Data Entry: an ongoing challenge for CRM users

The CRM market is one of the fastest-growing industries in this generation, and it comes as no surprise seeing how beneficial it is for a company’s productivity. It is known to be a valuable asset when adopted well. But what about those that are having trouble utilizing it?

Data shows that only 47% of companies and businesses that use CRM have a high adoption rate that’s past the 90% mark. Low adoption across industries may be a result of user resistance, lack of training, failure to embrace new technology, lack of IT expertise, etc. However, one of the biggest obstacles that loom over the CRM industry, is data entry, especially the ones that need to be done manually.

Why is CRM data entry a Challenge?

While data entry is important in CRM, it’s also something that isn’t directly productive in terms of selling. In addition, it is tedious and repetitive, something that CRM users don’t look forward to.

According to a report by Capterra, the top three departments that use CRM are Sales, Marketing, and Customer service. It’s to be expected due to the nature and primary purpose of CRM which is to foster better client relationships. These three departments deal with customers, selling and reaching out to them, as well as listening to their concerns. The problem is, how can they have enough time to entertain customers, when, according to Zapier’s Report, employees spend about 3 hours daily, just to do clerical tasks? Furthermore, their report states that only 4-5 hours per day are spent focusing on their core job functions.

Let’s face it, manual data entry, and other admin tasks, are major time and energy consumers. The going to and fro between spreadsheets, writing of emails, maintenance of the CRM software, double-checking data entries, and more, are all things that are keeping users, especially salespeople, from actually doing their job. It keeps them from selling and making revenue.

Other than being a time vampire, manual data entry also affects the quality of the data, Because it is done manually, via typing or writing, the chances for errors are undeniable. Humans make mistakes after all. The result of this is as follows:

  • Low data quality
  • Unorganized data
  • Outdated data
  • The need for constant data cleanups
  • Added expenses

Bad data quality incurs higher expenses in the long run because according to the 1-10-100 rule, it takes only 1 dollar to prevent errors, 10 dollars to correct them, and 100 dollars as a consequence of failure due to bad data.

Solutions to Reduce manual Data entry

Fortunately, today’s technology has advanced to the point wherein manual data entry can be replaced through automation and other processes. Here are some of the ways that you can reduce, or fully get rid, of manual data entry:

Use Auto Text Expanders

Auto Text expanders allow its users to assign abbreviations to pieces of text that are often used such as names, phone numbers, one’s company name, address, etc. This application allows you to set up shortcuts to these pieces of text which are called “snippets”. It’s like having keyboard shortcut keys, but instead of commands, it inputs the assigned text automatically. It is very convenient when filling out forms or surveys that require you to input general information about you and your company.

Although it only takes care of small chunks of text, it reduces the number of repeated data entries, and it will save you a lot of time in the long run. Plus, as long as your snippets are perfectly correct, each time you use shortcut abbreviations to input them, they will be accurate each time, reducing the chance of creating data errors.

Use Integrations

CRM integrations are extremely useful to consolidate all of your business functions in one place. It allows you to have the functionalities available in other platforms, by integrating these applications into your CRM. After all, a lot of teams already have pre-existing workflows that make use of these applications prior to CRM.

For example, if your team uses Outlook or Gmail, you can integrate it into your CRM so that you and your team can view, and create emails from within your CRM. Email integration for HubSpot is also free, and it allows users to manage log responses, scheduled email sequences, and other campaigns as well as contact records, similar to other types of email integrations.

Integrations help you reduce manual data entry because, instead of manually transferring these data points, toggling from one application to another, the data captured and processed by these supposedly external apps are automatically synced with the CRM. It also saves time because everything you need to process data is all in one place.

Other examples of CRM integrations that help you save time are calendar integrations, calling or SMS integrations, web form integrations, productivity app integrations, social media integrations, and more. There are so many integrations that can help you and your team save time and effort, so consider integrating some of your team’s frequently used apps to improve workflows.

CRM Voice Entry

A lot of times, the offered solutions do not eliminate manual data a hundred percent. This can be very inconvenient, especially for salespeople who are always on the go and don’t have time for data entry. However, one solution stands out is Voice to CRM.

Voice to CRM as a service utilizes voice-to-text technology which allows data entry through the use of one’s voice. Just like how people speak commands to Alexa or Siri, you can speak commands, as well as enter data points, when using Voice to CRM software. It can also record calls and capture important data points and appropriately enter them in the right field.

A common concern with voice recognition technology is its effectiveness in terms of capturing data, and, in this case, placing them in the correct fields. Concerns like sounds being misheard or misinterpreted by the software, words might not be recognized, and some data might be missed, are all valid. Such an integration is similar to using a CRM Data Entry Software by which you speak and record your calls or meetings and let the service implement it to your preferred CRM. Hey DAN is quite known to do this and is one of the pioneers in the industry.

In Conclusion, Manual Data entry is a monster of the past that seriously needs to go. As more and more companies rely on automation, it is important for us to catch up with the times and embrace new technologies that can help us achieve our business goals more efficiently.