The original vision promised by CRMs – that of providing a customer centric organisation with a single, central source of all customer and prospect information – has never been fulfilled, particularly in B2B.
CRMs have certainly provided value in forecasting, sales management, opportunity management and to some extent contact management.
But data on customers, and particularly on prospects, is still held in many places outside the CRM – marketing automation systems, spreadsheets, mailing lists, separate databases. Few, if any, B2B companies have a single, overall view of all communications with all contacts in their prospective customers.
The proliferation of marketing channels in the digital age has exacerbated this problem. It makes it almost impossible for B2B companies to know who said what to which prospect, when and by which communication channel. This causes many problems, including:
- Poor targeting – sending the wrong message to the wrong person
- The inability to reach prospects due to inaccurate contact information
- Prospects receiving multiple messages, often contradictory
- Prospects being sent irrelevant information that they don’t care about
- Prospects being contacted by different people via various channels telling different stories.
Companies waste a lot of time and money because prospect (and customer) data is held in many different places. This can also leave a bad impression with potential customers through bombarding them with annoying, irrelevant or contradictory messaging and it can negatively impact future sales.
The key problem is bad data, caused by non-existent governance when entering data into the many sources where information is held. Prospect data is almost always dispersed among many sources and is often inaccurate, incomplete, out of date, inconsistent and/or irrelevant.
Any solution to this problem has to take the real world into account. In real life no company is going to throw away its existing CRM and marketing automation systems – and no single system can meet the diverse needs of marketing, sales, fulfilment and customer service.
And in real life people will continue to make mistakes entering data and they will continue to store different kinds of information in different places.
This means that, in order to solve this problem B2B companies need a solution that draws its core information from the many data sources they are already using – one that;
- Provides a single view of customers and prospects that is as accurate, consistent and up to date as possible
- Is easily segmented and can be used for multiple targeted marketing campaigns
- Provides a complete view of all communications with prospects at an individual and company level
- Maximises deliverability of messages while adhering to privacy laws
- Manages and captures communications by all relevant channels – phone, email, direct mail, social media, digital marketing and so on
- Can be used to analyse responses and identify unique market insights that can be fed back to the market as valuable information
- Can be quickly and easily implemented without disruption alongside current systems
- Is delivered via the cloud to minimise costs and simplify implementation
One solution that achieves these is the Database Dept.’s cloud based WebONE Integrated Marketing Database data as a service offering.
For more information click here