Is your customer data just sitting there?

Think of it this way: Your customer relationship management (CRM) deployment provides you with more information than you know what to do with, so why not make the most out of it?

As far as data analysis goes, your CRM has already done much of the legwork – that is, if you have a decent solution in place. Basically, these programs allow your sales team to structure information that was pretty much shapeless to begin with. For example, you can:

  • Give a customer a satisfaction rating
  • List products or services a patron has used consistently 
  • Deduce whether a customer's friends could be converted into lead opportunities
  • Where a prospect is located
  • Which decisions a patron makes based on the situations he or she is presented with 

The list goes on. The question is: How can this data help organizations not only connect with new target audiences, but become recognizable among the people within those market segments? 

"As your CRM becomes less agile and more polluted, every team that comes into contact with the system will pay the price for this inefficiency," – Martin Doyle, CEO, DQ Global.

Eliminating the junk 
As I mentioned earlier, a CRM platform can certainly help you create new opportunities for a sale, unless your CRM is … well, a mess. Smart Data Collective contributor and DQ Global CEO Martin Doyle noted that a minor bug in your CRM's automated data collection tools can cause gross inaccuracies to persist throughout industry and market reports. 

"As your CRM becomes less agile and more polluted, every team that comes into contact with the system will pay the price for this inefficiency," wrote Doyle.

The best way to identify and eliminate such problems is to place an analytics engine at the front end of the CRM's data aggregation program. In other words, scrutinize market segment or customer data before it's funneled into the CRM system.

Penetrating new markets 
By analyzing customer data, your marketing team will develop a strong idea regarding what kind of services or products particular contingencies look for when searching for your company. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses before venturing into "uncharted" territory will certainly go a long way in helping you find out how to advertise your brand. 

Most importantly, analytics can help you identify fundamental differences between U.S. and Indian consumers, for example. Once disparities are identified, companies will be able to adjust branding and marketing strategies to help them generate opportunities and, eventually, sales.