Duplicate data is an ongoing challenge for any sales organization. Companies spend millions each year on lead generation campaigns, trade shows and other activities designed to generate sales leads. Still, experts say that between 10% and 30% of those sales leads are duplicates, and another 40% are either incomplete or invalid. Eliminating the dirty duplicate data in the sales lead pipeline is one way to immediately improve the quality of sales leads and reduce wasted time and costs.
Marketing and sales are becoming more data-driven, and marketers are looking for new ways to make data quality a top priority. The more leads marketing generates, the greater the likelihood of duplicate data in the CRM system, including improper formatting, misspellings, and incomplete records. As more customer data is captured, only one or two records are typically updated. Over time you have duplicate, inaccurate, and outdated records cluttering up the system.
Cleansing and deduplicating prospect and customer data should be your first step toward improving sales team performance.
The Ongoing Problems with Duplicate Leads
Duplicate data is a problem in any business that can have a profound negative impact on sales and marketing. Here are five reasons why you should make deduplicating customer records and sales leads a priority:
1. Lack of a Single Customer View
Having one, accurate customer view is critical. Businesses typically track every interaction and transaction with customers, and without a reliable map of their journey, you don’t have a clear view of the customer.
Marketing teams rely on previous interactions to create personalized offers to increase conversion. In fact, 71% of consumers expect personalized interactions, and 76% are frustrated when they don’t get it. Having duplicate customer records makes it impossible to have one cohesive customer view to create the right personalized approach.
2. Inaccurate Information for Sales Calls
When making a sales call, you must have accurate data about the prospect to be effective. Without reliable information in the CRM system, sales reps will conduct additional research before making a sales call to avoid embarrassment and improve their chances of closing a deal.
Having to constantly double-check data that should be accurate is a waste of time and affects sales performance. This is especially true for commissioned sales reps since the fewer calls they make, the less money they earn.
3. Eroding Brand Reputation
Any time a customer has a bad sales experience it affects your brand reputation. With the power of social media and online reviews, no brand can risk disappointing customers.
Duplicate customer data increases the risk of sabotaging the customer experience. Duplicate and inaccurate records lead to duplicate emails, contacting consumers who have already purchased or declined an offer, and requesting information that has already been obtained.
Sales reps who engage using duplicate lead records cannot know if the lead has been contacted or the outcome of previous interactions. This can result in sales reps repeatedly calling or emailing a customer who is not interested in an offer or contacting a customer to make the same request over and over again.
4. Lost Productivity Cleaning Up Dirty Data
When it becomes clear there is duplicate data in the database, someone must clean up the mess. It may seem to be a good idea to create Excel formulas to identify, merge, and purge duplicate records, but that’s complicated, time-consuming, and usually inefficient.
When you have a database with thousands of records it can take weeks to clean it up manually. Even then, you can’t be sure the data is accurate. Misspellings, typos, and incomplete records could still create problems. You can never be certain that every record has been reviewed and amended or that good leads aren’t mistakenly deleted.
5. Poor Data Quality Affects Data-Driven Decisions
If you can’t trust your data, you can’t trust business decisions based on that data. For example, if you have duplicate customer data, it makes forecasting and calculating lead conversion more difficult. Managers can’t trust reports if there is dirty data in the system.
Laundering Dirty Data
Marketing and sales need to work together to ensure that customer data is accurate, complete, and unduplicated. In addition to promoting greater accuracy at the front end, they also need data cleansing tools to handle deduplication at the back end.
Consolidating data from disparate systems into a single data repository ensures there is a single source of truth, limiting the possibility of introducing duplicate information. Maintaining error-free data in a centrally integrated database allows businesses to have a consolidated platform where everyone shares the same records. This ensures that targeted, personalized messages are delivered to the right targets at the right time.
Adopting the right hybrid integration platform (HIP) can identify duplicate data before it’s entered into the CRM system. A good HIP also can automate the extraction and cleansing of external databases and Excel files to create an error-free database without intense manual labor.
Better consolidated data integration means transparent data sharing between marketing, sales, and the rest of the organization. It also enables better collaboration while reducing wasted time and money. With a single view of the customer, it’s easier to provide quality, personalized service without the pitfalls of dealing with duplicate data.