As a CRM administrator, you know the importance of achieving and maintaining high-quality CRM data. But what about your colleagues in marketing, sales, and customer service? What about the organization’s leadership? To get others in your organization to appreciate the value of CRM data quality and gain support for your data quality initiatives, here are three things every CRM administrator must do… starting right now!
As your organization’s CRM administrator, you can create a culture of respect for CRM data quality in your organization by educating others on the important role it plays in the success of the business.
Share how CRM data that is consistently cleansed, standardized, and refined helps multiple departments in multiple ways:
It’s important to note that whether individuals in your organization have access to your CRM system or not, they may have a hand in collecting the data that goes into it (such as teams that attend trade shows and collect leads) or leveraging the data that comes out of it (such as marketing teams using internal lists for digital campaigns or leadership making business decisions based on the customer and sales data it reveals). When everyone respects CRM data quality, the organization wins.
Sharing with others that clean CRM data is critical to business success isn’t something you should do once. Do it over and over again. As a CRM administrator, you’re in the best possible position to be your organization’s champion for data integrity and keep quality data top-of-mind.
Here are some ways CRM admins can champion the cause and get others to see the value in quality CRM data:
Include reminders in company newsletters or during team meetings about data quality initiatives and report successful outcomes. Has campaign ROI improved? Is the sales department converting more leads because of accurate information in the database? Did the organization net an unexpectedly high number of clean new leads at the latest trade show because you enforced data quality standards for collecting that information? Are customers being reached more frequently and more effectively because their information is correct and complete? Regularly share these “wins” with the organization.
Explore the options for using third-party CRM solutions that go beyond the native capabilities of your CRM. Look for choices that let you and others in your organization generate more accurate reports, stop data errors at the point of capture, clean existing and new lists no matter the size, automate data cleansing routines, ensure data is deduped and up-to-date for the sales team, ensure email addresses are validated before marketing hits send, and more. Make a short list of your favorites and then make your best business case for why you need them. Commit to getting the right people – the decision-makers and users who will benefit most from the solutions – in the same room for informative demos.
Establish the business reasons for clean data and present the solutions that will help you achieve it. This is about presenting more than the external solutions like third-party CRM software. Include internal initiatives, such as restricting user access, providing user training, and creating a style guide for how your organization’s data should be collected and standardized.
For your data quality process to be most effective, you’ll need to do more than establish a training program for CRM administrators and users, and rules about standardization and restricted access. Help the organization create a system of accountability that improves adherence to data quality standards and the positive outcomes they bring. Can quality data entry be tied to the performance measures of any users of the CRM? Can you establish a scoring system for what constitutes complete and accurate records and provide reports on who is meeting the requirements best? Can you use your scoring system to improve the performance of team members by showing them how their data entry or data use compares to others?
It’s an older piece from the Salesforce blog, but the post “Keep It Simple: The 5 Core Features of an Effective CRM” had one of the best tips for how a business should think about its customers that I have ever read, so I’m sharing it here.
The author posed the question, “What would you do if you only had one customer?” Regardless of whether you have a few hundred, a few thousand, or even a million customers, “take a step back and ask yourself how your business would operate if all of your success depended upon the satisfaction of a single, solitary customer. Would you neglect your follow-up calls? Would you misplace important client information, or transfer your client from department to department when he or she contacts you with questions? Would you allow your organization to deliver anything less than absolutely perfect service?”
“Of course not!” you say. But as the author of the post pointed out, the reality is every customer is your only customer, at least in their eyes.
Each customer’s expectation is that you will treat them like they are the most important person to your business. You’re going to get their needs met, their questions answered, their calls returned, their orders delivered. You’re not going to forget important information about them, send them the wrong item by mistake, bill them for something by mistake, get their name misspelled in correspondence, or suggest something to them that doesn’t address their concerns.
Adopting this perspective of your customers and getting others in your organization to do the same can be a game changer in your organization’s ability to reach its strategic goals.
By now, you may be thinking to yourself, “But they’re not my only customer! That approach to customer relationship management sounds really nice, but how do I apply it to thousands of customers?”
That’s where the value of your CRM system comes into play. It is designed to help you connect with, manage, understand, and reach every customer, even if it’s millions of buyers at once, in a way that still makes them feel special, appreciated, and absolutely essential to your success. But for your CRM system to do its job well, the data inside it must be accurate, complete, well-managed, and well-maintained.
And that’s where the value of Validity’s solutions come into play.
Help your organization create a data-centric culture, act as a champion for data integrity, and share the perspective that each individual customer – and, therefore, the data that represents them – is critical to business success.
When data users and business executives in an organization collectively understand the value of quality CRM data, they’ll be far more inclined to support initiatives, programs, and solutions that keep it optimally effective.