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The Importance of CRM Data Integrity

By Olivia Smith on Thu 23 March 2023 in CRM

The Importance of CRM Data Integrity

Data is the heart of all CRM systems and, when input correctly, can be utilised to heighten product, customer, and sales awareness. But data can be affected by a whole host of variables that can’t always be controlled by an automated system. So, how can CRM help when your data becomes faulty?

The utility of CRM ultimately relies on its data integrity; with accurate data in circulation, CRM can be an invaluable tool for business growth. In fact, 74% of businesses say CRM software gave them improved access to customer data and accuracy. However, data can sometimes become skewed by extraneous factors that can’t always be monitored by an automated system. Whether it’s down to human error or unexpected circumstances, such as people changing their contact details, there is always room for error. 

Data can also go out of date - companies may close down, CEOs may change and employees might leave the business. These are all factors that might lead your database to be inaccurate. 

Poor data can be seen in many forms, these including: 

Multiple Variations

Therefore, having specific fields (User Defined Fields) within a CRM system is paramount to avoid making needless mistakes when entering data manually. With a CRM that has these configurable fields, even simple ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ fields, you’re minimising the risk of human error and accelerating the contact creation process.

Another issue causing poor data integrity within a CRM system is duplication of data. It can be a monotonous task to regularly look through hundreds of contacts in a database to check for duplicates. It can also be a waste of time rekeying a company's data when it’s already in the system, unbeknown to the user. The right CRM should be able to identify duplicates and notify the user, saving valuable time and keeping the data clean by eliminating multiple variations. For example, if you’re entering a duplicate email address, your CRM should be able to recognise this immediately and allow you to resolve this issue by transferring data to the correct contact record. 

Having an inaccurate database will ultimately reduce the effectiveness of both sales efforts and marketing campaigns. Data imputed wrong will mean marketing efforts, such as email campaigns, will receive a high bounce rate and won’t actually reach their target market, resulting in wasted time, effort and funds. Same with the sales team - calling people within the CRM, yet the contact information was entered wrong or out of date, can be a complete waste of time and can even put the sale at risk due to your company appearing unreliable. Dirty data can ruin the most valuable tool a business can have: CRM.

Therefore, it’s crucial to take the necessary steps to prevent inaccurate data from affecting marketing and sales success. Firstly, your team should incorporate data cleansing into their ongoing, weekly tasks to eliminate erroneous data. Data cleansing to-dos can include ensuring there are no missing fields, as well as searching and finding company contact details and names. Data cleansing can also flag up fake contacts as well as corrupt data. To ensure optimal data integrity, utilising free resources like LinkedIn and Companies House can be indispensable for locating up-to-date contact details.

Having a CRM with automated features that help extract data from external sources can also ensure the highest level of data integrity. For example, some CRMs have built-in ‘Social Searching’ tools that will recognise an email that’s been input, for example, and auto-populate the remaining fields with the contact name, job title, department etc. if that information is available online. This not only reduces the risk of typos, but can also help you find contact data with as little information as possible!

Another step you could take to minimise errors within your database is assigning user roles to those who have access to your CRM, to establish accountability for data integrity. These roles could be defined by employee responsibility and function, to ensure users can only change and add on to data that is relevant to their role.

Across the board in every department, clean data produces the best results that a business needs to stimulate growth, revenue and better customer relationships. Accurate data can also impact the speed in which a business can grow due to its ability to minimise wasted time and effort across various departments, leading to more effective sales and marketing campaigns. Even though there will always be inconsistencies, taking the time to consider and amend these errors could be hugely beneficial to your overall business performance.

Prospect CRM uses automated functions like RFM Analysis and our AI Growth Engine to maximise the value of your data, as well as a built-in Social Searching function that helps you keep contact details up-to-date. Our 14-day Free Trial allows you to see your data in action from day 1 so you can seize control of your data integrity.