To find out where Salesforce users are succeeding and where they’re lagging behind, we surveyed 897 Salesforce users across the globe about their current goals and challenges, tactics, and what they expect from the future. The survey focused on various aspects of Salesforce (download the full report here), but here are five data quality stats that caught our eye:
1.) Almost half (43%) report that they are not pleased or have a neutral level of satisfaction with their Salesforce data quality.
We asked users to rank how happy they are with Salesforce in terms of: ease of use, gaining actionable insights, variety of data and information, rate and speed of data collection, analytical and reporting power, and quality of data.
Overall users gave high marks to all the categories, but the area with the most room for improvement is data quality.
When asked to rank their satisfaction with their data quality, respondents showed the highest levels of dissatisfaction towards data quality compared to any other category. Only about half of all respondents (57 percent) are satisfied with the quality of their data.
So while users tend to rank the functional aspects of operating a Salesforce org fairly highly, the usefulness and value of the data held in a Salesforce org gets much more mixed reviews.
2.) More than half (58%) believe that up to 80% of their Salesforce data is not useful or reliable.
When it comes to whether or not their datasets are reliable, the majority of Salesforce users say they are not. The largest number of respondents (58 percent) indicated that up to 80 percent of their data is not useful and reliable, meaning that less than a quarter (20 percent) of data is completely actionable and trustworthy. The view that data is unreliable is highest among marketing and sales professionals where only one a quarter of respondents (approximately 25 percent) say that 80 percent or more of their data is useful and trustworthy.
3.) One in three Salesforce users (38%) count duplicate records, errors, and outdated information as reasons why their data is unreliable.
Over a third (38 percent) attribute duplicate records, errors, and outdated information as the reasons why their dataset is unreliable. One respondent wrote, “Turnover in our industry is high. We can’t keep up with changing jobs of contacts and leads.” Another respondent blamed duplicate records specifically saying, “We catch duplicates coming into [Salesforce], but we’re not easily able to fix the ones already there.”
Having a dataset that is dispersed outside of Salesforce and lack of relevant information also play a part in why users have a hard time trusting their data.
4.) Over half of the respondents blame poor data quality and lack of data that provides key insights as the main reasons they lack a complete customer profile.
Learning as much as you can about your customers is a critical aspect of delivering excellent customer experiences.
When you have a complete 360-degree view of your customer base, you’re able to deliver more relevant and personalized messages to your target market. You can better predict your customers’ needs and preferences. You’ll lessen the risk of frustrating customers and damaging your organization’s reputation.
The key to obtaining a complete 360 degree view of prospects and customers is clean and relevant data.
Both marketers and salespersons say that without good data, gaining a full customer profile produces blind spots. Over half of the respondents blame poor data quality and lack of data collection that provides key insights as the main reasons for not having a complete picture. Data that is not integrated into one single system and is instead siloed across different platforms is the third most popular limitation, with lack of analytical skills and lack of reporting tools following behind.
5.) An overwhelming majority (85%) of Salesforce users say their biggest priority in the next 12 months will be to start improving or continue to improve data quality by deduping, organizing, and consolidating records.
Overall the main goal for the Salesforce users who responded to our survey is to work better, more effectively, and more efficiently with the data they already have, and then to build upon it with more data.
Beyond simply coming up with a data strategy, respondents report data cleansing will be one of their top priorities. Eighty-five percent say they currently (or plan to) make efforts to deduplicate, organize, and consolidate records.
Users also plan to gain a better understanding of their data, consolidate data, and increase the amount of data they have.
In general, this year’s survey demonstrates a widespread commitment on the part of users to the Salesforce platform, but that commitment carries with it some significant challenges.
In its most global sense, data quality appears to be the single greatest concern for Salesforce users. In multiple and various ways, respondents have expressed doubts about the usefulness and reliability of the data housed in their Salesforce orgs. Data sets are rife with duplication, incompleteness, and lacking in actionable data points.
Further complicating things is that a large portion of respondents note they are challenged with no single source of truth to their data, despite efforts to make the Salesforce CRM the source of record.
We also conclude from this survey that all of these problems, if left unattended, will likely grow increasingly worse. Nearly all of our respondents report they expect their datasets to grow by at least some degree, and that their reliance on available data for all business operations will grow stronger.
Based on analysis of these results, our strongest recommendation is for Salesforce admins, as well as users and executives who rely on Salesforce, to make a commitment to improving the quality of their data in all ways possible. This means that organization will need to prioritize data improvement objectives and to allocate the proper resources to make raising data quality levels actually happen.