best practices crm

Across many industries, the saying, ‘garbage in, garbage out,’ is a common expression.  It carries the same general meaning to all, but today we are going to discuss the relevance in lead management and CRM processes.  The big takeaway is that the better data you put into your CRM system, the more valuable the information that can be gathered.  We will look at what this means for data coming into your CRM and the importance of cleaning up your processes.

“Garbage in, Garbage out”

Data Entry

What this expression really means in terms of lead management is that a CRM is only as good as the data that is put into it.  Any inconsistent or flawed data that is entered (or missing) results in incomplete output.  This creates bad data at all stages of the lead management process.

  • If there is bad (or missing) contact (phone or email) data, this leads to the inability to follow up properly.
  • Missing source and other data (address, state, zip code) leads to inaccurate or incomplete reporting.
  • Missing info on past purchases leads to missed opportunity to build rapport with the customer.

User Input

Moreover, the saying also applies to the effort and work put into using your CRM. As leads are contacted and data is gathered, it can only work for your business if it is put into the customer record.  Another phrase that is common with CRMs is ‘if it wasn’t entered into the CRM, it didn’t happen.’  This is very accurate in that missing details could be crucial for a lot of processes set up with your CRM.  These include automatic drip campaigns to more catered marketing tactics all the way to knowing if certain leads are not viable any longer.

“If it wasn’t entered into the CRM, then it didn’t happen”

Action Plan

To avoid these lapses in gathering data and follow through, your business should take the time to thoroughly plan out your processes.  Your account representative can direct you in the best way to develop CRM processes that enhance your current workflow.

CRM WorkflowThis is a key consideration.  Your CRM should not completely overhaul the processes you have, but rather add to workflows that have worked for your business.

Often, a useful step is to use charts or lists to outline your action plan from lead origination through each step in the customer lifecycle.  When you have done this, you will be able to see where your automations and workflows in your CRM can assist with your process.  Generally, some of the follow-up steps can be accomplished automatically and reminders can be set up so no one misses a step in your custom workflow.

In conclusion, whether you are just starting with a CRM or you have had a system in place for a while – it is critical to ensure your data is clean.  This benefits every part of your business by having clean and correct data to use and review.