Introduction

Your CRM (customer relationship management) software might just be the most valuable component of your IT environment. By storing data about all of your interactions with existing customers and potential customers—from the first point of contact to the last purchase—CRM software makes it dramatically easier for your sales reps and marketing teams to do their jobs.

Salesforce is the world's most popular CRM software, with nearly 20 percent market share. Yet while Salesforce is full of CRM features and functionality, many organizations don't know all that it can do.

Are you using Salesforce to its fullest potential? In this article, we'll discuss one of the most valuable data management activities you can do for your sales teams and marketing campaigns: Salesforce data enrichment.

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Table of Contents

What is Data Enrichment?

Data enrichment is the process of "enriching" information in your existing data sources or datasets, by enhancing them with additional relevant information. The data enrichment process is especially valuable for company data and customer data, which may not be complete in your records.

For example, you may have a lead who recently entered their business email address into your website. You'd really like to get more information about this lead for your outbound marketing campaigns. There's just one problem: you don't have any other contact data besides the email address.

With data enrichment, you can solve this issue. You can fill out incomplete records and correct out-of-date information. For individual contacts, the information that you might add during data enrichment includes a contact's name, mailing address, email address, and phone number.

You can also append "firmographic" information to company data. Firmographic data is to companies as demographic data is to people; it may include the company's size, industry, structure, geographic location, revenue, and more.

There are three main ways of performing data enrichment:

  • Direct: Customers and companies may directly choose to provide more information about themselves (e.g. by responding to a survey).
  • Internal: You can combine data about the same customer or company located in several internal databases into a single record.
  • External: You can use a third-party data enrichment service that has access to external records.

Data enrichment is closely related to data cleansing. Cleansing is the act of fixing errors in a dataset such as inaccurate, out-of-date, and duplicate information. However, data enrichment focuses on adding more data, while data cleansing focuses on the repair and validation of existing data.

Related Reading: Data Cleansing vs. Data Enriching: What's the Difference?

Why is Data Enrichment So Important?

According to a 2019 survey by Experian, 95 percent of organizations suffer from poor data quality. Data quality issues are especially problematic for CRMs. An estimated 30 percent of CRM data "decays" each year for reasons such as employee turnover, office moves, and business mergers, among others.

In the face of these challenges, data enrichment is more important than ever. By collecting as much information as possible about your leads and customers, it becomes much easier for sales and marketing teams to do their work. Enrichment vastly improves prospecting and outreach, development of good pricing strategies, retention of existing customers, and more. In particular, data enrichment helps you do customer or business segmentation (depending on whether you're a B2C or B2B business) so that you can identify the most promising leads and targets for a campaign or strategy.

There's just one problem. With all this information constantly in flux, how can you perform data enrichment at scale? For anything but the smallest use cases—in which case manual data entry might do in a pinch—you'll need to set up a data enrichment automation workflow. In the next section, we'll go over some ways to perform automated data enrichment for your Salesforce CRM.

Related Reading: How Do I Enrich My Data: Data Management and ETL

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How Does Data Enrichment Work in Salesforce?

How can you enrich your Salesforce data? Good news: It's fairly straightforward thanks to the Salesforce AppExchange, which provides third-party plugins and software for extending the functionality of Salesforce.

There are a number of third-party data providers that can help add to your Salesforce records through a data enrichment API (application programming interface). Below are three SaaS (software as a service) data enrichment tools for CRM data in Salesforce.

1. Clearbit

Clearbit calls itself "the marketing data engine for all of your customer interactions." The Clearbit software offers real-time lookups of "fresh" data about your customers and prospects.

As of writing, the Clearbit data enrichment plugin for Salesforce has an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars, based on 36 user reviews. According to Salesforce AppExchange, prices start at $18,000 per company per year. Clearbit user John Salomon, in his AppExchange review posted in 2018, says that the tool "has been a step above all our other data enrichment tools we've used in the past. It provides us with accurate and fresh data for our accounts, contacts, and leads."

2. ZoomInfo

ZoomInfo is a B2B data enrichment tool that offers 360-degree intelligence about businesspeople and companies. The company claims to offer "the world's most comprehensive business database," and has been ranked by G2 as a top performer in more than 20 categories of marketing intelligence solutions.

The ZoomInfo data enrichment tool for Salesforce currently has an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars, based on 272 user reviews. According to Salesforce AppExchange, prices start at $14,995 per company per year. User Victoria Pawlus, in a review posted in 2020, said that "ZoomInfo on Salesforce is the BEST tool for those in sales. I don't know how you could do your job without it."

3. Crunchbase

Crunchbase is a platform for discovering information about businesses, particularly in the tech industry. Crunchbase offers information about company activities, leadership, funding, investments, and more.

As of writing, the Crunchbase plugin for Salesforce data enrichment has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, based on 10 user reviews. The plugin is free to use but requires a Crunchbase Enterprise subscription. User Emily L., in a review posted in 2017, says that Crunchbase is "a great tool for data enrichment and sales prospecting... Having Crunchbase data directly within SFDC records saves a lot of time and helps me keep up-to-date with funding rounds, recent news, etc. That gives me an advantage, especially in the fast-moving tech space."

How Can Xplenty Help with Salesforce Data Enrichment?

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Clearbit, ZoomInfo, and Crunchbase are just three solutions to help you perform external Salesforce data enrichment—but what about enriching your CRM data with information from internal databases? By enriching your Salesforce data with information from internal databases, such as ERP software and fulfillment systems, you can gain an even clearer picture of your customers.

Xplenty is here to help. The Xplenty platform is a powerful, feature-rich solution for ETL and data integration, with a simple drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy to build pipelines to your enterprise data warehouse in the cloud. Xplenty is the perfect choice for internal data enrichment: Xplenty pricing is based on the number of connectors, not the volume of data. This means that you can continue to perform internal data enrichment at no additional cost, even as your company scales, as long as you use the same connectors.

Related Reading: Why You Should ETL Your Salesforce Data

Ready to learn how Xplenty can help with Salesforce data enrichment? Get in touch with our team of data integration experts today for a chat about your business needs and objectives, or to start your 7-day pilot of the Xplenty platform.