Data integrity is the key to the success of every B2B business, regardless of their size and stature. Apart from helping you avoid unnecessary expenses, a clean CRM record also leads to better lead conversion.
Bad data can be expensive
According to RingLead, a bad record can cost you as much as $100 while keeping it clean will only cost $1 per record.
A bad CRM record can have some or all of the following issues:
- Duplicate Information
- Missing Information
- Inaccurate Information
- Outdated Information
The research by RingLead found, on average, corporate data grows at 40% per year, which makes keeping it clean rather challenging for many companies.
The B2B Marketing Data Report released by Dun & Bradstreet in 2016, found 41% respondents cited inconsistent data across technologies as their biggest challenge in maximizing the ROI.
Factoring in the potential cost of cleaning bad records, it’s imperative to keep your CRM records as clean as a whistle.
Here are some effective tips to keep your CRM records clean and up to date:
Conduct Periodic Maintenance: Data can get obsolete over a period of time. Therefore, it’s important to deploy a maintenance schedule in order to keep your CRM records clean and up to date.
While the frequency of the data audit can vary from one company to another, experts believe quarterly maintenance of your CRM is ideal.
Use Automatic De-duplication: Nearly all modern CRM software tools feature a built-in feature to check duplicate customer data. It usually runs in the background and sends alerts when the system flags records that are suspiciously similar to one another.
Alternatively, there are many third-party tools available which detect duplicate records and automatically eliminate them. The automated deduplication mechanism essentially reduces the burden of manual data audits to a significant extent, making data maintenance less challenging.
Identify Focus Areas: CRM data audits can be time-consuming and daunting. It’s therefore, important to use efficient tools that help you along the process. There are automated tools which generate reports and statistics on your data health and help you focus your maintenance efforts on specific areas. This not only speeds up your data audit process but makes your data available for immediate use to the sales and marketing teams as well.
Use Third-party Referenced Data Sources: There’s a smarter approach to cleaning your CRM records - use third-party data sources to clean and update your data. These tools can flag any duplicate or stale records on your CRM and update it automatically. These tools are especially useful for B2B companies who must keep their customer data fresh, accurate and updated to succeed with their lead conversion efforts.
Prune Old & Unused Data: One of the most challenging aspects of CRM data auditing is the sheer volume of records. In such a scenario, it’s important to separate unused and old data records from the current ones, in order to speed up the data audit process. Archiving old and outdated records also improves the performance of your CRM systems.
Outsource the Data Cleaning Process: If you’re a relatively smaller organization with limited data sets, you can probably follow a combined approach (automated tools and manual review) to data auditing and cleansing. However, when there are large sets of data, it’s often wise to outsource it to an agency that specializes in data audit and cleansing. Along with saving your precious time, this also helps you establish a process to conduct a robust data cleanse in the future.
Use Better Templates: It might sound like a cliché but the best way to keep your CRM records clean is avoiding accumulation of bad data in the first place. Follow these CRM data entry best practices to maintain clean and accurate customer information. According to CRM experts, using good CRM templates is the very first step in avoiding the creation of bad records. Likewise, it’s important to have a policy to reduce human error while entering customer data. Moreover, businesses need to constantly streamline and innovate processes to ensure data consistency and accuracy.
From mailing to bad addresses, to emailing outdated contacts, and losing server space to duplicate records, bad CRM data not only causes substantial financial losses but costs your business potential customer acquisition opportunities as well. Therefore, following CRM data maintenance best practices should be your topmost priority.
How do you ensure data accuracy and integrity in your CRM records?
About the Author
Susanta Sahoo is Top League Technologies, a digital marketing start-up in Bhubaneswar, India. By offering SEO consulting services, he helps SMB’s build their online presence and boost ROI. Follow him on Twitter:@sushantsahoo