The CRM Database is one of the most valuable assets for any organization and well maintained CRM or marketing data can be invaluable. However CRM data is a perishable asset and does need constant attention, periodic cleansing and a lot of effort in its upkeep which is probably why so many organizations let their CRM data quality slide till eventually, they can’t utilize the full potential of their data. Here are a few tips which will help you keep your CRM data in shape.
Identify A drop In Data Quality Quickly: Bad data is often ignored until it really starts to affect daily work, by which time it needs a lot of work to get it back in shape. It’s important to identify whose responsibility it is to monitor the data quality and keep up the maintenance process on an ongoing basis. Whether it’s a weekly scan of records to see if outwardly everything looks alright, a periodic email or contact sample check, keeping an eye on your data will help you identify changes in quality sooner rather than later.
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Have an Organizational Policy on Data Standards: Bad data in. Bad data out. While CRM administrators and managers can be finicky about ensuring any data they upload into their CRM is checked and entered exactly how it should be, most CRMs are accessed by several end users across the organization. There is very little control over what data is entered, edited and how that data is entered or updated.
Check for Duplication & Redundant Data: Duplication of records and having large amounts of junk data is a sign of a sick CRM database. While putting in software checks for validating records and ensuring an entry is unique is a preventive measure that’s good to have in place. There are a number of software or technology based de-duplication services which can help weed out duplicates which you can evaluate. With a growing number of leads coming through sources like form fills and online sources where leads can often fill up gibberish values, doing regular scans for such junk records will help you keep your data free of what should not be in there.
Periodically Filter Out Expired Data: Companies and organizations merge, get acquired or shut down. Contacts change addresses, change jobs, move within an organization. The bottom line: CRM data does expire. This is an area which is not easily automated and again does require a considerable investment of time and energy. The more regularly you can carry out a check for expired data, the healthier your CRM will be. A database which remains untouched or unchecked for an entire year can see as much as 30% expired data and the longer you have between checks, the worse it can get so making sure its checked periodically is paramount.
Enrich Your Data, Increase Its Value: If data cleansing is what helps you maintain your database quality then data enrichment is what will help you enhance your data quality and make it more valuable to the end users. Ask yourself what additional data points in each record could help your users do more with the data and give them a better insight on each account. Would it help to have the annual revenues listed in multiple currencies? Would it help to have a list of all countries each account operates in? Would it help to have a link to the press releases of each account to know updates on recent events? These additional data points can be added with a data enrichment effort after identifying what additional data would help provide value.