RESEARCH NOTE THE VALUE OF DATA QUALITY WITH SALESFORCE DATA.COM

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1 RESEARCH NOTE THE VALUE OF DATA QUALITY WITH SALESFORCE DATA.COM THE BOTTOM LINE Data quality continues to be one of the greatest challenges for successful CRM efforts. In looking at customers that had deployed Salesforce Data.com, Nucleus found they could take advantage of Salesforce.com s investment in combining data sources, crowdsourcing, and CRM integration to drive greater data accuracy, completeness, and timeliness. This resulted in increased pipeline growth, increased sales productivity, and reduced administrative overhead. Salesforce Data.com provides an online directory with more than 35 million business contacts for marketing, lead generation, and sales efforts that is maintained in the cloud and updated by millions of community members. Business contacts can be used on a standalone basis through Data.com Connect or they can be accessed along with Dun & Bradstreet company profiles (including D-U-N-S numbers, SIC and NAICS identifiers, and corporate linkages) through built-in prospecting and data cleansing tools inside Salesforce: Data.com Prospector lets sales reps and marketers target new accounts and find decision makers quickly by searching and adding new contacts and companies with one button click. Data.com Clean enables organizations to keep their Salesforce leads, contacts and accounts clean by updating and filling in missing information on demand or on a scheduled basis. Nucleus found Data.com increases data quality, enabling sales and marketing to improve results across the pipeline from direct marketing to lead qualification to account expansion efforts. Unlike traditional data sources or tools, four factors differentiate the Data.com approach: Community and process. Ongoing validation of the contacts by the actual users and partners, plus D&B s patented DUNSRight process for account data, keeps data more up to date. Technology. Advanced algorithms in the product provide continual and automated quality assessments, validation, and fraud detection, along with standardization and normalization of data. Nucleus Research Inc. 100 State Street Boston, MA Phone:

2 Data stewards and analysts. Salesforce.com data stewards work to identify patterns in data groups to improve individual sets. On an ongoing basis, Salesforce.com engineers analyze the data, incorporate community feedback and implement automated data quality assessment and correction technologies and workflows to improve overall data quality. Architecture. Because Data.com is built natively within Salesforce, users can rapidly execute on marketing or sales plans based on the data without the typical data preparation efforts such as uploading spreadsheets and managing deduplication. WHY DATA.COM Nucleus found that companies often adopted Data.com because they had three other main challenges with traditional data sources and applications such as InsideView, OneSource, Hoovers, and Dun&Bradstreet: lack of accurate, complete, and current data within their CRM application. INCREASED DATA ACCURACY Data.com customers found it delivered more correct information than other data sources, particularly for information such as addresses. Although it varied somewhat by the vertical and profile sought, customers found the accuracy of contact information was typically 60 percent better than other sources they had used. Customers said: Every piece of data that I pull I get a match on. Occasionally I get misses where there s a company I assume is in Data.com but it s not, or a suite number or something like that is missing, but that s rare. We use Data.com for overall data quality. Employees are required to look for Data.com status or condition when they enter a lead, and they re responsible for making sure that if the system tells them it s a mismatch, they do what they can to make sure it s clean. Customers moving from another traditional data provider found Data.com was typically 60 percent more accurate than other sources. MORE UP-TO-DATE DATA One of the biggest challenges customers cited with traditional data sources and tools was that they were often out of date by the time they were delivered. Nucleus found the fact that both actual users in the crowdsourced community and Salesforce.com data stewards are validating data on an ongoing basis meant it was more up to date: The ability to clean the data quickly and compare what we have to what s in Data.com every month is huge. The traditional way of dealing with data integrity problems was to pay someone to clean it or buy data and insert it, but it s only clean for a short period of time. Data.com [and data in CRM] is continuously updated. Page 2

