CRM makes collecting your customer and prospect data less challenging. But, ensuring data quality for each target customer takes a lot of work. Thus, you must learn tips to improve your CRM data quality to boost your business sales.

  • Ever wondered what defines data quality in CRM?
  • Are you struggling to understand how improved CRM data quality can increase sales? 
  • What if you don’t know which techniques can efficiently improve your CRM data quality?

You may ask, what’s the hype about improving data? Well, Hilary Mason, founder of Fast Forward Labs and renowned data scientist, says, “Data is a tool for enhancing intuition.” 

This quote suggests you must enhance available data for better insights into your target audience. Improving your knowledge helps you develop an accurate intuition for the story your data is trying to tell you.

In fact, in today’s hyper-competitive business landscape, the quality of your CRM data is a make-or-break factor. Poor data quality can result in missed opportunities, lost revenue, and strained customer relationships. 57% of businesses say improving their CRM is their top sales priority.

Once you read the article, you’ll gain invaluable insights on how you can CRM. 

You will discover:

  • Proven techniques to enhance the accuracy and completeness of your CRM data.
  • Strategies to leverage high-quality CRM data for increased sales and customer satisfaction.
  • Tips for efficiently cleaning and maintaining your CRM data.

What Is Data Quality In CRM?

Data quality in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) refers to the overall condition and reliability of stored lead data in your CRM system. You must maintain high-quality data to ensure you make effective business decisions. 

But how will you define the data quality? 

Look for these key elements of high-quality data: 

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5+ Indicators of High-quality CRM Data

1. Accuracy

By accuracy, we mean the correctness of the data in the CRM system. Accurate data is free from:

  • Errors
  • Inconsistencies
  • Discrepancies

Remember, inaccurate data leads to misunderstandings, incorrect communications, and poor decision-making. 

For example, missing a customer’s name or incorrect phone number can lead to failed communication.

2. Completeness

It ensures all the necessary data fields for a given record are filled in and up-to-date. In CRM, complete data guarantees a comprehensive view of your customers. 

Complete records can prevent you from missing opportunities. Hence, it can hinder your ability to understand your customers fully. 

For instance, missing contact information or purchase history can impede your ability to tailor marketing campaigns.

3. Reliability

It assesses the trustworthiness of the data stored in your CRM system. Reliable data is consistent; you can count on it for accuracy over time. 

No need to say that inconsistent data and frequent changes erode trust in the CRM system. Plus, it can hinder its effectiveness. 

For instance, if a customer’s contact information changes without reason, it can create confusion and mistrust.

4. Relevance

It refers to the importance and applicability of stored data in your CRM system. Understand that not all data is equally valuable. And your CRM system must prioritize capturing and maintaining data relevant to your organization’s goals. 

It’ll help you maintain positive customer relationships. Moreover, irrelevant data clutters your CRM system and makes it harder to find essential information.

5. Timeliness

This element measures how up-to-date the data in your CRM system is. You need timely data for making informed decisions and engaging with your customers effectively. 

However, if your CRM has updated information, you may take advantage of opportunities. Ensure stored data is regularly updated as customer preferences, contact details, and other information can change over time. 

How Can CRM Increase Sales?

Your CRM system can significantly increase sales by:

  • Streamlining processes
  • Enhancing customer interactions
  • Providing valuable insights. 

Now, let’s explore in detail how CRM contributes to your sales growth:

  • Provides Improved Customer Understanding

Your CRM software collects and centralizes customer data. These data include: 

  • Contact information
  • Purchase history
  • Preferences
  • Communication history

Thus, your sales teams get a comprehensive understanding of prospects. It helps them to personalize their interactions and offers with prospects. Your prospects receive sales pitches and marketing messages tailored to their needs and preferences. Hence, it boosts their chances of converting. 

  • Performs Effective Lead Management

Your CRM system helps sales teams track and manage leads throughout the sales pipeline. Your team can easily:

  • Categorize
  • Prioritize
  • Assign

– leads to specific sales representatives. It ensures you don’t miss any business opportunities.

Further, automation features in your CRM help nurture leads with targeted email campaigns and follow-up reminders. Hence, it increases the likelihood of their conversion.

  • Ensures Automation of Administrative Tasks

CRM automates your routine administrative tasks such as:

  • Data entry
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Order processing

Thus, your sales reps can focus on refining strategies for:

  • Prospecting
  • Building customer relationships
  • Closing deals

Hence, less time spent on administrative work leads to increased sales productivity.

  • Standardizes Your Sales Process

You can define and standardize your sales processes with a CRM system. Your sales reps can follow predefined workflows that guide them through each sales cycle stage. Thus, it ensures consistency and reduces errors. 

Furthermore, standardization helps you identify bottlenecks and optimize the sales process. As a result, you can ensure a better purchase experience for prospects. 

  • Enhances Communication and Collaboration

Your sales team members can communicate and collaborate seamlessly with a centralized platform like CRM. They can easily access:

  • Customer information
  • Notes
  • Communications history

-allowing for a unified and coordinated approach to sales efforts. 

Such teamwork leads to better customer service.

