Now that you’ve learned why keeping your CRM data clean is a MUST, it’s time to discover how to do this!
I’ll admit that data cleansing can be time-consuming and a little boring at first.
However, the long-term effects of a clean and high-functioning CRM database are worth the time and effort!
Let’s look at the eight-step process for effective CRM data management!
Step 1: Analyze Your CRM Data
The first step in the data cleansing process is to analyze your CRM database.
During this process, immediately observe any data trends or structural aspects you’d like to keep or change.
Additional aspects you should observe while analyzing your company data include the following:
- ol]:!pt-0 [&>ol]:!pb-0 [&>ul]:!pt-0 [&>ul]:!pb-0″ value=”2″>How your team categorizes each contact record
- ol]:!pt-0 [&>ol]:!pb-0 [&>ul]:!pt-0 [&>ul]:!pb-0″ value=”4″>The information in each contact record
- Analyzing data shouldn’t take too long, as this step aims to get a quick overview of existing records and organizational strategies in place.
By leveraging CRM analytics, you can delve deeper into your customer data, identifying patterns and trends that can further inform your data cleansing process and enhance your overall CRM data management strategy.
Step 2: Clean Up Your Data
The second step businesses take while cleaning CRM databases is cleaning their data.
As previously mentioned, bad data can impact numerous processes and aspects of a company.
From ineffective marketing campaigns to unreliable reports, low data quality can harm your company!
Fortunately, most CRM tools have functions that make the data-cleaning process much easier and faster.
Still, if you believe cleaning your company’s data will take too much time, third-party companies offer this service.
Using an outside company ensures your existing team members can keep working on finding leads and closing deals while the data cleansing happens in the background.
Although this can get pricey, it’s an excellent and sensible decision for companies with a lot of customer data.
The first part of data scrubbing is removing old contacts from your customer database.
Old contact information takes up space and adds unnecessary names, email addresses, phone numbers, etc., to your database.
Additionally, old contact data can lead to marketing and sales teams reaching out and pursuing prospective who are unlikely to purchase your company’s products or services.
Use CRM filters and automation to quickly identify contacts who last interacted with your brand or purchased products or services several months or years ago.
Find and Remove Duplicates
After removing old contacts, the next step is to find and remove duplicates.
As mentioned earlier, duplicate contact records can lead to confusion amongst your team members and create unnecessary emails.
To get rid of duplicates, use CRM software features such as “merge” to find and consolidate duplicate records.
With CRM capabilities, finding and eliminating duplicated records takes less time than you may initially assume!
Next, filter customer data into segments that make sense for your business or industry.
How you filter your contacts depends on your organization’s system and industry.
Still, some common ways I’ve seen companies filter contacts is by the following descriptive traits:
- ol]:!pt-0 [&>ol]:!pb-0 [&>ul]:!pt-0 [&>ul]:!pb-0″ value=”2″>Purchase history
- ol]:!pt-0 [&>ol]:!pb-0 [&>ul]:!pt-0 [&>ul]:!pb-0″ value=”4″>Preferred method of contact
- ol]:!pt-0 [&>ol]:!pb-0 [&>ul]:!pt-0 [&>ul]:!pb-0″ value=”6″>Marketing efforts they have interacted with
Meet with your marketing and sales reps to discuss how each department thinks you should filter contacts.
The way in which you filter contacts should make it easy to find customers and prospects throughout the sales process.
Archive Old Data
Lastly, ensure your team archives old information and customer data.
Why should you keep your old records if your employees don’t use the information?
Storing old data helps you learn from the past and analyze the systems and organizational tactics that worked (or didn’t).
Also, archiving old information is a way to “play it safe.”
For instance, it is incredibly frustrating when you’re searching for an old piece of information only to realize you deleted it a couple of weeks ago (trust me, I’ve had this happen)!
Other benefits of storing old data include the following:
- ol]:!pt-0 [&>ol]:!pb-0 [&>ul]:!pt-0 [&>ul]:!pb-0″ value=”2″>Your team spends less time on backups and restoring files
- ol]:!pt-0 [&>ol]:!pb-0 [&>ul]:!pt-0 [&>ul]:!pb-0″ value=”4″>There’s less disk space required for storage
CRMs typically have a lot of storage space; some providers even allow you to increase storage space as your company grows.
Therefore, you don’t have to worry about old information taking up valuable room and preventing your team from storing new data!
Step 3: Standardize Data
The third step in cleaning your CRM platform is standardizing your data.
Usually, teams utilize CRM software daily because it streamlines processes and makes it easier to complete simple and complex tasks.
As you use your CRM, you must combine it with cycling through your company’s contacts and checking if emails are successfully delivered.
Standard processes like the one I just mentioned help verify your company’s data, ensuring it’s valid and useable.
As a result, your CRM will automatically create lists and fill contacts when they don’t serve your company in any beneficial way.
This way, you can rest easy knowing your CRM data is constantly cleaned and updated.
Step 4: Fill In Missing Data
Step four in cleaning your company’s CRM data is reviewing records and filling in the missing information.
For instance, if you notice a contact’s phone number or last name is missing, have a sales rep find that data and enter it into the CRM platform.
Complete records help build cohesive customer profiles that everyone on your team can use effectively.
Sometimes, your team may be unable to fill in the blanks through online research; some missing points demand cold calls.
While this can take a little time and energy, it’s crucial to remember how much better complete profiles are compared to incomplete ones!
Step 5: Create Clear Segmentation
Creating clear data segmentation standards is vital if you want your CRM data to be useable (which all businesses do, of course!).
Also, segmenting your data ensures you can implement workflows and standard fields within your company’s files.
Creating standard fields means your team will avoid making too many variations of the same information (remember the downfall of duplicated data).
What do I mean by segmentation?
One example is creating a drop-down menu to group contacts with similar job titles under a single searchable term.
So, when a sales rep wants to contact someone with IT experience, they can search “IT” and find the individual they need!
Step 6: Data Validation
As your company finds ways to collect customer information, it’s crucial to implement data validation standards.
A famous example of data validation is when a website asks users to input their email addresses.
The system only allows users to submit the form if the person enters a valid email address. Therefore, someone cannot type “hello world” as a valid email address.
Instead, the address must look something like this: “firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Data validation standards prevent mistakes and useless information from entering your system, saving time and money in the long run!
Step 7: Set Data Cleaning Policies
Step seven is creating data cleaning policies for everyone in your company.
When employees have set rules and standards to operate by, there’s less of a chance bad data and inaccuracies make their way into your CRM.
Data cleaning policies vary based on the following:
However, regardless of the policies you put in place, ensuring everyone follows them is critical!
Otherwise, your data quickly becomes disorganized.
Step 8: Use an Integrated Platform
Whether you just opened for business a week ago or your company is growing fast, your CRM (likely) is one of many places you store information.
Most businesses store information across several platforms to help streamline business operations related to accounting, inventory, etc.
You must have an integrated platform to make the most out of your company’s data.
Fortunately, most CRMs integrate seamlessly with third-party apps!
Even if you have an application that doesn’t integrate with your CRM directly, there are integration services that allow you to see everything in one place!
Integrated platforms allow team members to easily communicate and find the data they need to complete their jobs efficiently.
Also, CRM integrations ensure your company builds better 360-degree customer profiles, allowing you to know and understand your customer base better!