Protect Data Integrity During Your Digital Transformation
Digital transformation is having a great impact on businesses large and small, shaping product development and innovation, processes, workflows, productivity, and profitability. But the transformation is just that—a multistep process that must be managed and enabled over time, with every business working through their own challenges and responding to new opportunities at a different time and pace. As any company that has embarked on this transformation knows, the process can be messy, even a little chaotic. Managing digital forms, paperwork, and the process of data entry and organization is hard to navigate and often leads to disorganized data that may create inefficiencies for marketing and sales.
So what do companies do to mitigate the issues of data inaccuracy and create better processes in their data entry and marketing and sales environments? Start by utilizing new lead capture and relationship management tools to organize their business and jump-start sales and marketing.
Refining the Data Capture Process
Data entry can be tedious, detailed work that is both time-intensive and mistake-prone. Small errors in forms can create big issues in workflows down the line, and these mistakes can be compounded over time, impacting the integrity of your entire data lake. It’s not uncommon for marketing personnel to manually collect data through paper forms, enter it, and store it in different databases. In the case of input error, data quality will create errors in the CRM, create invalid contacts, or lead to issues where form information is missing or mismatched. When the information is referenced for follow-up and in real-time conversations, these mistakes can be embarrassing and costly—not only from a sale perspective but from a brand perspective as well.
As a marketer—and as a business—you’re only as good as your data. Many data collection solutions limit the number of forms you can produce or responses you can collect, so it is important to understand your organization’s needs as you assess the tools available to help refine your data collection process. Changing how data is assembled and input will, no doubt, result in big savings—in both time and money. Use toolsets that streamline the process and make data entry more efficient and organized. New CRM tools can help improve processes, no matter what stage of the digital transformation journey your business is in, and can help manage staffing changes and shifting business priorities.
Improving Data Integration and Data Workflows
Human error and database integrity can be significantly improved using streamlining tools and automated data capture processes. As mentioned above, incomplete, inaccurate data hurts workflows—it’s a fact. Getting prospect and customer information that is complete and correct, with proper emails and contact information the first time, saves man-hours, eliminates miscommunication, and guarantees timely, accurate, and personalized follow-through every time. Correct information in the system helps in every aspect of the lead nurturing process and through each step of the marketing and sales funnel. Accurate company, vertical, or geographical data also assists in streamlining your sales process, making regional resource and territory decisions more accurate and making for more successful marketing and cross-selling initiatives.
Additionally, utilizing a web form platform that integrates with the tools and systems you use on a daily basis is an effective step to implement within your organization today. Form solutions can integrate with Salesforce or other CRM systems, providing improved processes that can be built on and improved over time. The transition to smart forms allows businesses to avoid duplicates and keep all data in one place and up to date so that teams can quickly jump into the lead nurturing process (not the data cleanup process). Cut duplicate spreadsheets—in fact, it is in you and your organization’s best interest to eliminate complex, unwieldy spreadsheets altogether—and develop a targeting, management, and follow-up system that is accurate and incorporates smart analytics to help your team close more business.
There are many immediate improvements to your business that smart forms will make on day one of implementation. Smoothing out the on-boarding process, streamlining the management of departmental requests, organized hiring, and enhancing and optimizing lead collection are all benefits of improved data capture and organization software. Don’t let data chaos impede your business. Enable your data to empower your business by finding growth opportunities that can help steer your organization into a brighter future.
Managing change is a challenge for any business team. It requires investment in time to train and to monitor and provide quality control. But the changing nature of marketing teams demands that your organization uses the best tools available to power your business to new heights. By making a transition to a data collection and integration tool, you can produce relevant data that can deliver value to key organizational stakeholders in real time and engage with your audience clearly, consistently, and confidently.
Helping provide better methods to collect, store, and leverage data is not a business convenience, it’s a business imperative that will improve sales and profitability. There is no room for chaos in your data entry and workflow systems. Cutting legacy processes to tools that utilize connected forms will instantaneously transform the way you interact with your CRM.
Ashley McAlpin is the director of marketing at FormAssembly.