A salesperson calls a lead only to hear “He doesn’t work here anymore,” “You have the wrong number,” or “The number you’ve reached is no longer in service.” A marketer pulls a list from the CRM, only to have their emails bounce and performance rates plunge due to undeliverable emails addresses.
You’re dealing with dirty data.
Dirty CRM data is a huge problem for businesses. In fact, according to the Integrate 2015 B2B data quality index, 40% of leads generated for SMB and enterprise businesses contain data that’s either incorrect, redundant or unformatted. If you’re not careful, this bad data can clog your system—resulting in poorly structured customer profiles, wasted sales time, ineffective campaigns, inaccurate forecasting, lower client retention and many other problems.
Don’t let your dirty data spiral out of control. To avoid storing unreliable information and to ensure your CRM offers a positive return on investment, follow these 7 tips.
Once you start building a larger database, duplicates are inevitable. If you send the same message to the same person multiple times, you risk wasting money and looking unprofessional. Set up rules in your CRM so duplicates are automatically deleted (any modern CRM should have this capability).
Unfortunately, there’s no shortcut or automation tool that will solve all of your dirty data problems. If you have a small CRM system, you might be able to keep up with manual maintenance, but as you grow, this can quickly become more difficult. Outsourced data scrubbing services can clean up your CRM data and help you to develop processes to reduce the time it takes to clean up data in the future.
According to HubSpot, marketing data decays by almost 23% every year. Now more than ever, people are changing jobs (with the average person changing jobs 10-15 times), titles, email addresses and cities. Businesses are also constantly rebranding, moving and shutting down. If not addressed, a mess of insignificant or historical data will limit the usefulness of your CRM. If you move stale data off the system or hide it from general search, you can improve the efficiency of your CRM.
Be sure to avoid putting too many required fields on your forms—keep them straightforward. To reduce the possibility of human error, create drop downs for things like country, state, job title, etc.—This will help prevent bad data from entering your CRM system in the first place. However, keep in mind, only 7% of web-traffic converts to leads and people often leave an unattended email address.
Honestly, buying a contact list is just a bad idea. Good contact lists aren’t for sale—the emails and phone numbers you’ll receive have likely been slammed with spam and sales calls, rendering them useless. Because the contacts on the list won’t recognize your company, many of the people you reach out to will likely report you as a spammer, risking your company’s email deliverability and the reputation of your IP address.
Employees can be overwhelmed by excessive CRM features, making it difficult for them to adopt the software. If sales reps don’t understand the system or the importance of constantly using it, they might decide to house their data elsewhere (such as in their email account or a separate spreadsheet), leaving holes in your shared data.
When you adopt a new CRM system or you hire new employees, it’s essential to teach them good data entry habits right from the very beginning. This way, you can create consistency for data entry practices. After the initial training, keep tip sheets handy to help people remember your company’s data entry processes.
Koble is a secure, self-sustained, corporate-only platform where companies can meet to discuss business. To join, users must use their verified corporate email addresses. When they change titles or companies, their profiles are updated or deactivated, ensuring only active, business contacts are in the network.
As a free user, you can easily do research and communicate with companies on the Koble platform. After you move to a paid subscription (Pro or Enterprise), you can upload your connections into your CRM and keep it up to date. Due to the automatic upkeep of our system and the work email address requirement, all of your data will be accurate and actionable.