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:
- 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
- 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.