One of the most common buzz words is: Big Data. It is a topic that you can’t pass up. What is exactly meant with the term “Big Data” and how can we use the flood of information for effective sales and marketing activities?
Here are a few simple steps you can take to get an overview of the data you possess and get the maximum results from your data. The main principle regarding data is: Only structured and available data is useful data.
You often hear statements like: “We have collected tons of data!” or “We are all set – we have a CRM that is maintained by our sales staff.” Here are the dilemmas with this type of thinking:
- „Lots” of data isn’t necessarily good or useful data.
- A CRM can only offer you a structure for your data to be maintained, but it does not ensure that this data is up-to-date and/or correct.
- Sales people do not always have an overall view of their business partners or the companies they are dealing with – let alone the companies they would like to be dealing with.
While most companies have in common that they would like to find new customers, they are usually unaware of the fact that the search begins with data that they may already possess.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when analyzing your existing data:
1 – What data do I have?
- Is the information up-to-date?
- Are the company names, addresses and telephone numbers correct?
- Do I have the correct management titles and names?
- Is there a distinct customer number for the company?
- Are the industrial codes correct and complete?
- Do I have the annual revenue numbers and/or amount of employees?
- Do the companies still exist and are they solvent?
- Do I know how my customers are entwined with other companies?
Of course it is not necessarily important to have answers to all of these questions. Maybe other questions apply better to your business. In most cases, however, the answers do allow you to create a more exact selection for marketing and be more specific when addressing your customers and potential customers.
Using false date may result in some of the following:
- Valuable advertising material sent to companies that have moved or no longer exist.
- Damage to your valuable image (“They would like to sell me something and can’t even get my name right!”)
- Sales team motivation (“What kind of addresses are these? The manager hasn’t been working in the company for years!”)
- False sales expectations
- Double addresses: A customer is blocked due to faulty payments, but since there is a double in the database under a different number, he will still be supplied.
Initially it is helpful to analyze your data to know, what quality the existing data has.
2 – What kind of data do I need?
Once you know what information you do have, it pays to take a look at parallels between your customers. This allows you to understand who your best customers are and to be more specific when gathering new information. This does not mean you have to purchase all new addresses. Often, it is sufficient to enrich the data you already have.
What does your typical customer look like?
The more you know about your “typical customer” the easier it is for you to find new customer that have similar needs and wishes.
Some questions you may ask are:
- Which industries are my customers in?
- What kind of financial structure do these companies have?
- How many employees do the companies have?
- Who is the correct contact within the firm?
- Where are the companies located?
Once you know what you have and what you need – the next step is relatively simple – Enhance your database with the information you need for your marketing and sales activities.
3 – Data Maintenance
Just like everything else – a one-time “cleaning” isn’t enough. The data needs to be maintained. Most of the errors in databases occur when being entered. There are solutions whereby you can either do a regular “data check-up” or you can rely on an ongoing check of your database.
Of course, every company has specific goals and needs. Feel free to contact Marina Fanelli, Key Account Manager, Creditreform Berlin Brandenburg Wolfram KG (Tel.: +49 30 21294-274, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).