One of the biggest roadblocks to a successful CRM system is bad or dirty data. This can include anything from outdated contact information for your clients to inconsistent formatting (such as state abbreviations) in your database. Since your sales reps will often rely exclusively on your CRM to contact prospects and clients, it’s important for business owners to take measures that will keep their CRM data clean and updated. This allows is to be utilized to its full potential from a marketing standpoint. If you’re looking for tips to keep your CRM data squeaky clean, we have some guidelines to help you get started.
Keep Entries Consistent
From this point on, take measures to ensure consistent recording of data. This is especially important for data that has various formatting possibilities. For example, when collecting state information about a client, make sure that the data is entered in a consistent format (for example, CA instead of Calif. or California). A great way to keep entries consistent is through the use of templates and web forms. By taking measures to ensure consistency across data when it’s first put into the system, you can avoid a lot of hassle and work for yourself down the road.
Schedule Regular Maintenance
Sticking to a regular maintenance or “checkup” schedule to keep your CRM data squeaky clean is also a must. Of course, how often you should perform maintenance on your data will vary depending on the size of your business and the size of your database. However, it’s usually best to air on the side of caution and perform a manual cleaning of your data once every few months. This will help to reduce the rate of data decay and give you greater peace of mind when working with your data.
Consider Archiving Old Data
As your business grows, you may find that you have data that simply isn’t relevant anymore. This may include, for example, contact information from an old client who is no longer in business. While it may seem logical to go ahead and delete that data, it’s usually recommended that you archive it instead. In fact, depending on the industry in which you operate, you may be required to keep certain data rather than deleting it.
Either way, archiving old and irrelevant data (or putting it into a separate database) will help make your current, usable data easier to maintain and save you a lot of work.
Know When to Hire a Pro
If your database is too large to maintain on your own, consider hiring a professional to manually clean up your data. You may even want to look into using an automated program to help you pinpoint discrepancies and inconsistencies in your current data. Remember that an automated program is never a substitute for manual data review, but it can be a great way to supplement it and save you some time in the process.
Advantages of Keeping Your CRM Data Squeaky Clean
It’s no secret that keeping your CRM data squeaky clean can be a challenge—especially as your business grows. However, by taking the time to clean and maintain your data regularly, you can make sure it’s accurate, up-to-date, and able to be put to the absolute best use for your company.