Data is the new oil.
Without it, your sales engine stops running.
Like oil, data needs to be refined.
Or else, it won’t fuel your sales machine.
The problem is that B2B data has a very short shelf life.
- 24% to 36% of your CRM data decays each year Tweet this!
- 25% of sales contacts are invalid at any given time
Poor data causes reps to waste 27.3% of their time,
and ends up costing you 12% of revenues.
The good news is that,
by following a few simple data hygiene best practices,
richer data-driven sales conversations are always within your reach…
Learn how to Utilize a Data-Driven Approach to Generate Technology Leads!
#1 Find out what’s wrong
- Start with a thorough audit of your CRM
- Interview key data handlers and users
- Identify what types of errors and potential issues you encounter
Related: Not Just an Address Book: 4 Hacks to Turn a CRM into a True Sales Tool
#2 Fix what’s broken
- Validate data entry errors and typos first
- Research and update inaccuracies like phone numbers, email addresses, etc.
- Define rules for merging and removing duplicate records
Related: Symptoms of an Unhealthy Email Marketing List (and How to Clean It)
#3 Fill missing values
- Use the main company phone number as a placeholder until you obtain a direct line
- Infer email addresses from common company-specific email patterns
- Populate empty fields with data from publicly-available sources and third-party providers
#4 Fit data together
- Follow standard naming conventions for contacts and businesses
- Make sure to use consistent abbreviations and punctuations throughout a column
- Create formatting rules for categorical fields (e.g., job titles, industries, etc.)
#5 Feed into a data management process
- Plan for each stage of the data lifecycle (from collection to removal)
- Automate as much as you can, but keep humans in the loop
- Farm out a specific task when you don’t have the resources to do it in-house
Related: Is Bad Data Hitting You Hard? Here’s How to Roll with the Punches
Keep in mind that data hygiene is a continuous process, not a one-time thing.
Always go back to the 5 F’s: