Can Dirty Data In Your CRM Create Chaos In Your Culture?

Dirty data in your CRM can lead to employee resentment, low productivity, and the erosion of a company’s culture faster than you can say Salesforce. Here’s how different departments in your organization view the breakdown. 

Doctor, I Keep Having This Recurring Data Dream…

Imagine a world where your CRM becomes the information hub that leads the way for your organizations strategic decisions. Everyone in your company looks to you, the Salesforce admin, as the gatekeeper of all vital information on customers and prospectsAll of the information in the Salesforce instance is clean, standardized, and free of duplicates. The reports are accurate and on full display for your executive team to see. 

As much as we wish otherwise, this described world is a work of fiction. We know this is “fake news,” as most Salesforce admins don’t have the luxury of a picture-perfect, pristine database. In fact, in the absence of doing something proactive about it, most CRMs are littered with dirty data, creating a situation where: 

  • Duplicates are throwing off sales forecasts  
  • Standardization is not a high priority  
  • Reporting is scrutinized because it’s pulled together based on erroneous information 
  • Email addresses have typos or are invalid, skewing campaign ROI 
  • Data quality maintenance seems like an overwhelming, if not impossible task 

Lost Trust

The question becomes: How do you manage the chaos? Each department in your organization relies on accurate data. Without it, resources are consistently being wasted. Not only must you ask yourself, how is this impacting the bottom line, but also how is the culture of the organization being impacted without trust in the data? When you consider the situation from the following viewpoints, the need to take action so all departments in your company can consistently trust CRM data is clear.

Data Quality From the Lens of a Sales Professional

Most sales teams rely on a database to provide complete contact information for them to create demand among existing customers or followup quickly on leads. They look for accurate contact details to establish their relationships, build the client’s trust, and ultimately close deals. When dirty data stands in their way, it creates mistrust and leads to poor adoption of your CRM. Data errors and a decrease in CRM adoption can create a new set of problems: 

  • Sourcing leads outside of the CRM may lead to overlap in territories 
  • Directors spend more time sorting through lead sources and reassigning ownership instead of strategic planning 
  • Forecasts and pipelines are incorrect, which makes KPIs hard to meet, leading to turnover in the sales department
  • Sales reps waste time nurturing the same lead because of duplicate data
  • Sales leaders must deal with unhappy team members and frustrations over account ownership
  • Sales teams are forced to track down accurate contact information instead of making profitable connections  

Data Quality From the Lens of a Marketing Professional

Marketing relies on data integrity to build lasting relationships with both prospects and current clientele, and to ensure their digital marketing campaigns are profitable. A lack of data standardization and accuracy impacts the value of marketing lists, the efficacy of campaign strategies, the costs of marketing automation, and the ability to meet expectations for ROI. Dirty data contribute to a host of problems for the marketing team:

  • Unintentional, redundant messages can be sent, causing confusion among recipients and frustration among the subscriber base 
  • Inappropriate automated email communications can be sent to the wrong people 
  • Brand reputation erodes due to lack of personalization and flawed messaging 
  • Marketing feels the pressure of meeting campaign objectives without the ability to accurately forecast ROI 
  • Efforts are wasted creating amazing campaigns that don’t get traction and results

Data Quality From the Lens of the Customer Service Team

Members of the customer service team rely on CRM data quality to provide efficient and satisfactory service. It’s important for them to have access to historical information about a customer so they can provide a consistent experience, details about previous communications so they can avoid asking the customer to repeat what they’ve already shared with a colleague, and information about customer preferences so they can address a need faster. Accurate contact information and robust data will save this team hours in wasted time and allow them to provide the type of customer experiences the company can pride itself on. Or… in the absence of such high-quality data:  

  • Customers can lose faith in a company’s ability to solve their problems
  • Inaccurate contact information can cause billing, accounting, and shipping issues 
  • Errors in data can cause confidential information to be sent to the wrong person
  • Duplicate data can create frustration as customers receive multiple calls about the same issue or duplicate mailings or emails 
  • The customer service team can wind up spending time fixing information in the CRM instead of resolving customer challenges 

Rebuild Trust and Culture

When data isn’t at the level of quality it needs to be, every department suffers. This can lead to issues of trust, not just in the data itself, but in the users of the data. Is it sales ops fault because they added leads from the last trade show without properly qualifying them first? Is it the CRM admin’s fault because the data isn’t cleaned and standardized regularly or because they didn’t fill in missing data fields? Is it marketing’s fault because they acquired lists that introduced errors in the database or because a campaign sent at the wrong time or to the wrong person created frustration for a customer? Is it customer service’s fault because in the time they spent trying to track down the information they needed, a client gave up and took their business to a competitor? Is it leadership’s fault because they didn’t implement data quality processes and data governance to avoid such issues?

With every department relying on customer data quality to do their job well and serve the customer base effectively, what happens in the CRM can make or break a company’s culture. There are only losers in the data quality blame game. By leveraging proven third-party solutions to maintain consistently high-quality data in your CRM, and implementing data quality processes that ensure everyone can and does respect the integrity of the data, organizations can create a win-win for departments and overall company culture.

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