Everything an organization does relies on accuracy customer relationship management (CRM) data. It covers every part of an organization, from marketing campaigns to sales development activities to the customer experience and beyond.

Yet too many CRM users blindly assume that their data is clean and ready for meaningful use. And in many cases they are wrong.

The reality is that data reduces or degrades the overall quality of data due to missing, incomplete or outdated information within data base, has accelerated since the beginning of COVID-19. If ignored, it can be a silent killer for many organizations.

In the near future CRM data status study76% of respondents, consisting of 1241 CRM users and stakeholders, described the quality of their CRM data as “good or very good” at the beginning of the survey, only to find out later that the poor quality of CRM data actually costs of their company new sales.

In fact, 75% of respondents say that insufficient coverage caused by bad data has actually lost their company’s customers. In addition, 79% of respondents agreed that the decline in data has accelerated at an unprecedented rate as a result of the pandemic, increasing tensions between data trust and reality.

See also: Digital Transformation Guide: Definition, Types and Strategy

Challenges related to poor CRM data quality

So what is the reality of CRM data health? Consider three challenges faced by organizations that are directly involved in low-quality CRM data:

Bad business operations

Data quality has a direct impact on revenue – almost half (44%) of companies believe that their company loses more than 10% of annual revenue due to poor CRM data.

Teams rely on CRM data more than ever. As sales increase, business relationships become more complex, and consumers’ expectations for personalized, seamless experiences rise. But this innate reading depends on the accuracy of the data.

Keep in mind that high-quality data is at the heart of a highly efficient organization. When data is inaccurate, it negatively affects performance across the organization. And because organizations face pressure to innovate to competitors, data quality issues can sabotage new initiatives, such as artificial intelligence projects or hyperpersonalization campaigns, before they even start.

Doubtful internal practices

Another major concern regarding data disintegration is the lack of recognition and removal support from the company’s management. However, today, senior executives do not prioritize data quality issues, according to the report.

And when management does not take a firm stand on data integrity, the relationship flows at all levels of the organization. It can quickly expand into comprehensive unethical data practices that damage brand reputation and customer confidence. When this tone is set from above, it is unrealistic to assume that lower-level CRM users will do the extra work needed to maintain the data is clean and up to date.

In fact, 75% of respondents to the Data Health Survey admit that employees have invented data – 42% say they do it sometimes, and 33% say they do it often – to tell the story they want decision makers to hear. At the same time, 82% were asked to find data to support a specific story instead of providing accurate data. This means that for the most part, leaders make important business decisions based on manipulated and inaccurate data.

See also: Real-time data management trends

Cracked corporate culture

Peer relationships also have the potential to be influenced by low-quality data. Tensions between CRM administrators and the marketing department are exacerbated by poor data quality, with 67 percent of respondents saying the crashes threaten employee satisfaction in an already difficult hiring climate.

Current CRM users simply have less patience for low-quality data and usability barriers that make it difficult for them to do their job. More than half (64%) of respondents said they would consider leaving their current role if no additional resources were allocated to improve CRM data quality.

Combined with the lack of ownership by management – and 24% of respondents say that management does what it wants, no matter what the data says, while 14% say that management does not pay attention to data quality issues – employees are no longer willing to tolerate inefficient procedures that waste their time, resources and energy.

Data is at the heart of an organization, and well-managed CRM helps it reach both customers and employees. If data health is compromised, it has a ripple effect on the entire company and can be detrimental to both employee retention and the end result.

Companies working to improve

Neglecting CRM data management has real costs. However, companies have begun to address these issues with increased budgets and full-time staff.

57% of employees expect their company to increase data management budgets this year. Of those who currently do not have full-time employees dedicated to CRM data quality, 56% have active hiring plans for the next six months.

In addition to hiring a dedicated CRM data management team, companies need leadership. When leadership prioritizes data management, it becomes easier to obtain the resources needed for organizational change and investment in data health.

In addition, companies should consider automating the data management process to streamline their efforts to make maintaining CRM data quality more user-friendly.

In general, organizations need to address their data gaps sooner rather than later. By tackling these challenges, you can best protect your data in 2022.

See also: What is data visualization

About the author:

Chris Hyde, Global Data Solutions Manager at validity

Study Looks at CRM Data, from Accuracy to Business Impact

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