3 Data.com also gives users a better understanding of the likelihood of a particular record being up to date, because users can see when it was last updated or validated. INCREASED COMPLETENESS OF DATA The combination of D&B company profile data fields for accounts and ongoing contact details added by the crowdsource community of Data.com Connect users made Data.com a more complete source of data for users, both in terms of the amount of information (such as company revenues) about a company and the number of contacts for any given firm. This was particularly valuable for companies with targeted sales efforts and those looking to expand within existing accounts: We use it on the sales side to generate business by directly calling on specific NAICS codes. We ve tried everything else and it s the best we ve seen. It s the most accurate in terms of contact, NAICS codes, and everything else. If you look at their peers, or niche players, they have people that validate the data... Data.com has [millions]. We ve found this typically gives us 10 times the number of contacts for large companies, and two times the number for smaller ones. KEY BENEFITS Nucleus found Data.com customers experience increased pipeline growth, increased visibility, increased sales productivity, and reduced administrative overhead by taking advantage of Data.com s integrated crowdsourced approach to real-time data cleansing and ongoing CRM data quality. INCREASED PIPELINE GROWTH Data.com users were able to accelerate the qualification and marketing outreach to new leads and provide sales with more opportunities within existing accounts, driving increased pipelines from the beginning to the close of the sales funnel. Customers said: It s given us a 100 percent increase in marketing qualified opportunities. We ve increased our average rate of form conversion from 1.4 percent to 2 percent. The amount of potential increase in pipeline companies can expect from Data.com will depend on a number of different factors, including type of sale and current sales penetration. Nucleus found it was not uncommon for companies to increase the overall number of qualified opportunities by more than 100 percent. INCREASED VISIBILITY Data.com is built natively within Salesforce.com, so the records can be analyzed as part of the core CRM database. Nucleus found this enabled companies to gain greater visibility into potential opportunities in both new and existing accounts to have a better understanding of untapped revenue opportunities, potential influencers, and overall sales strategy: Page 3

4 It s the holy grail of integration points. It has been a true godsend to how we manage, clean, and surface data. With the exception of transactional databases, your CRM environment is never clean. Data.com changed the fabric by which data is managed, and it s proven to be a tremendous asset. Sometimes we might meet the person who is a gateway for us the influencer but sometimes they don t have the power that they claim to have had. We ll lose touch with those people and we never find access to power. Now when we meet someone at an event, we can use Data.com to do some recon and find out who the CFO is, and use it to leverage our way up to the top. Greater visibility and more complete data also enabled many Data.com users to reduce their investment in outside data sources and services, because they achieved the same or a better level of insight from Data.com. INCREASED SALES PRODUCTIVITY Nucleus found Data.com was able to increase the productivity of sales teams, both by providing sales with more qualified leads and by enabling them to rapidly access the information they needed to engage with contacts. Customers said: It s increased our productivity by a multiple of 100. We bought a few thousand dollars worth of leads and in 10 weeks we generated more than $180,000 worth of business. Data.com is the top contributor to closed-won business in over 50 percent of our deals. REDUCED ADMINISTRATIVE OVERHEAD Reduced administrative overhead was a common benefit cited by all Data.com users. This was often achieved by reducing or avoiding manual de-duplication and data quality efforts and taking advantage of CRM integration to automate more lead generation and qualification activities: Before, it took us three months to clean up and get all the needed detail on 10,000 leads. With the integrated approach with Data.com, we did it in 10 minutes. The data cleansing that we would have assigned to interns or lower-level staff can be done at the click of a button. We ve cut the target list development effort down by at least a third, and the spend is nominal compared to what I was paying admin staff to do it. In many cases, Nucleus found that customers could often justify their investment in Data.com on administrative cost savings alone. CONCLUSION Data quality is one of the biggest challenges for any CRM user, be they in marketing or sales. On the marketing side, bad or out-of-date data results in wasted outbound marketing efforts, bounces, and lost productivity. For sales, bad data means missed Page 4

5 opportunities and longer time to close. Traditionally, most companies have employed outside data services firms, lists, and administrative staff to generate leads and update CRM data but the data is only up to date on the day it is entered. With Data.com, a combination of processes, technology, people, and architecture provides a unique approach that measurably improves CRM data quality. The crowdsourcing approach, when applied to business users that have a vested interest in improving the quality of data, coupled with Salesforce.com s investments in D&B data integration and data quality tools and engineers, make the data more accurate and complete. Integration with CRM drives both ongoing data timeliness and increased productivity for sales and marketing teams. Nucleus found customers could achieve payback from their Data.com investment in months, often weeks, based on both top-line profit increases and reduced administrative costs. Page 5

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