Best Practices for CRM Data Cleansing
Data is a powerful business resource that powers marketing campaigns, customer service interactions, sales departments, and many more applications. Especially when it comes to a business’s CRM, the reliance on data continues to grow as we amass more and more data points on consumers every year.
But, not just any data will drive business performance and provide a competitive advantage. Instead, having clean and accurate CRM data is what modern-day businesses need to leap out ahead of the competition and better serve their customers.
So, to get the most out of your CRM, businesses need to have accurate, complete, reliable, formatted, and up-to-date data to draw insights from. However, this often isn’t the case, making CRM data cleansing a necessary process that businesses need to undergo as a way to keep their CRM in good working condition.
Throughout this article, we will discuss what CRM data cleansing is, why it’s so valuable to businesses today, and provide you with some expert tips and best practices on how to clean the data in your CRM database.
Understanding CRM Data Cleansing
CRM data cleansing (or data cleaning) is the process of improving the quality of data stored in a CRM by verifying it for accuracy, uniformly formatting it, removing duplicate data, and other steps. Some of the common data quality issues that companies deal with in their CRM include:
- Outdated customer phone number or address when they move or change numbers
- Inaccurate data from typos the customer made when filling out a form on your website
- Duplicate client profiles created when they fill out the same form twice
- Customer provides fake information to avoid sharing personal information
- Formatting issues if salesmen enter client information into the CRM with varying formatting conventions
So if CRM data is dirty for any of the above reasons or the many other causes of data inaccuracies, here are some of the consequences that the business might experience:
- Inaccurate sales forecasts
- Limited visibility into customer purchase history/behaviors
- Poor customer experience
- Inefficient marketing and sales efforts
- Missed cross-sell or up-sell opportunities
Thus, the purpose of CRM data cleansing is to make the data more consistent so companies can keep operations running smoothly. Given the important role that a CRM plays for a business, ensuring that the data is clean will allow for optimal outcomes and informed decision-making across the entire organization.
Best Practices for CRM Data Cleansing
CRM data cleansing is a crucial step for businesses to take–and not just when they’re migrating to a new CRM. At any stage, businesses need to ensure that the data stored in their CRM is accurate and reliable to avoid facing the consequences of relying on dirty data that we laid out above.
Continue reading through the following tips and suggestions as we cover the best practices for CRM data cleansing to keep your CRM data accurate and usable.
Regular Data Audits
A one-time cleanup of your CRM data can help you uncover data inconsistencies and inaccuracies that you didn’t know existed. However, CRM data should be audited for quality on a regular basis for optimal performance.
Your CRM is not a static asset–it is constantly changing and being updated as new customers fill out forms on your website or your sales team enters in new leads. As such, there are constantly new opportunities for the data to be entered with the wrong formatting, with missing data fields, and other issues that keep your CRM from staying 100% “clean” at all times, even after a large data cleanup.
Instead, businesses should set up a regular schedule for data quality audits, like every month, quarter, etc., and stick to it. This will help data quality issues from piling up and causing issues across your sales team, and will make your cleanup work much more manageable.
CRM data needs to be stored in standardized formats for better accessibility to the data when it’s needed. Most companies should have a standard formatting convention set for each piece of data they collect. However, if many individual team members are able to update the CRM on their own, these conventions can quickly be forgotten when employees are in a rush or simply disregard them.
For example, a company may decide that they should store all contact phone numbers in their CRM with the following format, (555) 555-5555, not 555-555-5555.
If these formatting conventions are not followed, phone numbers that are listed with the second format may end up lost or difficult to find when team members are searching through the profiles of thousands of customers.
So, CRM data formatting needs to be standardized to make your database much more user-friendly and avoid “losing” data that has been input, just with the wrong formatting.
Duplicates in your CRM can occur when a customer submits a form on your website more than once, or they submit a form and also speak with a sales representative that enters their information into the CRM.
Regardless of how it occurs, CRM data duplicates do occur. However, they can make your sales forecasting inaccurate with inflated or misleading customer data. Plus, if there are multiple customer profiles in your CRM for just one person, it can be difficult to track down their purchase history and other records if the information is being stored incorrectly across multiple profiles.
All in all, having duplicate records in your CRM can make it difficult to track down the right data when it’s needed. As such, merging duplicate records is a key part of CRM data cleansing, though it can be tedious and time-consuming to track down the various profiles and ensure no crucial customer data is lost in the process of eliminating duplicate profiles.
Validate and Verify Data
Another key aspect of CRM data cleansing is validating and verifying the data stored for accuracy. If a company is relying on inaccurate CRM data for their sales, marketing, or outreach purposes, they could end up wasting their resources by reaching out to customers at incorrect email addresses or calling phone numbers that don’t exist.
Part of the importance of cleansing CRM data is making the data more accurate and helping the sales team become more efficient. So although it can be a tricky and lengthy process to go through and validate customer data in the CRM, it’s a worthwhile investment to ensure the team has data that is accurate and reliable.
Enrich with External Data
Businesses need to enrich their CRMs with data from external sources to fill in any gaps of data that they’re currently lacking. Doing so will provide a more accurate and clear picture of their customer profiles, leading to more ideal sales outcomes.
This means finding third-party sources of data to help find missing customer phone numbers, email addresses, and other key data points that the sales team needs to move customers through the funnel and drive more conversions.
Create Guidelines for Data Entry
As we have discussed throughout, data cleansing is just something you can do once and be done with it. As long as you remain in operations, you will continue to collect data on your customers. Plus, even if there is just one person who is responsible for inputting data into the CRM, as your business grows, your team will likely expand and more people will gain access to the CRM.
So, along with your regular quality audits of the data, you should create clear guidelines for data entry that your team can follow to avoid creating dirty data in the first place. Of course, this isn’t something that can be fully eradicated or prevented. But, this will make the results of your CRM data cleansing efforts much more sustainable and long-lasting.
Get the Best Data Cleansing Results with Assivo
Again, there are countless benefits of CRM data cleansing that businesses can take advantage of. With more accurate insights and data from a clean CRM, businesses are better able to drive sales growth and provide a better customer experience.
Cleaning up your CRM data can be a tedious and involved process; however, it isn’t an optional task for businesses that want to succeed in today’s data-driven environment.
Instead of poring over your CRM and stretching your team too thin, better deploy your resources by delegating this time-consuming task to the experts at Assivo. We have an expert team of data-cleansing specialists who utilize proven techniques and tools to clean up your data with accuracy and efficiency.
We take the time to get to know your business and CRM needs and tailor our solution so you get the data you need to power your growth. Get started now by scheduling a call with us to discuss your CRM data cleansing needs.
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