Data Enrichment: What It Is and How It Improves Your CRM System

It's an understatement to say that there's no shortage of information on pretty much any company in the world today. However, as we all know–quality beats quantity almost every time.

To draw reliable insights from company data and subsequently boost sales performance, salespeople must a) have easy access to the data most relevant to them, and b) be sure that the data they're acting on is accurate and up to date. This is why data enrichment and data cleaning has come to play a central role in today's data-driven sales world.

Knowing that the mere notion of data management can make your head spin, we've written this article. Here we'll go through what data enrichment is, why it matters to your sales organization, and list five smart use cases for CRM data enrichment.

What is data enrichment?

Simply put, data enrichment (also known as data appending) refers to tools and processes that enhance, refine, or otherwise improve raw data. Now that's quite a broad and slightly ambiguous definition. For salespeople, data enrichment mainly serves to bring internal and external data together to build a richer profile of their potential and existing customers.

By this token, CRM data enrichment is all about appending missing data to your CRM. This is done most effectively by integrating a sales intelligence or data enrichment tool with your CRM and use the integration to append company data, such as firmographic, technographic, and signal data, to the contacts in your database.

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Why bother with CRM data enrichment?

With regular data enrichment, you'll be sure to stay on top of changes happening in your CRM's accounts. Whenever one of your contacts implement new technology or changes office, the information will be added to the right account in your CRM. And this without any manual effort on your part.

With several data-points feeding into your CRM, you'll have a more robust profile of every contact in your CRM. This allows you to improve your lead scoring and account scoring models, find the right talking points for every customer interaction, and improve your overall customer enhancement.

We'll look closer at different use cases of CRM data enrichment later in this post, but first let's look at what you need to get the process going.

With a sales intelligence tool pulling data from quality sources, data enrichment can provide you a rich company profile of your potential or existing customers without disrupting their natural interaction with your business.

Data enrichment tools: how they work

Despite the wealth of information on almost every company that's available online, the data supply itself isn't the actual game-changing element of the sales profession. Without advanced sales technology, above all sales intelligence and data enrichment tools, salespeople wouldn't be able to access and pull powerful insights from this stockpile of data bits.

Data enrichment for CRM can, for the case of simplicity, be divided, and explained as a three-step process:

  1. A sales intelligence tool or data enrichment tool pulls data from millions of quality sources online in real-time, and so becomes an abundant reservoir of company data.
  2. You integrate a reliable sales intelligence tool with your CRM, either directly or through an app connector such as Zapier. Depending on what tools you're using, the setup might require some initial effort. Vainu's product experts are happy to help you out.
  3. The sales intelligence or data enrichment tool appends the contacts in your CRM with missing firmographic, technographic, and signals data from its database. From now on, your CRM will be enriched with reliable, accurate real-time data.

All the robots need to associate the right data with the right account in your CRM is a common factor that links the different datasets together. This can, for example, be the name of the company, a mailing address, or a website domain. Without a common factor, the original dataset won't be enriched because there's nothing to show that the two datasets refer to the same company.

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Data enrichment is a process that never stops

Whenever you generate new leads and contacts, you must build a bigger picture of them as accounts. If you use data enrichment as a one-time solution, you'll be stuck with a frozen snapshot of those companies at that moment.

Data goes bad at breakneck speed; companies revenue rise and fall, their tech stack may change, and their product portfolio and physical address can alter. Even names may change, especially if there's a merger or acquisition. Given the possibility of all these changes, the advantages of implementing an enrichment process that runs continuously and ensures you always work with up-to-date data are many.

Now, let's get practical. Here are five powerful use cases for CRM data enrichment.

5 CRM data enrichment use cases

1. Fewer form fields

Historically, a shortened lead capture form came at a high price. While creating shorter forms often increased conversions, it meant taking the risk of prolonging the buying cycle. This as either marketing would need to find new reasons to collect missing data or sales would have to uncover it themselves.

Nowadays, marketers no longer have to strike a constant balance between asking for the information required to determine lead quality and not turning away potential leads with long, daunting forms.

Sales intelligence technology can be used to fill up missing data on every account in your contacts database. This means you can have the "must-have" fields alone on your form, and the rest is taken care of by your data enrichment process.

2. More personalization in every customer interaction

With enriched data, your view into your target audience grows exponentially. The process provides you all the information you need to create hyper-targeted customer segments. Thus ensuring that you're providing the right customer journey to the right company.

Today's sales and marketing boil down to the relevance of customer interactions. Back in the early days of big data, just including a contact's first name in the salutation was enough. But now, your communications need to go beyond understanding your prospect's firmographics, technographics, and recent relevant events in their organization and tailor your messaging accordingly. And this is why data enrichment is the way to go.

3. Advanced account scoring

Even partially manual lead and account scoring processes are tedious and often more trouble than they are worth. Data enrichment can be a great way to remove yourself from the scoring process altogether by automatically categorizing prospect priority based on real-time enrichment data.

Let's illustrate this with an example: A lead comes into your contact database with nothing but a first name, last name, and personal email address. Without the process of data enrichment, your current lead scoring system is likely to give it a low score. With only scarce information to work with, the system won't be able to know if the lead has a high buying intent and product fit. With a real-time enrichment process in place, a sales intelligence tool can link that lead to more company data-points. With a richer profile on the lead, your lead scoring system can reprioritize it and automatically pass it along to sales. And you don't have to lift a finger.

4. Improving the overall customer experience

All in all, CRM data enrichment improves your customers’ experiences while engaging with your company. Enriched CRM data means more accuracy in the insights and conclusions you draw from your existing database. This means that you can tailor your sales call script to be relevant for every prospect, increase upsell and cross-sell opportunities, and detect red flags in customers susceptible to churn more efficiently.

With real-time CRM data enrichment, your CRM will be up-to-date at all times, including all relevant information about recent changes in your existing customer's business. By identifying business signals among your existing customers and tracking the same, your customer success team can reach out to customers most likely to churn and assist them in getting the most out of your product.

5. Enabling machine learning technology

Through the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning, sales and marketing professionals can now offer increasingly personalized touchpoints with potential and existing customers in ways that previously would have required tremendous human resources and huge budgets.

One practical example is chatbots. They've turned the way businesses gather critical company data from site visitors on the head. Thanks to data enrichment possibilities, your team can acquire customer data through conversations with a virtual humanoid. The data obtained from these conversations can then be enriched with existing information in your CRM, or from a robust sales intelligence tool. This brings us back to our first use case: There’s no need to offer self-serving lead capture forms in this day in age.

Data enrichment is the answer to many of your data related woes

No matter what your role is, if you're working in sales one way or another, it's likely your practice has become incredibly data-driven. All the company data you need to improve your sales output is already out there – the key is ensuring you've access to the right information when you need it. This where data enrichment as a practice comes into play

By getting a successful CRM data enrichment process going, you can lower the barrier to your web form conversions, create hyper-targeted customer segments, and/or cause game-changing transformations in your account scoring processes and upselling and cross-selling efforts as well become better at predicting and preventing churn. Getting a successful CRM data enrichment process going will require some initial effort. But once up and running, you'll see the winnings of having access to rich, real-time company instantly directly in your CRM instantly.

Curious about how you can turn your CRM into an insight engine with Vainu's sales intelligence data and enrichment functionalities? Request a demo to learn more.

Topics: Company Data

Erika Granath

Vainu's Content Marketing Manager. Grew up next to Sweden's largest cookie factory. Love cookies (of course), ping pong tournaments and word jokes.