Not only does your CRM house important pieces of customer data, but it can also help you analyze key elements of the marketing funnel like customer behaviors, relationship length, and purchase history — all of which can be used to customize and optimize omnichannel communications.
But just as your car needs routine maintenance to keep it running as efficiently as possible, the same is true for your CRM, and failing to do so can negatively impact your sales and marketing goals. In fact, a recent study found that almost half of companies surveyed reported revenue losses of more than 10% as a result of bad CRM data.
Managing your contact database today is more challenging than ever due to the frequently changing nature of pivotal customer data such as postal addresses, email addresses, and job titles. The good news is that there are strategies to help ensure a clean and healthy contact database, and we’ll look at a couple of simple and relatively quick ways to clean up your CRM in order to optimize your marketing campaigns.
Merge or purge duplicate records
Perhaps the most common cause of a cluttered or ineffective CRM, duplicate contact records can arise in a handful of different ways:
- Lists of contacts are uploaded without any cross-referencing as to whether contacts on said list already exist in the database
- Contacts are manually added one by one without any cross-referencing, which is quite common if more than one person on your marketing and sales team has access to your CRM
- Contacts with incomplete fields or missing information are uploaded, which can make it difficult to effectively check whether a contact already exists in your database
Merging duplicate contact records — or in some cases purging duplicate contacts from your database — will not only help you understand with greater efficacy the number of potential customers you can reach, but it will also help you better tailor specific offers or content for these customers via more accurate list segmentation. In fact, some CRMs can automate this process to help save time and resources.
Remove unengaged or bad leads
Though it may seem simple, removing unengaged or bad leads is one of the most effective ways to ensure the health of your contacts and optimize your CRM. We should clarify the difference between unengaged leads and bad leads:
- Unengaged leads are those with little or no engagement in your content or offers in recent campaigns. This is likely due to lack of interest in your product or service, and continuing to message these leads can not only be a drag on your campaign performance analytics and your email deliverability but it can also leave these contacts with a bad taste in their mouth.
- Bad leads are those whose emails have bounced. It’s good practice to review your email bounce list on a semi-regular basis to see if small fixes like typos in email addresses can ensure a clean send.
A recent Bureau of Labor Studies report indicated the median length of tenure at a company for workers between the age of 25 to 34 is just a hair more than three years — in addition, another BLS report revealed the percentage of job changes increased during the past two years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The consistent drumbeat of job change and mergers and acquisitions in today’s marketplace means removing unengaged or bad leads from your database is an important component of managing an optimized CRM. For those who don’t feel comfortable with completely wiping away contacts, several CRMs allow you to archive contacts in order to preserve leads for potential use down the road while also maintaining a healthy, engaged list of contacts.
Combine unnecessary fields
Navigating a contact database with duplicative form fields can be a real challenge in trying to get an accurate handle on who your leads actually are, and the products or services that will best help them solve their challenges. The trouble with duplicative form fields is that they fragment the data in such a way that clarity and transparency into the demographics of your customer becomes foggy.
For example, three separate fields asking for a contact’s JOB TITLE, PERSONA, and ROLE could result in an unnecessary overlap in information that needlessly clutters your CRM, and makes it a headache to segment contacts into appropriate lists for specific campaigns.
Reviewing and combining unnecessary fields will not only make it easier to navigate your lead data, but it will also help streamline your forms and make it easier for potential customers to submit their information and engage with your content or offers.
You could also take this opportunity to implement drop-down select fields in place of text fields where possible. Dropdowns for fields like STATE or COUNTRY prompt potential customers to select the right data from a pre-populated list, which helps to ensure consistency and uniformity across your entire database of contacts.
Incorporating routine CRM maintenance via these tactics will help you run more effective, targeted omnichannel campaigns, and also help you set and achieve more concrete sales and marketing goals.