Updated on March 25, 2020
CRMs are expensive.
Not only are they hitting your pocketbook directly, but they also cost a lot of time. Sales reps, marketing, operations and management spend a substantial chunk of their day entering information into the CRM so that everything is "easier and all in one place." However, anyone that has used a CRM in a big company probably knows that's often not the case.
All that time spent entering information into the CRM just because they are "supposed to" could be used actually closing clients and prospecting. Besides, often when salespeople are told to enter everything into the CRM so it's clear which leads they are working, they just enter placeholder information to keep their leads from being passed off. Hence, wasted time and useless information. Since your company is spending all that money on a CRM, don't you want it to be useful?
Why You Should Clean Your CRM
Aside from the reasons mentioned above, we determined these 4 reasons for cleaning your CRM. Maybe all of these reasons resonate with your team, or maybe just one. Either way, you have a problem that needs fixin'!
1. Messy data makes it harder to onboard new sales reps.
When data is inaccurate and disorganized, it's harder for new hires to distinguish between good and bad leads in the CRM. The easiest way to discourage and mislead a sales rep is to a give them access to leads in a CRM where they can't determine which are dead, already being worked or missing information, without extensive research on their end.
2. Bad data is expensive to hold on to.
CRMs are expensive as it is, but when your CRM is full of duplicates, dead leads and outdated contact information, it really adds up. The unnecessary marketing automation and CRM upgrades can be avoided by cleaning your CRM regularly and establishing guidelines to keep it clean moving forward.
3. Poor data quality is demoralizing.
Nothing irks a salesperson more than crafting a perfect email and seeing it bounce back. When your sales rep does indeed find a lead they think is worth pursuing, only to have the email bounce back, it causes a real lack of trust in the company and the marketing team. Especially when it is so easy to find accurate emails nowadays with tools like FindEmails.
4. Old data leads to employee churn.
It's getting harder for sales reps to hit their quotas these days. There is so much competition for slots in a company's tech stack and it's hard enough even with a perfectly clean CRM. Put bad data into the mix, and reps will feel like they're not being supported and leave. Or, if they can't hit their quota you will have to let them go. Either way, it's not fun.
Is what we mentioned above happening with your CRM? Are the leads outdated, notes useless and data cluttered? Fear not! You can use the simple strategy below to get your CRM clean, keep it that way and turn your outdated leads into shiny new ones!
How to Clean Your CRM
Step 1: Figure Out the Source
You will never successfully clean your CRM if you don't identify the problem. Go through your CRM and look for patterns. Are there a ton of duplicates? Did 9 of the 10 contacts details you checked come up inaccurate? Do the same few users keep coming up in the modification history of problem accounts?
Use this information to take action!
Step 2: Remove Duplicates and Filter Out Old Contacts
One of the easiest ways to begin cleaning your CRM is to start by removing all duplicates. Most CRMs have solutions in place to help do this, but some work will be manual. To get your whole team onboard and make the process easier, communicate the plan. Have them remove all duplicates from accounts they're responsible for and save yourself time!
How to Turn Your Outdated Leads into Brand New Ones
Once all the duplicates are removed, have your team make a list of any outdated contacts. Email addresses that have bounced or a contact is no longer with the same company, for example. The more the better!
Next, plug the list into TrackJobChanges and wait for your brand new list of leads to generate! What you may have thought was useless data just became gold for your sales team! The best way to clean your CRM without wasting data is to know when a contact changes jobs. We'll help you track job changes, alert you when it happens and even provide the contact's new email address!
How to Keep Your CRM Clean
Communication is the key to keeping your CRM in tiptop shape. Depending on the situation, you may just need to communicate a few standards so everyone enters information in the same format. On the other hand, you may need an entire change of procedures in your company. If employees currently think of the CRM as a system they have to enter information into just to show they are working, this needs to change.
Communicate a clear set of standards for entering data into the CRM. Put all guidelines on a document available to everyone in the company. Most of all, encourage your team to use the CRM for their benefit. Once everyone is on board with the new procedures, each member can go through their accounts and update everything (yes everything) to match the document.
Now That It's Clean...
To keep your CRM clean you need to go through it regularly. Set a monthly reminder on your calendar so the cleanup effort doesn't go to waste in 6 months. Check for overlap and make sure it's being utilized properly. A clean CRM prevents all four of the maladies described and puts your team in the best position to bring on new business and grow the company!