  • Allows Data-Driven Decision-Making

You get valuable insights through reporting and analytics tools from your CRM software. 

Your sales managers can:

  • Track sales performance
  • Identify trends
  • Measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns

These insights help make data-driven decisions. 

You can allocate your resources more efficiently, target high-value customers, and refine your sales strategies. Altogether, these upgrades maximize your overall revenue.

  • Ensures Customer Retention and Upselling

CRM helps in nurturing your existing customer relationships. Your sales team can track customer interactions and preferences. Thus, they identify opportunities for upselling or cross-selling additional products or services promptly.

Also, your satisfied customers are more likely to become repeat buyers. Hence, again, CRM contributes to your long-term revenue growth.

  • Offers Timely Follow-Ups and Reminders

Your CRM system automates follow-up reminders and tasks. It ensures that sales reps do not miss important customer interactions, such as:

  • Sending quotes
  • Following up on leads
  • Addressing customer inquiries promptly

We must emphasize that your timely responses can help you close deals faster.

How Can CRM data quality be improved to boost sales?

Let us walk you through the 15 tips to enhance your CRM data quality. 

  1. Outline High-Quality Data Characteristics for CRM

To start, you need to know what constitutes high-quality CRM data for your business. As we mentioned earlier, often high-quality data is accurate, complete, up-to-date, and relevant. Plus, It should be consistent across all records in your CRM system.

You can be more specific in outlining your CRM data by answering the following: 

  • What are some examples of low-quality data you’ve encountered? 
  • What type of data are of no use for your sales pitches? 

For example, inaccurate contact information, outdated purchase history, or duplicate records?

  1. Encourage Data Ownership

How do you currently encourage data ownership within your team or organization?

Can you point out who’s accountable for particular data in your CRM? 

If not, ask everyone in your organization to take ownership of the data they input or use in the CRM system. 

Here’s what Krittin Kalra, Founder of Writecream, says about data ownership-

“Foster a sense of responsibility among CRM users to maintain accurate data. Assign data stewards who can oversee the quality, consistently update records, and address any data-related issues.”

  1. Establish Data Governance

Implement a robust data governance framework. You need to:

  • Define data standards
  • Create data entry guidelines
  • Establish workflows for data updates and approvals

Make sure you establish a transparent process for resolving data quality issues.

Further, implement a data governance framework to define roles and responsibilities for CRM data. Like data ownership, it ensures accountability and helps maintain data integrity over the long term.

  1. Use External Data To Enrich CRM

External data sources help you enrich your existing CRM data with valuable information, such as:

  • Social media profiles
  • Industry news
  • Financial data
  • Changing contact information
  • Behavioral data

Hence, you can make your customer profiles more comprehensive. We recommend you use data enrichment tools for this purpose. Some reliable enrichment services platforms are ZoomInfo, Revnew, FullContact, etc. 

They update outdated or missing or outdated data in your CRM system. Hence, you get new insights that you can use to:

  • Target
  • Segment
  • personalize

-your efforts and campaigns.

  1. Run Regular Data Audits

When did you last conduct a data audit in your CRM system? If it’s been a while, let’s schedule one and see how it can positively impact your sales.

Conduct periodic reviews to identify and rectify data inconsistencies, duplicates, and errors. Regular audits ensure your CRM remains a reliable source for decision-making.

  1. Include Customer Feedback In CRM

Integrate your customers’ feedback directly into your CRM system. It enables you to tailor your sales strategies based on your target customer’s preferences and pain points.

Also, track any improvements in your sales processes after adapting to feedback. 

7.  Establish Uniform Data Input Guidelines 

You may have encountered challenges related to inconsistent data entry. 

Different CRM users may enter the same information or abbreviations in different manners. 

For example, one may write Ryan, while the other may spell Ryaan. 

It can cause unnecessary confusion for your sales team when they try to retrieve a particular data. 

Therefore, make sure to standardize data entry into your CRM. One way to do this is 

by creating clear and uniform data input guidelines for your team. 

It includes formatting rules for your prospects’ names, addresses, and other information. 

Consistency in data entry reduces errors and improves data quality.

8. Train your CRM team 

Precious Abacan, Content Marketer at Softlist.io, suggests giving proper training to your CRM team. He says-

“Ensuring that everyone understands the system well and the importance of maintaining high-quality data is key to success. Training sessions can ensure everyone is on the same page about data entry methodologies and can help build a culture of data quality within your organization.”

So, make sure your CRM team understands these two things:

  • The importance of data quality
  • How to use the CRM system effectively

Further, make sure your training sessions cover:

  • Data entry best practices
  • System features
  • Data validation procedures

Also, keep track of any specific training resources or techniques you find particularly compelling.

9. Use CRM Automation for Data Updates

You can leverage CRM automation to streamline data updates. Implement automated processes to validate and update data regularly. 

For instance, automate email verification or data cleansing. It’ll ensure your CRM data stays accurate and up-to-date without manual effort.

For starters, you can list out specific tasks to be automated and check the results you see. It is an excellent way to add to your CRM data and enjoy all the data enrichment benefits. 

