The perfect Yelp is a website that has all of the possible restaurants in it. The perfect Facebook has all of your friends in it. If either of these were completely empty when you signed up, would you use them? Would you be willing to start filling them with information, one restaurant or friend at a time? I would not. The perfect CRM should have all of your potential customers in it too. However, it does not. It starts with none of your customers inside it. It’s completely empty.
Why Does it Start Empty?
Remember the Origin of CRM from Part 1?
Ledgers ⇨ Rolodex ⇨ ACT! ⇨ Siebel ⇨ Salesforce ⇨ Intelligent CRM
Due to its origin as a ledger and later, a Rolodex, the “modern” CRM still uses the same basic interaction paradigm of the original “Filing Cabinet on Wheels.” The device starts with a bunch of empty containers that you fill over time to keep track of your customers. From the moment you start working for your CRM, you begin filling it with information. As you collect customers and prospects, it gets fuller. According to conventional wisdom, that is going to be your relationship with your CRM forever - you give it information so that you can later retrieve it.
The Empty Filing Cabinet Problem
Just like the Rolodex of old, CRM is a container for your information. It has drawers pre-labeled “Leads,” “Accounts”, and “Opportunities” that are waiting to be filled. Each CRM customer must build up their own directory of all possible customers themselves. The folders will only ever contain that information that you and your reps manually put into those folders.
Sales reps manually type in account and contact data one-by-one on the companies and the Leads you encounter. Day after day, sales reps continuously add partially complete data, slowly filling the files with information.
Even if you import a big spreadsheet of tens of thousands of Accounts up front (or periodically), that data starts decaying before it’s even loaded into your CRM. You’re also almost certainly missing important potential companies and mis-categorizing ones you already know about. The information gets stale, isn’t necessarily subject to standardization, and there are always going to be gaps.
On the one hand, it’s great that we’re not all carrying around mini filing cabinets or managing clunky on-prem software anymore, but in an age of automation and AI (Artificial Intelligence), CRM is still a remarkably manual tool.
image from vectorstock
There’s another huge problem that I dive into in “Part 3 - The Missing Company Problem”
While modern business is dependent on CRM, CRM is still dependent on us to infuse it with intelligence.
Why is this cumbersome, error-prone system so widely accepted?
If you really think about it, shouldn’t all of our potential customers get preloaded into our CRM and stay automatically updated for us? We need not all become CRM data management experts!
Why Does The Industry Accept This?
The term “CRM” means “Customer Relationship Management.” It’s supposed to help you manage your relationships with your customers. In B2B, your customers are all companies. The CRM should help you manage all of those companies, but it starts empty so you have to fill it all in yourself manually over time. As a result, there’s a preponderance of missing Accounts, which results in a large number of Leads not connected to their Companies which itself causes even more problems.
How is it that CRM does not contain all of your potential customers?
In an era of supercomputers on our wrists and self-driving cars, each CRM owner should not each have to reinvent the world’s database of business information.
Imagine if other services we use (like Facebook or Yelp) started out as empty filing cabinets when you signed up.
- Would you be excited about Facebook if you had to enter all of the data about all of your friends in order to track it?
- Would you use Yelp if it started out with no restaurant data and you had to type in all of your favorite restaurants yourself?
Would you want to keep all of that data up to date as your friends and restaurants changed over time? Of course not. In consumer internet, we expect our software to be intelligent and to offer new information to us, not the other way around.
It’s time for enterprise software to catch up and do more for Customer Relationship Management.
DataFox’s Mission is to Eliminate This Manual Data Grunt Work
This is not just a technology problem. It’s a people problem.
Manual data entry is a waste of energy and brainpower. Millions of our best and brightest spend their days manually putting information into a digital filing cabinet and sometimes, they miss their kids soccer games because of dirty data.
Instead of having our charismatic sales reps manually typing data into an empty filing cabinet, they should be speaking with customers! The inefficiencies of having our brightest people doing tedious work hurts morale, performance, and ultimately, retention.
DataFox’s mission is to eliminate grunt work for business professionals so that you can have more efficient and fulfilling careers and lives. We’re going on a journey to help millions of our best and brightest take back the time you spend on CRM data entry and redistribute that time towards rest, fun, and being with your loved ones.
A CRM should provide intelligence to the sales team, not the other way around.
Correct and complete CRM data is absolutely critical to business; millions of businesses make or lose billions of dollars every year based on how efficient their sales teams operate.
DataFox has built a System of Intelligence that connects the dots for you and supplies constantly refreshed data, putting a stop to the cycle of depreciating data sets. We can help fill that empty cabinet, and maintain a clean, fresh, and constantly up-to-date data set.