How to use your CRM data to close more deals

table of contents
Down arrow

Customer relationship management (CRM) data helps businesses stay organized, make informed decisions, and prioritize their sales pipeline—an essential part of any strong business strategy.

But what is CRM data, and how can your sales team use it to close more high-quality deals? We’ll explore the answers to those questions and more below. 

What is a CRM database?

A CRM (customer relationship management) database is a system where all of a business’s customer information is collected, organized, analyzed, and shared. 

A CRM system is the hub for all your customer data—it creates a singular location for sales and marketing teams to access the information they need to build campaigns, reach out to leads, and nurture existing customer relationships. 

There are countless CRM platforms on the market, each offering a range of features to help your organization get the most out of its data. Some of the best CRM solutions include Affinity, Salesforce, Hubspot, and Zoho.

What is CRM data?

CRM data is the customer information saved inside your CRM system. You can store a variety of information in your CRM, including demographics like customer name, email, phone number, address, education, and work history, as well as relationship information, including last date of contact, sales information, and more.

4 types of CRM data

There are four types of CRM data—identity, descriptive, qualitative, and quantitative. It’s important to understand what information fits into each data type and how to use that data effectively. Doing so will help you get the best return on your CRM investment.

Let’s take a closer look at the four types of data.

1. Identity data

Identity data consists of descriptive details unique to one customer or potential customer, which helps support your targeted outreach and identify a customer record within your CRM system.

Not only is identity data used to identify customer records, it’s also used to help sales teams communicate with customers and leads, and execute specific tasks. For example, suppose your team is using account planning to prioritize the sales pipeline. Sales reps must have access to certain information to reach out to customers— names, phone numbers, email addresses, and other pieces of contact information. Without a CRM storing this data, reps could spend hours on additional research to get the information they need.

Identity data includes:

  • Name: The contact’s first and last name.
  • Mailing information: The physical address where your contact can receive mail.
  • Telephone number: Include work phone numbers as well as cell phone numbers.
  • Email address: The email address where your contact can be reached.
  • Social media: Links to social media accounts for the customer.

Identity data is easy to find, especially if you collect this information from current customers. While it’s the most basic data, it’s also the kind of data that you want to ensure is kept safe, so storing your data securely once it has been collected is best. 

2. Descriptive data

Descriptive data gives you a deeper insight into a lead, contact, customer, or potential opportunity with contextual information. You can use identity data to find a singular record, whereas you can use descriptive data to find multiple records that fit a certain filter or requirement. 

When descriptive data informs conversations, salespeople can better engage, assist, and communicate with customers and prospects. For example, if you’re contacting a company, you need to know their name and phone number to start the conversation. Beyond that, knowing their job title, industry, and company size helps you tailor solutions to their needs and build stronger relationships. 

Descriptive data includes:

  • Job title: Their role and responsibilities at the company.
  • Industry: The industry in which the company operates. 
  • Education level: You can also include where your contact went to school.
  • Geographical location: Where they’re located—this may be different from their mailing address. 
  • Organizational size: How many people work at the company.
  • Lead or deal stage: Where they are in your sales pipeline.
  • Family details: Marital and parental status.

Building strong relationships with your customers and leads is essential to sales. Descriptive data gives you a holistic view of who you’re communicating with so you can connect personally and professionally.

3. Qualitative data

Qualitative data encompasses things that numbers cannot measure, including behaviors, feelings, and motivations. Because qualitative data is subjective, it isn’t easily found online during research. Instead, it requires more hands-on research methods like one-on-one conversations with customers and leads, surveys, and more. 

People sometimes conflate descriptive and qualitative data, but they’re intrinsically different. Descriptive data describes what a customer record “is,” while qualitative data describes what the customer “thinks” or “feels” toward a product or service.

For example, if you sell customer service software to a company, its industry and geographical location represent what the customer record “is.” The company’s desire to find a software solution that takes care of customer service and HR in one place is what the customer “feels.”   

This information can help you plan and optimize your selling to specific customers or leads.

