So, your Salesforce database looks like it’s been put in a lidless blender, and it’s driving you barmy. What can you do?
Reasons Salesforce data gets in a mess:
- People make mistakes
- Not everyone is a great typist
- There’s no system for double-checking data entry
- People leave, and businesses go under. You could be wasting time on closed business leads.
The problems this causes:
- Salespeople don’t trust the data, so stop using the system to find leads. They ignore all the positives of Salesforce CRM because of an unclean database that could be avoided.
- So, Salespeople are working around the system, but they’re not taking more time to find leads. And this time isn’t factored into your business plan. This means paperwork might get a bit sloppy on top of everything as well, because they’re trying to get the same amount of leads closed with less time to do so.
- Marketing also suffers, as your business ends up getting loads of return mail and bounced emails because so-and-so isn’t working there anymore, or the business has moved. Telemarketing might also get worse due to calling numbers that no longer exist. There are countless reasons why messy data hinders your business process.
- Upper management gets cranky (to say the least) because your team aren’t using the system they’ve invested a whole lot of money into.
How to clean up your Salesforce data
Lack of quality data is one of the top causes of a failed CRM. Whether your data is incomplete, needs updates, you’ve got dead leads or they’re simply duplicates, dirty data isn’t good for your sales process. But luckily, there’s a way to make sure this doesn’t happen. You just need to make a plan and stick to it.
Here are some best practices:
- Define what quality data looks like for your business. What are the basic fields for data input for sales? This will get rid of incomplete records.
- Create a regular data clean-up schedule to add, update and purge records.
- Data clean-up tools will also help with this; some good ones are Cloudingo and Data.com.
- Assign a data administrator for your system. This will be the person who sets and enforces your company’s data standards and works with all the teams affected.
- Report on fields you think are redundant and assess the population rate by exporting to Excel, and counting the blanks (via formula). This will help you check field usage for unnecessary fields.
Following these best practices will help you start keeping a cleaner database, which in turn encourages and supports Salesforce user adoption.
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