Most CRM implementations fail.  This is a fact.  Look it up.

In my years in the industry, I’ve worked with many vendors on the consulting side to help reduce the possibility of CRM failure.  While there is a whole host of reason that failure occurs, I have a very unique perspective into one of those reasons.  The Nature of Contact Information.

The nature of contact information is fairly finite (i.e. Company, URL, Name, Title, Email, Phone, Social Network membership, etc). In addition, the concept of contact information is a simple one to grasp. It is so simple, in fact, that if often gets overlooked.

One of the most important concepts in business is “be brilliant at the basics”. If you are brilliant at your basics many more complex processes will fall naturally into place. So how are you treating contact information?

The miss-handling of contact information can lead to dire consequences across your company.

Take the following work flow as an example:

Company X has the following attributes:

-10 sales reps
-Each sales rep enters 10 new contacts per day into their CRM system.
-Hand entering contact information takes an average of about 2 minutes per contact.

What does this equate to?

-20 minutes per day, per person, manually entering contact information.
-100 minutes per week, per person, manually entering contact information
-At 48 selling weeks per year, 2 weeks per year, per person, entering contact information.
-Organizationally that equates to 20 weeks per year entering contact information
-At 48 selling weeks per year, that means that 1/24th of each persons time or approximately 4% selling time is taken up doing data entry.   How many sales teams would like to boost performance with an extra 4% of selling time

The above is a dumb-simple illustration of metrics.  However, there are some additional complexities to take into account.

-Humans are fallible.  20% of records hand entered into a CRM or ATS are miss-keyed.
-Humans take shortcuts.  Most people enter the absolute basics: name, email, phone.  Usually full titles, locations, full company names, etc  are skipped.
-Miss-keyed information causes addition errors and degradation in data quality.
-People get tired.  Towards the end of the day, the 2 minutes that it takes to enter a record becomes 3 or 4.
-People don’t usually look up the record in their CRM first before entering it.  Gotta love duplicates!
-We all have our own style.  You say  “The Container Company”,  I say “Container Company, The”.  Again more duplicates!    The scary thing is that there are over 20 ways to write “The Container Company”.  I’ll be writing about that in my next blog about “Data Normalization”
-We all get interrupted.  This causes  a break in the work flow, more keying errors, more duplicates, less homogony.

Fast forward: Does this look like your company?

-You have massive errors in your CRM.
-Over 30% of your records are duplicates.
-Sometimes sales reps are working on the same accounts and they didn’t know it.
-Reporting is a nightmare, you want to do it, you really want to, but, because of the duplicates, reporting is inaccurate
-Once every few years or so, you make it “your mission” to remove the duplicates from your system.
-You, and your team, keep manually typing in contact information and
-You don’t have plan for data entry.  Every person wings it with their own unique style,  adding as many duplicates are their are unique personalities.

It would really suck if I stopped right here and basically left it that everyone is simply screwed as it relates to their CRM.

I won’t do that to you.  I have a solution.

Most of the above problems can be avoided by doing 2 things.

1.  Decide on how you want your organization to treat contact information (called a “Data Plan”).
2.  Remove the entering of contact information from humans and automate it.

#1 is simply accomplished by making a decision.
#2 can be done by getting a copy of Contact Capture (it is a free program)

What is Contact Capture?  It is a free program that automates that capture of contact information.  It can take that contact information, normalize it,  check for duplicates and then export it into your CRM.  No human data entry errors, no duplicates, no different forms of the same company name.  Problem solved.

Did I mention that Contact Capture is a FREE program?

Yes it captures single contacts, it captures lists of contacts.  It is by far the best technology on the planet for day-day contact information entry.

Many of you know about Contact Capture.  Historically,  Broadlook charged for it.  About a year ago we made it free and not enough people know about it.  So spread the word,  it is free, free, free.  Why?  Because we can and it is simply good business.   Contact Capture works with over 100 CRM systems.   While I don’t usually plug products in my blog, I feel that this is a no-brainer.   If anyone… ever… types in my contact information again, and gets my name wrong,  don’t blame my parents!

Get your copy of Contact Capture here

If Contact Capture is not compatible with your CRM, contact your CRM vendor and ask them why?

While writing this blog, I realized that there was a lot more than I wanted to cover here, so I wrote a 23 page white paper that started with this blog.  Get the Contact Capture white paper here.

Here is the link to put in your browser:

http://www.broadlook.com/pdfs/a-case-for-implementing-contact-capture-broadlook-technologies-white-paper.pdf