Confessions of a Credit Risk Manager
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Sales and Marketing teams can win by working smarter, not harder

In an era when data is driving your business decisions, it’s more important than ever to reach the right target. The cost of a missed connection can be costly for your business and in many cases, it’s simply down to incorrect or out of date information. The answer is not to work harder, but to work smarter, by tackling potential barriers at the point at which you build your prospect list. 

Sales teams are busy converting the leads provided by marketing, but marketers are also busy people, and many lack the time to efficiently maintain customer databases on a regular basis. This ultimately results in missed opportunities and increased costs.

Some estimates show that the cost of ensuring the data is correct at the time of entry is around 71 pence ($1) per record, this increases to around £7 ($10) to correct at a later stage if found to be out of date; and if left unmaintained and ignored, each incorrect record could be costing your business as much as £71 ($100).

The problem is widespread: IBM research has found that the detrimental effect of bad data on the US economy is around $3 trillion dollars per year, resulting from incorrect data, outofdate information or marketing spend wasted by inefficient or inappropriate targeting.

Quality leads founded on solid data

Your sales team are busy chasing down demanding targets, but how do they know whether a prospect is actually a worthwhile opportunity or not? It’s important for the sales team to have confidence in the data held on prospects, in the knowledge that they are reliable leads with a good potential for conversion.

If you use bad data for your market segmentation, the chances are that your business’ sales and marketing efforts will miss their target, but in the worst-case scenario, your business is risking alienating potential future clients, simply by communicating the wrong information with them, or at the wrong time.

“In the worst-case scenario, your business is risking alienating future clients”

Save time with pre-qualification

In many cases, when looking at customer acceptance, it is the job of the credit manager to assess whether the organisation should do business with a new prospect or not, based on a company’s past payment behaviour and financial health to its chances of surviving in the medium to long term.

If the sales team brings in a customer who ultimately turns out not to be creditworthy, this means at a later stage, the sales team are told that, based on a thorough screening and assessment, the organisation cannot do business with the prospect, generally, unless the terms of business are changed. To avoid this happening, and reduce the potential for wasted time for both the sales team and the credit manager, there is huge value in involving sales earlier in the customer acceptance process. Why not build this into the process when creating the original prospect list? The Graydon Market Information solution allows you to do exactly that, by filtering the level of credit risk posed by a prospect.

“There is huge value in involving sales earlier in the customer acceptance process. Why not build this into the process when creating the original prospect list?”

Keeping your records clean and tidy

Staying on top of your database is key to succeeding when it comes to all aspects of digital marketing and sales. According to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, if you allow your database to degrade without clean up or enrichment, much of it will be out-of-date and useless to your sales and marketing teams within three years. It’s vital to keep customer information up to date. Failure to do so could result, not only in wasted time and money in financing the marketing efforts towards these inappropriate leads, but also potential embarrassment if contact is made with the prospect customer, but the information you hold on the lead/prospect is incorrect, making your business look unprofessional.


Working smarter, not harder

The whole business benefits from increased intelligence and awareness – if marketing teams are providing leads from established and reliable sources of data, this provides increased confidence in the quality of leads that sales are following up on. This has a holistic positive benefit right across the organisation, particularly if these leads are pre-qualified in terms of credit risk and likelihood of payment. This would ensure a smooth approval from the credit manager, and therefore the organisations’ efforts are focussed on the best possible and creditworthy leads. This undoubtedly has a hugely positive impact on the bottom line of the business.

For more information on how we can help you collect information on the right leads, manage and enrich your customer information databases, contact us.

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