When it comes to your customer relationship management (CRM) data, having bad data might be just as problematic, or more, as having no data at all. Your CRM is integral to managing your clients effectively and for your marketing team to do their job effectively. So if that data is lacking in some way (perhaps it’s out of date or poorly organized), then it’s not going to be of much use. 

Successful marketing is targeted and opportunistic. It’s about engaging with your prospects by using the right content at the right time. To get there, you have to be utilizing your customer data correctly. And while CRM data isn’t all you should be using to make more informed marketing decisions, its value is undeniable.

Knowing that bad data is bad for business is one thing — knowing why it’s bad is another. Here are three ways that bad CRM data can negatively impact your business.

1. It Lets Potential Customers Slip Through the Cracks

A CRM does more than just aid sales. But, if it’s working efficiently, it can do a lot for your lead generation efforts. By looking at your CRM data, you can form a better, more complete picture of who your customers are, what their pain points are, and what they’re looking for in a product or service solution. In turn, you can work backward from this information so that it helps you better approach new prospects and market to them. 

If your CRM isn’t giving you the correct data on your prospects, there’s going to be a massive disconnect between that data informing your nurture and outreach to new leads. You won’t be able to zero in on the right people, and you certainly won’t be able to reach them in a way that speaks to them. Bad CRM data leads to missed opportunities for new customers, and it could create issues for your sales cycle. 

2. You’ll Send the Wrong Emails 

In addition to losing out on crucial information that can guide your content strategy, it can also cause you to make some easily avoidable missteps that result in non-conversion-friendly emails.

There are a lot of dimensions to email marketing, and a lot riding on doing it right. We’ve come a long way from the “throw a bunch of things at the wall and see what sticks” method, and we know that the more targeted messages are — both in terms of content and timing — the more effective they are. But if you’re working with bad CRM data, then you’re not really targeting at all. You aren’t able to accurately capture where your prospects are in the buyer’s journey and what sort of actions they’re taking on your site, both of which play a huge part in how you nurture them in your emails. The result? Emails that fail to convert and that ultimately fail to bring you closer to a sale.

3. It Will Waste Time 

Time is one of the most valuable resources that you have in marketing. And to make the most of it, you want to be sure that you’re not wasting time with dead-end leads. If you have bad CRM data, you’re probably going to be expending a lot of effort and resources on leads that, for one reason or another, simply aren’t interested in making a purchase. That’s not good for your reputation, your bottom line, or your sanity. 

Managing your sales pipeline can be complicated, but if there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that a lead who doesn’t want what you’re selling is not a lead worth pursuing. Optimized CRM data can help you avoid reaching out to these leads, in turn, leaving you with a lot more time to engage with the leads who are more likely to convert.

Tips for Better CRM Data

Don’t worry; bad data is avoidable. I have some tips that will help you ensure the data you’re using is valid and up-to-date. Even if you swear by the data you’re currently getting, it doesn’t hurt to instill these practices. You’ll save yourself a lot of headache in the end.  

  • Update as you go. The longer you wait to update CRM data, the more likely it is that you’ll miss something important. Update the information on your prospects as soon as you’re privy to it. That way, you’ll know your data is as accurate as possible. 
  • Integrate your CRM with other systems. Ensuring good CRM data doesn’t have to be a huge ordeal. If you integrate your CRM with other systems, you’ll get automatic input that can bolster your data and keep it strong. 
  • Perform an audit. If you haven’t audited your CRM data recently, then now is the time. Better yet, get on a regular auditing schedule and weed out bad data as often as you can.
  • Track as much as you can. A lack of data is just as harmful as incorrect data. Track as much customer data as you can because you never know what you’ll need later. 

Don’t let bad CRM data slowly kill your sales, your marketing efforts, your ability to nurture your prospects, and, ultimately, your business. By following the tips above, you’ll manage to stay ahead of the issue and spot inconsistencies before they become a bigger issue.