5 tips for CRM best practice

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It never ceases to amaze me the lack of importance that company directors and senior management place on their customer and prospect data. Despite new technology making it easier than ever to maintain an effective marketing database, a large percentage of companies do not adequately track and record all of the interactions they have with their customers.

Of those companies that have a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, the accurate recording of data and interactions is less than healthy. In my experience, business managers do not realise the negative impact of a poorly managed CRM system. For example it is more expensive and time-consuming for the sales team to prospect for new customers and it portrays a negative image of the company when the sales team are working with outdated business intelligence.

Here are 5 tips to help you to clean up your data, and get the most out of your CRM system:

1. Make Someone Accountable

Clean data is an asset of the company. A member of the team needs to be given the responsibility to nurture, grow and protect all customer and prospect data and interactions. The more senior the person responsible, the better the chance of success.

2. Instil the Right Company Culture

All stakeholders should understand the importance of clean data to be successful. Every customer facing member of staff has a role to play to keep the database clean. If the company is really serious about clean data they will add this responsibility into the job description of their staff and regularly monitor their performance. Some companies do not pay bonuses unless the system is up to date!

3. Organise Regular Direct Marketing Campaigns

There is nothing better that the promotion of a forthcoming event or marketing campaign to focus the mind on the cleanliness of the data. By scheduling regular campaigns clean data will be at the forefront of everybody's mind, and the campaign itself will test just how accurate it is.

4. Leverage LinkedIn

With the explosion of social media it is easier than ever to check the accuracy of your data. Platforms like LinkedIn can greatly help you stay in touch with your customers, when they make career changes. Create a company page and stay connected to your customer base.

5. Hire a Cleaner

Depending on your company situation, hiring a dedicated person to maintain the CRM system may be the best option. This can be the most efficient way when you have a large database, and it is of crucial importance to sales efforts.

These tips will help you to get the most out of your CRM system which is the cornerstone of good sales and marketing. Make a New Year’s resolution for 2016 to keep your data clean!