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Clean Data: A Necessity in CRM

Clean Data: A Necessity in CRM

Brian Gardner No Comment

Before implementing a new CRM, most companies think they have their arms around their data, but when they really dive in, they realize their data is all over the place. Multiple salespeople with the same contacts, spelling issues, no connections between contacts and companies – you name it.

The data is also usually scattered in multiple systems, such as Access, standalone contact management systems, Excel spreadsheets, Outlook or another CRM system. It’s a mess. And it needs to be approached with a realistic mindset.

Your data has to be cleaned up before you begin implementing a CRM process and system. And you need someone to lead the charge on this – a data cop who can serve the data ready to go for the vendor. Set standards and determine which fields you want to bring over into the new system. Most CRM vendors have templates and can guide you through.

Some will help with basic clean-up, such as duplicate-checking. But at the end of the day, there’s no way for a CRM vendor to know which data is good and which is bad; that’s up to you. The CRM vendor does not know whether John Smith is still alive or Bob Rogers is still linked to a particular company.

If you’re not confident in your data, I’d rather you bring no data over and start from scratch. If you bring over bad data, your users will get frustrated, and it may perpetuate duplicate or bad-data entry from the start. Or, if you are comfortable with some data, but not all, start with less. Only import what you know is accurate.

Data is just one of the common reasons that CRM can fail. Learn about the others in this blog: Why CRM Initiatives Fall Short

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