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How Accurate CRM Data Can Increase Sales Productivity

How Accurate CRM Data Can Increase Sales Productivity

How Accurate CRM Data Can Increase Sales Productivity

As part of Solutions Review’s Contributed Content Series—a collection of contributed columns written by industry experts in maturing software categories—Jesse Dailey, the SVP of Customer Success and Solution Engineering at People.ai, explains why accurate CRM data can help companies improve sales productivity.

In a volatile economic environment, go-to-market (GTM) organizations are tasked with doing more with less. Many are investing in expensive CRMs, but the problem is these CRMs lack the data to power the pipeline. And the pipeline is what’s most important for businesses—the pipeline is what sets budgets and leads to revenue.  

If you have poor data quality in your CRM, it presents many challenges and puts revenue at risk. Accurate knowledge and data about accounts are critical to navigating chaotic times like now.  

How Do We Get Poor CRM Data? 

The more data enterprises can get on sales activity, the better. For one, accurate CRM data leads to accurate sales forecasts. Insight into sales activities provides visibility into the ins and outs of the sales process. As a result, more companies are urging their sales reps to log their activities in the CRM, including all emails, phone calls, and meetings. 

So what’s the problem? For sales teams, accurate data comes with a cost—time. According to LinkedIn’s Global State of Sales Report, almost 20 percent of a rep’s time is spent updating the CRM. It’s not hard to imagine why activities don’t get logged. According to the same report, almost half (45 percent) of sellers say their biggest challenge is incomplete data. While tools exist to capture sales activities automatically, they only work if contacts already exist within the CRM (which isn’t the case a whopping 50 to 80 percent of the time, according to People.ai). 

Why Automation is the Answer 

Enterprises have become too dependent on sales reps to provide critical operational data that they haven’t been incentivized to provide. Doing so has proved to result in inaccurate data and missing contacts. It’s time to level up sellers and get them back to what they do best—selling. The solution to both missing CRM data and freeing up sellers’ time is artificial intelligence (AI). 

Saying AI is the answer is not the same thing as saying more technology is the answer. As many as 76 percent of companies say poor adoption of sales tech is a top reason teams miss quotas. Automation doesn’t have to complicate your sales tech stack. Instead, it should integrate with enterprises’ existing CRM, email, and phone systems. 

Once integrated, AI can automatically log sales rep activities into an existing CRM. On top of that, it ensures the contacts reps are working with actually exist within the CRM by automatically capturing contact information from meeting software. As any sales rep will tell you, if it isn’t in the CRM, it doesn’t exist. 

Fueling CRMs with all sales activity data doesn’t just save sellers time. It provides insights on which buyers to engage in which accounts based on org structure and historical knowledge. That way, GTM teams can engage top-priority accounts, reach key personas, catch deals before they slip, and replicate the activities that drive top sales rep success. Once the CRM has accurate activity and contact data, GTM teams are set up for success and can begin building a healthy pipeline of deals. 

Pipeline Building is the Best Cross-Functional Team Building Activity 

To win in today’s macroeconomic environment, the entire GTM team must focus on generating a pipeline. The hallmarks of a high-performing enterprise are pipeline creation, conversion, and coverage. When data accuracy doesn’t stand in the way, GTM teams can prioritize pipelines. That way, reps can easily track where prospects are in the sales process and determine the actions needed to engage them at each stage. With this information, agents can build a pipeline by engaging the right people in the right accounts, resulting in more predictable sales forecasts and revenue. 

Data accuracy and pipeline building extend benefits across the GTM team, enabling easier collaboration, alignment, and team building. Benefits include: 

  • Without having to log activities and contacts manually, sales reps save time. They also obtain AI-generated insights on the right connections to engage in the correct accounts at the right time to win deals.
  • With visibility into sales activities and multi-threaded conversations, sales managers gain insights to coach their teams better.
  • Sales operations can run accurate database analyses and understand activity trends.
  • Marketers receive more contacts to include in their campaigns and funnels, supporting the sales teams’ efforts.
  • With pre-existing contacts automatically added to the CRM, customer success can onboard new customers easier. 

Accurate sales activity data provides consistent information and benefits across GTM teams, enabling better communication and teamwork. With data accuracy resolved, GTM teams are aligned and can work together more effectively to build a pipeline with the help of AI-generated insights.


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