It is no secret that CRM adoption, and overall productivity, are hampered by the need for manual data entry. It is tedious, redundant, and keeps sales representatives from doing more important things like sales activities.
Hubspot stated that about an hour per day is spent by 72% of sales professionals on manual data entry, and over 20% of them pointed out that manual data entry is their biggest challenge in using CRM. The right data is precious in terms of company growth, and the status quo of having to enter data manually doesn’t seem to be the best option for a lot of professionals.
Why Manual Data entry has to go
Aside from the statistics shown above, there are so many valid reasons why manual data entry should be reduced or removed from one’s business processes. This is especially true for companies that need to process huge amounts of data, in which case, entering the data manually can be very impractical.
Here are the three most prominent reasons:
The average error rate for manual data entry is 1%. This may seem small at first glance, but as the volume of data increases, that 1% becomes significant. It means that there is one error for every one hundred data points entered. Humans are bound to make mistakes. This greatly affects data quality and accuracy, something that is highly important for CRM systems to be truly worth the investment.
It is Time-consuming
It is general knowledge that the average typing speed is around 40 words per minute, and the average writing speed is 13-15 words per minute. However, the fact remains that humans don’t always work at a consistent speed. Having to manually type in or write down data points takes time that otherwise could be spent on more productive things like selling or strategizing.
It is Expensive
Manual data entry requires more resources than automation, and since manually entering data is slow, it also means that you’ll be paying your employees for the long hours that they spend typing in data. In addition, based on the 1-10-100 rule, it costs 1$ to ensure data quality from the start, 10$ to correct mistakes, and 100$ for any unresolved issues that lead to failure. Taking into account the error rate of manual data entry, having to correct and deal with errors, later on, becomes inevitable, thus the added expense.
Other than these, manual data entry also produces discouraged and demoralized employees. After all, the task is redundant and hardly fulfilling, resulting in less productivity and motivation to work.
The disadvantages of manual data entry clearly outweigh the benefits. Fortunately, with today’s technology, we don’t have to depend on it anymore. There are many ways to reduce, or even eliminate manual data entry in utilizing CRM. Unless your CRM already has built-in automation features, the most common way to achieve zero manual data entry is by using third-party applications that automate data capture, a.k.a. CRM Integrations.
Your company can surely save time, effort, and achieve better data quality, with the following integration functionalities:
Emails remain to be the primary platform for communicating with customers. Syncing CRM with emails allows you to manage them in one place, instead of manually switching tabs, capturing data from emails, and logging them into your CRM one by one. View, assess, manage campaigns, and reply to emails within the CRM.
Furthermore, email templates and sequences can be used to save time typing the same email or reply repeatedly. Email integration can be a very useful automation tool when used correctly, increasing productivity and allowing sales reps to communicate more efficiently.
Automatic Profile Enrichment
CRM is all about knowing your customers well to build good relationships with them. This requires filling up necessary data fields and enriching lead profiles. With an automatic profile enrichment integration, data fields are populated without the user having to type in anything. It captures initial data, lead scoring, or even changes regarding the customer’s profile, and automatically enters them in the appropriate fields, which means that the information is always up-to-date. You can also choose which data sets you want to enrich. This significantly reduces manual data entry as it updates customer information without the need for human intervention.
The goal of adopting a data cleaning integration is to rid your data of any inaccuracies, duplicates, and outdated points. Imagine having to manually go through hundreds and thousands of data, reconfirming everything, and checking for errors. Doing this is impractical, tedious, and can potentially create more errors than what you initially started with. A Data Cleaning Integration is especially useful if you are transitioning from manual data entry to automation. This way, your data can be cleaned before running automatically.
Call and Text logging
Many CRMs can record and log in call and text activities, but if it’s not available, consider getting a Call and Text logging integration. It allows you to track and manage calls and SMS within the CRM. Automatic logging allows users to look back on the data being exchanged in these communications. It reduces data errors, by having a recording as a reference, as well as the need to capture data manually while the call is going on.
Voice to CRM Integration
Lastly, Voice to CRM. It uses voice recognition technology to capture data points and fill up the necessary fields. Simply put, the users only need to speak and the actual data input and field enrichment is taken care of by the software, making things faster and easier for users. No need to type or write down anything. It’s a completely hands-free solution that is capable of eliminating tedious manual data entry, allowing your team to focus on more productive tasks.
Not all integrations are intended to reduce manual data entry, some are to improve communications, manage customer service, etc. Whatever it is, the overall goal is to optimize workflows, improve customer relationships, and increase sales. Make use of CRM integrations to automate processes and ultimately crush your company’s sales goals.