Data on companies and contacts
CRM is all about keeping track of your customers and the information that is relevant for them. So, of course, there are customers in the system.
We'll just add that it is often just as important to have information about your prospects (those who have not bought yet), your competitors, your suppliers, your partners, influencers, ..
Yes the list is long and it ends up in that virtually all companies can affect your ability to sell effectively.
Many start by simply typing data for customers and prospects. There is nothing wrong and it ensures that all data is relevant. It can also prove a useful exercise to have to consider what information to have about your customers. When we - as consultants - helps other companies to get started with CRM, it is often a surprise how flawed and erroneous data on customers are. In Outlook, in spreadsheets, in the old accounting system, etc.
Another option is to purchase business data from one of the many suppliers. In Denmark, among others Navne&Numre Markedsdata, KRAK, Kompass, D & B, Newbizz. But many other possibilities exist. Especially here in Denmark we are fortunate because the Central Business Register publishes its data free.
We are not here to decide who is to be preferred. We will just emphasize that it is best to stick to the same supplier over a long time. Information vendors stores information using unique keys, and it contributes to the great advantage: When you buy updated data, you are assured that it is the right data in your CRM system that is being updated. In the past, you could use the phone number to uniquely identify a company. This is no so anymore as most companies have many numbers - and they often change. VAT numbers is not sufficient in itself either. Eg. a company with multiple locations can easily operate with a single VAT number for all locations. The combination CVR number and production number is in turn sufficiently unique for most - and both numbers will automatically be included when you select import from the CVR.
The last option is to import the data from your existing accounting system. Just beware that all your efforts isn't focused on existing customers. Most businesses will go its down, if not working at getting new customers too.
If you have time, energy and money, the "luxury model" is to buy data from a recognized data provider. Most easily from Names & Numbers Market Data. Next, import all the companies that you already have in your systems - eg. debtors in the accounting system. The you map all these companies up to your data provider and when this is done, import all the other companies that could possibly be of interest. If you have made sure to get the customer numbers from the bookkeeping system, you will even later use this to show purchase history in CRM system.
Data for different purposes
Mange dataformer kan med et Navne & Numre Markedsdata abonnement ajourføres automatisk, så her er valget let. Ellers skal du sikre dig at du som minimum har ressourcer til at ajourføre data hver 6. måned.
Speaking of data, it may be beneficial to have an idea of what data you need. It's usually not a good tactic to "get all data about everything" because you thereby get two disadvantages:
•It becomes more difficult to update the data.
•Transparency can be lost if there is too much information.
On the other hand, there must be enough information for you to act professionally in front of the customer and for you to select campaign targets in a way that ensures the efficiency of your sales and marketing efforts.
Address- og and segments
Address Information entails company name, company address, phone, fax, website and so on. These data can usually be bought from a data supplier and in practice takes up very little space. It is safe to take as many companies at this level that in reality you will never need to create a company itself.
It is best - here in Denmark - if these data also include VAT number and production number.
Industry Codes (NACE)
Industry codes follow a standard called NACE. This standard is a little more detailled in Denmark compared to most other countries.
A NACE code could as an example be: "182200 Manufacture of outerwear, dresses, pants, etc."
For a given company there can be a number of such NACE codes listed, one of which may be provided as the primary.
NACE codes are good to identify targets for campaigns, you have to be careful though not to use them too naive. First, not all companies have been equally conscientious as they originally stated the NACE codes for themselves. Second there are companies where they have switched trades. And last but not least: NACE segments may not reflect the segmentation that would best correspond to your products and services.
Eg. the code "Agents involved in mixed assortment" could cover quite a lot.
Therefore, use NACE codes in conjunction with other criteria.
The most basic finace data can be revenue and number of employees. These figures can be obtained from almost any data provider. The step above this, economic key performance indicators - perhaps from several consecutive years.
As an example Navne&Numre Markedsdata subscription will give you access to 27 financial indicators for each of the past five fiscal years.
ChannelCRM is a Business to Business (B2B) system. This means that you generally do not use it for sale to consumers.
Yet it is a fact that "people buy from people." Therefore you will need to register data on the contacts you have with your customer and you will need to deal with them individually.
In ChannelCRM contacts are automatically linked to the company in which they are employed. They can also occur in an organizational context, so you can see who's boss for whom and so you can draw an organizational chart.
On most entities in ChannelCRM (Company, Contact, Project, Activity, ...) you may add notes. Especially for activities this is relevant because this is where you write what the activity was about.
If it's a voice call, you can take a record. If it is a scheduled meeting, you can write the meeting agenda. And if it's a letter you can write the summary of the letter's content.
At contacts can write a description of the person: How you got to know the person, what the person responds to or something else.
In the project it is useful to write what the project is all about.
Do not fall into the habit of writing notes on the contact every time you talk to him. That's what you have activities for and activities provide much better track of history.
Another area where the notes fits well is the transition from an old CRM system to ChannelCRM. In some cases, the old data so unstructured that it is not practical to put them into new structures - such as activities.
Instead you can then import customer history into notes at the company level.
Notes is limited to about 4,000 characters.