Qualitative data includes:

  • A customer is satisfied with a recent purchase or interaction with your business.
  • Account activity information, such as a lead contacting you about pricing or an existing customer reaching out for information about additional products.
  • The reasons why a customer chose to purchase from your business.

You gather qualitative data from direct customer feedback and surveys sent to sales leads and customers, activity tracking, and conversations you have with customers. 

4. Quantitative data

Quantitative data measures behaviors or feelings by looking at numerical data points. By analyzing how often a customer clicks on an email message, you can begin to understand how that customer behaves, thinks, or feels.

Because quantitative data points are entirely numeric metrics, they’re most often used for reporting and analytics purposes. Sales teams can use quantitative data to evaluate the effectiveness of their campaigns, how individual reps are performing, and identify blockers in their sales process. 

Quantitative data includes:

  • The number of times a customer clicks an email message. 
  • The number of times a customer visits your website.
  • The potential revenue size of a current deal.
  • The total service tickets filed by a customer.
  • A customer’s purchase history.
  • The number of times a customer engages with your business on social media. 

Quantitative data includes measurable information that can give you more insight into how your customers and leads interact with your business.  

Why your sales reps should be collecting CRM data

Collecting, organizing, and analyzing customer data are all a part of developing a successful business. When sales teams can easily access customer data in one central location, like a CRM, they can create personal relationships with customers, ultimately increasing revenue, customer retention, and productivity. 

Let’s explore the five benefits of collecting and analyzing CRM data. 

1. Keep your sales team organized

A CRM is the perfect place to organize your customer data. Instead of managing countless filing cabinets full of information, data is stored in a single location that all your team members can access. With just a few clicks, sales reps have a full view of customer interactions, information, and data in one easy-to-navigate place. 

2. Improve customer satisfaction

When you have a CRM system full of data on your customers, you can give each customer an enhanced customer experience. Your CRM data gives you a complete picture of your customers—their unique needs, their relationships with your team members, and how your products or services have helped them in the past.

This information allows you to create personalized experiences for every customer or new lead. And you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of a customized experience: 71% of customers expect a personalized experience, and an additional 76% are left frustrated when they don’t receive one. Offering customers a customized experience is an essential element of improving customer satisfaction. CRM data can help your team members do just that. 

3. Increase customer retention

When you have a holistic view of your customer data, you can engage with your customers more intelligently and deliver communications more likely to resonate with them. By tracking interactions and monitoring the health of your relationships, you’ll be able to craft a customer journey that builds a loyal customer base of people who are ready to work with you repeatedly.

4. Improve forecasting accuracy

Adding customer data to your CRM gives you an in-depth understanding of your past sales cycle, which can help you predict the outcome of your current cycle. When you can assess and analyze data surrounding your past success, like sales velocity and conversion rate, it’s much easier to forecast the success of your current sales funnel. 

5. Close deals quickly and efficiently

With the right CRM tools, you can use the data your team gathers to close deals quickly and efficiently, ultimately leading to increased profitability. Understanding your CRM data can give you the insights to approach key stakeholders and decision-makers with the right offers. Because CRM data increases customer retention, you’ll also save time by closing more sales by cross-selling and upselling to your existing customers versus onboarding new customers. 

How to use your CRM data

Your CRM data is more than just a bunch of datasets—it holds abundant information that can drive growth and increase revenue. To get the most out of your CRM data, you need to learn how to use the data to help you make better sales and marketing decisions. 

Here are some ways to use your CRM data to improve your sales process.

