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Does your company use a CRM system suffering from cluttered and disorganized data? Does it take too much time to find customer information?

A disorganized CRM database can lead to missed opportunities, poor customer interactions, and frustrated employees!

Hi, my name is AJ! I recently sold my business for multiple seven figures. Now, I aim to help entrepreneurs build a booming business through Small Business Bonfire (SBB).

After operating my company for the last decade, I uncovered numerous things about CRMs, data, etc., including the importance of CRM data cleansing!

Why is accurate data necessary? Follow me as I break down data management strategies and why your business needs them!

Key Takeaways

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What is CRM Data Cleaning?

CRM data cleansing is when companies validate and check the existing data in their CRM system.

Part of data cleansing is removing inconsistencies and incorrect data.

However, another aspect of cleaning your data includes identifying and removing the following types of data:

Data that are formatted incorrectlyIncomplete dataIrrelevant dataInaccurate dataCorrupted data

Focusing on keeping CRM data clean is essential because it prevents teams from making uninformed decisions down the road.

Every customer relationship management system aims to offer in-depth, accurate reports and recommendations.

But this is only possible if the software has clean CRM data to work with!

Pro Tip #1: Outsourcing CRM data cleansing is an excellent way to save time while organizing your company information and contact records.
– AJ Silber

Why Do You Need to Clean Your CRM Data?

Is clean CRM data that critical? In short, YES!

Maintaining a clean and organized CRM database helps various business aspects and processes.

Below, I’ve compiled six reasons you must ensure your team keeps the CRM system’s data clean!

Data Inaccuracies

You must ensure you keep the data in your CRM clean to prevent data inaccuracies.

Data inaccuracies include incorrect email addresses, poor reporting, and skewed timelines.

Sales and marketing teams rely on CRM data to decide about email campaigns, sales pipeline strategies, and more!

Therefore, if the customer data isn’t accurate, your team is likelier to make poor decisions and miss sales opportunities.

For example, if your CRM shows a certain customer segment prefers receiving discount codes via SMS text, that’s the strategy your marketing department relies on.

However, if this recommendation is false because of inaccurate information, you may lose customers and sales!

Missing Data

CRM data cleansing also ensures your software has completed records.

Missing data is a painful task to resolve, especially when it’s been happening for a long time.

What do I mean by missing data?

Say your company has an initial contact form pop up on your website, and a customer fills it out.

Without meaning to, this person fails to enter their phone number. As a result, your sales team cannot contact this potential lead via phone call or text.

When missing data only happens once or twice, it’s not that big of a deal.

However, your CRM data isn’t as helpful if this pattern occurs on a larger scale.

Outdated Information

Outdated information is another issue that CRM data cleansing can help tackle.

Technology, your customers, and markets evolve at an unprecedented pace.

Customer data can instantly change when someone changes their primary email address!

Outdated information in your CRM system can mislead your sales and marketing campaigns.

For instance, you might be under the impression that a particular customer is still using your product when, in fact, they have moved on to a competitor.

As a result, this outdated information can lead your team to make incorrect assumptions and decisions about the customers they target.

Inaccurate Data

Data inaccuracies are different from outdated or missing information.

The following mistakes can occur because of inaccurate data:

TyposDuplicate entriesMultiple versions of customer recordsManual data entry

When your team manages inaccurate data in the CRM system, it takes longer to find what they need when making decisions.

Also, inaccurate information makes it challenging for your team to understand their target audience.

For instance, if the data stored in your CRM platform indicates a customer falls into one segment when they don’t belong there, marketing efforts won’t resonate with this person as profoundly.

Avoid Bad Data Gets Added

CRM data management helps ensure employees don’t add bad data to the system.

For instance, if one of your sales reps adds incorrect contact records manually, it can throw off the entire CRM database.

Therefore, ensure you have processes that review and validate manual data entry before it gets added to the system.

That way, you avoid duplicate contacts, inaccurate phone numbers, etc.

