Whether you’re a sales executive, a marketer, or a member of an executive team, you’ve started noticing your numbers falling off. You’re marketing and sales budgets are going up, and you’re not seeing the ROI you expected when it comes to customer acquisition and retention. Does that sound about right? Have you started wondering just exactly what your CRM costs you?

So what do you do? If you’re like me, you blame the ever-changing algorithms and their impacts on SEO, you blame how intelligent the consumer has become, you blame market saturation and competitors, and then, worst of all, you start blaming yourself, your team. But really, it’s not their fault and it’s not yours.


So Whose Fault Is It ?

If you have to blame someone, blame the technological revolution (but really, don’t.) With the rise of technology, tech-based startups, and a more agile, ambitious workforce, the very nature of employment (and, with it, the nature of employee contact information) has changed. According to our research, people now change jobs once every 3 years.


“And What Does This Have To Do With Our CRM,”

You’re probably asking yourself. The above number means that, all that contact information that you have—millions of client- and prospective-emails, phone numbers, etc.—are going out of date at a rate of about 30% per year. Let me put it another way: in a little over 3 years, all of information in your CRM will be incorrect.

And the ramifications of this are huge. Without accurate contact data, you:

  • Waste up to 5% of your annual marketing budget
  • Lose approximately $10,500 per sales rep

These two numbers alone are shocking enough to motivate the average businessperson to begin addressing the problem, but, for many, they don’t know where to start. “We’ll buy new contact lists” they say to themselves, “we’ll try to more aggressively capture user information with landing pages and killer content,” but these approaches do little to account for veritable contact-exodus occurring in your CRM.

This “contact problem” has to be addressed strategically, and in order to develop a strategy, you really have to understand the root causes of contact decay.


Contact Data Loss, Defined

Contact data is typically lost in two ways: through contact decay and contact leakage.

Contact decay occurs over time, as contacts change jobs, email addresses, and phone numbers. As lives change, so too does the information surrounding those lives, and capturing that information requires a solution that works at the speed of change. Yes, theoretically you could keep on top of this change if you required reps to keep super-active communications going with all of your clients at all times (or if you had a team of people searching the web constantly to try and piece together all of that contact info) but this idea really doesn’t scale, and any growing business will inevitably struggle to keep up.

Contact leakage occurs, on the other hand, in the hands of your team members. Whenever a prospect’s email address isn’t captured during contact, that’s leakage. Whenever a stack of business cards goes un-entered in the CRM, leakage. In fact, upwards of 91% of contacts that salespeople encounter goes unrecorded, undocumented and, considering that these contacts have been recently made, they’re costing you the most steady source of reliable, up-to-date contact information that you have!

Considered together, the sheer scale at which you’re losing data is mind-boggling, especially if you look at the effects they’re having on your revenues.


Effects of Contact Data Loss at the Current Rate

I’m going to hit you with some numbers now, because sometimes numbers say it all. The current “Contact Problem” that you’re experiencing in and around your CRM is currently costing you:

  • $490 to set 1 appointment, though if your data were accurate, it’d only cost $320 (Ovation Group)
  • $8 every time a sales rep calls a wrong number (Marketing Playbook)
  • 6 hours per sales exec per week spent on LinkedIn prospecting due to data mistrust (Jill Konrath)
  • $19,000, on average, wasted annually on marketing automation software (CEB)

Which boils down to, as I said above, about 5% of your marketing budget and roughly $10,500 per sales rep.



This is big money being lost every year at the hands of the contact problem. Between contact decay and leakages, huge portions of your budget are being wasted and yielding fewer results than they have in the past.

Rather than trying to haphazardly plug these holes one at a time (and risk further decay or breach), it might be worth your while to look into the CircleBack Solution. CircleBack, for both consumers and businesses, utilizes artificial intelligence to prevent contact decay, keeping your current contacts always accurate and up-to-date, while offering world-class data-leakage solutions like business-card and email-signature-scanning. Whether you do or don’t, the next time you see big drops in revenue like those discussed above, call the problem what it really is: a contact problem.

Have any contact horror stories?