Darrah Brustein, the founder ofNetwork Under 40, posed an intriguing question to her readers in a Forbespost a few years ago: What form of currency never fluctuates with the market? ... read more
Why It's Time to Automate Data Entry
We all hate manual data entry. It’s a top challenge that causes our productivity levels to take a nosedive. Everyone from sales to venture capitalists, feel the burden of manual data entry. More than 40% of workers spend at least a quarter of their work week on manual, repetitive tasks.
1. Time Investment
Data entry saps time. Nearly 60% of workers estimate they could save six or more hours a week, the equivalent of an entire workday, if repetitive aspects of their jobs were automated. Manual data entry can negatively affect everything from productivity to customer service to profitability.
Time spent manually logging activities and tasks is time spent away from getting work done. By eliminating the need for manual data entry, we can allocate more time to engaging with customers, developing business plans, meeting prospective investments, and driving sales.
The repetitive nature of adding emails and contact information into CRM systems and spreadsheets also takes a toll on morale. Manual entry is tedious, unfulfilling, and causes engagement to plummet. Low engagement can increase turnover and can also harm interactions with others.
2. Incomplete Picture
It’s tiring to constantly update CRMs and spreadsheets. Consider salespeople. In order to keep their CRM systems up-to-date, sales reps must make approximately 300 updates each week. That’s a lot of work! Making sure that all these updates are entered can feel like pulling teeth.
Given the tedious nature of manual CRM entry, it’s not surprising that many people avoid the task. Only 40% of all updates are ever entered into a CRM. When entering contact information, workers tend to prioritize accounts that are promising business ventures and de-prioritize accounts that are not. This causes major blindspots and inaccurate data. For example, it hurts a company’s ability to accurately track lead attribution, deal flow, and ROI. It also jeopardizes future customers interactions. Without logs of a prospect’s past interactions (logs that include, for example, pain points, objectives, and/or objections), workers are at a disadvantage.
Even when contact details and updates are entered, they tend to be entered after a deal is closed—when we know the deal is “real”. According to Selligy, more than 20% of deals aren't entered into the CRM until after the deal is signed. Without notes of customer meetings and schedules of future engagements, we’re likely to drop the ball on interactions and lose deals.
3. Dirty Data
Humans are prone to error. Human error is a top cause of CRM and spreadsheet data inaccuracy. Human error can come in many forms, including typos, spelling mistakes, and entering data into the wrong fields. Inputting a “7” instead of a “6” in a startup or customer’s email can cause us to lose contact with a key member of our network.
Human inaccuracy carries a lofty price tag. According to Sirius Decisions, each “dirty” CRM record costs a company $100! The cost quickly adds up. Dirty data wreaks particular havoc on customer relations. Simply misspelling a prospect’s name can compromise personalization efforts and result in a disgruntled customer.
The negative effects of manual CRM data entry only become worse over time. Research by Sirius Decisions also found that, for the average B2B company, the volume of prospect and customer data doubles every 12-18 months. Don’t let manual data entry impair your company’s ability to succeed.