What data should you be collecting in your small business CRM?

Initial information

The data you store in your customer relationship management system (CRM) is crucial to the sales, marketing, customer experience and customer service aspects of your business. By analyzing this data, you can make more informed decisions on your product and service lines, business operations, and opportunities for company investment and branding.

Considering this, you want to make sure you’ve captured the most critical prospect and customer information in your small business CRM, like the person’s name and contact information. We like to refer to this data type as “initial information.” Just the basics, just the facts.

Identity data

To accurately identify your contacts and effectively reach out to them, you’ll need to capture identity data in your CRM for small businesses. When viewing or searching your stored CRM information as a whole, this is likely the information you’ll be seeking first.

Examples of identity data:

  • Name (first and last, ideally)
  • Email address
  • Telephone number
  • Physical mailing address
  • Known social media accounts

Descriptive data

Ideally, you want a little more professional or personal information on your customers and prospects. While this information can help provide a little more insight into the choices they’re likely to make, it still paints a very simple picture. However, these details are quite useful to employ as search filters for contacts of a specific type.

Examples of descriptive data include:

  • Job title and career information
  • Organization size
  • Sales process/customer journey stage

Progressive profiling

So where’s the small business CRM data that helps you shape automations, campaigns, content and sales scripts, you ask? Progressive profiling information is exactly what you’re looking for.

Prospect and customer interactions of any type are complex, relying on predictive information that gets to the attitudes, beliefs, preferences and triggers that can mean the difference between a sale or positive customer experience and a relationship that goes nowhere. Over time, this is the sort of information that will grow and change throughout the customer lifecycle.

Quantitative data

These are the relationship milestones and measurable data points you want to store in your CRM for small business — ones that show exactly how and when your contacts have interacted with you. Have they made a purchase? Downloaded some content? Attended a webinar? You’ll want to capture and analyze as much as you can when making decisions about future outreach efforts.

Examples of quantitative data include:

  • Visits to your website (frequency and time on specific pages)
  • Purchases made with average order value
  • Engagement with your social media accounts (likes, shares, etc.)
  • Specific product or service inquiries made
  • Content viewed or downloaded (lead magnets, blogs, white papers)

Qualitative data

Qualitative data refers to your prospect or customer’s state of mind and behaviours when buying from your small business. Attitudes, motivations, past choices and triggers are all a part of this type of profiling and are usually gathered through surveys, feedback and other direct interactions with your team.

Examples of qualitative data include:

  • Level of customer satisfaction (including referrals or reviews)
  • Reasons for making a purchase with you
  • Good feedback for your offerings or sales process (including reasons why)
  • Bad feedback for your offerings or sales process (including reasons why)
  • Comments or interactions on produced content, webinars or workshops

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