CRM data becoming unreliable? Can’t segment your data easily? Unable to produce accurate reports without manual intervention? Then it’s time to clean up the data in your CRM.

While many implement a CRM solution in the hope that it will transform their business, unless it is embraced by all in the business and utilised correctly; then it’s unlikely you’ll see the expected returns.

So, what can you do to ensure your cloud CRM is a solution that works for your business? Keep in mind these tops tips!

What can you do to ensure your cloud CRM is a solution that works for your business?Click To Tweet

Find Out Why It’s Failing

If you want to find a solution, then it’s always best to start with identifying the problem. When you’ve invested a lot of money into a CRM system, you expect it to deliver the results you were after.

Failure Number 1 – It’s perceived as technology only

Customer relationship management is a business strategy; the software is there to facilitate this. You need to implement a business wide shift to improve customer relations, with a view to improving retention.

Failure Number 2 – Not updating working practices

When you implement a new system, it’s time to make some changes to how you use it. Many businesses fail to update working practices due to a fear of reducing user adoption. However, this will mean you encounter the same challenges you did with your old system. To ensure you have more efficient CRM process, use the opportunity to update your way or working to reflect the changes in the new solution.

Failure Number 3 – Importing poor data

If you’re just starting out then you won’t have this issue, however, if you are rolling out a new system then you’ll need to bring across your existing data. Now is the time to start fresh and clean the slate. Conduct a thorough cleanse before you import data into your new CRM.

Conduct a thorough cleanse before you import data into your new CRM.Click To Tweet

Failure Number 4 – User failing to adopt

If your employees aren’t using your CRM properly or at all, then you’re unlikely to get any value from it. Provide training to ensure all team members know the correct processes to follow.

Creating a CRM Culture

Culture is fundamental to your CRM success; if you’ve got a customer-centric culture in your business then you are more likely to deliver a better customer experience, which will boost customer retention, thus increasing sales revenue.

So, how can you achieve this?

Communicate your goals – it’s no good if it’s just management who know the value being customer-centric can bring to the business; your employees need to know this too. Share your vision, so that the rest of the business understand the value too. With everyone on board, you are more likely to get buy-in.

Educate employees on the value it adds to their role – if explaining the benefits it will bring to the business fails to ignite excitement, then tell employees how a CRM will add value to their day-to-day activity. Ultimately, this is what matters to them, so communicate the benefits they will see if they use the solution.

Tell everyone – the culture you create within your business needs to be widespread, it’s no good if just a handful of employees or one team is using the CRM; everyone should be aware of how to use it and how it will improve the business.

Don’t leave anyone out – you should take care to speak to those who are directly involved with the CRM to ensure that any of their queries or common issues are addressed. They will be able to tell you what works and what doesn’t, and by including them in the whole process they are more likely to have an invested interest in making the CRM a success.

Create champions – appoint CRM champions to shout about the software solution to the rest of their team. A representative from each department will be able to provide you with valuable feedback and aid colleagues in using the CRM.

Reinforce using the CRM – once the solution is live, the hard work doesn’t stop there; now’s your time to keep up with using the CRM. Incentives to keep employees engaged and new KPIs can help to keep employees invested in the cause.

Defining Data

You’ve take the steps to identifying failures and implementing a CRM culture; two things which will undoubtedly help you on your way to clean data. Next, you need to define what data you require.

Step 1 – Define important data

Look at what data you already have and decide what additional data you require. You want to ensure the data you hold will allow you to understand and anticipate your customers’ needs more effectively.

Step 2 – Identify how to record and report

After you’ve decided what data you need, you will need to store and report on your findings. Don’t fall into the trap of adding data here and there; it’ll end up cluttering your screens and muddle the data you do have.

Step 3 – Educate

Communication is essential to ensure others see the value of keeping accurate records. Once they can see the value to themselves and the business, they are more likely to take the steps to data nirvana.

Step 4 – Begin collecting

If you require new data to input in your CRM, then you will need to contact existing customers and prospects in order to obtain this information. It’s best to do this as part of a data cleanse exercise, allowing you to kill two birds with one stone.

Implement Quality Processes

Lastly, you are going to need to implement data quality processes. While there will be some element of human error in your CRM, you can introduce measures to try and prevent this from occurring. Measures you introduce should help to minimise mistakes and make them easy to correct. Here are some steps you can take:

Measures you introduce should help to minimise mistakes and make them easy to correct.Click To Tweet

Introduce mandatory fields – mandatory fields require data to be input before you can move to the next step.

Picklists – these remove the need for manual data entry and reduce mistakes. It can also make reporting simpler.

Regular data cleansing – data degrades quickly, so you will need to review data regularly and conduct a thorough cleanse.

Dedupe routine – duplicate records can affect customer experience, so it’s imperative that you undertake a regular dedupe routine.