Where does your company is rank for the variables that impact duplicate data? Take a moment to take the quiz below.
How to score the quiz: Each question has a maximum. Give yourself a score on the continuum from zero to max points. Good luck & be honest!
The Dirty Data Quiz: Is Your CRM at Risk?
CRM Data Plan. 15 points. Does your company have a CRM Data Plan? A CRM Data Plan is a standard format for treating CRM data. If you don’t, this is where you start the entire process. To comply with best practices, your CRM Data Plan should be centrally stored, accessible by anyone who enters data into your CRM. In essence, the Data-Plan acts as a single-point-of-truth for your company and how it treats data.
Your points: ______
Staff Training. 5 points. Has your staff has been trained on your Data-Plan and it is easily accessible? While this is a great step, it is not as important as making the CRM enforce your data plan automatically. If your CRM does offer a feature like this, the training is most important for your IT department who can circumvent the constraints put on the average user. Your points: ______
CRM Cleaned. 5 points. Has your CRM gone through a full normalization and deduplication process? Once you have your Data-Plan developed, you need to ensure that the data you have meets the plan. Why only 5 points? A one-time cleaning does not solve the long term problem. Don’t pat yourself on the back for this, if this is all you do, you will have one month per year of clean data. Your points: ______
CRM Enforcement. 15 points. Is your data plan enforced by your CRM? This is tremendously important. If your provider does not have this feature, it means you must either build or find an add-on to your CRM. An even better option is to provide all users of your CRM Broadlook’s Contact Capture to automatically and error free enter contacts into your CRM. Contact Capture is FREE (not trying to sell anything here). Your points: ______
Product/Integration Enforcement. 10 points. Do other products that bring information into your CRM adhere to your Data-Plan? Beware of products that dump data to a Excel or CSV file. Sometimes it is unavoidable, however, direct exporting systems that comply with your Data-Plan and do deduplication in real-time are always a superior choice. Your points: ______
Vendor Enforcement. 10 Points. Do vendors that provide you with list data deliver it in compliance with your Data-Plan? Some vendors may push back at first; however, it has been my experience that the entire process will go smoother if the vendor complies to the Data-Plan. Hold your ground and remember that list providers want your business. Show them the format that you want your data …and don’t compromise. Your points: ______
Import Enforcement, by culture. 5 points. Does the IT staff buy-in to following the Data-Plan? The best way to make this happen is include the IT department in the development of the Data-Plan. Your points: ______
Import Enforcement, by technology. 15 points. Is your IT staff prevented from circumventing a Data-Plan by rights management? Everyone must obey the Data-Plan. If your IT staff can circumvent best practices established by management, problems will arise. It the IT staff disagrees with a Data-Plan, best practice dictates that the Data-Plan reviewed, discussed and potentially revised. Again, this maintains the single point of truth and enforceability to make your Data Plan work. Your points: ______
URL Enforcement. 20 points. Do you have a URL (website) field for each company in your CRM.? The URL of a company is more important than a DUNS number, location or anything else. It is the single best piece of company-centric information that can be used to update the CRM over time. The URL can be used to update and add contacts to your CRM with tools like Broadlook’s Profiler. Your points: ______
How did you do? I want to hear from you! Send how you did to Donato Diorio (me AT dioriodiorio dot com).
Understanding how your data and processes rank is paramount. Dirty CRM data is a huge problem with sales force efficiency. You may think that cleaning your CRM on a regular cycle is a good thing. Don’t pat yourself on the back just yet; cleaning CRM data on a cycle is treating a symptom. Just like good physical health, the best solution to eradicate dirty CRM data is prevention. Prevent dirty data from getting into your CRM and your CRM be clean and healthy. You may even enjoy using it again.
What’s up with Donato? CRM Deduplication sounds really booooring?
Well, not to me. CRM Dedupe is a huge problem in the world of sales, marketing and recruiting. This is a subject that I have spent considerable time and deep thought over the last few years. After knocking out 5 blog postings on the topic of CRM Dedupe, I realized I have a lot to say and I’m inspired. Thus the decision to move it to it’s own place.
