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B2B Sales Rep off the road? It’s the best time to update your CRM Data

In a time when many businesses have had to adapt to working remotely, taking sales representatives off the road is creating new ways to connect to customers and colleagues. It also provides the opportunity to clean up your sales CRM data.

All businesses should have protocols in place to ensure clean data input as well as quarterly cleaning activities, but sometimes this is not the case.

There are multiple ways to data cleanse, regardless of the type of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform your businesses  use,  here are few basic CRM cleansing activities Sales Representatives  and Sales Managers  of small to medium businesses  can do to start today.

Extractions of Customer Lists

When commencing the cleansing activity, it can be beneficial to extract customer lists depending on permissions and size. Sales Representatives may be able to extract lists themselves, or in some businesses, a CRM Manager, CRM Champion or Sales Manager will have to do the extraction.

The list can assist the sales team with the following sales activities:

Sales Manager

  • Ensure that the customers are aligned to the right Sales Representative/Territory
  • Territories are assigned to the correct Sales Representatives
  • Any customers that are assigned to old Sales Representatives are reassigned
  • Close customers if not automatically done so via an ERP connection

Sales Representative

  • Ensure they are assigned the correct Customer
  • Review and Update current Customer data
  • Pull a priority list of customers currently trading to engage and work on programs to assist them in this current turbulent climate.
  • Secondly, a recovery plan for customers that will require assistance to rebound out of this economic freeze in the coming months.

The  data extracted can be amended in the document and uploaded back into the system. In some instances, if Sales Representatives do have certain  permissions, some CRM systems allow for the extraction  with  real-time updates to the document through to the CRM.

Updating customer contact & information review

Data input into the system can be done two ways, one directly into the CRM or via an extracted excel or .csv file.

The Sales Representative should incorporate the following review and update to check:

  • The key sales customer contact is current
  • The customer name is spelt correctly
  • The customer name is captured within the appropriate fields (e.g. First Name, Last Name, no nicknames)  including the appropriate use of  upper and  lower-case text. This also benefits your email communication  to your customer base by enabling  personalisation (utilising  the First name field).
  • Update and add more relevant  contacts, in some systems there is the option to identify the key decisions maker(s).
  • Email, phone numbers, and title/position name are correct
  • Review all  sections to see if more information can be captured,  this is  particularly relevant  for  Sales Representatives that have been in the role for a long period of time  and have not  been updating the system regularly, if at all.

Customer Status Updates

Dependent on the CRM set up, some systems are linked to ERP’s that directly update customer open and closed statuses. If the CRM set up is a manual activity, it is advisable to review and update  status as part of the data cleanse activity, and a great opportunity to update information within sales pipelines if applicable.

These are just a few suggestions to get you and your team started on data-cleanse and customer engagement activities.

Lauren Sexton – CX & Marketing Specialist Consultant

If you want to get the most out of your CRM and need expert advice, please don’t hesitate to speak to our CRM specialist today.

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