Does Your CRM Data Support Your Business?
As with all modern business processes, the sales pipeline that converts a prospect to a repeat customer lives and dies by the quality of the data it relies on. Bad CRM data leads to missed opportunities and can even drive away established customers.
How Do You Know If You Have Bad CRM Data?
At a high level, bad data is any data that cannot be used to drive value—that is, to make a personalized connection with both prospects and existing customers to increase conversions and sales. Here are some specific characteristics of bad CRM data:
- Fields that are not being used
- Fields whose purpose is unknown or not understood by the user community
- Fields that are misused, that is, populated with data unrelated to the field’s purpose
- Fields that are populated with incorrect or inappropriate data
- Fields that do not serve a useful purpose in the sales process
- Data whose accuracy is questionable or unreliable
Causes of Bad Data
How does bad data make its way into your CRM system? Several culprits are found in businesses of all sizes. Among them:
- Poor or nonexistent governance of processes that collect data and get it into the system
- Lack of training of the user community
- Poorly-designed data structures, including useless fields, missing useful fields, and redundant fields
- Tools that don’t support data validation—for example, date fields that accept any free-form date format
Did you notice something? Most of these causes of bad data are related to processes, not systems or tools. Any CRM system can be configured to collect and store any kind of data, but if your data collection processes are nonexistent or not enforced, or if you aren’t collecting the right data in the first place, the best CRM system in the world won’t help you.
How to Enhance Your Data
If you aren’t getting the results you expected from your CRM system, the solution is not to throw it away and get a new one. Instead, the problem is likely in your data, and if you use the same bad data in a different CRM system, you will get the same bad results. So the first step is to have a critical look at your data:
- If your data is inert and doesn’t support selling, then it may be time to start over with a new data design.
- Identify key, strategic, reliable data sources that can be pulled into your CRM system to develop the crucial 360-degree view of the customer.
- Review your data fields to validate that they are understood and used properly, and that they drive value. Get rid of any that do not.
- True personalization takes time and commitment to implement, but the return on that investment is phenomenal. Review your CRM system with a critical eye to identify opportunities to collect additional information about prospects and customers and drive personalization that connects you with each customer.
- Make sure that your CRM system—in particular, those features that facilitate manual data entry—is properly designed to enforce consistent formats and proper use of each field.
- It’s critical to address data quality issues. If you cannot trust your data, your CRM is not delivering any real value. Identify data quality issues at their source. If you keep bad data out of your CRM in the first place, you save both time and money by not having to clean it up later.
Overwhelmed? Get Help
Proper evaluation and remediation of your CRM data environment can be a challenge no matter how large your business is. In fact, larger businesses may find it more of a challenge than smaller ones do. If you find it daunting, Empellor CRM is here to help. At every step, we can help you enhance your CRM data to drive value. Contact us today to learn how we can help your business get the most from your CRM data.
Contact Empellor CRM today to learn how we can help you analyze your CRM setup and align it with your business needs.