On certain levels, there's been a great deal of talk all over the world about data quality - you'll hear from bloggers and tech pundits and even top business executives these days about the importance of good, clean customer information. Whether it's on a website or in a boardroom, people are eager to discuss data and its role in business in the 21st century.
But sometimes, we get lost in all this punditry and drift away from the nuts and bolts of the conversation. What does data quality actually "do" for a business? What are the tangible benefits? That's a question worth exploring in more depth.
According to Business 2 Community, here's one good answer - high-quality data has a clear impact on sales. The thinking, according to sales expert Gregg Thaler, is that accuracy in data collection helps with streamlining the sales process and ensuring high-quality leads that will translate to serious revenue.
"Ask anyone in sales operations, and they'll nod in agreement that a high-performance revenue machine requires a perfect process," Thaler explained. "Order of operations matters immensely, and those processes require the highest quality data possible to function at peak performance. Salesforce is a vessel, and a mighty useful one. The purpose of Salesforce is to contain and create value, and this value is your data. Sales excellence demands that you put your data first."
How can you "put data first" and translate that mindset into more sales for your company? The following three tips should help:
Balance automation with intervention
Ideally, you'd be in a place where you can automate data collection and storage and not have to worry about it, but there's a balance to be struck there - you also have to know when issues with data quality might force you to intervene and mediate the problem.
Know your own quality standards
What types of errors are found in your data? Are people's addresses changing because they move often? Are there a lot of typos as a result of a data migration? If you know what your own quality issues are, you can address them easily in an effort to increase sales.
Share your data internally
The best way to get value out of data is to let everyone in the company benefit from it - not just the sales staff, but the marketing team too. This way, everyone can have an accurate and complete picture of the clientele and what it wants.