Low-quality information impacts every business department, from sales reps to customer service agents.

When employees don’t have access to the correct information necessary to make smart decisions, customer relationships, sales, and marketing tactics suffer.

Avoid Duplicate Entries

Duplicate entries in a CRM system can be pretty detrimental to the effectiveness of your business processes.

For instance, imagine having two or more identical contact details in your database.

In this case, your marketing team might send the same emails multiple times to the same customer, which can be unprofessional and irritate your clients.

Also, duplicate records can confuse your employees and lead to poor customer interactions.

Although duplicate data points may not seem like a big deal, they can significantly affect your data quality.

How to Clean Your CRM Data

Now that you’ve learned why keeping your CRM data clean is a MUST, it’s time to discover how to do this!

I’ll admit that data cleansing can be time-consuming and a little boring at first.

However, the long-term effects of a clean and high-functioning CRM database are worth the time and effort!

Let’s look at the eight-step process for effective CRM data management!

Step 1: Analyze Your CRM Data

The first step in the data cleansing process is to analyze your CRM database.

During this process, immediately observe any data trends or structural aspects you’d like to keep or change.

Additional aspects you should observe while analyzing your company data include the following:

Data categoriesHow your team categorizes each contact recordDeal stage categoriesThe information in each contact recordWhen your team last updated the information

Analyzing data shouldn’t take too long, as this step aims to get a quick overview of existing records and organizational strategies in place.

By leveraging CRM analytics, you can delve deeper into your customer data, identifying patterns and trends that can further inform your data cleansing process and enhance your overall CRM data management strategy.

Step 2: Clean Up Your Data

The second step businesses take while cleaning CRM databases is cleaning their data.

As previously mentioned, bad data can impact numerous processes and aspects of a company.

From ineffective marketing campaigns to unreliable reports, low data quality can harm your company!

Fortunately, most CRM tools have functions that make the data-cleaning process much easier and faster.

Still, if you believe cleaning your company’s data will take too much time, third-party companies offer this service.

Using an outside company ensures your existing team members can keep working on finding leads and closing deals while the data cleansing happens in the background.

Although this can get pricey, it’s an excellent and sensible decision for companies with a lot of customer data.

Remove Contacts

The first part of data scrubbing is removing old contacts from your customer database.

Old contact information takes up space and adds unnecessary names, email addresses, phone numbers, etc., to your database.

Additionally, old contact data can lead to marketing and sales teams reaching out and pursuing prospective who are unlikely to purchase your company’s products or services.

Use CRM filters and automation to quickly identify contacts who last interacted with your brand or purchased products or services several months or years ago.

Find and Remove Duplicates

After removing old contacts, the next step is to find and remove duplicates.

As mentioned earlier, duplicate contact records can lead to confusion amongst your team members and create unnecessary emails.

To get rid of duplicates, use CRM software features such as “merge” to find and consolidate duplicate records.

With CRM capabilities, finding and eliminating duplicated records takes less time than you may initially assume!

Filter Contacts

Next, filter customer data into segments that make sense for your business or industry.

How you filter your contacts depends on your organization’s system and industry.

Still, some common ways I’ve seen companies filter contacts is by the following descriptive traits:

DemographicsPurchase historyAgePreferred method of contactProducts or services they are most attracted toMarketing efforts they have interacted with

Meet with your marketing and sales reps to discuss how each department thinks you should filter contacts.

The way in which you filter contacts should make it easy to find customers and prospects throughout the sales process.

Archive Old Data

Lastly, ensure your team archives old information and customer data.

Why should you keep your old records if your employees don’t use the information?

Storing old data helps you learn from the past and analyze the systems and organizational tactics that worked (or didn’t).

Also, archiving old information is a way to “play it safe.”

For instance, it is incredibly frustrating when you’re searching for an old piece of information only to realize you deleted it a couple of weeks ago (trust me, I’ve had this happen)!

