For long now, the concept of CRM data cleansing has been tossed around in the B2B marketing and sales boardroom discussions. It’s something that began in the days when we used wooden cabinets to store customer data. From there, we moved to disorganized folders spread across the organization’s network or on the hard disk of the CMOs, sales/marketing leaders, or with the customer-facing teams. The number of spreadsheets and documents in those folders is still the stuff of nightmares for every professional working with data.
In today’s time, however, the wooden cabinets have been replaced by advanced CRMs. The modern CRM is just the contemporary manifestation of the old “cabinet,” which allows businesses to manage interactions with their past, current, and prospects/customers. The old wooden doors have been metaphorically replaced by complex usernames and passwords, yet the underlying problems of ineffective customer database management remain the same. It leads to organizations contemplating whether they need a thorough data cleansing or just a data management mechanism in place. This is where a free data audit by a trusted partner could aid you. It not only will highlight the issues with your database, but also will propose an effective solution to address the issue.
What is CRM data cleansing?
Data cleansing refers to identifying the corrupt data, deleting/updating it, and having an organizational level oversight for data management. However, managing information or data has always been a daunting task for organizations, mostly when it is siloed all over the corporate network.
While the arrival of CRMs addressed the data availability, there still was no solution to the bad data fed to these CRMs. Years and years of human error, inconsistent communication between teams, easy-going data control strategy, and lack of data handling guidelines had created massive data dumps across the organization. Businesses needed to clean these data dumps for effective data management and tailoring of data to meet the business needs.
So, to have an effecting CRM data cleansing process for your business, you must ensure:
- there is a formal data management/handling policy to have a cleaner database
- there is a proper interdepartmental communication for data handling
- there is a database management team, which timely audits the CRM to update and modify the data to clean up any incorrect/duplicate data fed into the system
- there is an ownership for the customer data within the organization for accountability purposes.
- a formal data management/handling policy for a cleaner database
proper interdepartmental communication for data handling
- a database management team to timely audit CRM to update, modify, or clean up data
- an ownership for customer data within organization for improved accountability
Why you need CRM data cleansing?
In a typical corporate hinterland, data cleaning talks will surface ideally on two occurrences – one, when they incorporate a new CRM, and two, when they are migrating from an existing CRM to a new one.
Any organization that has grown its database over a long period needs a timely data audit. It not only will avoid the creation of any data bloat in the organization, but also will help remove any redundant information that might have accrued over time.
A clean database will yield benefits for an individual team or practice and the whole organization. Some of the visible benefits will include –
- Minimal human error even when multiple data sources are involved.
- Lesser errors correspond to happier and productive employees, which eventually translates to happy customers, better lead quality, and increased revenues.
- A boost of 10% in lead quality could result in 40% growth in revenues, suggests Marketo.
- A cleaner database allows for better analysis and decision making for future applications.
- More importantly, it allows you to be more compliant with the laws, e.g. GDPR, and avoid penalties.
The way forward for organizations working with CRMs & Databases
As the adage goes, “we are living in a data-driven world,” it could be suicidal for a business to rely on an outdated/old data for business insights or decision making in such times. According to a recent study by IBM, the US alone lost $3.1 trillion yearly due to bad data. Even if we take mind-boggling figures into account, it makes quite a compelling argument favouring investing in data quality improvement. There’s always going to be cases of bad data getting mixed up with your useful data, but with a reliable data quality management partner, you can ensure that your good data remains sacrosanct as it should be!
The world of data is ever evolving, the information that’s pertinent to you now, might change or even become redundant in near future. This state of constant change requires organizations to stay on their toes when it comes to managing their data. While we have rules defining organizational policies, a team of dedicated individuals working on keeping the data relevant will allow the sales and marketing teams to use their energies for core tasks. It also assures the fact that their data is updated and maintained at all times.