For B2B companies, customer relationships are of core importance. The more dexterous they are at handling their customer relationships, the more likely their longevity. The tools available out there for that very purpose — mainly CRMs — help to store and manage under one roof all available information about each company account, follow their route along the sales funnel and further, track and share among relevant employees the interactions history, along with other useful data-related benefits. However, it’s not as simple as it may sound.
There is one main issue related to using CRMs, emerging from the fact that usually the data you need in your CRM normally originates from or is stored somewhere else, be it another tool, database or platform. According to HubSpot, 27% of salespeople are spending at least an hour daily on data entry, and about 23% feel like manual data entry is the leading challenge they have to face when using their CRM. The more effective these salespeople, the more wasted time costs businesses. Moreover, manually entered data is static, so pretty soon it may become inaccurate and outdated. According to various sources, more than 30% of data decay each year.
Generally speaking, data integration may take three forms. These include manual entry, as well as automated and engineered integration. The main issues with manual data entry were described just above. Automated and engineered integrations both use webhooks and APIs. The difference is that automated ones are usually synchronizing and ‘one-click’ types, while engineered ones are custom-built, and may turn out to be costly.
Automation, however, does not always exclude outdated and inaccurate data. Unfortunately, if the source of the information fed by the API into your CRM is not a trustworthy one, your salespeople still risk being tied in knots trying to make it right while being blinded by inaccurate data.
One of the best practices I’d recommend for any CRM integration would imply dynamic data enrichment. Thus, by opting for a company directory that promises you daily or at least weekly updates for the data provided, you’d be sure that the time wasted on mistakes and wrongly delivered information is almost nullified. Hence, your salespeople will have the possibility to focus at max on sales and, most probably, positively impact your sales figures. According to Aberdeen Group, productive sales teams with effective workflows are 81% more likely to use CRMs and, as per LinkedIn State of Sales, 65% of businesses report seeing the impact of the CRM usage on their bottom line.
Having your CRM integrated with a business database is not limited to only enriching the data you have at hand (of course, this one depends on your agreement with your data provider). As the importance of customer relationship management is aligned with the one of lead generation, it is paramount to keep in mind that business directories are an ample source of contacts, and integration will deliver fresh accurately segmented leads right into your CRM.
Yet another advantage of B2B CRM data integration practice consists in the elusion of the necessity for research, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, gaining immediate access to detailed information about business partners for the further high-touch personalisation of the messages you deliver and needs you meet.
After all, the choice you opt for depends on your integration strategy and budget. Just keep in mind, that no integration should slow you down. So, as it’s you who defines the process, don’t adjust your strategy to the integration option, but rather choose one that would perfectly meet your speed and would sustain the vector towards the prosperity of your business.