The mission of CRMDeduplication.com is to share my unique insights on the world of CRM as it relates to deduplication. I’ll be sharing some axioms I have learned as well as the experiential journey in what I have come to learn. It may not be exciting, but the insights, if applied, could save billions of dollars a year on a world-wide basis.
Thank you to every one of you who follow idonato.com. Please check out CRMDeduplication.com and post your thoughts and comments.
Every company has a unique set of requirements for treating data. A pure telesale operation that never uses postal mail may want to take an abbreviated approach to data entry. Example: Container Co
However, a mail order house may want a take a formal approach to company names.
Example: The Container Company Incorporated
Basically, there is no single rule for company names. Every company is unique. This is where a CRM Data Plan comes into play.
Even within a single data point like a company name, there can be many rules regarding how to format that data. A CRM Data Plan covers a set of rules as it relates to contact information in a CRM. Rules exist for company names, URL’s, names, titles, and much more are covered by a CRM Data Plan. A CRM Data Plan is critical to success tacking CRM deduplication.
Here is an example of a few rules regarding company names.
Done right, a CRM Data Plan gives you a baseline on your journey toward a clean CRM
Next post: Cleaning your CRM: The human side of the Equation
Why can’t my CRM vendor keep my data clean?
Nearly every CRM company and internal corporate IT department has taken a stab at solving the problem of keeping your data clean. You may have heard of it referred to as CRM Deduping, CRM Dedupe, CRM Deduplication as well as Data normalization.
Unfortunately, no one has done it right! Not Oracle, not Salesforce.com, not Microsoft and not SAP. Why?
Think about it: Who decides the standard? Do you want saleforce.com or Microsoft dicatating the format for data storage that you use? Of coarse not, every business model has unique needs. While one business may prefer storing “The Container Company” another may prefer “Container Company, The”. It would be suicide for a vendor to enforce a single set of rules on all their clients. So the problem is not necessarily ignored, but it is accepted as status quo.
Why didn’t my CRM sales rep tell me this?
Since the issue is accepted as status quo for the industry, it is simply not addressed. Sales reps are not in the habit of pointing out a problem that they do not have a solution for. If the issue is addressed, typically it is periodical crm deduplication process.
CRM Dedupe only treats the symptom
If you think of CRM duplicates as the symptom of a disease, how do you cure the disease vs. treating the symptom? The answer is to never allow duplicates into your CRM system in the first place. The first start in that process is developing a CRM Data Plan.
CRM Deduplication services are a profit center
Your dirty data is another company’s profit center. Many of the major CRM providers have professional services that you can pay to periodically clean your CRM. While these services typically do a great job, they do not solve the issues with inefficiency and lost revenue *between* the data cleansing cycles. Basically, every time you fix your CRM, the cure is short-lived.
Why didn’t I see this coming?
Don’t be hard on yourself. Think about it. When you buy a CRM, it is usually empty. If you import dirty data from an old CRM, the new CRM will be dirty. The problem is not the result of you forgetting to turn on a feature in the new CRM. Massive duplicates and miskeyed data does not become a problem until after you start to use the CRM. When a CRM is implemented, it is typically at that time the buyer realizes there is a huge problem with the information.
Without a systematic way to start with and keep information clean, duplicates will be introduced into your CRM. Good for professional service firms; Bad for you and your CRM. The best solution is not treating a symptom, but curing the disease. The first step to curing the disease is creating a CRM Data Plan… which will be the next blog post.
Next post:What is a CRM Data Plan
According to a recent study by Gartner Group, worldwide spending on CRM licenses … The components of a CDQ program include data conversion and cleansing, …
Realization. It does not happen in the first 6 months of having a new CRM. Your CRM sales rep did not tell you about it. It was not something that was on your mind. Your CRM is dirty and it is costing you revenue. CRM Deduplication is starting to become a probem.
If you approach your CRM vendor six months after you started, they will point you into two possible chasms. (1) Professional services to clean your data (2) Data deduplication tools that will clean your data. I am here to tell you that both are sink-holes for your cash. Unless they provide you a solution that will stop the dirty data, you will be coming back to the pay the piper on a regular basis. Think about it: Data deduplication vendors want to fix your data, but they also know it will get dirty again. Reoccurring revenue trumps solving problems? They want you forever.
Is there a better way?
Next post: CRM’s are not built to keep your data clean