Getting back what you put in: the importance of data cleansing

Getting back what you put in: the importance of data cleansing

When working with a large volume of customers, CRM software is a vital tool to ensure all interactions are recorded. A finely tuned system can enhance the selling process, provide a summary of sales opportunities, understand which prospects are hot leads and assist in the retention of customers throughout their lifecycle.

Get CRM wrong, however, and it can have a long-term damaging effect that could echo amongst potential customers for years to come. 

The golden rule, therefore, is to cleanse data rigorously before you embark on a CRM strategy or implementation – and periodically thereafter – to ensure it’s up to date and optimal, lest you pay the ultimate price: disengagement and customer opt out.

Dorne Wood, sales manager for housebuilder CRM specialist ContactBuilder, comments: “A CRM system is only as good as its data. While some software fields are mandatory and give the user everything needed to build a strong customer profile and manage such relationships, it is important to motivate sales teams to ditch the paper, as well as cleanse and input new ‘good data’ regularly, rather than leaving it to stagnate. It is here that it risks becoming open to errors and working against the user, rather than for them.

So what can be done to avoid this? From feedback and experience, Dorne highlights some important pitfalls to avoid:

  1. Using sticky notes and notebooks to keep track of everything – not only is this inefficient, it can also breach data protection laws!
  2. Entering random data for a source of enquiry, just to ensure that box is complete – this information is like gold dust to any marketing team yet is rarely completed accurately. Motivating sales teams to get this input right and will help to further refine strategy.
  3. Not updating tasks/to-do lists regularly – this is a slippery slope. If actions are left untended, it can become a constant battle and users will quickly find themselves one step behind when they should be one step in front
  4. Not implementing training – software is often updated periodically and, if users aren’t familiar with changes to features, it can prove detrimental. Consistently training staff to be fully competent with all the tools at their disposal is critical to long-term CRM success.

As a hugely efficient piece of software, a CRM platform can become one of the greatest tools of any sales and marketing strategy. However, when users are in the throes of managing customers face-to-face, updating and logging details into a system can prove challenging. To ensure users remain ahead of the game, planning ahead and keeping dates in the diary each month to cleanse data, ensure records are not being duplicated and keeping on top of tasks is paramount.

Dorne concludes: “If such simple actions aren’t being performed consistently, it’s time to consider rigorous staff training or even investing in an alternative platform to ensure your data is being worked as hard as it can.”

ContactBuilder is the CRM system designed specifically for housebuilders. For more information, to take an online tour of the system or book your own no-obligation demonstration of the all-new ContactBuilder now, at 

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