Customer data management… what is it? Why do we need it? Is there a right or wrong way to use it? Simply put: it is important, because, and YES! Many times sales teams engage with a prospect, forget about the conversation, and they become a lost lead. We’re human of course we forget things from time to time. So, how do we fix this? And what are the answers to those questions, for real?
What Is It?
Customer data management (CDM) is the process of collecting, analyzing and managing the data of customers for a particular organization.
Why Do We Need It
CDM allows for organizations to solve customer’s problems and provide solutions. Nowadays, customer experience is a huge factor when deciding to purchase, a product, use a service, or both. Customer management software tools help us implement CDM within organizations.
Is There a Right or Wrong Way to Use It??
Absolutely! To accommodate sales individuals, teams, and leaders companies implement different customer relationship management software to handle their customer data management. By looking at these best practices you can determine how to best utilize CRM systems to best fit your organization.
The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight.
Carly Fiorina, President, and Chair – Hewlett-Packard Co.
1. CRM Best Fit
With all of the CRM software companies popping up, how do you decide which is best for you? Putting in ample research on each data management platform and being able to answer these four questions will point you in the right direction.
- What is your need for a CRM?
- What do you hope to accomplish?
- What problems will this solve?
- What processes can be automated?
Based on your answers on those questions, you should have an idea of which platform might work best for you. Some other helpful tips are to:
- Find a CRM that is CUSTOMIZABLE
Everyone’s process is different, make your CRM dashboards work for you. Likewise, you want a flexible CRM that will grow with your business and is able to adapt without needing to jump ship.
- Select a CRM that is MOBILE
Does your sales force travel? This will be essential for users that are on the go. From phones, to tablets, to laptops make sure your CRM is easy to read across all devices.
- Be sure the CRM you select has the REPORTING you want
The functionality of your CRM is essential to meeting your needs and providing the analytics required. Choose a CRM that has the ability to customize your reports based on your unique data.
2. Data Governance/Responsibility
Individuals with control of your CRM is crucial in keeping consistent data on each customer. Assigning responsibility to one group or individual will limit the mistakes that could occur when importing data. Unless you take the right precautions, you run the risk of dealing with multiple non-common data entries which could lead to consistent data.
For example, let’s talk about Infusionsoft’s capabilities. Say you are importing a list of 600 contacts in your CRM. Typically, you group these contacts, or with Infusionsoft, you tag them with certain categories. What if someone who is not aware of these categories imports your contacts without adding any tags/categories?? Well, have fun tagging 600 contacts individually! Communication and understanding should be in place before altering the system.
How much data is too much data? This question cannot be answered with a number. Make sure the data in your CRM systems are prospects that you actually want to reach out to. Implement your CRM system for a process that strives for better quality of data quantity. Companies focusing on the usability of the data included in their CRM will be able to focus their priorities. Follow these simple steps to make sure the numbers stay relevant while the quality stays high:
- Define what data is important to your business
- Identify how it is best to record it – without cluttering fields with useless information
- Keep up with data monitoring and cleansing
4. Data Monitoring/Cleaning
Data in real time is hard to come by which makes the importance of data cleansing crucial. When setting up your CRM also set up system of when and who will go through your data. Whether it is a team or an individual, monthly or bi-monthly keeping up with your data cleansing will bring a more functional CRM.
Updating contact addresses or verifying their job status can be some things to look for when cleaning out your data. Here are some other simple hacks to keep your data looking fresh!
- Name - consistent formatting.
- Address - keep your contacts address up to date.
- Job Titles - has your contact received a promotion? Changes companies? Keep this information relevant.
- Notes - keeping track of who they are, the conversations you had, and what their goals were will help the conversation spiral forward.
Looking for a way to make your employees productivity skyrocket? Many CRM systems have capabilities that can guide and strengthen the skills of how your sales team relates with prospects. Education in the platform is important for employees to understand reports and make precise decisions based on analyzing the reports. Even small companies on a budget can find economical training for their employees through online courses. Some CRM software companies offer training once you sign up.