The Cost of Manual CRM Data Entry


The Cost of Manual CRM Data Entry


Customer Relationship Management, in one form or another, is at the center of every company’s revenue model. If your customer relationships are shaky, your business is shaky. But in the 1990’s, with the advent of the dot-com era, Customer Relationship Management, or now more commonly referred to as “CRM”, turned digital.

Now, the Saas model fuels thousands of vendors in an industry that is expanding rapidly. In 2015, the market spend on CRM software exceeded $24 billion and this number is expected to grow for years to come.

But why does this matter to you?

If you are part of the $24 billion noted above, I’m sure you know exactly how much you’re contributing to that number. CRM solutions can be expensive—they can range anywhere from $25 to $150 per user/per month. At a large organization, these CRM contracts can sometimes be worth millions of dollars per year. But when a company forks out millions to a software vendor, the check doesn’t float out of the door quietly.

The company often scrutinizes the investment to ensure it sees an adequate return. Many people in the company are tasked with the responsibility of maintaining the platform. Sometimes entire teams are brought on to ensure the CRM platform is adopted and administered effectively. Even with these efforts though, the industry average for effective CRM adoption sits right around 19%.

Why is that? Well, when sales reps are forced to live in an overwhelming system and to manually record every customer interaction they conduct, they tend to push back. But if leadership exhausts a department’s budget on a CRM solution that's supposed to bring more predictability, standardization, and visibility to revenue, low adoption cannot be an option.

So, somethings gotta give, right?

Typically leadership's reaction to low CRM adoption is to mandate usage by tying it to compensation, or even compensation penalties. We’ll often hear statements like, “if it’s not in the CRM, it didn’t happen.” In the short term this methodology might work, but in long-term…you’re in trouble.

Think about it. We’re telling highly skilled sales reps to become mindless data entry robots.

If they sell more, they must enter more. If they must enter more, they have less time to sell.

It’s quite the conundrum, doesn’t it? When reps are presented with this conflict, they normally take one of two routes:

  1. They continue selling at the same rate and take time out of their leisure to enter CRM data.
  2. Spend less time in front of prospects in order to adopt the CRM.

In either scenario, your reps are less happy—I mean, have you ever met anyone that would like to do more work that prevents them from making money?

Expectation v. Reality

As a result, sales starts to take shortcuts to make meet requirements. They enter data for the last few hours of a Friday. They go purely off of memory, or sit down with their notes if you're lucky. They enter what they think is important and leave out many of the details. Sometimes they inflate their pipeline in order to appease management, or hold out on entering opportunities in order to sandbag. But, hey, at least you've improved adoption and data. Some data is better than no data...right?

Management finally the visibility they’ve been yearning for and can feel more confident in their forecasts because it’s “data-driven”...right? They can finally join the big data world we live in...?

Wrong.….no, they can’t.

In this scenario, leadership doesn’t realize the lack of data quality because there’s no real way to validate it. Regardless, everyone feels more confident in their decisions because they’ve got more data. Leadership drives boldly into the night, giving seemingly data-backed recommendations to sales managers and reps, only to continue to miss quota. In this situation, some might say that misinformation is even more dangerous than no information.

Imagine a friend asks you for directions to San Francisco, but they accidentally give you the wrong location for their starting point. Confidently, you give them directions, but none of your suggested paths or milestones are making sense. They’d get lost or throw out your directions altogether.

Your friend’s misinformation parallels the bad data in a CRM. Leadership is under the impression that they’ve obtained more visibility, when in reality, they’ve only got a misleading and incomplete picture.

So, what can you do?

It's 2018. We’ve sequenced the human genome, built self-driving cars, connected over a billion people through a pocket computer phone, but your reps still have to manually log their emails and phone calls into CRM? No, absolutely not.

When you look at sales analytics solutions, pay close attention to how they solve, not only the missing data problem, but the bad data problem as well. Do they simply plug into the CRM and call it a day? Or do they focus on creating a real source of truth first, and then apply their analytics, AI, and/or machine learning. With the CRM Supercharger, we pay attention to the needs of the sales rep as they pertain to both the input and the output of the CRM.

In other words, we automate and backfill the input of data by integrating directly into the systems in which they conduct their prospect/customer emails, phone calls, and meetings. On the output, we provide powerful visualizations, next step recommendations, and real-time coaching to first give reps and managers a clear view into what is currently happening and then a clear set of directions on how to move forward.

You want more data, more visibility, and more insight, but we want to give you clean data, real insights, and true visibility.


By Accent Technologies

20th February 2018