How sales automation solves the sales data collection dilemma
May 08, 2019 by Jessica Munday
Picture this. A sales organization in which data automatically flows into the CRM like a clear, clean river. Sales organizations have a full view of their pipeline and can easily streamline their processes. There’s peace throughout all levels of the sales team. Forecasts are always precisely on the nose and revenue flows in abundance. This a perfect paradise for sales operations and the sales team as a whole. This is the reality with sales automation.
Sales operations know that clean, accurate customer data is essential for a smooth-running and efficient business. Sadly, this is far from reality for most sales organizations.
CRM data is often linked to a variety of sales tools such as external prospecting or forecasting tools. It also guides critical business decisions like expectations of how much a company can spend or grow. Not to mention it provides a holistic view of the sales pipeline.
Unfortunately, too many organizations rely on manual data collection, rather than sales automation tools for data entry. This ends up in disappointment across the board. Data is inaccurate, delayed or straight up just missing.
Think about it. If a sales rep is having a busy week (Yay! Maybe this means more sales!), it’s likely that their CRM duties will fall by the wayside. And I’m sure you can figure out the repercussions.
And this isn’t just a one-off problem as 79% of opportunity-related data that sales reps gather never make it into the CRM system. At all. As for the data that does make it into the CRM, 88% of CRM users admit to entering incomplete contact information and 62% say they don’t log all of their activities.
All of these issues with data collection leave sales operations teams with a lot to clean up:
- 30% of B2B contacts are outdated within a year.
- At any time, 20% of CRM contacts are no longer valid.
- 69% of users have outdated CRM data.
- 63% have duplicate contacts in their CRM.
The problem here is not with the sales reps. It’s a much larger issue with your current sales processes.
It’s time to get out of the way of your sales reps and let them focus on selling by removing data collection barriers. Introducing sales automation.
Sales automation tools that take on data collection can be a huge lifesaver. This task is one of the most time-consuming undertakings (and often cited to be the most boring).
75% of sales reps said they could be more productive if they spent less time on data entry. And 81 percent of reps said that the accuracy of their data could be improved by capturing quality contact info from people they meet or email with.
There are tools that can collect all of the important sales data without requiring anyone from the sales team (or even the ops team) to put in any grunt work.
Sales automation tools use intelligent mining and sourcing technologies to capture customer and business data, whether it be structured (like spreadsheets) or unstructured (like emails) and input them into the CRM. Magic!
With data collection done on a regular basis and done with better accuracy, the reliability of the sales data increases. Sales management and operations team then have more accurate forecasts and reports, which leads to smarter business decisions.
It’s imperative for sales organizations to find the right tool for the business problem they’re facing. This has given rise to the importance of the sales ops role as the optimizer of the sales process and owner of the tech stack.
As sales automation with AI becomes increasingly relevant in business processes, it’s more important than ever for sales operation to focus on keeping their teams competitive through automation and augmentation.