Deploying a CRM system or switching platforms can be an excellent opportunity for a little spring cleaning with your data. Unfortunately, this part is often overlooked during the implementation phase; and usually rears it’s ugly head later on and you fear you don’t have the resources for what looks like 122 years of admin work to clean.
Skipping this stage can bite you in the bum once time has passed. Depending on the current quality of your data, cleaning should be one of the most important aspects of new CRM ownership.
Setting the standard
I see two different scenarios almost on a weekly basis when implementing Sugar at various organisations around Europe; one of which I support highly – the other I stress the avoidance of.
The first is where considerable effort has taken place to clean the data prior to importing into their fresh system. The upside to this (other than the obvious) is that the new users of the system join the CRM roll-out project with the best intentions to keep the data free of duplications, complete information and work well with a great attitude to the system.
The second is one where cleaning is an instant afterthought, and sometimes never gets done. Duplicated entries and out-of-date information lessen the importance, goal and success of the new CRM. Users show a less than expected enthusiasm and over time the CRM project runs the risk of being labelled: “Fail”.
It’s not actually 122 years. Simple Excel logic makes things easier to identify duplicates and time spent analysing each record deciding if the Contact/Lead/Opportunity/Project is worthy of entering the new CRM.
Last year I was involved in a SugarCRM project to email all known contacts (B2C environment) with a small proposition: Fill out this form (full of usable interest data points) in return for the chance to win one of 10 iPads. 10 iPads were won, and the company now had 25,000 contacts updated with their latest interests, of which were exceptionally useful for the sales team and future marketing efforts. Return on this investment has made the company £Millions to date.
It’s never too late to run a cleaning initiative and the outcome might surprise you.