Data is a key factor that contributes to the success of any marketing efforts. Quality data can help you create personalized campaigns for your target audience. Marketers rely on a CRM system that can enable them to store, organize and manage data on their contacts to utilize it in their marketing strategy. CRM or customer relationship management data makes it easier for a business to segment their contacts, have meaningful conversations with them and provide a personalized experience.
CRM data is useful for many teams across an organization like marketing, sales, and customer support. Just using a CRM system does not guarantee quality data. To ensure that your data is accurate, updated, and reliable you need to maintain it. Bad data can negatively impact any of your marketing and sales efforts. Any organization irrespective of size can fail to realize how bad data can create various issues. In this article, we will look at how to maintain CRM data to ensure that it is reliable.
What is CRM data maintenance?
CRM data maintenance is the process of auditing your CRM data, updating it, or fixing any issues in your database. This process helps you keep your database fresh, reliable, and organized.
Why is CRM Data Quality Important?
Marketers rely on data to get to know their target customers, create content, marketing campaigns and personalize them. Without the right data it will be difficult to create personalized marketing campaigns.
Let’s look at all the reasons why quality data is important for an organization.
Personalization is key for a successful marketing campaign. Consumers now expect businesses to provide them with a personalized experience. This is a crucial factor that influences their buying behavior. A consistent and high-quality CRM data gives you all the information you need about your leads and customers. These insights help you to understand your customers better and create messaging tailored to them. For example, to personalize an email many marketers use the first name of the recipient. Sometimes due to data formatting issues the first name could be uncapitalized or the last name might be used instead of the first.
Errors like these can discourage customers from engaging with your emails. Poor data quality can negatively impact your personalization efforts.
Account-based marketing needs accurate data
A growing number of B2B businesses have adopted ABM or account-based strategy as part of their overall marketing efforts. Personalization is key for any successful ABM strategy. ABM depends on accurate data to help plan and manage it. Inaccuracies in data can result in poor performance of ABM campaigns.
In an ABM strategy marketers deal with accounts. If any B2B contacts are missing from a particular account you target, you may miss out on them. Or in other scenarios if you are targeting an organization and miss out on any key stakeholder, you will not get the results you desire. This can negatively impact your sales process. In addition, with inaccurate data you may fail to understand your target accounts which will not help in your personalization efforts. Hence, if you are implementing ABM you need to ensure that your data is reliable.
Accurately analyse and forecast
High-quality data can help you improve on your reporting, analyzing, and forecasting. With the help of accurate data, you analyze your ongoing marketing efforts and make informative future decisions. Bad data can make it difficult to track your current marketing efforts.
Data decay in CRM system
Data decay refers to gradual loss of data within a CRM system over a period. It happens automatically without any action taken. Over time data becomes outdated as contact information changes or businesses change. Data changes rapidly hence businesses should ensure that sales reps work together to do regular data cleaning and updating. Data decay if left unchecked can have a negative impact on the overall health of your CRM database. Hence, it is a good practice to keep your data in check.
Decrease in spend
Poor quality data can sometimes increase your marketing campaign spend. This happens if you have redundant data. Duplicate data leads can increase campaign cost and create confusion for your marketing team. It can also have an impact on your team’s productivity resulting in lost opportunities.
If you have poor quality data, it will be expensive to fix your data issues. Data maintenance can then become more expensive and time-consuming. Hence, instead of waiting to fix your data issues ensure that you work on avoiding these issues. Being proactive and maintaining your data can reduce the cost of fixing any issues in your CRM system.
Let’s find out how you can maintain your CRM data.
How to Maintain CRM Database?
Here are some key areas that you can improve to effectively maintain your CRM database.
Ensure data quality
Data quality comprises data that is relevant, consistent, and accessible. The quality of your data affects your campaigns and the overall success of your marketing efforts. Data accessibility means that various team members within your organization can easily access your data. Various teams like marketing, sales or customer service in your company will need data from your CRM. Having access to this can make them more efficient and help them complete their tasks easily. On the other hand, not having access to data can create delays in task completion.
Data inconsistency occurs when data is not clearly formatted. The most common error is when the contact name is not correctly capitalized. Other formatting issues relate to phone numbers, email address and mailing address. It’s important to pay attention to these small details to keep your data looking professional and consistent. This also helps your team avoid any misunderstandings or confusion that can lead to errors.
