How to Manage Data for Small Business

  • Data management is vital to better sales and customer relationships, and can save businesses time and money.
  • You must identify your business and sales goals in order to effectively implement data management processes.
  • CRM and automation tools increase efficiency and productivity while organizing customer data.
  • This article is for business owners looking to improve their data management processes.

As a small business, you generate a lot of data with each customer. This data ideally informs trends, future prospects and workflow. However, these reports are only as good as your data and data management.

By investing in data management processes and tools, you'll make your data work more efficiently, saving your business time and money. In this article, we will explore the importance of good data management and ways to increase productivity.

Why is data management important?

When customer data and information are messed up, it can be difficult to adequately analyze sales data to find trends, marketing avenues, or workflow remedies. Bad data, or incorrect records, can cost a small business a lot of time and money. Ensuring up-to-date information is important for several reasons.

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1. Lower cost and better productivity

An IBM study estimates that poor data management costs the US economy $3.1 trillion, due to overall lower employee productivity and costs associated with data maintenance.

More specifically, about 50% of an employee's time is wasted searching for data, fixing errors, or double-checking untrusted data sources. This wasted time gets compounded as employees start fixing their own errors. If you fail to alert data managers and ignore the root causes of such errors, you create redundancies and severely limit productivity.

2. Better Prospect Data for Sales

Data can be a useful tool in predicting leads for sales and marketing trends. When you have bad data, it can be difficult to trust any sales analysis results. This can lead sales teams, analysts or managers to rely on arbitrary benchmarks when finding potential customers.

In a survey conducted by SnapLogic, 77% of decision makers and data managers said they did not trust their business's data, while 82% said they had to revise projects due to insufficient data quality. A clean database can reduce guesswork and inform marketing and sales strategies to reach new customers more efficiently.

3. Better Customer Relations

When a customer is upset because a product was delivered to the wrong address or becomes frustrated by providing sensitive information more than once, it can hurt your business.

Misguided marketing strategies based on insufficient data can lead to irrelevant or miscommunication with customers, negatively impacting your relationships with them and costing your business money.

significant achievementsImportant achievements: Well-managed data can improve your sales prospects and customer relationships, and saves your business significant time and money.

Implementation process for clean database

A database full of issues may seem daunting to overcome, but there are ways to ensure that your data is as clean as possible so that your business can operate more efficiently.

1. Get portfolios on the same page.

Often the biggest drain on productivity is a disconnect between company departments over data usage and goals. One of the easiest ways to improve data management is to make sure all areas of your business understand how certain data sets are used.

Ensuring that data managers know how the sales team intends to use the information can better inform the process from the earliest stages. This minimizes any irrelevant data and facilitates overall confidence in data reports and analysis.

2. Focus on new data creation.

While it can be tempting to go through existing data to fix any errors, that ultimately won't add value to your business, and will only cost you time and money. This approach also fails to address the root causes of data being inaccurate, and will eventually take you back to where you started.

It is much easier to improve data in the long run by implementing processes for new information to be followed by the whole company. By analyzing the root causes of existing bad data, you can find ways to better input information that is relevant to your sales and analytical goals.

3. Adopt CRM software and automation.

You may have content management software (CMS) that organizes customer data into a searchable system; However, it may be more cost-effective and efficient to adopt customer relationship management (CRM) software. CRMs not only keep track of customer data, they also offer versatile business tools that help with areas such as lead management, sales funnels, and CRM workflows.

CRMs also offer artificial intelligence (AI) components that automate areas susceptible to human error. Here are five of the most popular automated tools featured in most CRM software:

device type Description
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Automates repetitive and routine tasks by mimicking human interaction at high speeds
machine learning Provides patterns and trends by examining customer data holistically
smart workflow Manages the integration of tasks performed by both humans and machines, and provides statistical data on inefficiencies in the process
natural language processing Translates complex data into understandable formats for reporting
cognitive agent Virtual agents who learn from data to provide customer service or employee support

A clear understanding of your business and sales goals, as well as the root causes of insufficient data, will help you find the automation tools that will be most effective for your company.

TipTip: Identify your exact business and sales goals before implementing any data process, including CRM systems and automation tools.

Understanding your CRM options

Of course, CRMs and automation tools aren't the magic remedy for bad data. The best CRM software provides multi-functional tools to aid your business's productivity and profits.

Here are some tips for navigating the world of CRM systems and choosing the right CRM for your business needs:

Bad or insufficient data has a significant impact on your overall business operations. However, by implementing certain processes and tools, including CRM software, you can increase efficiency, productivity, and profits.

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