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CRM: Garbage In, Garbage Out

July 1, 2014 By Oliver Deng
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Cloud-based CRM was an industry standard by 2001. You'd be hard pressed to find a single sales or marketing team without some form of a CRM system. But what used to be the biggest leap for the industry is now perhaps the single most misused tool.

During the past decade, companies have invested a significant amount of time, money and resources into adopting the latest technology. And in the IT lifecycle, that is considerably still a new investment. Gartner predicted the CRM market will increase to $36.5 billion market by 2017. And because money talks, it's clear business decision-makers understand the value of CRM and the benefits of coupling it with Big Data for sales and marketing programs.

So why are industry professionals ditching their CRM systems for alternative methods, or none at all?

Data, or the right data, is a prized possession, something to be nurtured and treated as a value-add, but it's now clogging up systems from neglect. As a result, dirty data has gotten so bad that CRM is being abandoned. For something that has been a game-changer, you know something in the system is broken when people aren't using it to its full potential.

Bad Data
One of the reasons CRM isn't being used to its full potential can be attributed to the fact that the data housed within an organization's system is old and outdated. In fact, according to a report by IKO Systems, in the life of a sales professional, an average of 32 percent of time is wasted on searching for missing data rather than making calls and closing deals (opens as a PDF). Even worse than this is the fact that 50 percent of companies who have a CRM system expect sales reps to find their own data. This means spending considerable time trolling LinkedIn and Google and making inefficient cold calls. It is no wonder 80 percent of reps' top complaint is that their CRM systems need significant improvements on gathering external data on prospects.

However, the sales industry's high turnover rate can be partly to blame. With 36 percent of reps admitting they don't log all calls or fail to update their systems when necessary, the data pool is now more like a carton of milk with a looming expiration date—and no one likes spoiled milk.

 

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