Lastly, data you collect should be relevant. Collect relevant information on your target customers that will be useful for your marketing and sales efforts. Data quality is important to maintain so that your team members can use it efficiently for various purposes.
Keep database clean
Data cleansing is the process of removing redundant data, fixing any incorrect data, removing special characters, and identifying any other issues. Bad data can have a negative impact on your campaigns. Hence, it is important to regularly cleanse and update your database. Data cleansing can be a time consuming process. The first step would be to audit your database and look for errors or issues that need to be fixed. You will need to break your database into chunks and allot each one to different team members. Distributing responsibility to various team members can help you cleanse your database more efficiently.
If you don’t have any team members that can help you, you can outsource the task to developers to cleanse your data in bulk. Data cleansing process is never completely accurate in one go. You might miss out on some issues; hence you will need to repeat this process frequently.
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Every CRM system faces the issue of duplicate data. Duplicate contact or company is created through manual data entry either by your customers when filling for or by your own team members. This can also happen during data import or integrations with other software. Duplicate data can hinder the progress of your marketing efforts. It can lead to an increase in your campaign spend. Marketing teams can have low productivity as they spend time fixing errors. Moreover, it can also negatively affect customer experience as your customers may receive redundant messages.
Deduplicating data will help keep your database organized and fresh. You can make space for new contacts in your database by clearing out duplicate data.
Remove unresponsive contacts
Data purging refers to deleting or removing any outdated, duplicate, or low-quality data from your database. Every CRM system has data that does not serve any purpose and creates clutter and confusion in the database. With data purging you can permanently remove this data and keep your database clean with useful data.
In your database you’re going to have contact records with undelivered emails, outdated records, unqualified prospects, incomplete data and more. These records are not useful for you and hence need to be deleted. Decluttering your database can create room for new and useful contact that you can engage in.
Purging is needed to maintain the overall health of your CRM database. When you launch your campaigns, you can be assured that you are reaching the right prospects who can turn into potential customers. If you have low-quality data, it will hurt your campaigns rather than helping them. Sometimes you can also end up in the spam lists of contacts if your emails are not being delivered. It is better to cut these contacts out to avoid any penalties or risk of jeopardizing your reputation.
Data operations comprises all the daily tasks needed to maintain CRM data and ensure that it can be used efficiently for all your campaigns. The tasks here include the daily updating, importing data, removing duplicates and more. This can help you keep your data organized and updated every day. It ensures the quality of data and keeps it ready for use whenever needed.
Import only relevant data
You can avoid inaccuracies and errors if you only import relevant and useful data into your CRM. When you are careful about importing relevant data from the beginning, you can save a lot of time later in data cleaning. This also ensures that you are organized with your database.
When importing any data into your CRM go through it first. Ensure that you have complete email addresses or phone numbers before you add this data into your CRM. Look for any duplicates in your list. If certain contacts are not relevant to your business, you can delete them beforehand. This can save you a lot of trouble later.
Check if data is formatted before import
As discussed above, formatting is a very common issue that messes with the quality of your data. Usually excel spreadsheets are imported into the CRM database. Train your team to format the data correctly in the spreadsheet so that when they import it all the formatting will be correct. Have a single format so that all team members can be consistent with formatting while importing data. This step can ensure that you don’t import data with wrong formatting and keep the data ready for use.
Data maintenance is a process that you will need to do frequently. It is frequently cleaning and updating your database to keep your CRM system healthy. The steps discussed above can help you maintain the overall health of your database. Every business is different and can have different issues. Audit your database and identify the issues that need to be fixed. Without an audit you will not know where to start. Also, ensure that your team is educated on how to maintain the CRM data. Once they know how to do that they can easily monitor and fix issues regularly. In addition, they can also pay close attention to the data they import which can help avoid future problems.
Improving your CRM data will require team effort. Hence, get your teams on board and train them on how to import data correctly and give them the responsibility to keep the database clean. High-quality data can make your data accessible, easy to use and reliable. You can accurately segment your customer base and create personalized campaigns for them. Healthy CRM data plays a key role in the overall success of your marketing and sales endeavors.
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