You can have the best salespeople and the most well-executed marketing campaigns in the world, but if your customer relationship management (CRM) database is out of date, then your prospecting campaigns will always be at a disadvantage.

In the business world, contact details change all of the time. This can be down to both the people in the business (who may leave, change their name or change roles) as well as the businesses themselves (which may change names, merge with other companies or change telephone numbers).

You may think that one out of date piece of information may not pose much of a problem, but incorrect data can quickly mount up, especially if your company does not keep on top of keeping your CRM up to date.

What does this mean for your business? It can lead to your sales and marketing staff wasting time and resources contacting people that shouldn’t be contacted, as well as negative feedback from your prospective customers. This can result in fewer sales, reduced turnover and a decrease in customer satisfaction.

Here are the four signs that show that your CRM database is due a long-awaited overhaul, and what you and your team can do to fix the problem.

  1. Your email open rates are declining

According to Hubspot, 86% of salespeople prefer to use email when reaching out to prospective customers. This means it is crucial that the email addresses in your database are as up to date as possible.

Suppose that your email open rates are getting lower over time, it could mean that your email list is becoming stagnant.

People leave roles and email domains can change, resulting in more and more bounce backs over time. Even worse, if people mark your emails as spam, there is the possibility that your email domain could become blacklisted, potentially affecting email deliverability across your entire company.

  1. You are reaching the wrong people

Data can decay at a staggering rate of 40% per year, which mean that any data you acquire can quickly become inaccurate. If your salespeople are reaching out to decision-makers and increasingly finding that they have been promoted, left the company or are no longer the decision-maker, then it is time to review the company contacts that you have on file.

  1. You are getting more opt-outs

In order to remain compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), you must add prospects to a ‘do not contact’ list if they ask you to do so. If you do not do this, your company could be fined up to £18 million or 4% of annual turnover, whichever is greater.

Suppose that your data is inaccurate and the products or services you sell are becoming more and more of a mismatch, prospects are more likely to request not to be contacted again.

If you are seeing more and more opt-outs over time, then it is a sign that your CRM database is due a refresh.

  1. You are contacting the same people in error

Suppose that your CRM database holds a lot of duplicate entries, you run the risk of different salespeople reaching out to the same prospects, which can be incredibly frustrating.

If you are finding that you at receiving more complaints from disgruntled prospects, then it is likely that your database needs purging of duplicate records.

What to do next

Database decay is a part of business life; there’s not much that can be done about it. The only thing you can do is to keep your CRM as up to date as possible in order to minimise any potential issues.

Encourage your salespeople to update your CRM database as they go, taking time every day to refresh data and merge any duplicate records together. You may want to nominate a specific person in the team who is responsible for quality control, taking responsibility for ensuring data is as up to date as possible

However, we know that keeping your CRM up to date is a big job, and if you do not have the time or resources to keep your database refreshed, we are here to help.

We can supply a wide range of up-to-date marketing lists across a wide range of industries, as well as provide a free audit of your current marketing list so you can see how your database can be improved. That frees you and your team to do what you do best… Growing your business.