Best Practice for CRM Data Management
Even when you implement customer relationship management software to help you segment all of your data, and align your teams, success is not guaranteed.
The source of your failure might come down to the quality of the gathered data and your employee’s reluctance to use the new software.
The reality is that two-thirds of sales reps’ time is spent on activities that are not sales. They spend their time on administrative tasks which should be conducted with some form of automation. This is even scarier when you take into account that this research only covers users who are actively using CRM.
Here we will look into five ways on how to make your data cleaner, more reliable, and your team more inclined to accept the new concept so they can focus more on sales.
1. Create A Strategy
Every management decision should be backed by a strategy that benefits the end goal of your business. By just using CRM software and not following through with the proper implementation, you can do more damage than good.
Having a clear idea of why you are gathering the data in the first place will help you avoid gathering unnecessary data that could only clog your system, and hinder your salespeople’s efficiency.
Here are some effective goals that should help you form a solid strategy:
- Improve the automation process
- Create buyer personas
- Analyse customer buyer patterns
- Train your teams on data usage
- Create KPIs for data quality
2. Standardise Your Data
This is the first step in receiving clean data. If you’re collecting data from the web, the main concern is to know what that data is, and how is it being collected. Standards drive information into your database in an unvarying, predictable way.
The sources of your data are supply points from which data gets transferred to your database. Mostly marketing and sales teams have their own data source which they mine and maintain. But other teams might also have their own data sources, so it’s important to be transparent and pull them all together.
In order to build valid standards, you need to know each source, how often they supply data, what teams own which sources, and are the sources first, second or third-party sources.
With increases in data volume, velocity, and variety, your standards might become inefficient and leave you with a huge chunk of unnecessary data.
For that reason, it’s very important for your standards to be adaptable and foreseeing. A start-up might not have a huge amount of data, but if you hit it big don’t get caught off guard. Map out your standards for data that’s being entered currently with a future increase in mind.
Types of data sources:
- Embedded web page buttons
- Pop-up lead gen forms
- Landing page forms
- Follow-up phone calls
It’s very important for your standards to be adaptable and foreseeing. A start-up might not have a huge amount of data, but if you hit it big you don’t want to get caught off guard. So map out your standards for data that’s being entered, but also for what might come in the future.
3. Clean Up Your Data
By clean data, we mean updated real-time data. About 30% of data management employees believe that their data is inaccurate and outdated.
This is a huge problem as it has a bad impact on your customer trust and satisfaction, which in turn lowers your profits. This means you should validate and update your customers emails, phone numbers, and addresses. Also, remove duplicates and delete contacts that have been inactive for a long time.
There are data validation tools that can be integrated with your CRM and help your employees take away this repetitive task.
Few tips when data cleansing:
- Perform a current data audit
- Avoid data silos
- Have a consistent data format
Along with cleaning your data make sure you have a data backup plan in place.
4. Use Cloud CRM For Security And Backup
One of the biggest benefits of using a cloud-based CRM system is its high level of security.
Many companies still worry that a cloud-based solution is still inferior to an on-premise one. But this is far from being true. Actually, cloud-based solutions have a much higher standard for security than your average on-premise IT team.
Since cloud providers’ bread and butter is the guarantee that using it is more secure and accessible, they use the latest encryption systems to keep your data safe.
Another perk compared to an on-premise system is the time that it takes for a possible cyber attack to be stopped. If any threats are detected around-the-clock, a team of experts will be there to take immediate action. If the system crashes they can use backups to restore the data immediately. This is hard to achieve with an on-premise team as they won’t be working 24/7.
Except for security, a cloud-based CRM is much more agile, as your employees can access it from anywhere.
5. Make Sure Your Employees See The Value
All of your management decisions and preparations will go to waste if you don’t have your employees on the same page.
Just like with any new technology end-user adaptation might be complicated. If your employees are not familiarised with the benefits of CRM they will avoid inputting data into it. This can cause even more hardships as managers might draw up reports the old way since they don’t trust the data provided by sales reps.
To develop trust in your newly implemented CRM, you need to conduct staff meetings that will highlight all the benefits of it. The key here is for your line managers to accept the new strategy and influence the rest of the workforce.
If this doesn’t work, your next step is to change the incentive structures by introducing dashboards and score sheets which will show who are the adoption leaders. This will help create a healthy competitive environment.
If all fails you’ll need to put your foot down and cut bonuses to those employees who are still reluctant to change their old work habits.
By following these practices your sales, marketing, and management teams will be well on their way of optimising the whole sales process.
Effective data management allows for personalised marketing campaigns aimed at specific buyer personas, and optimised sales funnels. This will not only increase your chances of acquiring new customers, but your retention rates and profit will improve.