Almost all companies monitor the quality of the services they deliver to ensure customer satisfaction, so why not treat your internal database like a client deliverable and ensure your own data quality?
To keep up with the increase of information distribution in recent years, it is becoming more and more necessary for all internal databases to have the cleanest data, and your database is no exception. Unfortunately, necessity doesn’t guarantee outcome and it’s not always an easy to have to do it yourself, but if you can remember five elements of good data, you can pretty much guarantee your company the CRM foundation that is needed to drive revenue.
Accuracy is the most obvious element is the correctness of your data. How much of your data is actually true? Do you have the correct email address(s), phone numbers and company affiliation for your contacts? Information in a marketing database is most accurate when self-reported reducing unintentional inaccuracies.
Completeness of data is two-fold. First, for all of the records you have (companies, contacts) do you have all of the data you need? Moreover, do you have all the records that you need? For example, you may have email, phone, and address on all of the contacts in your database, which fulfils the first criteria. But, if your targeted job role is say, C-Suite, and you only have one contact in a Company, lacking appropriate position, then your segmentation will lack accuracy.
Consistency means having a standardized format for all information collected, and can also refer to how a contact or account is classified. Having inconsistency in your data can really impact your ability to accurately segment your database. For example, if an account is categorized as a prospect, but also has a closed opportunity attached to it, then it should probably be coded as a customer. Are you then missing the chance to up-sell to a customer, or worse, have you been marketing to them as you would a prospect when they already are a customer? Luckily, this is one of the easier aspects to deal with since it can be automated in CLS CRM systems.
Uniqueness refers to the extent to which each record in your database represents a unique entity, and is necessary for obvious reasons. You don’t want the same contact in the database twice because it will create duplication of efforts, uncoordinated communications, and general chaos in managing the relationship. Unfortunately, dupes are very easy to create in many systems, such as Salesforce. CLS CRM has unique features permitting the avoidance of duplicates in a one-to-many relationship design.
Timeliness of data is important to remember that as data gets older, it becomes less reliable. Is the contact still at the correct company? Have two companies merged since you last updated. Increasing market volatility means much higher employee turnover, but you need to continue to market and sell to your key target accounts, all the while integrating their internal changes into your database, whether it’s a new contact, new email domain or whatever else you may encounter. Validating and replacing invalid contacts on a regular basis is the best practice. Investing in professional data hygiene is a value that will show a return on your investment. Consider hygiene as an additional service should your data lack email and self-reported updates by your contacts.
Individually, each of the five elements will contribute to the level of quality, but it’s important to remember that when all performed together, accuracy, completeness, consistency, uniqueness, and timeliness should bring you to a state of near-perfect data. CLS CRM enables the real-time maintenance of your data while implementing each of these five elements.