10. Leverage Data Encryption

Security is paramount when you deal with customer data. You wouldn’t want to get into any legal trouble. 

Therefore, implement robust data encryption and security measures to protect sensitive customer information stored in your CRM. It builds trust among your customers and prospects, leading to increased sales.

Let us tell you some relevant tips to make the list of data encryption: 

  • Test and measure your encryption performance. Use tools and metrics like:
  • Encryption speed
  • Memory usage
  • Throughput
  • Error rate
  • Latency
  • CPU usage
  • Next, compare your encryption performance with:
    • Your baseline
    • Benchmarks
  • Identify any issues or bottlenecks. Resolve these issues to improve performance.

11. Employ User Permissions

You must control who can access and edit data in your CRM. You can achieve this by implementing user permissions as they prevent unauthorized changes.

It means only qualified individuals will be able to make updates. Doing this reduces the risk of errors and maintains data integrity.

12. Use Feedback Loops

Have a feedback mechanism in place within your CRM. Know that your CRM users are your first defense against data inaccuracies. Hence, encourage them to report any data issues they spot. This feedback mechanism will help you fix data problems faster. 

13. Measure Data Quality Metrics

To improve, you need to measure. So, think about data metrics that would be most beneficial for your organization.

Define and track key data quality metrics besides completeness, accuracy, and timeliness. Some key metrics you can measure are: 

  • Data Error Ratio: 

Determine the ratio of errors in your dataset relative to its size.

To find this, calculate- the total number of errors/total number of items.

  • Empty Value Count: 

Calculate the number of empty fields within a dataset. It indicates missing information.

Count the number of empty fields within a data set to find this.

  • Data Transformation Error Rate: 

Evaluate the frequency of errors during information conversion into a different format.

Find this by measuring how often data fails to convert successfully.

  • Amounts of Dark Data:

Determine the volume of information rendered unusable due to data quality issues.

Calculate how much useless data your system has.

  • Data Time-to-Value

Define your organization’s criteria for “value.” Then, measure the time it takes to reach that value through your data.

14. Establish Data Quality Scorecards

  • Create data quality scorecards to visualize the quality of your data. 
  • Assign scores to different data attributes and use these scorecards to identify areas that need improvement. It’s a straightforward way to see the overall health of your CRM data.

Pro tip: We advise you to create 4 data-quality scorecard levels: 

  • Score Summary:

This level provides a high-level overview of your data quality performance. It gives a glance at how well your data meets predefined quality benchmarks. 

  • Score Decompositions:

This level takes a deeper dive into your data quality. It breaks down the overall score into specific metrics and dimensions, allowing you to pinpoint which areas require improvement. It provides a more granular understanding of data quality issues, making it easier to prioritize and address them effectively.

  • Intermediate Error Reports:

These reports provide detailed insights into each metric’s specific errors or issues. They offer valuable context, highlighting the nature of data quality problems and potential root causes. 

  • Atomic Level Data Quality Information:

The last level helps you get into the individual data records. It helps you examine the quality and integrity of each data point. 

This level offers a microscopic view, allowing you to identify and rectify data issues. It’s essential for fine-tuning data quality and ensuring data accuracy from the ground up.

15. Run Customer Surveys

Customer feedback is valuable for improving products and services and validating and updating customer information in your CRM. 

Hence, conduct surveys to gather fresh data and verify existing records. 

Here are some great ways to conduct your customer surveys: 

Online Surveys:

  • Email Surveys: Send surveys to your customers via email using survey tools or platforms like SurveyMonkey, Google Forms, or dedicated email survey software.
  • Website Pop-up Surveys: Implement pop-up surveys on your website, asking visitors for feedback or opinions. You can trigger the pop-ups by specific actions or timed to appear during the customer’s visit.
  • Social Media Surveys: Use social media platforms to create and share surveys. Hence, you can gather feedback directly from your followers.

Phone Surveys:

  • Cold Calling Surveys: Contact customers directly via phone calls to gather feedback. This approach allows for more in-depth conversations and is useful for obtaining qualitative insights.
  • IVR (Interactive Voice Response) Surveys: Use automated phone systems with pre-recorded survey questions. Customers can respond by pressing the keypad buttons. IVR surveys are efficient for collecting structured data.

In-Person Surveys:

  • On-Site Surveys: If you have physical locations, set up on-site kiosks or tablets for customers to complete surveys at your premises.
  • Event or Trade Show Surveys: If you attend events or trade shows, gather feedback from attendees using paper surveys or digital devices. 

Conclusion

Enhancing your CRM data quality is the key to unlocking a world of sales potential. You can build stronger business-customer relationships and make informed decisions by standardizing, regularly updating, and measuring customer data. Remember, quality data brings accuracy, completeness, relevancy, and timeliness on which you can rely to approach your customers and target audience. 

Flatlogic’s custom CRM solutions can help you boost your data quality. We take control of your CRM data value. Plus, we help you craft, tailor, and launch your personalized CRM system within minutes. You also gain complete access to the source code, granting you and your clients the flexibility to adapt and extend the solution as required.