“We’ve spent the last 30 years focusing on the T in IT, and we’ll spend the next 30 years focusing on the I.”– Peter Drucker, management consultant, and educator.
True but why?
New data is constantly streaming into your CRM database, bringing with it a slew of errors and inaccuracies that can bog down practically every team in your organization.
According to research by the Sales & Marketing Institute and Dun & Bradstreet, 120 company addresses and 75 phone numbers change every 30 minutes. Meanwhile, 20 CEOs resign and 30 new companies are born.
Data updates occur more frequently than you would believe. Failure to keep track of these incidents causes the data in your CRM system to degrade.
Referring back to the aforementioned quote in light of the statistics, focusing on the information aspect of IT will be a continuous effort.
When it comes to CRM maintenance, simply having a CRM system in place does not ensure high-quality data. You must maintain your data to certify that it is accurate, up to date, and reliable.
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Table of Contents
What is CRM database maintenance?
CRM database maintenance is a continuous process of auditing CRM data to resolve data quality issues.
Superior data quality serves as the strong right arm of your CRM; thus, CRM database maintenance is a critical business task that provides data reliability.
The CRM database collects and stores data such as customers’ details, source of leads, order details, interaction histories, customer preference data, etc.
Quality of the data collected impacts the entire organization. Read about how and to what degree.
How does CRM Data maintenance affect B2B business?
It is critical to maintain data quality through CRM maintenance practices since poor data quality has the following consequences for your B2B business:
Thwarts marketing efforts
Marketing objectives revolve around quality data- be it launching campaigns, sending personalized messages, or introducing promos.
Poor data gives poor context which lets marketing efforts fall through the cracks as you fail to understand customers well enough to talk to them in relevant ways.
Clean CRM data can also help you understand where the best leads come from, allowing you to more efficiently deploy marketing resources.
Affects the customer segmentation process
Effective marketing is anchored on the proper segmentation of customer profiles.
How else would you know how to market the same product to different buyer personas?
And, segmentation doesn’t work with unreliable and inconsistent data.
Ultimately if data issues aren’t rectified, poor segmentation diminishes the marketing tactics.
When it comes to email marketing, for example, you can make the wrong offer or send it to the wrong person. This would quickly reduce your marketing ROI and harm your reputation.
Lets you rank low in personalization
Personalization is critical to the success of any B2B marketing strategy. Personalization is used on different levels spanning from referring customers by name in personalized messages to executing business account-based marketing (ABM) campaigns.
With incorrect data, all of this becomes chaos. Noncapitalization and misspelling of names, for example, can deter customers from engaging with your communications.
Access to high-quality data at the appropriate times will enable you to engage with your consumers in a more personalized and efficient manner.
Induces poor customer experience
Unfit segmentation and personalization issues ultimately lead to poor customer experience. Duplicate data, for example, can result in a negative customer experience because many customers may get the same message multiple times.
This is something that cannot be overlooked because such concerns might harm the brand’s reputation over time.
Increased marketing costs and loss of productivity
A lot of effort can be wasted by sending emails to the wrong addresses or pursuing leads who aren’t right for your company.
Outdated or erroneous data prevents your campaign messages from reaching their intended audience.
Every second spent sorting through records to get the most complete record is time lost.
Armed with outdated or invalid data, your sales, and marketing departments will spend valuable resources without getting anything in return.
As a result, they won’t have enough time to focus on high-potential customers, losing money in the process.
An approach like this eventually harms the company’s reputation, diminishing its profitability.
Bad data costs US corporations up to $3 trillion each year, and up to 60% of enterprises fail to determine the full cost of their bad data.
Disarrays market forecasts and reports
Poor data can make tracking your current marketing activities tough.
It makes your reports erroneous and untrustworthy. As a result, business insights and predictions suffer.
How does CRM Data maintenance affect D2C business?
Impacts Customer Retention
D2C brands compete intensely to retain customers and remain competitive. Customer interaction data spread across multiple platforms makes it a challenge to keep track of customer conversations.
