Do you know that business development professionals, on average, spend 5.5 hours per week updating their CRM’s database? That adds up to more than seven weeks a year devoted to data entry. Unfortunately, your biz dev team isn’t compensated for their data-entry efficiency. Furthermore, the time they spend entering data is time taken away from closing deals.

What’s especially frustrating about this statistic is that even if they are ultra-diligent about keeping the CRM current, 30 to 70% of what they’ve already entered is already inaccurate, especially if they’re selling to high-turnover industries, according to Informatica.

Consider these additional statistics compiled by Reachforce:

  1. Up to 20% of all postal addresses change every year.
  2. Up to 18% of all telephone numbers change every year.
  3. Up to 21% of all CEOs change every year.
  4. 25-33% of email addresses will become outdated every year.
  5. In the next hour, 58 business addresses will change, 11 companies will change their names, and 41 new businesses will open, not to mention how many companies will go out of business.
  6. Up to 66% of people change companies or job functions every year.

What this tells us is that you could have data-entry personnel working around the clock and you could never keep up with the changing details of your prospects and customers. Furthermore, with manual data entry, there’s always the chance of errors and gaps.

It’s clear that the only way to be 100% certain that your database is accurate and current is with CRM data automation. That’s why Jon Metcalf, Director of Marketing Technology for Fenwick & West, wouldn’t do business without it.

“The biggest hurdle to developing a useful, valuable CRM program is not the system, whether it’s Microsoft Dynamics, InterAction, Salesforce or OnePlace,” he insists. “The biggest hurdle is how to get quality data into the system in the most efficient manner; not only at the beginning, but on an ongoing basis.

“One of the biggest issues we had is that we simply did not want a lot of crummy data to be added to the system without some sort of check on it,” he continues.

However, avoiding bad data would require Fenwick & West attorneys and their secretaries to spend hours cleaning it. That’s where CRM data automation has proved invaluable because it allows staff to review and approve contacts and activities in a daily digest format, which then is automatically uploaded to the CRM.

“No one has to manually enter that information into the system, which saves countless hours and helps make sure that important data gets captured,” says Jon. “Beyond having the information uploaded upfront, ongoing data entry is much easier.”

Furthermore, CRM data automation can enrich contact data with external information before it gets added to CRM.

“The data is reviewed and is better than it would have been had we just synchronized the information from Outlook directly,” notes Jon. “That saves time and increases the quality and user confidence in the data.”

Do you want to release your business development professionals and their administrative teams from the endless and time-consuming task of keeping your CRM current? Do you want to be sure that your team can use your CRM with confidence because they know the data is spot on? Then you owe it to yourself and your team to spend about 20 minutes finding out how CRM data automation works.