CRM is often associated with customer management, retention, and lead conversions resulting in better sales. But in reality, these benefits are the results of behind-the-scenes processes anchored in data entry. After all, CRM is a data entry software that stores information in a centralized and reliable platform. However, when inputs are made the next day, data quality and quantity are being compromised, rendering the CRM system unable to operate to its fullest.
Data is a CRM’s lifeblood, for without any valuable input, it won’t be able to know customer preferences, demographics, and other information, much less in helping create solid customer relationships. This is why data quality and accuracy are fundamental if you want to get the most out of the “efficiency” that CRM offers. The best way to ensure quality and accurate data is to record it completely in real-time, not the next day, or any time after it. Here’s why:
Memory is not always Accurate
Unless you have an eidetic memory, oftentimes recalling details from memory is not very reliable. Mistakes and changes regarding facts may happen. This is why people take notes, it is to avoid inaccurate data. According to psychological research, there are 2 main theories of why people forget things.
According to the Interference Theory, it is harder to recall a specific thing if similar events, happenings, and retained information occurred in between, thus, these other memories interfere with one another.
The Decay Theory of forgetting states that memory becomes less accurate over time. The more time passes between the event and the instance of recall, the more likely it is to be forgotten.
We know that generally, people in the office, may it be salespeople, executives, IT managers, or HR, do a lot of repetitive tasks daily such as sending emails, attending meetings, creating reports, and more. The same is true when it comes to their data entry: customer names, dates and deadlines, nationality, age, etc. Each field and each customer is unique, but due to large amounts of data and the similarities of each one, it is highly likely for memory interference to occur.
The adverse effects are amplified much more if all of these data are taken note of the next day. Typically, salespeople wait a day or more to jot down meeting notes and other things, however, the more that time passes by, the more likely it is for the information to be inconsistent and inaccurate.
According to a short experiment done by Hey DAN, same-day notes have 100% data retention, while notes done after 1-2 days suffer a 33% deterioration of data. Note length continuously decreases as more days pass by, proving that next-day CRM entries do not deliver quality and accurate information. This window of error could affect a company’s growth, considering that information adds value, particularly when it comes to CRM.
However, this is not new knowledge. It is generally known that one must take notes during or right after you obtain the information, to retain the most accurate and complete data. Yet why do most employees wait until later to enter data into the CRM system? Let’s tackle it from the root of the problem.
Manual Data Entry is tiring
Most companies still adhere to the manual setup of data entry. A person may like it at the beginning because of the simplicity of the task, but let’s be honest, doing it repeatedly, every day, with large amounts of data, can be tedious and inefficient. With this kind of setup, it’s hard to blame CRM users for not entering data right then and there, especially for salespeople who want to focus on selling instead of doing admin work.
Real-time Manual Data entry can be discouraging for many reasons.
- The CRM system is hard to access while on the go.
- Typing in information can take time.
- It keeps employees from generating more valuable and productive work.
- It can be hard to catch up with the things being said and focus during a meeting.
- Data entry fields can be confusing or difficult to find.
Moreover, Manual data entry can be costly for the company. According to the 1-10-100 rule by Joel E. Ross, error prevention will cost 1$, error correction will cost 10$ and unchecked errors, resulting in failure, will cost 100$. This concept reveals that it is always less costly to establish a way of avoiding errors at the very start of the process than to work on them down the line.
With manual data entry, errors and mishaps are to be expected which eventually leads to corrections, or if uncorrected, will lead to failure, both costing a lot more than prevention. This concept can give us insight into what we should prioritize when it comes to data entry, and that is error prevention.
How do we prevent errors, and at the same time, achieve real-time, accurate information?
Solution: Automate Data Entry
Liberate your CRM users from the burden of administrative work by adopting technology that automates data entry. Regardless of their department or role, end-users can highly benefit from it, reducing time and effort spent, for fewer errors and less cost. It allows more space for employees to focus on giving real value and to use their skills and talents because after all, they have better things to do than manually encoding data.
Moreover, due to its convenience, data entry doesn’t have to be done the next day. It incentivizes users to record data in real-time. The information can easily be recorded on the same day, keeping the company away from any data loss or inaccuracies. Using high level CRM software such as Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, or SAP can be used at an optimum level given that data will be entered accurately and more timely.
With the right software, data capture and cleanup don’t have to be an issue. One of the best ways to do this is by subscribing to a Voice to CRM software that combines both technology and intelligence, ensuring that data is accurate and correctly placed. With just speaking, data can be effortlessly entered, with no need for the user to open tabs, or look for the right fields. It has everything you’ll need to create timely, same-day data inputs without having to worry about cleaning up the entries afterward. This way, data is captured not the next day or the day after that, but in real-time, when it is at its best.