Before we delve deep into CRM Data Cleaning, let’s understand why it is the need of the hour for your business. First things first, the goal of any business is to make a profit. It doesn’t matter whether you have a B2B organization, or a B2C organization, it eventually boils down to the bottom line. The total amount of sales generated equal the amount of profits your business will rake in. So, it is understandable why most marketers and business owners put so much impetus on the Sales team’s performance.
Why Data is Important for Sales Success
For any business today, data is extremely important. Data quality is inherently linked to sales conversions. In today’s scenario, anything less than reliable, good-quality data is a death sentence to healthy sales. Regardless of whether your B2B business is new on the block or an established brand, maintaining the integrity of prospect and client data is paramount. This means that when you invest on maintaining a good-quality, regularly updated database, it has a direct impact on growing your sales. Apart from this, investing in CRM Data cleaning helps you counter the phenomenon most commonly called ‘Data Decay’. Basically, any database is said to lose its relevance as much as 6% every few months. Mostly, this occurs due to how dynamically your customers lead their lives. Needless to say, when a customer changes his or her job, any information about their past position may be redundant. Additionally, such redundant information may slow down sales. After all, wouldn’t your organization waste precious resources on contacting such prospects, only to be let down?
Bad data can Slow You Down
According to Sirius Decisions, in case of the average unclean database, an organization is likely to spend up to $100! It may seem like a lofty number now, but factor in these efforts that may get geared to the wrong addresses, incorrect people, or just dead records –
- Emailing the wrong IDs and getting blacklisted by ISPs
- Printing out and sending mails or packages to the wrong address
- Losing out on customer credibility due to too many unsolicited calls or messages
- Difficulty in offering a smooth customer experience due to a lack of insights, preferences etc.
- Contacting the same lead multiple times due to duplicate records
- Incorrect ICP formation and by extension, difficulty in marketing segmentation
- Trouble offering a personalized experience owing to outdated, incorrect or unavailable information
- Losing time searching for the right information in a cluttered CRM database
If any of these are regularly experienced by your Sales or Marketing team, it may be an indication that you desperately need CRM data cleaning services. Additionally, too many of these mishaps can actually impact your ROI negatively – and let’s be honest, which B2B marketer wants that? If we were to look at the numbers, a Dun & Bradstreet B2B Marketing Data Report has a lot to reveal. Almost 41% of the B2B marketer respondents in the survey cited data inconsistency as their most significant challenge in their endeavor of maximizing ROI. Around 27% of the participants felt that poor data-quality and accuracy also prevented them from achieving their goals.
Basic CRM Data Cleaning Steps
Now that you understand why B2B CRM Data Cleaning is important, let’s take a look at the simple tips you can employ to keep your CRM database clean and at optimum performance.
If you want something to run at its optimum level, you will have to invest in maintenance. As we’ve said before, data decay is an inevitable phenomenon, and moreover, it is continuous. This makes it important to undertake CRM Data cleaning and maintenance on a regular basis. While the frequency with which your company may prefer to conduct a check or maintenance may vary, a quarterly review is considered as ideal by many experts.
De-duping the Database
In case of modern CRM software, there is a built-in feature that allows you to check for any duplicated information or records within a database. Usually, this feature will run in the background and send you alerts when suspicious records are discovered. This step helps you reduce or prevent any possible mishaps that may occur owing to repetitive information in your database. Additionally, you can also opt for a third-party de-duplication tool to power your B2B CRM Cleaning activities.
Identify Key Focus Areas
CRM Data Cleansing is not a simple and straightforward process. Moreover, if you don’ know where you are headed with your efforts, this process becomes even more difficult. After you make sure to get rid of any duplicated information, it is necessary to identify which areas you want to focus on. To start off, decide which attributes are the most important for your organization’s needs. Do you need to have information about the kind of software your customers use? Or is it useless information for your Sales and Marketing team? Think about attributes such as designation, education, geographic location, age, past employer etc. When you have established where to put your focus, it becomes easier to pick the right tool, software or CRM cleaning companies to help you.
Purge out Dead Records
Every business owner likes to think that their database only has immaculate, up-to-date, clean records. However, as data decay is a reality, this is almost never possible. One important step in achieving clean CRM databases is pruning the database in question. This pruning may be challenging since we tend to grow attached to the contacts in our database. However, separating the data of customers and prospects who haven’t responded to your efforts in a long time is essential. Owing to the sheer volume of data and records in the CRM, auditing the data helps you increase the efficiency of the entire database. When you separate the dead records from those that your Sales and Marketing team uses on a daily basis, it helps you save on time, energy and resources. Additionally, you will notice that your CRM system’s performance has improved.
Outsource to CRM Data Cleaning Companies
If your organization is relatively smaller, you may not have the manpower or resources to undertake CRM data cleaning or CRM appending in-house. These are time-consuming activities that require a certain level of skill and expertise. Moreover, they demand a mix of automated and manual processes, which many non-data professionals may have trouble with. In this scenario, it is best to outsource to a CRM data cleaning company that is well-equipped to handle the challenges of cleaning, de-duping, appending and verifying the records on your CRM database. With a dedicated CRM data cleaning company like BizProspex, you will save on time, money and get the added benefit of a team of experts specially trained to handle this task.