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29/04/20 -

3 blunders you could have avoided with master data management

If you’d enter a store as a man, it would be highly unlikely that you’d be addressed as a woman – or vice versa, for that matter. That makes sense because the person you address can see you. In the digital world, people miss the mark much more often by using an incorrect name or salutation, for example in a newsletter. When the receiver reads such a message, they probably raise their eyebrows, and if they haven’t removed the e-mail already, it’s the sender’s turn to make up for a 1-0 deficit.

If companies don’t know who they are dealing with, this is often due to poor data management. Their day to day business may even suffer from it. We share three business blunders that you can easily avoid by better data management.

1. Looking like a fool to your customer

Anyone who works in a sales or marketing department knows that the two are closely intertwined. In fact, sales cannot do their job without qualitative leads from the marketing department. But what happens if the lead data is not entered correctly? Then the sales team is given a lead whose details are incorrect. The impact of this becomes painfully clear when the sales team starts calling the lead and the telephone number does not exist.

Sales reps like to score, so this can be very demotivating. There is a good chance that sales will shift their attention to another lead whose data is complete. That means that marketing has made all the effort for nothing.

And what will your lead think? He has left his data behind and is anxiously awaiting your next move. But nothing happens. They will likely think twice before considering doing business with a party that shows so little interest in making a sale.

Can you prevent this?

Yes. By automating and optimizing the onboarding and lead flow of your business. For example, by pushing webforms to your CRM. Or by checking for duplicates while also enriching your data with new business information that sales can work with.

2. Pending payments after delivery

Einstein once said that the definition of madness is to repeat something over and over again, yet still expect a different outcome. It turns out that companies are quite good at repeating mistakes that cost both time and money without changing anything.

Let me give you an example of an international fashion retailer. They deliver their clothes to resellers (clothing stores) worldwide. A sales rap closed a deal with one of these resellers, entering the reseller’s information in CRM. Then, their finance department received a signal to create an invoice. After 60 days, it turned out this invoice hadn’t been paid and a reminder was sent, but to no avail. It turns out the invoice address differed from the shipping address. On top of that, the reseller also had a policy to not process incorrect invoices.

The consequence of this administrative mess, such as changing the old invoice, creating a new one, checking the new business info yet again, sending it over to the correct address and waiting 60 more days for the payment, is an expensive process that could have easily been avoided.

Lots of companies have enough cash flow to prevent problems by missing out on a late payment, but if every sales rep were to make this mistake, the company could face some serious financial troubles.

How to avoid

If, after every deal, the sales rep also has to look up and verify information about the customer, he is less likely to get around to what he’s really good at. Understandably so. But the consequence would be that his coworkers are left with bad data and all the repercussions.

You can prevent this by standardizing and automating the onboarding process. Entering data into CRM should only be possible in one consistent manner so that every CRM user creates an account in the same way. If this is standardized, you can also have that data automatically enriched.

There is software for this, such as Onboarding, a feature developed by us . For data enrichment, you purchase validated data from a data supplier, such as Dun & Bradstreet. You can link this source to our Onboarding feature.

3. Accidentally doing business with frauds

Administrative red tape is bad, but the superlative is, of course, great financial and PR damage. In the maze of opaque business structures, it is difficult to recognize which companies meet your quality criteria, such as creditworthiness. A wrong estimate can cost you dearly.

It’s asking a lot from account managers to do all the right checks to prevent you from doing business with fraudulent companies. And fraud not only has a major impact on your finance but across all departments. Can you see those terrible headlines making the news?

How to stop it
Therefore, make sure that you have sources at your disposal that consider these types of checks or are even a condition for successful onboarding of customer relationships. Creditworthiness, risk profiles and insight into company history, just a few things that help signal whether you are doing business with the right parties.

Kunal Doerbali, Master Data Specialist at our partner company Altares, gives us a peek into a business case of a bank in which time and money is of the essence:

“I have seen some extreme examples. There was this financial institution, where onboarding a customer costs as much as 16,000 euros. That is because of the many checks that each department has to comply with that cost a lot of time and money. That immediately outlines the need to start with the basics, so with your master data, having one truth in all your systems.” (Read the full interview here).

We also all know the news stories about large-scale money laundering practices that some organizations face. Although the signs are often noticed by employees, sometimes there is a lack of capacity or the means to actually follow them up.

How to prevent fraudulent business relations

Let the system do the work for you and stay ahead of these scandals with good and reliable credit and compliance information. With Olbico you make the connection in no time with data packages that you can use to keep your CRM in check and always up-to-date.

Hopefully, these examples will help you to get through the year without a scratch on you. Would you rather have more advice about how you can approach that? Then please read these 5 steps for successful Master Data management. You can also contact us for personal advice to get the right data in your CRM.

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