3 Roadblocks to Keeping a Centralized Contact Database

It might alarm you to learn that 88% of business cards get thrown away less than a week after they’ve been handed out. For sales reps and other professionals trying to leave an impression on people they meet, this is obviously very concerning.

But what about the other side of that stat? How many of the cards you and your team are receiving end up in the trash? Is it possible that you’re only keeping track of 12% of the contacts you meet? Shockingly – yes.

The issue isn’t that your salespeople are lazy or that they don’t want to make sales. The issue is that for most companies, there simply isn’t a centralized contact list that effectively collects the information of every person who engages with a member of your team. A quarter of sales teams still don’t use a customer relationship management (CRM) system. Even if you do have a place where your team is supposed to store leads, 46% of salespeople store lead and customer data in physical files or Google docs.

Whether all those business cards are getting thrown out, stuffed in a drawer or carefully recorded in a personal excel file, they aren’t being shared with the entire business. This means your organization is missing out on:

  • The ability to nurture leads through marketing automation and other marketing campaigns
  • Analytics on your most valuable industries, lead sources and other demographics
  • Insights into which sales reps and regions are engaging with the most leads

Unfortunately, as 75% of businesses can tell you, the solution is not simply to get a CRM (although if you’re in that 25% who don’t have one that should absolutely be your top priority). Even with that solution, you’ll still face several roadblocks to maintaining a complete contact database:

Hassle of Entering Leads

You don’t have time. You don’t know how. No matter how intuitive your CRM is, there will always be technical issues that arise when you ask your team members to sit down and enter all their contacts. According to Pace Productivity, the average sales rep spends more time on administrative tasks than they do actually selling (23% vs. 22%). Neither they nor their sales managers can afford any wasted time that should be spent selling.

Team Members Don’t Want to Share Their Leads

Another unfortunate issue organizations run into is that employees view their contacts and leads as their own resources. While they are generating sales for you, they are building up their own network to leverage for their entire career. This secrecy could lead to multiple sales reps going after the same leads and a general confusion as to how many leads are in the pipeline and at what stages. A CRM allows sales reps to mark themselves as owners of leads and allows the organization to better track their progress through the sales cycle.

Sales Doesn’t Want Marketing Engaging with Their Leads

Guiding a new contact through the sales process can be a delicate process involving many different touchpoints. The goal of marketing is to provide additional resources and to automate some of those touchpoints using email, social media and content marketing. However, when sales and marketing aren’t on the same page, these efforts won’t be aligned with the message the sales rep is conveying.

46% of salespeople store lead and customer data in physical files or Google docs

If a contact has been engaging with a sales rep for months and is in the consideration stage, they should be receiving emails with buying resources and guides. But, if the contact record was never entered into your CRM, marketing won’t know to send them anything. An even worse scenario; what if that lead fills out a web form or engages with your brand on social media? If marketing doesn’t know that a sales rep has already engaged with them, they may begin to send the lead introductory emails and resources. Making sure every contact is uploaded and updated is key to keeping these two teams aligned.

While there are many roadblocks to collecting your contact database, there are tools that can organize the process. Inigo team allows you to provide digital business cards to each of your team members. When they share those cards with a new contact, that contact is added to their list and uploaded to your company’s shared database. No more contacts will end up in the trash bin. For more information, start a free trial of Inigo Team today!

What other strategies do you use to organize your contacts list? Let us know in the comments!