Imagine you’ve spent years building a relationship with a particular client. You’ve been selling to them for long enough that you’re sure they’re loyal to your brand. You’re confident you have many productive, mutually beneficial years to come.
Then you switch to a new CRM. Your company’s growing fast and you can’t keep up with all your clients without it. It’s not practical to store all that information in your brain, or your inbox, alone. You task your staff with manually entering your clients’ and leads’ vital information and look forward to making your business more productive, agile and profitable.
After all, you know the benefits of account planning in Salesforce CRM. You know that, as your sales team expands, you’ll need to keep everyone on the same page. You want to get better, more targeted and efficient at communicating with clients and offering them the products, services and deals they want the most. You start automating some of your correspondence too.
And then, suddenly, communication with this much-appreciated client goes cold. You wonder what happened. You open up your CRM to retrieve their contact details… and then you see the problem.
There, on the client’s entry, is a glaring typo, right in the middle of the CEO’s name.
No wonder they’ve given you the cold shoulder: after years of the personal touch, you’ve insulted them by apparently forgetting the boss’s name. And every communication sent to the CEO since moving to your new CRM just compounded her annoyance.
Pulling back from a faux pas like that isn’t easy. Sometimes, it’s as bad – or worse – than starting over again.
If you were wondering whether accurate data entry is really that big a deal, it looks like you have your answer.
A well-ordered, up-to-date CRM is an asset to any company. It helps you keep on top of leads, keep track of clients and identify opportunities. It streamlines communications with customers and potentially feeds into compliance efforts, too.
But an error like this can bring the whole thing crashing down.
It’s time to go back to the basics of Salesforce data entry.
And that means guarding against these 4 CRM mistakes:
- Making It Too Easy to Fail
When people are in a hurry, they cut corners. And no matter how much training you provide, you can’t entirely eradicate lazy behavior.
So why take the risk? If there are items of information you desperately need, set required fields in your Salesforce. That way, your team can’t save or close the record until they’ve completed what’s required of them.
- It’s Confusing to Use
With any luck, your team continually updates Salesforce with new, quality leads – and to do that, they need to work quickly and efficiently.
That means that your requirements must be straightforward and unambiguous and your fields clearly and descriptively labelled, preferably with “help” text as guidance.
Wherever you can, use dropdown menus to elicit answers in the format you want it. If data needs to entered in, say, numerical form, or as an email address, set pre-defined data type fields to make sure that’s what you get. You can even introduce “validation rules” that make sure the data follows a set format (e.g. it’s the right amount of letters or numbers), reducing the likelihood of a typo going unnoticed.
- Bad Deeds Go Unpunished
The sad fact is that, when people know a problem can’t get back to them, they’re less incentivized to do the job well.
If you want your team to be responsible, you have to find ways to make them accountable. There must be individual repercussions for employees that break data entry rules – and, potentially, rewards for doing it right.
For this to be effective, you need a process to check data accuracy (to avoid scenarios such as the one described at the start of this post). Aswell as automated data integrity checks, there ought to be regular manual checking of a sample of records to find less obvious errors.
- There’s No Payoff for Your Team
The single biggest reason that your reps aren’t updating your Salesforce CRM properly is that they don’t see the value to them.
Instead of demanding quality data and then gifting it to your marketing teams or senior personnel, make sure your sales reps benefit, too. Engage them in the process and ask them what information would help them in their role.
Perhaps the data you’re collecting could be used by salespeople to improve their messaging? To develop sales strategies or better allocate leads? If you want your sales team to make your CRM a success, you’ll have to make it worth their while.
Have you ever experienced a CRM data entry issue which impacted on you or your company? If so, please share your experience below and the steps you took to resolve it.