Data Strategy Must Support Both MAP and CRM

IDC Chart from "The Data Advantage for Marketing and Sales," June 2016 Research (N=200)
IDC Chart from “The Data Advantage for Marketing and Sales,” June 2016 Research (N=200)

A recent IDC survey of 200 sales and marketing professionals in North America found that the largest source of leads was the Direct Sales Force at 37% of organizations.  The remaining top sources were generated by the marketing department.  Direct Marketing was still the second most important source (21%) with digital ads (14%), corporate websites (10%), and trade events (7%) also generating significant leads.

Thus, any attempt to improve the quality of leads must include both sales and marketing departments.  A focus on only those leads generated by marketing and stored in the marketing automation platform (MAP) means that a high percentage of your leads are not being impacted by your data quality efforts.  Furthermore, even if the MAP is being regularly cleansed and enriched, once leads are sent to the CRM, they still need to be maintained.

The good news is that at firms which focus on sales rep lead identification, the percentage of bad leads (incomplete, inaccurate, duplicate) was only 22%.  Only trade event focused companies had a lower lead quality rate (20%).  So which programs generate a high percentage of bad leads?  Those which are led by social content (49%), off-line ads (42%), and direct marketing (33%).  In these cases, attribution issues and incomplete data are likely sources of errors and duplicates.

What is shocking is that four of every nine firms surveyed with at least one hundred employees have no data services strategy.  Of these, 38% see no need for a working with a data services provider.  34% were put off by cost, but fail to recognize the cost of bad data is felt in sales, marketing, and downstream platforms with a host of both direct and indirect costs.  What’s more, once bad data is propagated downstream, the remediation costs go up several fold.

There are a number of vendors that address data quality in both sales and marketing platforms.  These include ReachForce, D&B NetProspex, InsideView, Avention, and Zoominfo.

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