Other benefits of storing old data include the following:

It’s easier to look up informationYour team spends less time on backups and restoring filesYour reduced processing timesThere’s less disk space required for storage

CRMs typically have a lot of storage space; some providers even allow you to increase storage space as your company grows.

Therefore, you don’t have to worry about old information taking up valuable room and preventing your team from storing new data!

Step 3: Standardize Data

The third step in cleaning your CRM platform is standardizing your data.

Usually, teams utilize CRM software daily because it streamlines processes and makes it easier to complete simple and complex tasks.

As you use your CRM, you must combine it with cycling through your company’s contacts and checking if emails are successfully delivered.

Standard processes like the one I just mentioned help verify your company’s data, ensuring it’s valid and useable.

As a result, your CRM will automatically create lists and fill contacts when they don’t serve your company in any beneficial way.

This way, you can rest easy knowing your CRM data is constantly cleaned and updated.

Step 4: Fill In Missing Data

Step four in cleaning your company’s CRM data is reviewing records and filling in the missing information.

For instance, if you notice a contact’s phone number or last name is missing, have a sales rep find that data and enter it into the CRM platform.

Complete records help build cohesive customer profiles that everyone on your team can use effectively.

Sometimes, your team may be unable to fill in the blanks through online research; some missing points demand cold calls.

While this can take a little time and energy, it’s crucial to remember how much better complete profiles are compared to incomplete ones!

Step 5: Create Clear Segmentation

Creating clear data segmentation standards is vital if you want your CRM data to be useable (which all businesses do, of course!).

Also, segmenting your data ensures you can implement workflows and standard fields within your company’s files.

Creating standard fields means your team will avoid making too many variations of the same information (remember the downfall of duplicated data).

What do I mean by segmentation?

One example is creating a drop-down menu to group contacts with similar job titles under a single searchable term.

So, when a sales rep wants to contact someone with IT experience, they can search “IT” and find the individual they need!

Step 6: Data Validation

As your company finds ways to collect customer information, it’s crucial to implement data validation standards.

A famous example of data validation is when a website asks users to input their email addresses.

The system only allows users to submit the form if the person enters a valid email address. Therefore, someone cannot type “hello world” as a valid email address.

Instead, the address must look something like this: “[email protected].”

Data validation standards prevent mistakes and useless information from entering your system, saving time and money in the long run!

Step 7: Set Data Cleaning Policies

Step seven is creating data cleaning policies for everyone in your company.

When employees have set rules and standards to operate by, there’s less of a chance bad data and inaccuracies make their way into your CRM.

Data cleaning policies vary based on the following:


However, regardless of the policies you put in place, ensuring everyone follows them is critical!

Otherwise, your data quickly becomes disorganized.

Step 8: Use an Integrated Platform

Whether you just opened for business a week ago or your company is growing fast, your CRM (likely) is one of many places you store information.

Most businesses store information across several platforms to help streamline business operations related to accounting, inventory, etc.

You must have an integrated platform to make the most out of your company’s data.

Fortunately, most CRMs integrate seamlessly with third-party apps!

Even if you have an application that doesn’t integrate with your CRM directly, there are integration services that allow you to see everything in one place!

Integrated platforms allow team members to easily communicate and find the data they need to complete their jobs efficiently.

Also, CRM integrations ensure your company builds better 360-degree customer profiles, allowing you to know and understand your customer base better!

Pro Tip #2: Ensure everyone in your company understands how you segment contact data, making it easier to find information when necessary.
– AJ Silber

Closing Thoughts on CRM Data Cleanup

Cleaning CRM data is necessary to build complete customer profiles, stay organized, and work efficiently.

Dirty data can lead to inaccurate reports and recommendations, poor customer interactions, and lost sales opportunities.

Therefore, a sound data cleaning process is essential to ensure your team gets the most out of your CRM data!

How does your company keep its data clean? Let us know in. the comments section below!

And good luck finding the best data-cleaning process for you and your team!

The post CRM Data Cleansing: Ultimate Guide appeared first on Small Business Bonfire.

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