What Is Data Decay?
Data decay refers to a process when the quality of your B2B database deteriorates with time due to containing inaccurate, incomplete, or outdated information. Unfortunately, data decay is unavoidable, especially when using static data in sales. To keep your data up to the minute, it needs constant nurturing and monitoring. This requires both financial and time resources from your team.
To learn more about Data Decay and its impact on your pipeline, review our Cost of Data Decay to your Business article.
How to Fight Data Decay
1. Establish alignment between sales and marketing on a single source of truth
A critical step in fighting data decay is to establish alignment between Sales and Marketing teams on what good looks like for your data ecosystem and develop a rubric to foster such alignment. The lack of clear expectations across groups can exacerbate the rate of data decay whereby degraded data is being input through disparate processes which lack governance and attention to detail. For instance, if your team relies on data to support MOPS or SOPS processes like routing or territory planning, teams should have a clear understanding of which data points are needed to support those processes.
For instance: Salesforce relies heavily on company-level information such as an address, website, company name, and zip codes to support Lead-to-Account Matching processes. If your sales team or SDRs are not including those parameters when they add a lead, then you’re unintentionally introducing decay into your CRM ecosystem, causing multiple downstream processes to fracture in the process.
- Map out your marketing and sales processes, motions, and channels
- Determine which data are necessary to enable those processes effectively
- Develop a rubric to measure data quality in key domains and define "what good looks like"
Until this is done, SDRs, AEs, and Marketing Ops will all be focused on the data points they feel they need without thinking about how it impacts other parts of the organization.
Finally, we’d recommend your Marketing and Sales teams align on which third-party data provider you should use as the external trusted source—affecting organizational change management positively through establishing a consistent set of semantics, a single data landscape/shared data values, and shared series of rubrics and lexicon to define data success and quality.
2. Maintain your CRM Ecosystem
Customer relationship management tools are the best source of relevant information for building up and maintaining your dataset for your Sales Teams. They harbor all the interactions with all the leads, prospects, and clients you ever contacted and save your sales and marketing teams’ time by monitoring and analyzing the sales pipeline. They also organize automated email send-outs.
As such, your CRM such as Salesforce becomes one of the most effective mechanisms to maintain and optimize your data, as well as maintain control over the quality as well. A few tips to ensure effective CRM management:
- Integrate your CRM system with other data solutions: Make sure both marketing and sales use one system to collect data and align all the data sources into one space to collect as much input as possible.
- Conduct CRM data checks: Make sure your data is validated when it’s captured in your CRM and use firewalls to ensure its accuracy.
- Segment the critical data into categories: If you have multiple ideal customer profiles (ICPs), work for several markets, or sell a variety of products, segregating the data by categories can help you optimize the selling cycle and maintain data quality more efficiently.
3. Use email verification tools to validate emails.
Email is the top prospecting channel with 87% of B2B marketers using it for outreach. At the same time, email marketing databases naturally degrade by year over year which leads to deflated metrics on account of increased bounce rates and ultimately decrease conversion. High bounce rates are a key indicator of your database health where it highlights people who have moved on from the organization, not obtained opt-in, or unsubscribed from your marketing efforts. If that’s the case then, what’s the point of paying for email impressions?
One of the most effective ways to overcome this challenge and clean up your list of invalid and inactive email addresses is to use email verification tools. You can leverage the Leadspace Verification Status and other LS indications to support you in identifying emails that are no longer valid.
4. Have an Opt-In Strategy
Opt-ins have become increasingly important in the digitally-led marketing and sales space wherein brands should be providing users the opportunity to decide whether or not they want to be contacted. Essentially, it is used to ensure that your subscribers have completed registration by providing an accurate, correct email address that is less likely to bounce. Once the user provides their information, they'll a communication requesting their approval to be contacted by marketing and sales teams.
Opt-in is also a very effective way to disqualify traffic that may not be of value and reduce the number of unqualified visitors to your properties based on disinterest in your messaging and communications.
5. Develop a data hygiene strategy
Adding regular data hygiene checks as a part of a routine is the most obvious way to keep your database fresh and updated. This process generally includes going through a quarterly refresh of your CRM and Marketing Automation Platforms to perform the following checks and balances periodically:
- Checking existing data for updates
- Deleting contact duplicates
- Verifying new contacts
- Filling in the missing information
All these things can be done automatically with ongoing enrichment and refreshes which can be handled directly through your Leadspace integrations and subsequent filtering in both CRM and Marketing Automation. To learn more about Database Refreshes, reference our Database Refresh Best Practices!
Collaboration within the teams contributes to fighting data decay significantly and helps build up a data-driven culture within the company.
6. Leverage Leadspace to Enrich, Unify, and Deduplicate your Data
In conjunction with the recommendations above, you can utilize Leadspace to support the maintenance of your data quality by leveraging our Unification products and services—you can either do this with Unify functionality, found in Leadsapce Studio, or you can work with Leadspace to run Unification as a custom professional service. Depending on the complexity of your ecosystem, you may want to consult with your Leadspace CSM to determine which path you should move forward on.
Leadspace can unify multiple siloed CRM & Marketing Automation instances into a single dataset, removing the guesswork that may be necessary to do this manually. When you Unify with Leadspace, you're effectively consolidating multiple processes into one easy-to-use function. Unification allows you to verify, enrich and cleanse CRM & Marketing Automation data with firmographics, and demographic data, and insights.
Once that's done, you're left with a unified, holistic, and deduplicated set of accounts and/or contact profiles which you can then index in the Leadspace platform and pass onto your enrichments through our Custom Data Index (CDI). Additionally, you can upload those records directly into your CRM or Marketing Automation tool and ensure consistency in data across your entire MarTech landscape.