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Data is the Doctor

by Trish Bertuzzi on Mon, Nov 08, 2010


Ready… “The Doctor is in and will see you now.” 

Every day I spend time talking to Sales & Marketing Execs about how they can improve the results of their Inside Sales teams. And every day I give the same advice….

If you care about the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns or the productivity of your sales teams; you need to invest in your data!

Take a look at your CRM, how many records are there? Whatever the number, I bet that it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside doesn’t it? Well, I guarantee that at least 25% of those records are garbage. The person is gone, the contact info is wrong or they’ve long since changed jobs.

The Illness

Bad data is probably handicapping your team by at least 25%! Your email campaigns are bouncing, your LeadGen & Sales Reps are spending time looking for the right guy and all this is adding up to a lot of non-selling time.

If you've already invested in marketing automation, sales enablement tools, power dialers or services that allow you to speak to more people in an hour than ever before but not in your data… my question is….WHY?

Those tools are fabulous machines fueled by data.  

"But I do invest," you say, "I buy lists from various data sources, receive attendee information from trade shows and import leads from our website, etc." Yes, this is all good, but what is the process for keeping the data fresh?

You have to assume that at least 25% of your data will “go bad” every year (MarketingSherpa research pins the number at 2.1% monthly). That expiration has a direct cost associated to your sales & marketing efforts.

So, what do you do? The Cure

Embrace the fact that investing in your data is a process not an event. Data needs to be a line item on your budget and not a checkbox you fill in once and are done with.

Many data vendors have figured this out and now provide “data hygiene” services. You give them a portion of your database and they correct bad information and append new information. You pay only for what they change or add. How awesome is that?

I went to two experts on data and dialing and asked them each:

 “What is the impact of direct dial numbers on the productivity of Inside Sales teams?”

Mike Damphousse, CEO/CMO of Green Leads, said that direct dial numbers literally cuts time in half. Getting to a contact normally takes 45 to 90 seconds, direct dial numbers get you there in half that time. That adds up!

Steve Richard, Co-Founder & Head Sales Trainer of Vorsight, said that Inside Sales teams are 3x more likely to reach their contact if they have a direct dial number. I’d take those odds wouldn’t you?

In our Inside Sales Metrics & Compensation Research, 52% of the respondents selected productivity as the #1 challenge. Sounds like now is the time to do something about that!
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PS Inside Sales leaders, if you have experience with data services please share. Vendors, share your data hygiene programs in the comments section so the readers know how to find you. Happy Cleaning!

(photo credit: Dalboz17 &  aussiegall)

Topics: inside sales management, technology

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