A streamlined communication path helps engage with customers better by capturing all customer interactions in a centralized platform.
Contextual conversations with customers cannot be done without a deeper understanding of customer profiles.
CRM software collects and manages all the information in one place, and segments customer profiles based on buying behavior, preferences, purchase history, etc.
Thus, the CRM software helps you develop 360-degree customer profiles to have a better understanding of each customer.
Hampers marketing campaigns
Some customers seek discounts, some prefer payback and yet others crave reward points. As a result, their purchasing habits, purchasing patterns and tastes fluctuate.
A CRM can assist you in categorizing distinct customers based on predefined criteria so that you can deal with them appropriately.
Strategies for CRM data maintenance
1. Data cleansing
Cleansing or purging data in your CRM helps to remove inaccurate data, unformatted, duplicate, or missing data that will simply clutter up your database.
To cleanse data, follow the steps below.
- Run reports to discover any gaps or irregularities in your data management. This will,
- Aid in the discovery of records that contain missing or partial data.
- Assist you in tracking engagement and removing unresponsive contact records from your database.
- Save you from sending emails to contacts who aren’t interested in your company.
- Filter the data to spot records that are lacking critical information. You can filter the entries for someone whose email address or contact phone number, for example, equals “blank.” A CRM system can aid in the filtering and identification of missing data.
- Deduplicate: What causes duplicate data to be created in the first place? Duplicate data may get created through
- Data filled by customers in forms
- Data imports
- Integration with other applications
CRM solutions with duplication check functionality assist in identifying and merging duplicate contacts.
To maintain data consistency, schedule the data cleansing process regularly. Set up a dedicated staff to handle the data cleanup mission.
Decluttering your database can clear the way for fresh and useful contacts with whom you can interact.
2. Standardize data fields and establish guidelines for the same
Accurate documentation and processes in place aid in gaining a clear understanding of the data standards that must be followed. Data standard practices to name a few are,
- When adding new contacts, enable mandatory fields on all key business data.
- Use standardized CRM naming conventions such as
- Capitalization of names
- Follow uniform formatting of phone numbers (345-234-5673)
- Standardize job titles (CEO / C.E.O/ Chief Executive Officer).
While it may appear to be a minor mistake, poor formatting can undermine the effectiveness of data saved in the CRM system.
Ensure that the formatting is uniform throughout the company.
It’s also critical to ensure that everyone understands the procedures.
Team training sessions can be used to go over the digital handbook and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
3. Import data with caution
Only import data that is relevant and valuable into your CRM. Being cautious with the data at the start of the import process saves a significant amount of time later in the data cleansing process.
Before importing your existing database into the CRM database, remove duplicate and missing data. Also, before importing, format the data fields in the spreadsheet.
Pay special attention to the data they import to avoid future issues. When importing data into the CRM, ensure that it is clean and that it aligns with the current data fields.
4. Be Aware of Data Usability
For efficient CRM data collection, you must first understand how that data is used by your company. Understand what is critical to your company. This can assist you in getting rid of information that is no longer relevant to you and is being preserved unnecessarily.
Seek feedback from a variety of stakeholders to determine which information should be included in your database.
5. Optimize data collection
Prevent unnecessary information from entering your CRM system by identifying and defining how and what data you wish to capture.
Streamlining data entry by creating explicit guidelines might help your company’s CRM administration.
Optimize your lead forms to collect genuine email addresses, phone numbers, and other critical information. This allows you to keep the lead forms short and simple, encouraging more prospects to enter important contact information.
Prospects are more likely to skip filling out their contact forms if there are multiple superfluous fields.
Furthermore, you may include data validators in your lead generation forms to guarantee that no incorrect information reaches the CRM system and that you keep up with CRM contact maintenance.
6. Backup Your Data
CRM stores sensitive and critical information about your contacts, leads, opportunities, prospects, vendors, and so on.
The majority of cloud CRM software manufacturers assist in automatically backing up the system’s data. It is, nevertheless, recommended that CRM backups be performed regularly.
