Integration of marketing and sales data is still the biggest challenge facing businesses; a survey at DM Days reveals that companies have tuned out the breakdown-the-silos mantra.
Posted Jun 26, 2006
An overwhelming majority of B2B respondents (87 percent) have little confidence in their customer data, according to the Extraprise DM Days NY Conference and Expo survey. More than half (54 percent) of B2B companies surveyed indicated that the lack of sales and marketing collaboration is their most important challenge.
Only half (52 percent) of companies surveyed claimed to have any integration between their sales and marketing systems. Slightly more than one-third (39 percent) of respondents indicated that data-related issues were the next challenge facing their marketing efforts.
"Oftentimes, companies are overwhelmed with issues related to the quality of their customer data and just don't know where to start," says Chad Gottesman, Extraprise CMO. "Unfortunately, data problems continue to grow, resulting in insufficient customer knowledge that leaves the B2B salesperson at a complete disadvantage when interacting with customers."
"I was expecting to see that number a lot higher," Gottesman says of the sales/marketing collaboration divide. "A lot of companies have sales and marketing as separate silos. Many of them still have separate [technology] systems for sales and marketing, so there is no way to integrate the information. The biggest challenge for companies is still data. B2C companies understand that, but B2B companies still don't recognize that fact."
Though some companies are confused about how to collect and collate meaningful data, they just need to get started collecting data to help with customer profiles, according to Gottesman. Eventually, though, these companies and those already collecting reams of customer information need integration between sales and marketing integration to get good analysis of how customers are behaving by segment, and from that to build and launch effective marketing campaigns.
The Extraprise survey also found that 59 percent of firms have data in at least four different locations, whereas 18 percent have this information in five to 10 places. Twenty-three percent claim to have data in more than 10 systems.
"Marketing executives are waiting for a magic wand to make their investments worthwhile," Gottesman adds. "Yet most marketing departments are still facing a huge internal challenge integrating two major components of marketing performance--sales and marketing."
According to Gottesman, companies looking to gain confidence in their customer data must bridge the gap between the sales and marketing organizations by improving data collection systems, processes and systems. Good analysis from marketing allows salespeople to prioritize leads, Gottesman adds. "There are a lot of companies that have no prioritization of leads whatsoever."
Fanning the CDI Flames
Gartner's First Data Quality Magic Quadrant
Research by SiriusDecisions also shows that faulty marketing intelligence has a comparably huge negative effect.
Fewer than half of all organizations have a defined strategy regarding customer data, according to research by Experian QAS.