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Chuck Data.com Seeks to Squash the #1 Source of CRM Failure

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By Chuck Schaeffer

Better Data Delivers Better CRM

In an increasingly competitive cloud CRM market, vendors have few options to successfully compete. Alternative strategies include lowering costs (generally a short term play at best), increasing focus toward unique markets (often more stratified customer segments or vertical markets but sometimes underserved geographies or industry niches) and/or increasing value with new value-add product or service introductions. Salesforce.com has successfully continued impressive growth, while commanding a premium subscription pricing model, using the later approach. AppExchange, mobile CRM, an increasing array of social tools, platform-as-a-service (PaaS) – and now the newest value-add introduction, data.com.

Rebranded from the prior JigSaw acquisition, Salesforce.com today launched Data.com in an effort to bring new value to a clearly underserved but critical CRM success factor. With data.com, the Sales Cloud will permit access from within Salesforce.com to JigSaw in order to expand net new accounts as well as append existing accounts with a data cleanse service. For example, when a user accesses an existing record, a new button will alert the user if Data.com has fresher or better information. Clicking the link will permit the user to review the additional information, a process Salesforce calls "stare and compare" and select the particular data points to import to the record.

From Chatter, users can subscribe and follow data.com contact records—and be notified when a contact at a prospect or customer leaves the company, gets promoted or incurs an account record update.

This is anything but a solution looking for a problem. As Gartner succinctly puts it "bad data is the number 1 cause of CRM failure", and we don't need to be reminded yet again of the depressing CRM failure rates.

Contact data depreciates at a rate of 2 percent per month. Failing to keep data current has the obvious effects of lowering marketing effectiveness and misusing valuable sales time. Many forward thinking CRM leaders integrate their CRM data with third party sales intelligence services such as Dow Jones, Hoovers, InsideView, OneSource, ZoomInfo and others, however, due to enterprise contracts and various levels of system integration requirements, these data management and hygiene services have remained out of reach for many small and midsize businesses (SMBs).

JigSaw has been Salesforce.com's fastest growing business—achieving 400% customer growth and 200% contributor growth in the current year. The database now offers 30 million crowd sourced contacts, is growing at 1 million contacts per month and receives 12,000 updates per day from 2 million contributing users. In addition to the community, other data verification sources include Salesforce.com customers (of which about 40% share their data), rating systems where users can flag good or bad data, and software technology which itself generates 1.2 million updates per month.

The four-fold data quality approach seems to be working. Gartner advised that "Jigsaw has extremely high accuracy rates and completeness of information, as compared with our other business contact data providers." Analyst firm Nucleus Research discovered that "Jigsaw customers found the accuracy of contact information was 10% to 40% better than traditional data sources such as Hoovers or D&B."

As JigSaw is contact-centric, the Data.com launch also announced a new partnership with Dun & Bradstreet in order to aid the data append and hygiene process for company information. D&B manages over 200 million company records in over 200 countries and performs 1.5 million daily refreshes.

While delivering clear innovation which will contribute to CRM adoption and utilization, the data.com intelligence service is an initial delivery, and lacks some of the automation and tools available from comparable sales intelligence services. The Stare and Compare data hygiene process is still largely a record by record manual effort, meaning that some enterprise services may continue to be required for marketing contacts which don't get individual record reviews or large companies wanting to automate the process and save valuable sales time. Data.com is available immediately with contacts information from Jigsaw, however, company data from D&B integration isn't expected until sometime in the Fall. Pricing and packaging for data.com is not yet annoucned.

Better data means better CRM success. By augmenting existing CRM accounts with JigSaw and D&B data points, marketers can perform better list management, campaign segmentation, reduce the number of fields on landing pages and web forms to increase conversions, and directly increase campaign effectiveness. Sales professionals can leverage better and more data points to improve territory management, target prospecting and account planning. As well stated by Mary Wardley of IDC in a prepared statement, "The impact of poor data can have negative ramifications through entire business processes. This announcement from salesforce.com and D&B simplifies the process of gathering quality company information, allowing businesses to bolster their effectiveness and improve productivity across sales and marketing." End

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Comments (3) — Comments for this page are closed —

Guest Chris Nichols
  Companies have been sourcing list providers and spending large sums of money for years in order to supplement their CRM databases with information that will help them better understand - and market to, sell to and support - their prospects and customers. Now through social networks, prospects and customers are providing that information themselves for free. Companies need only identify and integrate the mix of structured and unstructured data from social channels with their traditional structured customer data in CRM systems in order to better segment, personalize, target and serve their customers.

Guest Denise Johnson
  This looks like a helpful service, although it's interesting that Salesforce partners with Dun & Bradstreet for company data, but doesn't partner with D&B's Hoovers unit for contact data. We currently use InsideView as our sales intelligence tool. I like the service because it links both target companies and contacts with many data service providers and social sources and brings me alerts for leadership changes, company changes, press releases, social media buzz and the like. It's unclear to me whether data.com is a substitute or a compliment for my InsideView application. I suspect as data.com advances beyond its initial release it will mature and become a competitor to InsideView if its not already.
  Chuck Chuck Schaeffer
    I was fortunate to get a data.com pre-briefing from Shannon Duffy, Senior Director of Jigsaw Marketing at Salesforce.com and Dane Vahey, PR Manager at Salesforce.com. The solution was thoughtfully laid out, integral with other Salesforce clouds (primarily Sales and Chatter) and highly complementary to the new Salesforce mantra of the social enterprise. Some of the alert functionality you describe can be achieved by using Chatter to follow data.com records. How data.com will evolve is still unclear, but I think its safe to say that it will evolve and I suspect we may see integration with other data service or sales intelligence providers along with enhanced business process automation and social intelligence functionality in the future. Stay tuned.
 

 

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Bad data is the number 1 cause of CRM failure."

~ Gartner

 

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