Keeping your charts updated. Bad data sinks sales.
Don’t say this out loud, but sales is the bread and butter of any organization that produces or delivers goods and services. Sales people already have giant egos anyway, so you probably won’t have to tell them that, but it would do well for those of us in data management to remember it. Like it or not, what the sales teams do is what brings in the cash that pays all of our paychecks.
Imagine flipping the entire organization chart upside down and putting the sales department on top with the rest of the company providing support. Production provides the goods and services. Accounting provides the financial support. Management helps tie everything together to bring the product to the sales force to sell. The information services team provides the marketing and sales teams with the information they need to convert the goods or services and the customer contacts into cash.
The Importance of Good Data
Data Warehousing Institutes estimates that poor data quality costs companies in the neighborhood of six hundred billion dollars annually. That’s billion with a “B” and that’s an appallingly pricey neighborhood for a problem that is, at the very least, controllable.
The sales and marketing teams in any company live and die by the quality of the data they have access to. Good data insures that your sales and marketing crew share the same goals and are able to chart a clear course toward those goals.
Consider – data is already being collected about your accounts, clients and contacts that sales and marketing need to reach. It’s critical that the folk on the front-line be able to leverage that existing data to align sales and marketing efforts. If the data you are collecting doesn’t include sufficient information about loyalty, satisfaction and consumer engagement, then marketing and sales staff will not have the data they need to chart a course that produces sales.
- Don’t forget to leverage your Sales teams when collecting data. Sales know the accounts, the contacts and the preferences of the customers you already have. If they are not collecting this data effectively and passing it along, marketing is hampered in its efforts to leverage what sales knows in developing supporting marketing campaigns.
- Sales and marketing both need to capture data from all transactions and interactions with customers including account maintenance, problem-solving, unmet needs, contact data updates and relationship health issues. Legacy databases often don’t have a mechanism for collecting these kinds of information.
- Often data that is needed to develop new sales prospects must be collected from external databases. Unfortunately much of that external data is very dirty and the job of cleaning it up and making it usable can be difficult and initially costly.
Look for part two later this week!