Ok, you’ve come a long way and your journey to a Contact-Based Workflow is nearly complete. But you’re not out of the woods just yet. There’s another key aspect that can make or break your move from Leads to a Contact-Based Workflow: Data Quality. Like I mentioned earlier, this isn’t the sexiest side of ABM, but it’s critical to get it right.
We’re big on data quality here at InsightSquared. If you don’t have the best quality data in your CRM, then all the decisions you’re making based on that data are suspect.
But bad data happens. If you’re collecting prospect information through forms on your website, people will submit fake information. They just want to get through the process and to the product, so they’ll put in “Test” as their company name, and “Testy McTestFace” as their name.
One of the few advantages of Lead Land is that it can be an effective place to hide “junk” in your database. When Leads get converted to Contacts and become associated with Accounts, suddenly there is nowhere for them to hide. This is one of the reasons that businesses can be reticent about converting all of their Leads. They worry that bad quality data from Leads will mess up their neat, shiny Accounts.
Here’s the thing, though: that junk information is going to end up in your database one way or another, either as Leads or Contacts.
Using Contacts and Accounts can actually be advantageous for keeping your bad data organized: When you use Accounts and have an effective Lead-to-Account matching algorithm in place, you can create Accounts with common junk terms, like “Test” or “abc” or perhaps other explicit terms that don’t belong in a professional blog post. Then all incoming leads with those terms are automatically matched to those Accounts. Make sure to mark those Accounts as junk/disqualified in advance, so that those incoming Leads don’t bother anyone, which they might have if they had been created and assigned as Leads.
You may also want to keep that bad data organized to help you gain an understanding of how much bad data is coming through your website forms. For example, if you find that prospects are abusing that required Phone Number form field or entering generic email addresses at an unusually high rate, you may want to take action to address that.
There are plenty of ways to address bad data quality, but hiding that data shouldn’t be one of them.
3 Ways To Improve The Quality of Your Data
To make the transition to a CBW smooth, you need to start putting together a framework for improving your data quality before your company makes the switch.
- Clear data policies: Make sure you have clear data policies in place around Accounts and Contacts and a way to enforce these policies. For example, InsightSquared’s data policy states that no two Accounts can have the same website and be in the same state, unless they are related as parent and child Accounts (e.g. IBM and IBM India). If we find examples that meet that criteria, we use a de-duplication tool called Cloudingo to flag and merge them on an ongoing basis.
- Training: It’s critical to train your reps on how to spot data quality errors and what to do if they come across them. For example, make sure they know what to do if a Contact gets matched to the wrong Account and should actually belong to someone else. At InsightSquared, reps re-associate the Contact with the correct Account, and then reassign the Task to the correct rep.
- Dedicated personnel: Team members responsible for data quality oversight should be an integral part of your team. Putting someone in-house in charge of administrating data quality tools and monitoring databases to keep them clean makes sure your team can execute strategy on the best data available.
We sell to companies. To get better at doing that, we want to understand those companies and their structures better. We think the best way for us to achieve this is through an Account-Based Marketing strategy and a Contact-Based Workflow in Salesforce.
With Leads, when we wanted reps to “work the account,” adding more people from that company to our database and nurturing the whole buying team, we couldn’t. We had no visibility into whether or not they were doing it, so we couldn’t incentivize reps to follow that strategy.
With a Contact-Based Workflow, we have that visibility and the ability to nurture entire buying teams no matter how large the organization. Now, throughout the entire process, rather than working with discrete individuals, we are working with the entire team at our target companies, getting to know them better and getting to know their needs and wants. At the same time, we are also making our sales process more efficient and getting the right customers for InsightSquared.
This all comes from the transition to ABM and a Contact-Based Workflow. ABM isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to sales and marketing. Though it is the Big Thing at the moment, it might not be best for you. If you are relying primarily on inbound leads, aren’t yet sure of your fundamental buyer personas, or have a simple sales process, the strategies outlined in this blog post might not be ideal for you.
But if you do know who you want to target, and are ready to grow more through up-selling and high-value customers, then the effort is worthwhile. It’s a long journey, but if you follow this blueprint, you’ll be well on your way.