In a report, CIO magazine found that up to 69 percent of all customer relationship management (CRM) projects fail, despite millions of dollars invested in deploying them (sorry, sales and marketing operations). Multiple causes abound — from the organization wanting the CRM to meet too many different objectives to using it for inspection instead of it’s analytical abilities. However, the number one reason CRM projects fail to produce the ROI intended is because sales fails to input meaningful sales activity data — or simply doesn’t enter data at all.
Reports exported from the CRM are based on unreliable data and used to make critical business decisions. In this case, inaccurate data is worse than no data at all.
From marketing’s perspective, the CRM is intended to be a rich source of data designed both to inform and empower all their efforts. When they cannot trust sales to keep that data up to date and reliable, even the most skilled marketers are unable to leverage their CRM. Decisions get relegated to intuition and experience, rather than based on data.
Despite the cliche that marketing and sales cannot play nice together, many marketers and sales teams understand that they are, ultimately, interdependent on one another for success. They would both be more successful if they had accurate, reliable data in their CRM.
So why doesn’t sales realize how vital their role is in keeping the CRM accurate?
Let’s consider the salesperson’s perspective.
Salespeople are paid to sell, not to enter data. And, given the average usage of CRMs today, entering data is an administrative burden that in most cases has very little value to their actual day-to-day work. The CRM has not been leveraged to drive better deals and more targeted marketing, and so entering data becomes a mundane and dreaded task. Most salespeople either enter inaccurate data, fictional data, or do not enter data at all. The longer this goes on, the more inaccurate the CRM becomes and the less value it offers to the organization.
One of People.ai’s customers found that their sales department had over 3,000 contacts that had never been entered into the CRM, yet sales was working off those contacts every day.
Just what should sales be entering into their CRM? All of their activity data — the emails, phone calls, meetings, and contact and opportunity details that they engage with daily.
It’s this data that can give insight into things like buying groups and who marketing should be shaping content for, what leads are high-value leads and what leads should not be pursued. There is rich potential for meaningful, actionable insight in a CRM that has reliable data.
So what is marketing to do?
Salespeople are not going to fall in love with data entry anytime soon. Unless sales activity data gets accurately entered into the CRM, marketing is left with best-guessing on the appropriateness of their efforts and allocation of resources.
If your organization struggles with this, there is a solution.
AI-powered tools like People.ai fix this problem instantly. In fact, People.ai uses AI-based algorithms to automatically track all sales activity data into the CRM so that salespeople never have to do it again. Never.
So, what does this mean for Marketing? Why are marketers getting so excited about sales activity data? Why is sales activity data a B2B marketer’s new secret weapon? Below are three of the many reasons marketers are falling in love with AI tools like People.ai that automatically capture and log sales activity data.
1. Reliable Activity Data Unlocks New Programmatic Marketing
People.ai automatically and accurately logs all sales activity data into your CRM. As a marketer, knowing that you can rely on the activity data recorded in your CRM, you can now unlock new programmatic marketing capabilities.
Marketers now have the ability to both turn on and turn off marketing campaigns based on sales activity.
Maybe you want to set up a trigger to automatically run prospects down a new case study email nurture track if they’ve “gone dark” and haven’t replied to your sales rep in two weeks. Or, maybe you want to design an informational campaign around people who only attended (or even were just invited to) a sales meeting and haven’t been fully introduced to your brand (see a great story of this use case in action by visiting: People.ai In Action | Marketing Team Reaches Open Opportunity In Minutes)
With a high level of accurate CRM data and a close-knit working relationship with sales, marketers have the feedback they need to drive better customer experiences.
2. No More Playing “Bad Cop”
Marketing: “Did you follow up with the webinar attendees?”
Sales: “Yes, I just haven’t logged my emails yet. It’s the end of the quarter, and I’m focused on closing deals.”
Marketing: “Ok… I’ll check in again next week.”
Sales: [ugh] “Fine.”
With People.ai, gone are the days when Marketing has to nag Sales to enter activity data. With trusted data, Marketing and Sales can make peace with each other. Furthermore, they can use that data to work collaboratively on joint efforts that have a steeper impact on revenue.
The data serves as the common foundation for better marketing and more effective sales processes. Working together, sales and marketing become an unstoppable engine of revenue for the organization.
3. Enhanced Attribution
How many target accounts did your marketing efforts influence last quarter? What’s the return on investment of every dollar you put into a particular marketing campaign? If you aren’t tracking and measuring attribution, you’re essentially guessing with your marketing efforts and dollars.
If you’re a marketer that’s’ struggling with attribution, you’re not alone.
And, how are marketers able to track activities at the opportunity level if the sales people aren’t logging their activities under your campaign or the right opportunity?
What if a salesperson met a prospect at your conference and didn’t add them to your opportunity? But later that person who learned about your company from a marketing event goes on to be a key decision maker in buying your product? Will the conference still receive attribution if the deal closes?
So many questions!
Luckly, People.ai takes care of this automatically.
People.ai makes tracking attribution much easier and clearer by automating activity to opportunity matching. Once sales has all of their contacts and activities properly matched to the right account and opportunity in the CRM, marketers can see which accounts have been influenced by their marketing efforts.
These are just a few ways that People.ai empowers marketing and sales.
If you’re a marketer looking to unlock the power of accurate activity data in your marketing efforts, click here to schedule a demo of the People.ai solution. We’d love to chat.