As renowned philosopher Kim Kardashian recently said, “It seems like nobody wants to work these days.”
Could Kim be right?
The past few years have been…unprecedented. (Sorry, I had to say it.) We’ve faced a global pandemic, a war, and some really, really high gas prices.
These shifts have massive impacts on where and how people work.
As we encounter new curveballs like inflation, layoffs, and possible recessions, it’s clear the workforce is undergoing a major evolution.
This in turn has ripple effects on your customer relationship management (CRM) system.
Let’s explore some emerging workforce trends that impact your CRM—and in many cases, make it harder to manage.
It seems like just yesterday that the Great Resignation dominated headlines—a period in which workers said a big fat no thank you to corporate life and quit their jobs en masse. (At the Great Resignation’s peak, 4.5 million workers quit their jobs in November 2021 alone.)
This presented obvious challenges for hiring managers—and let job hunters enjoy a nice break from getting ghosted by recruiters.
But now, the pendulum seems to be swinging in the other direction.
A wave of layoffs and hiring freezes is sweeping the United States, fueled in part by fears of a looming recession. For now, these layoffs seem confined to the tech industry. But experts suggest more widespread layoffs may follow in the months to come.
How will this impact your CRM data?
In short, it’ll decay at a faster rate. When people change jobs or transition into new roles, contacts’ phone numbers, work emails, job titles, and company names change too, rendering some of your data useless.
To stay ahead of the game, implement a solid plan for data quality monitoring now, so your sales team doesn’t waste time reaching out to stale contacts.
2. Remote work
Okay, so remote work isn’t exactly a new trend. Plenty of corporate workers haven’t seen the inside of an office building since March 2020.
But are cubicles, watercoolers, and awkward elevator small talk going the way of the dinosaur?
As time passes, hybrid and remote work models seem less like a temporary reaction to COVID-19 and more like a permanent fixture of the modern workforce. According to projections, 25 percent of all corporate jobs will be remote by the end of 2022—and these figures are expected to increase in 2023.
What’s the bottom line for your CRM?
The physical office addresses housed in your system are becoming less relevant. This means you’ll need to collect alternative contact points to keep your data actionable. Particularly if your company relies on addresses for direct mail initiatives.
Furthermore, a remote workforce can make data security more difficult to maintain.
Let’s face it: When data leaves the physical office, it’s much more difficult to control.
Employee use of cloud sync agents, USB drives, public WiFi networks, and collaboration tools like Slack and Google Drive leads to increased risk of data exposure. And once hackers gain access to your network, the sea of personal contact information in your CRM is an attractive prize.
To mitigate the security risks of remote work, CRM users and stakeholders should proactively establish strong passwords, limit the number of people with access to important data, and make it their mission to educate employees about data security best practices.
Companies that don’t prioritize data security may end up writing hefty checks. The average cost of a data breach was $4.24 million in 2021—up 10 percent from the previous year. Yikes.
Ah yes, everyone’s least favorite topic.
We can blame inflation for more than just sky-high gas prices and über expensive Uber Eats deliveries. For many businesses, inflation also leads to revenue dips when current and prospective customers tighten their belts.
Among various other reactionary measures, we’ve seen some companies respond by buying email lists from third-party providers. They think this will be a quick way to expand their marketing reach during lean times and (hopefully) boost their bottom lines.
Big mistake. Huge.
Evolving global privacy laws make it illegal to contact people without their explicit consent—meaning your business may rack up hefty non-compliance fines if sales and marketing teams reach out to contacts on purchased lists.
Tempting as it may be, CRM users should avoid buying lists at all costs. If you must purchase a list, make sure to confirm the addresses on the list were obtained legally and with the owners’ consent.
4. Prioritization of employee well-being
COVID-19 cast a spotlight on employees’ mental health, as rates of anxiety, depression, and burnout skyrocketed.
Many employers responded swiftly. According to one study, over 53 percent of companies have added mental health programs to their employee benefits since the start of the pandemic.
Offering meditation classes or volunteer days is certainly a step in the right direction.
But organizational leaders should also consider how the CRM can add to employee stress and dissatisfaction.
The CRM has a reputation for being time-sucking and difficult to use. When employees are already burnt out and overworked, forcing them to spend hours updating CRM records and toggling between open tabs to find information won’t help.
Our friends at Meta (formerly Facebook, Inc.) faced the same challenges. After some strategic thinking, they found a way to reduce the time they spent updating CRM records by 50 percent using GridBuddy Connect. (Shameless #humblebrag).
The result? Meta employees now spend less time updating data and more time on the aspects of their jobs they actually enjoy.
How can your team eliminate tedious CRM workflows? More importantly, how would you spend the time you’d gain back?
The bottom line
Nine-to-five life just isn’t what it used to be. Seismic workforce shifts over the past few years have had massive impacts on your CRM data—which is the lifeblood every team at your organization depends on for survival.
For practical tips to keep your data clean and actionable in any climate, attend our webinar, Data Insight: 3 Steps to Kick-Start Your Data Quality Journey.