7. Review Customizations
A CRM system grows in size over time, not only in terms of data but also in terms of customizations. Inefficient and clumsy systems turn users away.
Good workflow and up-to-date templates are essential for usability. As a result, it is vital to examine the quantity of CRM customizations, which includes the number of custom fields added, useless linkages, and inefficient or uncontrolled workflows.
This assessment should entail determining whether template layouts are still the greatest match for current usage and whether processes accurately reflect how the organization operates today.
As a result, remove uncontrolled workflows and templates from your CRM system to keep it efficient while improving the user experience.
8. Fine-tune Your CRM
Since your CRM may be connected with a variety of other corporate tools, it is vital to assess these integrations to ensure that all components perform optimally.
Any outmoded technology that is coupled with your CRM system may cause the system to slow down. Thus, reviewing system performance will aid in overcoming such flaws.
9. Conduct Security Reviews
Security review and testing is an important CRM maintenance area that should be handled regularly. Businesses should consider not only user access, but also data security methods, software security licensing, encryption usage, potential third-party vulnerabilities, and industry data rules.
10. The practice of data entry standards in everyday operations
Many times, sales reps enter data in a rush. And as there are so many details to fill in, they may leave out some. This impedes marketing and sales activities because of incomplete records.
So, even if data cleansing activities are scheduled, it is critical to follow data entry standards in day-to-day operations.
Updating data at the appropriate time and with the utmost care aids in the prevention of missing data. To update details on time,
- Grant unrestricted access permissions to the appropriate users. You may increase responsibility in the data entry process by giving each team member complete control and visibility over data access.
- Enforce data entry standards, data validations, and exception notifications using automation. Also,
- Make the necessary data fields for form submission mandatory.
- Limit the use of free-form text fields. Use picklists or drop-down menus instead.
11. Use Mobile Apps to update data in real-time
It might be difficult for field sales representatives, in particular, to enter and update data in their CRM while on the go.
As a result, there are more instances of incomplete data and more time spent in the office having to get back into the CRM from a desktop.
Also, it’s natural for individuals to forget things, and by entering your data in real-time, you can avoid potentially missing out on important information.
Image: Mobile App-Kapture
Kapture has made it easier to update your CRM with mobile apps so that you can update your CRM from practically anywhere and on any device.
If you choose a CRM that is mobile-friendly, you may expect more staff to use it, resulting in more precise data management.
12. Re-engage Users to Get Updated Information
Create an engaging editorial plan that includes surveys and premium content to download to obtain contact updates from customers.
It works on the assumption that once a lead has been engaged, he will opt to update his contact information.
Fornasiero’s Insurance agency used this strategy to clean up a 5000-contact database that had been completely abandoned by re-engaging nearly 3500 contacts with a targeted editorial plan.
13. Automate Data collection
According to statistics, 32% of sales reps must spend an hour of their day manually entering data.
You can automate the majority of your data maintenance duties with the help of robust data management software such as Kapture.
Role of CRM in Data Management
- Companies gather customer and prospect data from a variety of sources. CRM software simplifies data management by connecting all of that data. This data connection indeed provides businesses with a centralized platform to house all of their data, which is crucial because it simplifies data maintenance.
- Data spread across multiple platforms inhibits the marketing team’s and sales reps’ efforts by exposing them to the risk of sending irrelevant communication and dealing with customers without adequate context.
- You may start conversations with customers at the right time based on their interests and preferences. Avoid bombarding clients with irrelevant product recommendations and infomercials!
- The Data Management functions of Kapture CRM automate data entry, undertake duplicate checks, assist in filtering entries, generate reports, and offer a mobile app for remote assistance.
Take it short from this insightful quote that a CRM ought to be user-friendly and efficient, but it can be so only with successful CRM Data Maintenance.
Schedule a demo of Kapture to learn how to take care of CRM data maintenance and dramatically improve data quality.
About the Author
|Seema C Mohan
|Seema C Mohan is passionate about all things XaaS and loves to write value-added content. She has been in Business Process Management in the past and has published technology articles in journals.