Data holds the value of gold when it comes to sales and marketing. We live in an age where businesses have become consumer-centric due to which data assumes more importance. If you are someone who is closely associated with sales and marketing, there are good chances that at some point in time your efforts would have not yielded desired results. Having bad data with you could just be one of the factors.
While businesses can get access to large data sets, they need to understand what data is good and what is bad. It’s not something that can be seen with a naked eye, but several factors will help you determine what bad data is. Let us understand what it actually is and how to identify it.
What is bad data?
In simple terms, bad data is something that prevents the successful execution of marketing or sales campaigns. It impacts businesses as they spend a lot of time and money. It is incorrect, inaccurate, duplicate, and lacks complete information.
The marketing campaigns won’t give intended results because they will not reach to the target audience if you have incorrect data. The overall productivity and efficiency of sales and marketing teams depend a lot on quality data. If the data is good, the campaigns will be much more effective. Also, the team will spend less time identifying leads and schedule more meetings, marching ahead towards meeting revenue targets.
What leads to bad data?
The business world is dynamic and with time, your leads might progress to newer roles in the same company or move to different companies, leading to a change in their contact details. The businesses might as well shut down. All of these factors will affect your marketing campaigns and return negative responses.
A Gartner study has revealed that a business can be impacted by $9.7 million per year if it has bad data. A similar report by HBR reveals that the businesses across industries get affected by $3 trillion annually due to poor data. A Blue Sheep report shows how even small businesses get affected by this and lose nearly 6% of their revenue. This also means that almost every business can get affected by data which not verified or simply awful. Teams then have to spend their precious time identifying and updating the database, when it could have easily been utilized for meetings and closing deals.
How to identify poor data?
- One of the easiest indicators of bad data is to check how old your database is. If it was updated long back, there are good chances it is bad.
- If you receive data from multiple sources but don’t sort it, you will end up with duplicate data, which is bad.
- If you have too much data to play around, but you do not make use of it, it is probably time you clean it to ensure its accuracy.
- When there is incomplete data like a lack of information beyond name and contact details, it is bad data. Similarly, if you have too much data, but do not use it completely, you have data that is of no use.
The impact of bad data on sales and marketing
Incorrect targeting of audience
In the modern-day business scenario, businesses that engage with their customers on a personal level are most likely to succeed. The first step towards achieving this goal is to target the prospects with personalized messages that are relevant and directly appeal to them. If your data is inaccurate, you will create incorrect personas due to which irrelevant information will be delivered to your intended audience.
Turning away valuable leads
With incorrect personal information, you could send out emails that are highly irrelevant or with wrong personalization. For example, you may have incorrect names of spellings or incorrect designations in your database. This can seriously put off your prospects, with high chances of them not responding to your further attempts as well.
High churn rate
Incorrect information and wrong personalization have the potential to offend your prospects and lead to a higher churn rate. The term basically refers to your email subscribers who unsubscribe to your emails. While a churn list can be transparent or opaque, you are at a loss in both cases. Factors that contribute to transparent churn are spam complaints, hard bounces and unsubscribes.
Opaque churn is simply because your emails are landing into the spam folder of your prospect or they are simply not even opening your message. Further, as many email addresses become outdated over time, the churn list increases. In such a case, it becomes important to keep growing your email database if not, the list will simply go on reducing. Churn significantly affects the success of marketing campaigns and a fix at the earliest is recommended to prevent wastage of resources.
Bad data will lead to wrong forecasts, unrealistic goals, and ill-informed decisions. With incorrect information in the database, marketing teams will miss their prospects, making it even more difficult for sales teams to achieve their targets. When it comes to decision-making, using data is vital to make a sound decision. Lack of good data will lead to inaccurate reports, thereby throwing the decisions and strategies off gear.
Loss of resource
A DiscoverOrg report says that marketing and sales teams end up losing 550 manual hours and up to $32,000 per representative because of bad data. The teams can spend a lot of their valuable time cleaning the data, adding information and verifying it. This leads to loss of productivity and resource wastage.
Impact on credibility
Wrong information and incorrect personalization can not only put off people but also lead to the reduction of your subscribers’ list as people will simply unsubscribe you. Further, bounced emails could also lead to your domain getting blocked. Your IP could also get blacklisted due to a high bounceback rate, which will impact any further communications from your marketing and sales teams. Spamming of mailbox due to multiple mails as a result of data duplication can also leave your customers annoyed. Selling to existing customers could itself be time-consuming, so you cannot afford to annoy them.
How to fix data that is bad
So, we have discussed what bad data really is and the impact it has on your organization. Once you’ve identified that you have poor data, the next step is to fix the situation. We have discussed below a couple of ways you can go about this. Or, you can always use Ampliz SalesBuddy to get verified B2B data.
- Understand what is bad data
Besides incomplete, missing and inaccurate data, there are other factors as well that contribute to it. Lack of complete information or blanks and duplicate data is also considered as poor data.
- Select the right CRM
Making use of the right technology can help ease your bad data woes. Selecting a CRM or any other software that can fill the missing information can be very useful. You just need to make sure that the CRM can work well with the tools you use. Depending on the scale of your business, you can opt for a CRM that is best suited for your needs.
- Standardize your documentation process
The resources that are responsible for maintaining the database can, at times, be responsible for wrong data. Incorrect entry of email addresses or contact information in the database can turn your marketing campaigns upside down. Standardizing the data management process and having multiple checks for data sanity can help you keep the data accurate and organized.
- Store only relevant data
Storing a lot of information, most of which you do not use, can lead to more headaches. It is common for many businesses to hold a large amount of data. Storing a lot of data will require checking it regularly to ensure its accuracy, which will be a waste of time if you do not make good use of it. Holding small but impactful data will help you strategize effectively and use the right approach to target your prospects.
- Conduct regular data audits
The avoid bad data, you must regularly update your records to have the highest accuracy. You can conduct regular data audits to identify how data is collected and how it is used. You can specifically review the data collection forms, standardize your processes and automate the data cleaning process. While this can be done in-house through your CRM software like Salesforce, engaging a professional agency can help you get the job done faster.
Bad data not only affects your marketing campaigns, but it also leads to wastage of your financial resources and productivity. Your well-qualified marketing and sales team should concentrate its energies on meeting prospects and closing the deals rather than sorting and cleaning data. For this to happen, you will have to get rid of such data first.