What do customer data and bananas have in common? Both rapidly decay. The biggest difference (other than potassium content) is that you can see bananas turning brown. Unfortunately, most customer relationship management (CRM) systems hide the decay of prospective customer information.

For a small business, finding leads and customers is hard enough. If you’re letting your data get stale, you’re missing out on opportunities in your sales pipeline and likely dropping the ball with current customers. And if your data is decaying, it can impact your entire business, from sales to HR to accounting to customer service.

Today’s leads become tomorrow’s garbage without you even noticing the shift. Customer data decays at a rate of 30 percent per year. In some markets with high employee turnover, that data can unravel at a shocking 70 percent each year. A small business CRM system is only as good as the data in it, and most systems do not account for this prospect rot.

Read Jonathan’s full article on Business.com.