How External Data Can Complement Your CRM Solution (Video)

Diolachan Consulting's Edward Garry discusses the value of external data in this clip from his presentation at CRM evolution 2018.

Learn more about CRM evolution 2019.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Edward Garry: Everybody's updating their pipelines. All your information's in CRM. All the data's perfect. All your contacts are in there, everything's clean. How complete is your story? How complete is your story when you look at an individual customer? When you look at a company, let's take up a B2B example? I'm of the belief is that if you're not also looking at what's happening out there, outside of your company, you're only getting half the story. You're only seeing half the customers.

On one of the projects that I worked at one point, we took a CRM tool that was B2B and we linked it with a third-party news data-consolidating tool. With D&B, Dun & Bradstreet, there were a lot of steps in place to be able to get that system to sit alongside of our system. But the goal at the end was that you were able to not only, within your CRM system, see all of the pipeline, and all of the activities, and all of the information that was happening with the team, the sales, the client-facing staff across the organization, could now pull in things like the analysis on the company? What are their strategic initiatives? We could pull in the finances, and we can start to report on that.

We could put an event into someone's calendar to say, "This company's earnings call is happening on Tuesday of next week. You should  listen to that." Now, I don't know what your experience is, but my experience with LinkedIn is that whenever I have a meeting, and I have those contacts in my Outlook calendar--now that LinkedIn is connected with Microsoft and I literally just got one for this presentation. It says, "You're having a 3 o'clock meeting today, and the host of the conference (his name was linked on). Look at his profile and prepare for the meeting."

Technology is starting to say that you have to look at external data. And they're starting to make it easier for you to be able to do that. Now D&B allows you to take information from that external source and pull it into your CRM tool, whether it's at the company level or the contact level.

Tell you a story: I was working with a pretty senior sales person in the company who was responsible for all of the automotive sales from a financial services perspective, into the automotive industry. And of course they had Ford and GM and all of the traditional players. And Tesla. I asked about Tesla. Are you responsible for Tesla? He said, "Yeah, but I don't have it in the CRM system right now because I don't even know anybody at Tesla. I don't even know who I'm supposed to call over there." So the question was, I said, "Well, let's take a look at the D&B database and see what information they have there." So we went into D&B via our CRM solution and you could see the description of the company, all of the information. I said, "Hit that import button." And boom. All of it uploaded immediately into the CRM tool.

I said, "OK. Now let’s look at all the contacts they have. 1,300 Contacts. How am I going to find the three that I need? What department do they belong in?" He said, "Finance." OK, well there's a section that allows you to see the different groups. Here's a marketing group, here's a finance group, here's a sales group. Click on finance. In there were all of the finance leaders for the company. He could literally click on the individual contacts and upload them from D&B right into his CRM solution. I don't know if he made a sale, but I can tell you having to type all of that information manually would have taken the better part of an afternoon, where I had that completely uploaded for him and ready for him to be able to work on opportunities and start making contact with that customer within five minutes.

Also, it was connected to LinkedIn so he could start to look at those LinkedIn profiles. If you're not looking at LinkedIn before your meeting with the customer, they're looking at you. They're looking at your profile. So I would stress that was really important. There are other people from a news perspective. I think it's critical to be able to walk into a meeting, and it's happened to some of our salespeople, where there's a big announcement that morning having to do with the customer and they had no idea. Like a merger and a takeover. So having all of these things and being able to push those things to your sales organization will give them the insight, give them the knowledge, to help them be more effective in the next meeting that they have with the customer, and the next conversation that they have with the customer.

And then, from a planning perspective, be more strategic.

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