CRM is an acronym for “Customer Relationship Management.” Far beyond just software, CRM refers to all the tools, strategies, and technologies that a business deploys to develop and streamline customer relationships.
Tailored CRM software is a business tool developed to refine each interaction between customers and a brand through collecting and mapping data. This data is collected through several channels, from sales funnels to direct interactions.
It is on this data that a business thrives – data enables a brand to understand its target market better, pinpoint the audience’s pain points and desires, reduce waste, and increase profits. The quality of data received can significantly influence executive, marketing, production, and sales decisions.
Thanks to higher quality data, business executives can be more confident in the decisions taken, reduce risks, and pursue more consistent results. Here is what you need to know to refine your CRM data.
Collect as much data as possible
CRM data refers to customer information and statistics collected and stored to understand a target audience better and make smarter business decisions. The more data is collected, the clearer the overall picture will be.
Alongside quantity, the types of customer data gathered are essential. Ideally, you should aim to collect a wide range of data types to prevent bias and obtain a well-rounded picture of your target audience’s traits. Vice-versa, the more and diverse data you can collect, the more precise your business records will be. In turn, this can help you refine your CRM strategy.
Some of the important types of customer data to collect include:
- Basic data – this kind of data refers to the personal customer data, which is essential for a business to understand its relationship with its audience. Personal data – such as name, email address, and job title – and demographic data – such as gender, age, and income all fall within the basic data. This data is essential to understand the market segmentation.
- Interaction data – this data describes the touchpoints a customer has with your brand. Sometimes referred to as “engagement,” this data is often anonymized to protect the customer’s privacy and allow for large-scale mapping. This data is essential to crafting the correct customer journey for customers.
- Behavioral data – refers to the experience a customer has with your product or brand. This data is often considered in a business’s ERP and can help in product design and development.
- Attitudinal data – attitudinal data refers to what a customer thinks and includes online reviews and survey responses. Attitudinal data might not be as reliable because some customers might be more prone to voice their opinions than others.
Prioritize CRM system training
CRM systems are extremely powerful tools that allow businesses to collect and map out important customer data. However, just like any other business tool, the way they are used comes down to the expertise of trained employees. The greater their expertise is, the more they are likely to find patterns and motives that can help you obtain a rounded image of your audience.
The introduction of a CRM system in your business is an extremely important moment. As such, your organization must prepare for it by setting aside the necessary time and training resources. When used properly, CRM systems can yield a 25-85% increase in profitability, but adequate training is crucial to know that the department dedicated to CRM will provide accurate and useful results.
Just like any other technology, CRM systems are often updated and adjusted. Because of the many changes that can affect these systems, it is important to invest in continuous training.
Ongoing training options for your employees include:
- Reading resources
- Training courses
- Updates from your CRM vendor
- Training offered by industry experts
Thanks to these training strategies, you can use lesser-known tricks and improve data quality by extracting powerful insights.
Segmentation data is a technique used to make data more easily readable and mappable. In turn, data that is easier to analyze leads to higher-quality CRM data and results.
Segmenting data brings several benefits such as:
- It makes similarities between prospects clear, increasing the chances of sales and reducing sales costs.
- Segmented data allows you to pinpoint suitable prospects in commercial databases and company directories.
- It allows you to craft better marketing strategies with more relevant messages for your target audience.
- It enables a business to see where a certain prospect is in the buying journey. In turn, this can help you modify your message and nurture them along the sales funnel.
When segmenting data, it is crucial to have large volumes of high-quality data from several channels. This allows you to eliminate the risk of bias even in the reduced categories of the segment you are analyzing.
Some of the criteria you can use for the segmentation include:
- Sociodemographic data (criteria might be gender, age, work experience, etc.)
- Psychosociological data (criteria include political views, lifestyle, activities, etc.)
- Behavioral data (criteria include brand loyalty, purchasing habits, technology use, etc.)
If you are using psychosociological criteria, ensure that the information is collected and used lawfully – especially when looking at sensitive data that refers to ethnic statistics. Once you have subdivided your data into segments, make sure you can prioritize and target the most valuable group. For these prospects, you might create an ad hoc sales flannel and allow for extra nurturing time.
Audit data regularly
Auditing data should be an ongoing process that allows businesses to review how and what data is collected and stored. Even more importantly, regular checks allow you to reduce the risk of data losses and breaches, which can translate into significant losses – from financial, reputation-related, and operational viewpoints.
Ultimately, data audits are essential to maintain a business function and efficiency. Here are a few guidelines to conduct a data audit:
- Find the data – businesses use a variety of data collection software, as well as forms, apps, and websites. Make a list of all the locations where customer data might be stored.
- Capture the data – go through each system, including POS, websites, and CRM software, to find your data. Ask your teams to provide any detail they might have on their communication channels.
- Consult key employees – most of your business stakeholders will have access to some kind of data, but only a few of them will be able to access and use enough data to have a clear picture. Interview them to understand your audience at a glance better.
- Prioritize the data – depending on your business’s nature; you will prioritize some details over others. The high-priority data is the one that can turn in higher profits.
- Understand how data is used and stored – track data usage in daily operations to understand whether it is properly used to drive business decisions.
Regular data audits – at least once a quarter – allows you to understand if the data collected is relevant, valuable, and correctly prioritized.
Data is any modern business’s main asset. Thanks to data, businesses can better understand their target audience, reduce sales costs, minimize wastage of resources, and refine the customer journey. A CRM system is necessary to segment the data, prioritize it, and make valuable patterns stand out. Thanks to higher quality data and analyses, you can make smarter, precise, and more confident business decisions.