How to Clean Your CRM Data

How can you make sure your CRM data is clean? Begin by following a few steps to make your CRM structured and spotless. Below, we also include the procedures to maintain it that way.

#1 Delete or Merge Duplicate Records 

Delete duplicates as the first step in cleaning up your CRM database as a CRM platform owner. Duplicate records occur for various reasons, including several team members entering the same data on multiple dates, data import that fails to account for existing entries, or a client submitting data numerous times. 

Duplicates should be deleted or merged with their existing equivalents, regardless of how they entered the system. However, the burden of manually detecting and eliminating duplicates when you have thousands of records is intimidating and impractical. Consider the following strategies:

  • Use a duplication checker software to see if there are any duplicates. Salesforce, for example, has a free tool that checks for duplication.
  • Use a case merge software like Case Merge Premium, which goes above and beyond by not just searching for duplicates but also combining them all at once.
  • Block duplication from the start in the future. Find out whether your CRM offers a native capability to prevent duplicate cases at the point of entry after you’ve cleared up existing duplicates. If this is the case, you can instantly prevent future duplication by notifying users when they try to input one.

#2 Limit the Number of Administrative Users 

Consider restricting the number of team members with full administrative rights inside the system as part of your attempt to minimize and avoid duplicate entries. According to CIO, the number of administrators with full system access should be kept at six, but this is only a guideline.

The ideal amount for you will depend on the size of your firm and the nature of your business. Keeping the number of administrators under control helps maintain your processes and may prevent an unskilled team member from inadvertently disabling an essential duplication checker.

#3 Create a Set of Data Entry Best Practices

When critical information is missing or documented inconsistently, data becomes an issue. You may make your CRM software much more efficient in the future by establishing standard procedures for data input. 

Your duplicate checker will identify an instance of duplication faster if the records are more comprehensive. Analyze the information you’ve gathered. 

Is there a set of clear, consistent rules and procedures for inputting the following data points?

  • Do you use official names, or may you use nicknames as well? Are all of the names capitalized?
  • How do physical addresses become abbreviated? 
  • Do you remove the old address or retain it in a secondary field if you receive a new one? Users should connect entries for individuals who reside at the same address in the same household.
  • Occupational titles: Are titles spelled out completely, or are they abbreviated? A minor difference between the words “Doctor” and “Dr.” may result in an unnoticed duplicate entry.
  • Notes: What is the best way for people to utilize the notes field? If your business only uses this area for information that doesn’t fit into any other field, such as a customer’s preferred name, make sure everyone on the team is aware of this.

Once you’ve decided on your standards and standard practices, be sure to record them and make them available to all users who will have access to the CRM system.

#4 Make a Maintenance Schedule

You’re now in excellent condition, with duplicates handled, administrators properly chosen, and an entry procedure in place. CRM cleanup, like most things, isn’t a “set it and forget it” task. Everything from a weekly examination of identified duplicates to quarterly checks for available CRM software upgrades is included in maintenance. 

Set aside time to clear up poor records or check for missing data regularly, and consider using automatic reminders or job assignments to ensure that nothing slips between the cracks. It’s also worth noting that you should build up a procedure in your CRM system to inventory outdated, aging, and unengaged data. 

Use CRM reporting capabilities to generate a report of your oldest records. Consider putting it on the dashboards or home screens of responsible team members to remind them to handle such data according to corporate rules. 

#5 Make a ‘No Shortcuts’ Rule

Some individuals are slackers when it comes to entering CRM data. They just become sidetracked by other activities and fail to complete the task at hand. 

They may put in an organization name and phone number as they go between meetings or transition from one job to another, but leave off the contact information. Perhaps they wanted to double-check the contact’s name and put it off till later. If this does not happen, your business will begin to accumulate a CRM full of incomplete records.

You’ll need the contact’s complete name. You must include a phone number, and email address, and any other information you believe is necessary for consumers to purchase from your business. Recognize the dangers of inputting shortcuts with CRM data – and avoid them.

#6 Determine Who is Inactive

If someone looks at a record in the CRM and has to question, “How on Earth did it get in there?” that’s a good sign. You’ve got a data-cleansing issue.

While most businesses naturally concentrate their efforts on pursuing consumers who exhibit the strongest signs of purchase intent, you must constantly filter out those who will never become customers.

If a client or prospect hasn’t interacted with you in months or even years, it’s time to either locate another contact or delete them from the CRM.

This practice will often reveal that the reason for your inactivity is that you’ve been attempting to contact someone who has long since left their employment. They may have transferred to a different department within the same company. 

The business has been bought or merged with others on many occasions. Perhaps you don’t have the correct contact information.

Clean CRM data is data that you can rely on. It’s data that you can utilize to expand your company. 

The majority of people will recognize this. It’s simply a matter of being deliberate about making sure it’s there.

#7 Prevent Bots from Gaining Access

When consumers download an item like an eBook, marketing teams use forms to gather leads behind the scene. These forms collect a lot of CRM data. However, such forms aren’t always filled out by actual individuals.

Even if your IT staff is tiny, there are frequently simple solutions that may be used to keep bots out of your CRM. 

It might involve requiring someone to complete a CAPTCHA before submitting a form or just using a filter to exclude suspect email addresses and domains.

Final Thoughts

Maintaining clean CRM data is everyone’s duty, and the advantages of doing so include greater knowledge of your customers and the capacity to interact with them efficiently. If you need assistance getting started with a CRM data maintenance plan, please contact us.