I currently support a company in the food industry (B2B) in improving their customer acquisition. The challenge for many SME companies in the field of sales is that the data of their potential customers are not up-to-date. This leads to sales staff wasting time because they focus on the wrong areas, or perhaps new prospects who have settled down in their sales region. The biggest challenge is to integrate Marketing efforts with sales activities.

Let’s take an example: your Marketing or Sales Support department carries out a telemarketing campaign, a direct advertising campaign, or a combination of the two to generate market interest for your products and services. However, if this is based solely on purchased marketing lists and they are not properly integrated with your CRM database, one of the two databases may not be up-to-date. For example, your sales representatives may have a lot of information about different customers or prospects that are missing in the database and therefore cannot be used for individual mail campaigns that are much more successful than standardized advertising campaigns.

Imagine how a sales representative suddenly notices when driving around his sales area that there are a lot more companies than his sales lists. What’s the Problem here? They have two sources of information that are not properly integrated, which makes it more difficult to convince interested parties to buy their products and services. Your sales representatives may have critical information about the new companies that are located in your sales area, such as a change of decision-makers, word-of-mouth in relation to new requirements and so on. Your CRM database, on the other hand, may provide useful information to the current telephone marketing or direct marketing activities or campaigns with a potential customer and possibly even feedback given by the customer. This Feedback can be absolutely crucial for your sales and the next sales talk, so that a potential customer really becomes a buying customer.

What do we learn from this? It is extremely important that sales and marketing lists are updated regularly and maintained by their operating staff with the utmost care. It is important that you motivate your employees to do this, because it is, of course, “an additional burden”, which is in addition to the other daily tasks. On the other hand, your employees will also benefit from a current and correct database in the long term.

From a technical point of view, it is better to have a single database than several purchased marketing lists, which you (you think) at some point (or never) integrate into a database. With multiple lists, how do you want to ensure that your employees have all the relevant information for a successful sales interview? In the case of a single database, the possibility that information is lost or ignored is rather excluded. Think about it!

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