Why Is Your Team Engaging Statically When We Live In a Dynamic World?
Here’s a stat I just can’t get over: 88% of business cards that are handed out are thrown out in less than a week of exchange. Is that stat frustrating? Yes, absolutely, especially if your team has spent many hours at networking events or at sales meetings exchanging cards with various people, just for those cards to go in the trash. Is it surprising? Not so much. Truth is, business cards were first used in 15th century China. Centuries later, and not much has changed about them.
The time has come that we find a digital solution that challenges the status quo that has been set and brings contact sharing into the 21st century. But what’s changed to make this change a necessity? Let’s take a look at some of the main reasons:
Keeping Up with Tech
If you look at the history of business cards, they have often been used as a status symbol, and in our more modern culture, as a rite of passage. We all have that memory of the first time we got business cards printed for us by our employer – for me, I felt special and important, like I finally made it in the real world. Trading paper cards have been a long-time practice because it was always the best way to exchange information.
These days, we have technology. Everyone carries around a phone with them which means the reality of it is, paper business cards are a relic of past traditions that are in desperate need of a makeover or a supplement to bring them into this century. As our lives become more digitally focused, so does the way we exchange information. Our whole lives are now online, why isn’t our method of connection?
Data Decay is Real
Here’s another staggering stat to mull over – an average B2B contact list decays at a rate of 22.5% a year. It happens all the time: people change jobs, or upgrade from that AOL.com email address they’ve held on to for years – and now you’re down another contact. That means all that data that your team has painstakingly inputted into your database, CRM, contacts list, or marketing automation platform is not so slowly and surely becoming obsolete at an alarming rate. If you do nothing to your customer data except store it (as many people do) it’s accuracy significantly decays every month. Even if you do try to keep up with your customers, depending on the size of your list, it could be a full-time job to keep track of job changes, new addresses, emails, and phone numbers.
Time = Money
Have you ever really thought about how much time your team spends in your CRM inputting data? According to stats from Hubspot, employees spend an average of 5.5 hours per week logging activities and updating contact records into a CRM costing companies up to $13,000 per CRM user each year. Even more discouraging is that the data that is entered into the CRM is often not even accurate – a staggering 88% of CRM users admit to entering incomplete contact information, and 62% of users do not log all of their activities.
I experienced a real-life example of the time it takes to enter CRM data when I was at a conference late last year. I had waited until the last day to visit the vendors I was interested in talking to I noticed it was much different from the first day when salespeople were gung-ho about chatting. As I was walking around, most of the salespeople were heads down in their computers inputting the cards that they’ve gotten and didn’t even bother to look up until I made it a point to walk up and ask them a question. Considering how expensive booth space can be at some of the larger conferences, it’s a shame that those salespeople may have missed an opportunity for another sale.
There’s no doubt that the time salespeople spend imputing tracking information into CRM systems can surely be spent more efficiently. It’s a fact: data entry is a waste of valuable sales resources.
Let’s face it, our relationship to employment has become more tenuous as contract work, freelance work, and short-term projects become more prominent. Even full-time employees aren’t necessarily in it for the long haul anymore – the average person changes jobs ten to fifteen times during their career, and according to a 2016 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average employee tenure is 4.2 years.
We got some interesting insight through our conversations with managers within the retail industry who say they don’t even consider getting new employees new business cards until at least 4 months into their tenure because turnover is so high. That fact is, that in the gig economy we function in right now the card someone hands you today could be a dud not too long afterward.
In addition to the job changes that people experience these days, contract and freelance work is on the rise as many people take up multiple gigs in order to make ends meet or even just to earn some extra cash. Whether they’re freelancing within a particular industry or paying bills by becoming independent contractors for growing “share economy” companies like Airbnb, Uber, and TaskRabbit, it might be hard to define one thing to put down as a title on a business card.
Getting Down to the Root of the Matter:
Here’s the reality: Business cards are static. Our lives are not. With a business card, you learn a person’s name, address, company, and email… usually, that’s about it. Business cards don’t just miss the detail and dimensionality of the person your connecting with, but they also can become obsolete in an instant. The dynamic of how people create and build relationships is changing, so there is a desperate need to improve the way we all exchange information. People are looking for real engagement and interaction that moves past the static exchange of a piece of paper.
That’s why we at Convey are working to transform the way people stay connected. The paradigm shift is real, and it’s moving quickly – learn more in our blog: It’s About Connections, Not Contacts.