Half of enterprises cannot trust their CRM data for a single source of truth on customers

Independent research shows firms are lacking basic data management capabilities; CRM data is of limited use

Half of large enterprises worldwide (47%) feel they cannot rely on their CRM data to provide a single source of truth regarding customer data, according to the State of Enterprise CRM Data Management: 2021 study released in October.

Commissioned by Odaseva, the #1 enterprise data platform for Salesforce, the study reveals that high expectations for actionable insights from CRM data are rarely being met.

Although over eight out of 10 organizations (85%) say they are prioritizing data insights for business decision-making, roughly half that number (44%) are unable to perform advanced customer analytics with CRM data. A similar number (40%) are unable to use CRM data to drive improved personalization. Clearly, for too many companies, the hype about data-driven decision-making is not being matched by reality.

Surveying data architects working in the US, EMEA, and APAC, in enterprises with at least $300M in annual revenue, Forrester discovered that this inability to achieve real business benefit from CRM data is caused by two key challenges.

First, the majority of enterprises lack the basic foundations of data management. Seventy-eight percent say that gaps in their data management prevent them taking full advantage of their data, while two thirds (64%) find it challenging to actually move CRM data to platforms where it could be valuably used. Unsurprisingly, almost the same number (63%) report they struggle to link data to business outcomes, with no metrics to track data insights to actual results.

Second, struggles with data security requirements are reducing the value of CRM data. Over half of businesses with a federated data management structure (53%) say it’s their biggest limiting factor – often because a desire to reduce risk can suffocate useful projects. For many enterprises, there’s an even more basic problem: the majority (55%) say that determining the appropriate level of security and privacy for CRM data is a primary concern.

‘More than three-quarters of large enterprises admit that they’re lacking fundamentals in data management, and this is preventing them from unlocking the full value of their CRM data,” said Odaseva CEO & Founder Sovan Bin. ‘And yet, most enterprises – 64 per cent – expect that the number one benefit of CRM data is an improved customer experience. There’s a clear disconnect here – and it must be addressed by rethinking data strategies, so CRM data becomes useful and actionable.”

Sovan Bin continued, “It’s essential to actively increase data literacy in business and technical domains. Organizations must invest in data security and protection, while ensuring continuous value through data continuity.”

Forrester’s research underlines the importance of these steps. If they’re to transform CRM data into valuable, actionable insights, enterprises must do the following:

  • Invest in the skills to manage data more effectively – more than half (52%) currently report a lack of specialist data skills;
  • Focus on improved data continuity – over eight out of 10 businesses (82%) report that the impact of improved data continuity is either ‘critical’ or ‘very high’;
  • Finally, clear, effective data security must be the bedrock of CRM data management. The majority (51%) of enterprises are still challenged by the need to determine the impact of data protection regulations on their data. Investment in solutions that seamlessly provide appropriate protection is a must.