Well, maybe the title is a bit misleading. The title of this post describes the results of my monthly poll for February (on hiatus this month as I’ll be primarily be using all of my social media mettle to get as many of my analyst, press, users, parts etc. in my universe to come together for some great idea-sharing at SugarCon.)
This monthly poll asked: “How does your organization improve the quality of its CRM data?”
The choices ranged from essentially having no data quality measures in place, up to having a sales intelligence initiative in place that provides more consistent, quality sales and customer data.
I am not sure if I should be surprised or simply pleased that an overwhelming majority of respondents noted that they, to quote the poll, were “Sooo 2.0” and had a sales intelligence product in use to better control data issues. I mean, call it stacking the deck, but I’d like to believe that most Outsiders readers and Twitter followers are some of the more advanced CRM users out there, right?
The good news is that it is really easy to get tools like Insideview’s SalesView tool embedded in your CRM to better equip sales and marketing agents with better quality data at various stages of the customer life cycle. (As noted in recent posts – myself and InsideView are actually presenting on this very topic at a free event in Boston on March 23 – join us if you can.)
Again, almost a quarter of the respondents noted they use some form of external data aggregation – such as Hoover’s. I think this is a simple and smart start – leading up to the kinds of aggregated views and value that InsideView embedded in a CRM system can provide.
Several people noted they use traditional merge/purge tactics and some other innovative methods. But really, the responses (I think) tell me something about how companies are looking at data, and data quality, in the modern age.
More companies can perform greater data aggregation, and manage greater sets of data attributes around prospects and customers, for little investment. The web 2.0 world has opened up a service-based network of useful data (and some not so useful) that is easier than ever to consume and sift through to discover value. Companies do not (always) have to perform high-level, IT intensive ETL initiatives to create useful customer data pools.
And in my mind – faster, simpler and cheaper is always a good thing.