How Data Entry Kills Productivity: Give Your Team 10 Extra Hours Per Week

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Author photo: Grace Lau

Grace Lau

Unless you have an extraordinarily high words-per-minute typing speed, you’re probably not a huge fan of having to type things out at work. We’re not talking about typing out the odd email—we’re talking about hours of repetitively typing out contact information for everyone you met at an event to follow up on later.

Among the many inefficiencies that plague teams from different departments, the one that is perhaps easiest to fix is manual data entry. According to the National Association of Sales Professionals (NASP), three of the top ways that sales teams waste their time are: multiple lengthy client meetings; data entry; and waiting for approval.

Tenfold also found that the “three biggest sales time-wasters” are:

  • misaligned sales and marketing strategies
  • disorganized lead management
  • cumbersome paper processes and admin tasks

Here again, manual data entry is one of the three. The good news is, compared with the other time-wasters, data entry is relatively easy to eliminate—or at the very least, minimize.

What you need is the right tool. Namely, a CRM.

How to minimize data entry: typing faster is not the cure.

For most sales (and non-sales teams), the amount of time spent on data entry every week can add up. According to an email survey sent out to Copper customers, teams saved on average 13 hours per week per user (compared to when they weren’t using a CRM at all before).

What is interesting to note is that teams that were previously using another CRM saved even more time with Copper: 14 hours per week per user.

By eliminating data entry, teams can be freed to perform high-value tasks that they can’t do when they’re busy typing. With a good CRM, executive assistants can spend more time on planning events because they no longer have to enter business card information into a contact database.

The other perk of having a good CRM tool: spending hours on typing, copying, and pasting no longer has to be a part of your team’s workday. (Try it out for free and see how your team likes it.)

Of course, the alternative is to hire a typist or to hire faster typers, but it would most likely be more efficient to just eliminate data entry altogether.

Also, people who type 150 words per minute are few and far between.

The (data) search is over.

Spending hours typing out data manually is one downside of having a large amount of data (that also isn’t intelligently organized). Another is wasting time on finding information.

According to Copper’s email survey, customers saved on average 10 hours per week per user compared to when they were previously using another CRM to find contact information. If customers were not using another CRM before, they saved 14 hours per week, per user with Copper. Were they using a Rolodex? Who knows...

Time spent searching for contact data can add up—especially when multiple people across teams are interacting with agencies, vendors, and other partners.

How will you help your team get rid of data-related tasks?

Pace Productivity’s questionnaire to sales reps found that the vast majority of them believed their most important tasks were to generate sales and orders (41%), and build relationships and meet customers (36%). Not only are these high-value tasks, they also require a high level of concentration—searching for information or doing data entry while having a distracted conversation with a customer is probably a bad idea.

A proper CRM is more than a glorified digital contact list. Not only should it be able to help you save time, it should also make it easier for you to focus on work that you enjoy—and equally importantly, makes you look good to your manager. (Because when did “I typed all this out in only 20 minutes!” ever get someone a promotion?)

How will you give yourself (and your team) more time to do the work that matters?

To learn more on the impact of CRM in the Relationship Era, download the infographic.

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