How to Build and Maintain a Clean Sales CRM

March 26, 2019 | Ericka Ponce

Clean_CRM_BlogQuick, what’s the number one tool your sales team can use to close more deals? No, it’s not the phone, email, or even a strong gift of gab, it’s data — accurate, high-quality, contact data. The higher quality of data your sales team has access to, the more likely they are to deliver outstanding results.

So, how do you ensure your sales team has the data they need to succeed? It all starts with sourcing great data and then keeping that data clean over the lifetime of your sales efforts.

The Benefits of Having a Clean CRM

Sales organizations often focus on the volume of contact records in their CRM. The more leads in the system, the larger the pipeline, the more deals that can potentially be closed and won. Unfortunately, as is typical in this case, sales team members get so fired up to add more contacts to the CRM that usually, they sacrifice the quality of the data record.

As a result, your sales team ends up wasting time and energy reaching out to the wrong targets, unqualified leads, or even to the wrong email or phone number. All this wasted effort lowers sales effectiveness, efficiency, and even morale.

Having high-quality data, on the other hand, flips this script. Instead of wasting time with poor leads, a strong data pool empowers your sales team to focus their efforts on the right prospect.

Having a clean sales CRM:

  • Allows your team to be more efficient with their outreach (scheduling more meetings/qualifying more leads)
  • Ensures your team has the correct contact information needed to support their outreach efforts
  • Supports your team’s prospect research needs — for example, if a sales member knows they are connecting with a CEO, they can rework their outreach script to include language that resonates with a CEO buyer persona

So, how do you ensure you have great data?


The Do’s and Don’ts to Creating A Clean Contact Database

Creating a clean, high-quality contact database takes time (and capital investment), but the results make up for its cost. Here’s how to get started:

The Do’s

  • Do Focus on Researching and Adding One Prospect at a Time: Create a clean, complete contact record for one prospect before moving on to the next.
  • Do Utilize All the Digital Tools You Have Available: Check the company directory on the website, the prospect’s LinkedIn page, and even use Google to help find the relevant contact information for a specific prospect.
  • Do Consider Using a Third-Party Service: There are sales enabling platforms on the market specifically built to provide sales teams with clean and accurate data. Use them to help complete any missing data you may have for a contact. Additionally a third-party service can help verify or clean your existing contact data if needed as well.

The Don’ts

  • Don’t Buy a List: It’s a waste of good money. Most imporantly, the individuals on a list have not opted in to receive messaging from your team. Additionally, the contacts on these lists are often outdated, irrelevant, and will clog up your sales CRM with weak and distracting leads.
  • Don’t Dump in All Contacts From a Networking Event: As much as it pains us to say this, someone giving you their business card doesn’t automatically qualify them as a lead. Vet them before adding them to your CRM.
  • Don’t Automatically Upload a Provided Conference Contact List: See the two points above. Sure, you can use this list, but do a bit of due diligence before adding any contacts to your database.


How to Maintain a Clean Sales Database

Finding clean data is only half the battle. Your team also needs to maintain the CRM over time to ensure that the data stays clean. Here’s how.

Start by Creating and Following a Process for Adding Contact Data to Your CRM

We’ve said this before, but it’s worth mentioning again, not every business card is a qualified lead. Create a process that not only documents how a contact should be added to your CRM but also when they should be added.  

Once the process is in place, you’ll want to monitor your sales team to ensure they’re following the new law of the land. Hold those that don’t follow the new process accountable.

Conduct an Initial Data Audit and Cleanup

If you’ve never scrubbed your data before, our heart breaks for you. Depending on the size of your CRM, this can be a fairly heavy lift.

Scrub through your data to identify and consider removing any of the following:

  • Duplicate contacts
  • Contacts with critical missing data (contact information)
  • Outdated or invalid contacts
  • Contacts that have opted-out of receiving messaging

Keep Your Data Clean Through Regular Maintenance

After you’ve given your data a deep initial scrub, you need to implement a plan for keeping your data clean moving forward. If anything, to avoid having to do another large-scale data cleanup again!

Different companies will need different cleaning/data maintenance schedules. Determining factors include:

  • The volume of contacts added on a daily/weekly/monthly basis
  • The length of your sales cycle
  • The source of the data

For example, if you’re working with a smaller team that may only target a dozen prospects every month, and your buying cycle is three months, you may only need to clean your data once a quarter.

Likewise, a larger sales team that adds hundreds of new contacts every week may want to audit their contact information monthly to ensure that the data is accurate and clean.

Find a cleaning cadence that best meets your organization’s needs and stick to it. Consistency is the name of the game when it comes to keeping your contact database updated, accurate, and ready to use.


Great Data Leads to Great Results

Sales success starts and ends with quality prospect data. Sales teams that have access to clean, accurate contact information can connect with more qualified leads, schedule more discovery calls, and convert more prospects into revenue-driving clients. Don’t let bad data keep your sales team from reaching their goals.

Learn how FinListics ClientIQ can help you get company-specific sales intelligence to more clearly demonstrate the benefits of your solution. 

Posted in Selling Strategies