Maintaining Data Integrity in CRM Systems

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CRM Systems are dependent on data integrity.   There’s truth to the proverbial ‘garbage in, garbage out’.  Data becomes stale, incomplete or inaccurate and the CRM system loses its value.  With leads uploaded into the system and multiple parties working within the CRM system, it’s a constant challenge to maintain the data quality and accuracy. So how do you achieve data integrity?

First and foremost, plan your data selection and workflows.  Most CRM systems, offer an enormous array of data fields.  But capturing every data field is time consuming.  Be selective in the data fields you populate.  Consider both the time element in collecting the data and the value of the data.  Create workflows requiring fields to populate.   Prioritize data into mandatory and recommended.

Once the plan and workflows are established, create accountability and define roles.   Describe each users function, role and responsibility.  The key is convincing all users of the value in collecting the data.   Sales can be the most resistant as they are more focused on the results and not the details.  Show them how the data will help them.

Lastly, establish an audit procedure.  This is probably the most overlooked function but critical to maintaining data integrity.   Create reports identifying incomplete data.   Periodically review the data to identify errors.  These audits should be scheduled at least quarterly.  The more frequent the review, the cleaner the data.   Utilize the audit results for training users and revising workflows.  Training will ultimately minimize the date flaws.

Maintaining data integrity is an ongoing endeavor.  The efforts in planning, creating accountability and auditing will result in a cleaner CRM system.