CRM Systems: 6 Tips for Data Maintenance

CRM Systems: 6 Tips for Data Maintenance

How you can improve the data for your CRM system is explained in this article with practical tips. […]

The question of the quality of the own contact data in the customer relationship database often arises to decision-makers in companies as being good for an optimal sales result. Especially if in everyday life employees complain about the work and the real effectiveness of such systems.

66 Percent of all inside sales managers would rather clean their bathroom than maintain their CRM system.”This is what emerges from a study by the manufacturer Oracle. In times of home office, in which the bathroom is not too far away, this is a clear warning signal. As a manager, it is important to avoid refusing to work with a CRM system. Because: Users can quickly lose their joy and reach their limits if the CRM system is used incorrectly. Productivity suffers more damage than first thought.

1. Fully integrate your CRM with other systems

A large part of the problems arise from a lack or incomplete integration of the CRM within the own IT landscape. Many employees, not only those in sales, use up to eight different applications for their daily work. The data that is relevant for the user should ideally all be available in good quality in the integrated system and not in different systems. Most errors occur in repetitive, time-consuming administrative activities. Nobody wants to maintain call notes twice in two different applications. In the same way, no one wants to worry about manually synchronizing customer data.

It is therefore crucial to ensure complete integration right from the start when introducing CRM. Since this is unfortunately often not the case in practice, the following tip helps at the beginning: Better connect fewer systems, but these fully.

2. Data economy

In customer relationship, the imperative of data avoidance and data economy is often forgotten. Often, customer data is stored that is not necessary for order or contract fulfillment. This can be due to the specification of the supervisor, but also to the lack of sensitivity of the employee. So prioritize the number of”important data”. Rather only five to ten attributes per company and contact person, but the well maintained for it. This also means having a high filling level.

Data economy helps to reduce the feeling “data maintenance is a time-waster”. An additional effect: the strategic data minimization minimizes the additional of a possible violation of the GDPR.

3. Voice Recording

One step towards simplification is the use of modern solutions for care. Many sales employees still like to work with paper and pen, because in practice a meeting is often only recorded with an informal note. If there are no notes during this time, they are made quickly and structurally after an appointment. Often there is a lack of form or structure, so that the colleagues can not understand the conversation as a result. Avoiding a handwritten or incomprehensible note, for example, can largely be done with voice recording.

With voice input, the employee captures the information right after a meeting. This function offers the possibility to collect information at any place, even in the car, at any time. A speech-to-text interface then stores a usable note for everyone . Thus, the follow – up of a conversation takes place without loss of time and information.

4. The use of incentives and bonuses

The issue of a short-term premium is often critically examined in practice. The following mindset often prevails among managers :” I already pay for this task. For this reason, another bonus can not be justified.“

With this attitude, the manager has imposed on himself this important task of ensuring the optimal data quality. It must use management methods to ensure that data maintenance takes place as desired and is transferred into the behavior of employees in the long term. Managers must provide the necessary intrinsic motivation (from within) through achievable objectives and their guidance. Experience shows: this is very time-consuming, demanding and therefore often without great success.

As with Pavlov’s dog, premiums lead to extrinsic motivation. If the award of premiums is maintained for a longer time, the work steps for care go into the daily routine behavior.

  • First effect: Ever better and more complete lead to improved sales results.
  • Second effect: In the course of time, employees recognize the advantages that arise in everyday work.
  • Third effect: After about one year to one and a half years, premiums are only used selectively.

5. Leadership

This tip takes up the assessments already made in tip 4. The right methods in strategic employee management are a big step towards high quality. As a manager, it is important to ensure that a CRM system is fully integrated into the culture and processes of the company.

The introduction of a new system often entails additional effort by changing the behavior and thus resistance. The best way to counteract this resistance is to reduce tasks in advance. Those who demand even more from their employees, who are already busy before the introduction, can only make up for this by relieving them. In addition to the relief, this also includes the prescription of regular training and training for new modules. Only those who train regularly, create an effectiveness of the process.

For this it is important to define goals. For example, a target may be the quota of contacts that have been fully recorded. If this goal is met, the employee is valued in the form of bonuses. These long-term bonuses can be rolled back after a time. The reason: The behavior has gone into a routine, which is now reinforced by the results of a well-maintained CRM system.

6. Average handling time based on customer value

How can a term you actually know from a call center help with the topic of data quality for my CRM? This counter-question is perfectly justified at the first moment. The Average Handling Time (AHT) takes up again the criterion of correct guidance described in tip 5. Determining an AHT can have a significant influence on the maintenance of data in CRM systems.

A processing time can be defined for the maintenance of a customer contact. A lump sum that should be spent on the time to follow up, maintain, or enrich data does not make sense. More targeted is a target for the average processing time, based on customer value and customer behavior.

For customers with a strong contribution to the achievement of a corporate goal, a higher effort in care is justified and this may exceed the usual level. The same rules apply to prospects and customers with a high customer value potential. Here, too, less is more. When employees are guided to recognize the potential of a customer, they already allocate the necessary time budget. In the further course, lack of data quality does not become a problem

It has been shown that the topic of maintaining data in customer relationship management systems is an extremely individual one and can extend into different areas. CRM is and always will be individual and personal. The focus is therefore on the human being. At this point, man can be supported in achieving the goal in two ways.

  1. The first way describes the soft facts. Soft factors are mostly human influencing factors, so also in this case. Employees are more successful in data maintenance if their needs are addressed by appropriate management methods and tasks.
  2. The hard facts describe technical influences. The correct integration of CRM systems into the IT landscape as well as the appropriate tools in daily work show the greatest levers for high data quality.

Although there is no definition of the way to better data-but: In the successful implementation of the described influencing factors, one thing is certain: Your CRM users will no longer prefer the cleaning buckets in the bathroom to working with your CRM system.

* Georg Blum is Managing Director of 1A Relations GmbH and since 2003 Chairman of Council CRM and board member of Deutscher Dialogmarketing Verband e.V. At the same time, he has been working as a lecturer at universities since 2005. His focus is strategy development, customer acquisition and customer acquisition in conjunction with CRM software selection, social media, process efficiency and customer management organization.

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