sales campaigns goes up, chances are you need to clean your database.”
Another red flag, she says, is incomplete records. These can decrease your sales team’s productivity and results. “For example, if you pass a lead that has a missing extension number to your sales team, this can cost them an extra five minutes of their time to get to the right person. Think about the cost of a missing phone number all together,” Robinson adds.
“If you are starting to notice that productivity is decreasing for one or more departments, it is time to understand the root cause. Data plays a big part in business – sales relies on good data to make calls and close deals, marketing needs leads to be able to their jobs, and even accounting has to have proper information passed to them in order to bill accordingly. Since data touches so many departments, it is not uncommon to have data be the prime cause of productivity loss.”
Another red flag is having data, but not being able to use it easily because it isn’t structured properly. “For example, if a company embarks on a marketing campaign to the financial industry, finding leads listed under ‘banking’, ‘investment’, ‘financial services’, and so on, makes it impossible to do any segmentation, target marketing, or analysis,” Robinson points out.
However, the biggest culprit of lost opportunities is outdated records. “By investing in a data cleaning service, companies can not only save the time and effort of manually cleaning out their data, but they can also ensure a better sales pipeline. The quieter holiday period in December is the perfect time to clean your database, getting your sales team to hit the ground running in the new year,” she concludes.