  • Personalize communication: Personalizing your communications with customers and prospects can boost engagement and conversion rates. Accessing qualitative, quantitative, and descriptive data can help you learn more about your customers to tailor your communications.
  • Improve collaboration: While we’ve mainly focused on sales teams, customer service, and marketing teams can also benefit from CRM data. When your entire organization can access the same data in one central location, you can enhance collaboration and reduce crossed wires.
  • Lead scoring: Most CRMs come with scoring capabilities, which help you assess and rank current and potential customers based on your data. This allows you to focus your efforts on leads with a high potential for conversion.
  • Relationship mapping: Use your CRM data to create a relationship map that shows connections between your organization and an existing or prospective customer’s business. These maps can help you quickly identify who on your team can conduct a warm introduction with key stakeholders at your customer accounts.
  • Understand your sales pipeline: Get a clear picture of where your customers are in your sales pipeline and understand the relative strength of your pipeline using your CRM data.
  • Improve productivity: With a central location housing all your customer data, team members can easily access the information they need without spending hours looking for it. With the right integrations, your CRM can sync with your email and calendar to save you time on manual data entry, while also increasing your CRM adoption and overall efficiency and sales productivity.

4 tips to keep your CRM data clean 

Your CRM data needs to be clean to effect change in your organization. That means it needs to be accurate and up-to-date. If your data is “dirty”—inaccurate, incomplete, or out-of-date—it can significantly impact your business. From lost revenue to decreased productivity, dirty data works against your business.

Follow these four tips to help keep your CRM data clean

1. Use automation to streamline data entry

Thanks to the rise of artificial intelligence and automation, you can get more out of your CRM while doing less. Integrations, sync your email and calendar data directly with your CRM, saving you time and reducing the risk of introducing errors to your data.

With Affinity for Salesforce, sales teams can automate creating, updating, and enriching customer records using inbox and calendar activity. Automatic activity capture saves each user 200 hours of manual CRM work every year.


2. Adhere to a set update/auditing schedule 

While it’s essential to have all team members updating CRM records in real time, it’s equally important to set an auditing schedule to ensure your data is being recorded properly. An audit allows you to analyze how your CRM is used in your business. It’s also a chance to evaluate your CRM strategy and make updates as needed. 

3. Enrich your data

Data enrichment is improving data with additional relevant information to make it more valuable for your business. When you invest in data enrichment, you give your sales reps their best chance of closing deals thanks to a complete dataset. 

For example, you can bring relationship intelligence to the forefront with Affinity for Salesforce. When you use Affinity for Salesforce, you receive relationship insights that help your team identify warm introductions and close deals faster

4. Train your team 

You’re more likely to have clean data when every team member knows how to use the CRM effectively. Ensure you’ve set up standardized fields and trained all team members to use your CRM. Hold regular training sessions to ensure every member of your organization stays up-to-date on how the CRM works. 

Get the most from your CRM data

Affinity for Salesforce empowers your team to navigate the sales landscape confidently by providing real-time relationship intelligence about the entire company’s network.

Ready to close deals faster with up-to-date, error-free CRM data? Try Affinity for Salesforce.


CRM data FAQs

What is a CRM system?

A customer relationship management (CRM) system helps businesses manage customer data. It is a central location for companies to store, organize, and analyze customer data. It also serves as a way to track and manage all customer interactions and nurture customer relationships. 

What is the best cloud-based CRM software?

There are many cloud-based CRM software that are popular with customers. Some of the best CRM software solutions include:

  • Affinity: Affinity brings together relationship intelligence, deal sourcing, deal flow management, and analytics that integrate directly with how you work.
  • Salesforce: Salesforce is a centralized platform for managing customer accounts, sales leads, activities, customer support cases, and more. Use the Affinity for Salesforce integration to gain valuable relationship insights, automate sales activity tracking, and enrich your data to get more out of your Salesforce CRM. 
  • Hubspot: Designed to scale your business, Hubspot has marketing, sales, customer service, operations, and content management features.

How can you get the most out of your CRM data?

You can get the most out of your CRM data by ensuring your data is clean, spending time analyzing your data, and using CRM tools that enhance your data. Affinity for Salesforce gives your sales team everything they need to get the most out of their Salesforce data. Use your network and automated relationship insights to find, manage, and close more high-quality deals everywhere you work with the help of Affinity for Salesforce.


posted in
share this

Interested in learning more?

Reach out to us and get a personalized demo

Talk to Sales