Tips to Clean Your CRM Database
(and keep it that way)


You know how powerful a CRM like Salesforce can be for your team, but you can’t leverage its full power if your data is inaccurate. Don’t get down on yourself or your sales reps, though; poor data quality happens all the time and for a number of reasons.

Whatever the reason for your team, we’re here to help you get a fresh start (without rolling out CRM for a second time). Below find five tips to help you do some spring cleaning in your CRM database and keep it that way.

Be clear about your expectations

Before starting any sort of cleaning process, it’s important to make sure reps know that they are expected to log accurate activity data. Let your team know that you’re paying attention to their activities and expect data to be entered correctly and in detail.

One way to help back this up is by creating metrics around this very idea. For example, have conversations be a metric instead of something simpler such as dials and make sure reps know to log each conversation. This ensures your team will log call notes to keep you, their manager, up to date (see how the Ascent Cloud team does just this with LevelEleven!)

Basically, as a manager, you must be sure your team knows that you track these specific metrics, such as conversations, to monitor sales performance — and that you get the data from your CRM so it has to be up to date at all times.

Gamify and incentivize data cleansing

A great way to promote data cleansing practices is with short term motivators. An example of this is running a simple sales contest around activities that improve your CRMs data quality.

For example, if your database is full of duplicate contacts, run a week-long contest that awards reps with one point for every duplicate contact they remove from the system. At the end of the contest, the rep with the most points receives a small reward. Contests, even in short bursts, are great motivators for reps to enthusiastically complete tasks that are usually considered mundane or not worth the effort.

Invest in the right technologies

There are many technologies available to your organization to ensure your CRM database stays as clean and accurate as possible. Check out our list of must-haves to keep your CRM in top shape:

  • Keep your data accurate with ZoomInfo by automating data management and lead enrichment. With ZoomInfo Enrich, your CRM and Marketing Automation data will always be accurate and up to date – regardless of where it was originally sourced from.
  • Keep your data clean with Dupe Catcher which allows you to identify duplicate contacts, leads, and accounts as they’re added in real-time. On top of that, this application allows you to run DupeCatcher in the background to collect data on duplicates for analysis before rolling it out to users.
  • Keep your data secure with OwnBackup to prevent the devastating effects of data loss. OwnBackup provides built-in protection against data loss and corruption including accidental deletion, incorrect overwriting, and user errors.
  • Keep your reps motivated to help out with LevelEleven by running contests around data cleanliness as mentioned above. Contests provide stack ranking so reps can see, at a glance, how they’re performing against their team, providing further motivation besides a possible contest prize.

Set up mandatory fields

Some data is just too important not to have – decide what this is and make those fields mandatory at data entry in your CRM. Some prime examples are the email and phone number of a prospect or the address and phone for a new account. Fields that are more set in stone, such as CRM or country, can be made into drop-down choices. This helps ensure that mistakes aren’t made when data is being manually entered.

Set up a maintenance schedule

Although this seems simple, it’s not often done. Take time, at least once a year but preferably more, to check on the quality of your data. This can include assigning someone to be the CRM data manager who periodically checks for accuracy.

Although most companies only do this once a year, it’s best to do it once a quarter that way you are sure of your data accuracy all year long. In fact, if managers are following the steps above such as assigning metrics around data cleanliness, you should have your finger on the pulse of this all year long.

With the start of a new quarter and spring in full bloom, now is a better time than ever to evaluate the cleanliness of your CRM database and take action. Use the steps above to make the most of your data.

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