How to Ensure Proper Salesforce Hygiene Across Your Sales Team
Big data has been a gold mine for sales teams because they are able to respond to consumer wants and needs with precision. However, the enormity of big data creates its biggest downfall, which is dirty data. Without prioritizing the proper Salesforce hygiene, dirty data causes major blockages in the sales funnel.
Dirty data can show itself in multiple forms, but the most common forms are errors and duplications. Data that is inaccurate hinders contacts with prospects, increase customer service errors, and builds distrust among potential customers. Duplications make data retrieval cumbersome, and it makes the CRM system less efficient.
In order to clean up dirty data and prevent it from recurring, sales teams must be ready to engage in hygiene measures. This, in combination with automated efforts, can reduce the existence and negative impacts of dirty data.
What Is Salesforce Hygiene?
Everyone who interacts with Salesforce must prioritize entering the correct data, but that is only the beginning of Salesforce hygiene. A CRM full of duplicate entries from data merges come from emails, social media, and other data entry points audited regularly. The sales team depends on this information to make a sale, and they struggle when the system is filled with dirty data.
Sales teams don't have time to wade through data manually and perform an audit. There are two ways to solve this problem. This first is by designating or hiring a different person to handle the audit. The second is automating as many auditing functions as possible. This means setting algorithms to clear out data that isn't relevant or useful.
Defining Salesforce hygiene is, therefore, an effort in efficiency. It is the auditing process put in place to allow automated algorithms to limit the sheer mass of the info. These steps ensure duplications and errors in merging do not occur. Lastly, it involves a small amount of time allocated to manual auditing, as no system is perfect (yet).
Effects of Poor Data Hygiene
There are many effects of poor data hygiene, and some that rank higher on the list are:
- Limiting Salesforce Usefulness
- Communication Errors
- Money Loss
- Lost Productivity
Limiting Salesforce Usefulness
The only reason to have a CRM is to get data, and if that data is partially or fully faulty, it is less useful. Think about it. If a sales team member makes 5 phone calls, and 4 of them are no longer in service, how likely are they to use Salesforce to make a 6th? A situation like this has been likened to drowning in dirty data, but it happens. Cleaning up data is much harder than getting it right in the first place.
When a sales team is working with data, there are many communication errors that occur. These might be benign such as duplicate marketing emails sent to a single client. They can also be severe, such as payment or regulatory errors. Delays caused by misinformation can have a significant negative financial impact on a business.
Money loss goes hand-in-hand with all the negative impacts of poor Salesforce hygiene. One source of money loss to not overlook is the loss of investment on CRM software. A SaaS program such as Salesforce is rendered null and void without accurate information. While this can happen to varying degrees, every iota of dirty data can be translated to a negative return on investment. Plus, Salesforce users clean resources after continued use.
Lost Productivity Due to Poor Salesforce Hygiene
Salesforce hygiene affects nearly every aspect of an organization. Management teams cannot make good strategic decisions with dirty data. Sales teams cannot communicate or make sales efficiently without accurate information. Even more importantly, customers notice the errors, and they will become a barrier to sales conversions.
Best Practices for Salesforce Hygiene
Although cleaning up data is resource-consuming, there are best practices for Salesforce hygiene that can lead to success in the world of big data. Fortunately, you can automate them to ensure that all users must engage in them. The list of 6 best practices for Salesforce hygiene includes:
Each data entry must be essential to your sales funnel. If it isn't, then there is more room for dirty data. Many people make the assumption that more is better when it comes to information, but this isn't always the case. There is a point where it becomes tedious and unhelpful. Only ask for the data that you need, and it will be more accurate and useful.
Standardizing Data for Better Salesforce Hygiene
Technology has streamlined marketing efforts, but data must be created in a way that is usable in order for tech to work its wonders. The best way to make data useful is for standardization. Entries must have limited options or risk being unable to be analyzed. Having too many options complicates data, so keep it to a minimum except when appropriate.
Automating With Algorithms
Automate many of the "cleaning" activities in data. For example, duplicate entries can be eliminated automatically when merging information. This is where the limitation and the standardization of information come in handy. If you make it simple enough, the SaaS CRM platform can sort out the dirty data.
Interdepartmental information silos are a big no-no when it comes to data entry. This is primarily because things are not standardized and updates/corrections do not occur across the board. All departments should recognize the effects of dirty data and focus on contributing less to the issue.
Old data is typically incorrect data, and there are many third-party tools that can update records without any customer contact. Use these tools to keep in touch with your prospects, and you'll increase your successful customer touchpoints significantly.
Salesforce Hygiene Tools
Some of the best Salesforce hygiene tools to consider when pro-actively combatting dirty data include API integration, a system of checks, standardization, and evaluation.
API integration is the ability to access your Salesforce from other applications. This means everyone is accessing and correcting/updating the information that is in a central location. Without API integration, different departments will have different information based on the program they used to retrieve contacts. With API integration, everything updates, and the sales team can reasonably rely on the information within Salesforce.
System of Checks
A salesperson should not be in charge of checking and validating information. It slows the sales funnel, and it decreases productivity. However, accounts receivable could certainly validate addresses and contact information. The key here is that information is checked but at the appropriate time. This makes it appear seamless to the customer.
Make sure all data entry points have standardized features, so they can merge without incident. Additionally, include data cleanup actions in standard operations, so it is done in each encounter when beneficial. This reduces errors, but it also makes automatized data cleanup more efficient.
Lastly, evaluate your cleanup protocols regularly. Ensure that dirty data is a resolving problem rather than a growing problem. Make sure the algorithms you set up are gleaning useful information and not opening opportunities for error. Make retroactive updates when big changes occur. Keep in mind how your changes affect data quality and have solutions to enhance it.
Today's Sales Teams Need Clean Data and Proper Salesforce Hygiene
Every sales team needs accurate data in order to respond to customer needs, and customers expect them to be able to do it. Therefore, dirty data can eliminate opportunities and become a huge cost to an organization. Understanding your Salesforce tools and best practices will help you to eliminate bad data and thrive in the benefits that clean data can provide.
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