Click to learn more about author Olivia Hinkle.
Today, marketers might feel compelled to push harder. That’s what tends to happen when a jolt to the economy mixes with a strong concern for the sustainability of a business. So, it’s not a coincidence your inbox is being flooded with messages from businesses you haven’t connected with in months — or even years.
As marketers settle into the new normal, we’ll weather these uncertain times by focusing on improving customer retention. The best way to do that is by taking a closer look at CRM data. Managed and organized the right way, CRM data provides valuable insight to inform and shape future campaigns — the types of campaigns that keep current customers engaged and enable marketers to effectively convert new ones.
The key is ensuring CRM data is clean and properly managed. When businesses have accurate, clean data in their CRM, it leads to better client relationships, seamless customer experiences, and creates more effective marketing campaigns. But if you’re like one-third of marketers that participated in a recent survey from Demand Metric, you don’t yet have an effective process for managing CRM data.
Five Steps to Align CRM Data with Your Company’s Bottom Line
Regardless of the age of data, the type of CRM solution you use, or the life stage of your business, you can create a more effective process for managing CRM by following these five steps.
1. Make sure leadership is on board. Without buy-in from the highest levels of your organization, your efforts will not be successful. Some organizations take it a step or two further by implementing an executive-level steering committee or even a CDO (Chief Data Officer). The CDO is ultimately responsible for the state of all company-wide data and data initiatives, while the steering committee determines data policy and strategy, and the governance team focuses on what data is needed, why it’s needed, and where it should be captured.
How do you ensure executives are on board? Align CRM data with the company’s bottom line to underscore its importance.
For example, consider the fact that 95 percent of marketers using CRM data for sales forecasting and reporting believe when CRM Data Quality is high, their forecasts improve substantially.
When you align CRM data with the bottom line, it’s easier for executives to drive a company-wide effort to prioritize the proper Data Management.
2. Create a cross-functional team responsible for the integrity of your CRM data. Each department needs to elect a person to be part of the data team and act as their liaison. By having every department represented and responsible for the data, the accuracy and efficiency will significantly increase. Additionally, this strategy underscores the importance of the mission throughout the company.
3. Assess the quality of your data by performing an audit. Once you have executive endorsement for the initiative and the right team in place, the next step is to gain a better understanding of the current state of your data. This way, you’ll have a benchmark at the onset. You’ll also get a handle on what the road ahead looks like for improving the quality of CRM data and what tools you’ll need to clean and augment the management process.
4. Dedupe, standardize, and verify the data. Deduplication, standardization, and, at a minimum, email verification are all pivotal to Data Quality. The mismanagement of these key actions impacts the most teams — sales, marketing, and support — all of which are customer-facing, thereby affecting the brand image as well.
5. Ensure that managing CRM data is an ongoing process and a priority throughout your company. Data needs to be managed daily, just like any other department in your organization. Many businesses stop at step four, but without an ongoing, cross-company effort, the quality of your CRM data will be compromised.
Cleaner CRM data enables companies to more easily uncover valuable insights. And when maintaining clean, up-to-date data is seen as a continuous process and a company priority, it will pay off in your ability to engage customers, more accurately forecast sales, and boost retention and opportunities to upsell.