Validity, a provider of data quality and email marketing solutions has released the findings of its new 2022 State of CRM Data Health Report. Over 1,200 CRM users and stakeholders across the United Kingdom, United States, and Australia were surveyed, with findings indicating that CRM users have unfounded confidence in the quality of their data — and revealing the crippling bottom-line impact of this disconnect.
Maintaining high-quality data health remains a challenge for many businesses, who reported poor quality CRM data resulted in significant customer losses, sales deficits, and high employee turnover. Yet, despite acknowledging these issues, 76 per cent of respondents still characterised their CRM data quality as either “good” or “very good” at the onset of the survey, only to later reveal that poor CRM data quality is actually costing their company new sales and 75 per cent stating inadequate outreach driven by poor data lost their company customers. Heightening this tension between confidence and reality are the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with 79 per cent of respondents agreeing that data decay has accelerated at an unprecedented rate as a result of the pandemic.
A major concern with data decay is a lack of acknowledgement and remediation-focused support from company leadership, who are currently not prioritising data quality initiatives per the report. Why does this matter? Poor data integrity trickles down to all levels of an organisation and can quickly snowball into overarching unethical data practices that hurt brand reputation and customer trust. In fact, 75 per cent of respondents admit employees fabricate data to tell the story they want decision-makers to hear. Meanwhile, 82 per cent say they are asked to find data to support a specific story, rather than provide accurate data. This means that overwhelmingly, leaders are making important business decisions based on manipulated and inaccurate data.
Low-quality data also has the potential to impact relationships amongst co-workers. Over half (67 per cent) of the study’s respondents said poor data quality creates tension between the CRM maintenance team and the marketing department, jeopardising employee satisfaction in an already difficult hiring climate. These trends also extend to current CRM employees, who have less patience for low-quality data and usability roadblocks that make it difficult to do their jobs.
“Everything an organisation does starts with, and relies on, accurate CRM data – from marketing campaigns to sales development activity to providing an excellent customer experience and beyond” said Kate Adams, SVP marketing at Validity. “While the findings of this report may initially be bleak, there is hope. As the initial shockwaves of the pandemic ebb, many organisations are realigning their budgets and planning to invest in the betterment of their data health and quality. The upward trends of companies dedicating a portion of their budget to hire a full-time CRM data quality employee, and taking data quality more seriously in light of COVID-19 related data decay are highly encouraging.”
Additional key report findings include:
- 44 per cent of respondents estimate their company loses over 10 per cent in annual revenue due to poor quality CRM data
- Yet, only 19 per cent of respondents said CRM data quality is a high-priority initiative for leadership
- 25 per cent said leadership is aware of data quality issues but supports no specific data quality initiatives
- 14 per cent said leadership is oblivious to data quality issues
- Unfortunately, 95 per cent of respondents report data quality issues seriously impair their ability to fully leverage their CRM system
- Additionally, respondents estimate their CRM data quality will degrade by 34 per cent by the end of 2022 if their company doesn’t invest in improvements.
- However, companies are planning to address these issues with increased budgets and full-time staff. 57 per cent expect their company to increase data management budgets in 2022 while 56 per cent of those who do not currently have full-time employee(s) dedicated to CRM data quality have active plans to make hires in the next 6 months. This fills a much-needed gap as organisations globally have been relegating mission critical CRM work to intern and temp workers, with a whopping median of 20 intern and temp workers per organisation