Less Than 20% of the SMB Records in Your CRM Can Be Used for Personalized Marketing & Sales

A fresh analysis by BuzzBoard, using state-of-the art tools to measure data quality reveals that less than 20% of the SMB records in the CRMs of major B2SMB vendors is usable for marketing and sales initiatives personalized to individual SMBs. This startling discovery by BuzzBoard is based on an in-depth analysis of over one million SMB records from the CRMs of leading vendors to SMBs – major, well-known companies. What we found was disturbing:

  • Only 28% included domains (URLs). In other words, domains were missing for a full 72% of the SMBs.
    • 4.5% of the total pool of one million plus records contained a mismatch between the company name and domain (URL).
    • For another 6%, the records were simply invalid (due to some other fatal flaw).

These sub-groups, totaling 10.5% of the total pool, mean that only 17.5% of SMB records included both a valid domain and correctly matching company name.


Notes: The analysis was performed in Q3 2018 on a pool of 1,077,180 SMB records in the CRMs of a number of leading B2SMB marketers. Numbers in this report are rounded.

In our experience, a B2SMB vendor needs to have both a valid domain and the correctly matching company name to do personalized marketing or sales messaging to that SMB. The domain (URL) is the key to drilling down into a rich array of data and information about an SMB: everything from brands carried to audience focus to technology infrastructure. You’d expect the SMB information in a vendor’s CRM to be reasonably robust and accurate. After all, CRM data is a core asset for vendors, used to drive marketing, sales and customer contact initiatives. Also, these SMBs already have a relationship with the vendor, typically including a prior purchase. The value of customized messaging in marketing and sales has been repeatedly demonstrated. But due to the poor quality of CRM data from leading B2SMB vendors shown above, even the best vendors can personalize less than 20% of their messaging to SMBs. These surprising shortcomings mean that marketing and sales efforts are, broadly speaking, significantly underperforming simply due to the poor quality of the data in the CRMs. This means that vendors are:

  1. Wasting time and money across the board in marketing and sales initiatives.
  2. Discouraging SMBs by sending out misdirected or erroneous messages (with wrong addresses, verticals, inaccurate assumptions about business needs, etc.).
  3. Missing huge opportunities to cross-sell or upsell additional products.
  4. Failing to spot potential attriters.
  5. Failing to generate “win backs”.

Why is the data so poor? We’ve found several key reasons for this huge and systemic problem:

  • Vendors simply haven’t collected full information on the SMB (even basic information like website or business category).
  • Vendors may have the necessary information, but it’s buried deep in silos within the vendor’s systems, and frustratingly hard to find and sync.
  • Vendors don’t update the data in their CRMs nearly often enough.
  • Some SMBs truly do not have websites (they may have a presence in social media which the vendor hasn’t synced to the SMB company record).

We’ll have much more to say about CRM data and the huge cost of poor data as this series of blog posts continues. * This blog is an excerpt from our recently published White Paper: Data and Insights – The New Foundation for Relationships with SMBs, a study on the rapidly evolving B2SMB space.

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