CRM and The Big Impact of Small Data Jonathan Herrick When it comes to the importance of using data in marketing and sales, it’s a bit like the late, great Leonard Cohen might say: “everybody knows.” What is more debatable, though, is what types of data your organization should focus on collecting, analyzing and using to make a tangible impact. Many organizations have tapped into the rising trend of “Big Data.” Afterall, it helps to give you historical insights into your sales and marketing performance. But most smaller businesses don’t have the large marketing budgets, high volume of transactions, or the resources to take advantage of the information once they have it.“Small data” on the other hand is real time, actionable data which can prove to be much more useful and easily collected within your CRM. Together, small data and the use of CRM can completely change how you approach sales and marketing for your small business- here’s how:1: Get More PersonalSmall data has a number of strengths over it’s “Big” brother counterpart. One of those key strengths is that the data is more personal, both in terms of the data that your small business CRM captures and your ability to adapt your sales and marketing efforts to the need of each and every buyer. For instance, CRM allows you to identify key segments of your targeted contact base and communicate to them in the most relevant way possible. So, if B2B buyers make different purchases than say eCommerce buyers, you can tailor your marketing campaigns to each group and drive more sales. It also gives you valuable insights into your prospect’s online behavior so you know the best channels to reach and engage with them. When you access small data within your CRM it can fuel a personalized experience at every stage of the customer lifecycle. From sending a website visitor content specific to their needs to automating email campaigns based on each segment of your customer base. It creates a centralized database of customer interaction and behavior to help your business stay personal with prospects and customers.2: Gain Real-Time InsightsUnlike big data which takes time and resources to compile the appropriate information, small data is instantly at your fingertips and allows you to make real-time decisions. Users essentially create rich data streams automatically with every click, online post, and call-to-action they respond to. All of this info, when collected and analyzed by a solid small business CRM, can help you understand the buying decisions that motivate different segments of your customers. This not only helps improve the process of lead generation and sales, but it can revolutionize how you market to those customers as well.Small data can also be used to make more accurate sales and marketing projections. By know what‘s working and what isn’t on the fly, you can adjust your budget and strategies to deliver optimal results. 3: Get More Immediate ROIOne of the fundamental truths of small business is that you constantly feel busy. This can make data collection and analysis seem like just one more task on top of a pile of unfinished work. To some degree, this is true of big data, as it must be “pulled” from various data sources and analyzed to deliver an effective ROI. Unlike big data, small data is simple, manageable, and delivers results much more quickly. In conjunction with a CRM, small data allows daily information about user behavior to be collected and “pushed” directly to your sales and marketing teams. It reduces the time spent on compiling unnecessary data as well as improving your business’s ability to respond to customers and prospects proactively. For example, simple data points such as a “contact score” within your CRM can let your sales team know who is a hot lead and who needs a bit more nurturing. With so many marketing channels available to promote your products and services, it can be a real challenge to know where to invest your marketing dollars. With the help of small data analytics you can narrow your focus to just those channels that are performing and shift resources away from those areas that have a slower ROI.Data-driven sales and marketing is the next big wave, and small data is at the heart of it. By leveraging small data within your CRM you get a complete view of your customer lifecycle and can deliver a more personal, tailored experience that will accelerate sales —making a big impact on your small business.