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7 Steps to Clean Up Your CRM: Lessons From Our Own Experience

Posted by Indusa Admin on March 27, 2015 4:56 am

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After implementing CRM for your sales team, you want them to use it to feed in information that they have worked hard to collect and organize. But, the fact is that users find this as a time consuming activity and sometimes take shortcuts to complete their work. They may fill in required fields at that time and think of adding the rest of their notes later. Over time, the data becomes inconsistent, incomplete and inaccurate, and thus cannot be used properly when required.

Clean CRM
But it’s never too late to come out of such situations. There are steps you can take, to remind the entire team, the importance of cleaning up your CRM system, which will save a lot of time and annoyances down the road. Indusa recently had to clean up its own CRM, and here are some easy steps/ideas identified that you can follow to keep your CRM data clean.

Back-up your data

This is a good start for not losing your data while cleaning up your CRM. Any changes you make are always reversible with a back-up and thus the user doesn’t end up losing on the required data.

Remove irrelevant or incomplete contacts

You should delete contacts with no email and no telephone information, unless you can update with the right information. Neither of these contacts can be contacted, nor they are potential sales leads. In addition, you should remove contacts or leads which have their emails bounced back or replace that contact with the right one. If still you do not have the information to update this contact, then remove it from the mailing list but not from the database.

Delete or archive old data

To avoid distraction and confusion with huge data, remove older contacts, precisely those with no activity from over the last six months or more. Rather than completely deleting the record from your company’s history, you may want to “disqualify” the lead so that the account and contact remains in the system but does not clutter your present view.

End completed campaigns

Any campaign which has been completed yet flagged as active, can be ended. Such campaigns include a lot of data and consume space in the system.

Refresh your dashboard

You should review your dashboard and update it with details or statistics you need every day. This saves time in finding data which is frequently required to be referred.

Eliminate duplicate records

On an average, around 10 percent of names and addresses in any company’s CRM database are duplicate records. You can identify duplicates and delete them on a regular basis. For example, “John Smith” can be recorded as “Smith, John” in another database or “Bill Scott” is entered as “William Scott” – but the two different entities are actually the same person. This is where you need to weed out duplicates and help merge multiple records into one to improve your sales and marketing efforts. Most CRMs will have a duplicate detection tool which will automatically flag repetitive records for your review.

Keep records up to date

There are instances where the company address changes, the contact is no longer working with that company, or the lead is turned into an opportunity but is not updated in the CRM. To keep your records accurate, you should update your data once in every quarter or twice a year, as required. A periodic data update can fill in the gaps or add missing data – helping make every record complete.

These steps will definitely help you get your CRM system under control, but each company has unique challenges. In addition to these, you can also archive inapplicable opportunities from CRM, create leads from opportunities that need to be followed up again before considering them as opportunity, assign leads to appropriate sales person based on regions, and provide appropriate access rights respectively to sales and marketing teams.

According to Gartner’s industry analyst, at least 25 percent of most companies’ data is probably inaccurate. But regular monitoring and cleaning of the data keeps your team focused and reinforces the sales process. Your CRM data is perhaps one of your organization’s most valuable assets. Is your data clean and updated?

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Neha
About the Author – Neha Kumar

Neha Kumar is a digital media evangelist and marketing professional. She overlooks Indusa’s content management, social media, online events, email marketing, blogs, digital campaigns, lead generation and inside sales activities on a broader scale.

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Topics: CRM