You’re looking for a CRM because your current methods can’t keep up with your growing business. A CRM provides you some extra automation, a searchable contact database and analytic tools to help you leverage your data and grow your business.
You’ve probably been using data and analytics in some capacity to grow your business, but having more robust tools at your fingertips with your new software is one of the key benefits you obtain from having a CRM.
Those analytic tools are useless—and in many cases actually harmful—to your business if you don’t have a data management plan in place.
The truth is that without a clear data management plan in place, your CRM will eventually become littered with duplications, inaccurate data, and errors, so getting your team aligned early on the importance of clean data is absolutely crucial.
Bad CRM data management costs you big bucks
You make major decisions for the future of your company based on the data and analytics you gather from your CRM and other software, so being confident in that data is beyond crucial. Otherwise, the worst case scenario—perpetuating inefficiencies, spending more money than you need to, and damaging your brand’s reputation through bad customer experiences—becomes a reality.
In fact, Gartner research indicates that poor data quality is costing enterprise businesses an average of $8.8 million per annum (full content available to Gartner clients).
While your losses likely wouldn’t be as extreme as the example above, consider the following:
You begin using your findings to plan out the future of your business only to find the problems you perceived to be big weren’t quite as big as you thought because you or your team hasn’t been keeping your data clean.Or, worse yet, you may never have a clear grasp on the true issues you business needs to solve in order to remain competitive in your market.
Ultimately, the conclusions you drew from your incorrect data might not hurt your business, but at the very best, you’d be using suboptimal information and planning incorrectly for the future of your company.
By focusing on ensuring your CRM data management strategy is maintained by every member of your team, you’re less likely to lose money.
Avoid costly headaches later with inexpensive CRM data management features
As an SMB, you’re in a unique position to take initiative and adapt a CRM data management plan early and avoid the problems larger organizations run into:
- According to a 2017 Gartner survey, only 7% of enterprise business survey respondents have formal data quality metrics in place, and 65% of respondents have no metrics at all (full content available to Gartner clients). The majority of businesses surveyed had no way of even knowing what poor data quality and management was costing their organizations.
- Additionally, Gartner found that enterprises spend around $231,000 on data quality tools each year (full content available to Gartner clients). Obviously, that amount of money is cost-prohibitive for small and medium-sized businesses, but the amount of data you have to manage is much smaller.
Luckily, many CRMs either come equipped with data quality tools built in or have the ability to integrate with data quality and data management software. Data quality tools skim your CRM to find duplicate entries, inconsistencies, and formatting errors in order to help you keep your data as clean as possible.
They aren’t 100% perfect, so relying on them as your only source for keeping your data clean would be a mistake—but they go a long way in helping you out.
And best of all: You won’t have to break the bank in order to reap the benefits of quality data management.
It’s true that enterprise businesses are dealing with far, far more data points than your business will have to manage, but that just means you have an easier time setting up a good data management strategy early on.
Plan for the future with these CRM data management best practices
Data quality issues are faced by organizations of all sizes and complexities.
For a CRM to function successfully and give you the ROI you’re expecting, it must be used correctly by all members of your team at all times, so developing a data management plan and ensuring your staff sticks to it is crucial.
When developing your CRM data management plan, it’s important to keep in mind a few things:
These suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to keeping your data clean and useful. They are just a starting point to get you thinking about what you should keep in mind.
The most important thing during the earliest stages of CRM adoption is ensuring you have an understanding of the importance of data management and quality control.
Understanding the importance of CRM data management and quality at this early stage in the process will ensure you’re well positioned to maximize your return on investment and make strategically sound decisions to help your business grow.
Being mindful about how you will be maintaining and utilizing your data as early as possible is critical. Luckily for you, a lot of modern CRMs integrate or come equipped with data quality tools, so you have options if the task is too daunting.
Even luckier for you is our team of advisors talk to business owners like you every day about what you are looking for in software and are there for you to answer any and all questions you might have. Give us a call at (855) 998-8505 to chat about your needs.