Do you know how much data decay is costing your business? Data loses value over time; what was true and accurate last month is probably not completely true and accurate today. In fact, ZoomInfo compiled the results of research on B2B data quality and found that, each year, 30 percent of people change jobs, 43 percent of people’s phone numbers change, 34 percent of people’s titles and job functions change, and 37 percent of email addresses change.
It’s possible, with the rapid innovation and M&A activity in the MedTech space, that your customer and prospect database could experience even more data decay in a year’s time. So, it’s likely that the next time a member of your sales team logs into your customer relationship management (CRM) system, at least one piece of information that he or she needs will be inaccurate. And the next time your marketing team sends an email campaign, there will be more hard bounces than you’d like to see. Even worse when your field-based sales team is in market and didn’t realize a practice moved offices or became employed by the local hospital.
There’s no doubt that bad data is frustrating for your sales and marketing teams, but remember it can also be a source of frustration for clients. Data that causes a breakdown in communication may seem like unanswered emails or calls to your sales team, but it may come across to the client as a sign of poor service. And in the MedTech space, the inability to connect with suppliers is more than inconvenient; it can directly impact patient well-being, and it may be reason enough to start talking to your competitors.
The Far-Reaching Implications of Bad Data
Inaccurate data creates more of a problem than just preventing communication between your sales team and your customers or prospects. It also creates a long list of additional problems that can halt revenue growth and eat into profits.
One of the biggest negative impacts of data decay is the inefficiency it creates. When contact data is incorrect, someone — often a salesperson — has to track down the correct information to update your database. If your CRM, marketing automation, or other business systems are not integrated, it will take additional work to make sure the change is made everywhere — if your busy salesperson even takes the time to go that extra mile and does so accurately.
If this scenario is a routine part of your sales team’s day, they aren’t operating as efficiently as they could, spending hours correcting inaccurate data, instead of engaging in revenue-producing activities. Multiply the half-hour or so to track down a new email address, times the number of people on your sales force, times the number of working days in a year.
The risk of arriving unprepared for or misinformed at an important sales meeting could have serious consequences of closing the deal with a hospital or medical group. Therefore, consider the disadvantage your sales team is at if they have to spend hours per sales meeting manually piecing together the competitive landscape among hospitals in the region they are targeting or trying to navigate CMS websites to track down quality metrics that will help them build a stronger, more tailored story about the value proposition for your medical technology. The additional time it will take for your sales team to track down information, specific to each hospital or doctor, will quickly add up to a significant loss of time — not to mention lost opportunities the sales force didn’t have time to pursue.
Inefficiencies created by data decay can spread even further in your organization. When you rely on data to profile your customers or prospects for targeted marketing campaigns, the decisions you make will only be as good as the contact and targeting data you use.
In MedTech other categories of data that may be decaying can cause problems further downstream in your sales process. For example, your sales team may leverage a Return-On-Investment (ROI) calculator to demonstrate your medical technology’s value proposition which will require provider-specific patient or procedure counts. Imagine the damage that could be done to a budding relationship with a hospital CEO if your sales reps presents an inaccurate ROI because they were relying on stale procedure and diagnosis data.
Your business may also incur data-decay losses in the form of:
Strategies for Combatting Data Decay
Unfortunately, there is no way to put a halt to changing data. But you can make sure you are using the most up-to-date information possible. Your options include:
Manual Updates: Your sales and marketing teams can update — or direct another employee to update — customer databases and lead data. Manual processes, however, are time consuming and prone to error. In addition, manual processes may overlook important data sources that could benefit your sales processes and improve your conversion rates such as knowing the counts of procedures performed or diagnoses captured for each targeted physician or hospital. Imagine the power of your sales reps knowing exactly on well aligned each prospect is to your medical technology!
Referencing a Clean Directory: Some healthcare marketing solutions providers, including Carevoyance, offer access to evergreen information about every physician, hospital, and ambulatory surgery center in your market, ensuring you always have the most up-to-date contact, demographic and clinical data relevant to your medical technology or service. A healthcare data solutions provider will leverage state-of-the-art methodologies to keep the information current and accurate while enriching with additional data specific to the healthcare industry. For example, new doctors are minted each year – ensure your team knows which physicians are graduating from residency and fellowship programs. Of course, there is a cost to access a clean, enriched data directories, but considering the time savings and revenue growth opportunities it can deliver, it may be well worth the investment.
Fully Automated Systems: You can automate many of your data hygiene tasks, such as testing email addresses and flagging those that are now invalid or automatically sending emails to businesses that haven’t engaged with you in a while to ask them to update their information. Once you have full trust in the integrity of your data systems and data hygiene processes, further efficiencies can be realized by building automation on top of those assets. Sales Reps will save hours per prospect with sales acceleration tools that automatically generate data-driven pre-call plans, sales presentations and ROI calculators that they can use to impress discriminating buyers of healthcare technology such as hospital administrators or physician leaders.
Face the Reality of Data Decay
Even if your sales and marketing teams are conscientious about keeping contact information updated, a portion of the database your team is using right now could have become invalid since your last campaign. It’s time to stop wasting effort and money on problems created by data decay and free your sales team to spend their time doing what they do best: closing deals and growing your business.
Does your commercial team need to get a better handle on your prospect and customer data? Reach out to learn more and explore how your team can benefit from having Carevoyance data and sales presentations directly in your Salesforce CRM.
About the Author
Carevoyance contributor Bernadette Wilson of B Wilson Marketing Communications is an experienced journalist, writer, editor, and B2B marketer, specializing in content for technology companies.