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5 Tips On Managing CRM Data Costs


CRM ManagementMaintaining accurate CRM data is a challenge for nearly all of the organizations we've partnered with over the years. We all want to believe that the data we collect from tradeshows, list vendors, webinars, and website visitors are all certified gold, but that isn't always the case. Inevitably there is a percentage of data that is not worth calling at all. From fake contact information to "consultants" looking for jobs or the guy that dropped his card in the fishbowl to win the free iPad, the average CRM is cluttered with this crap.

On top of all that, what happens with old leads that were once valid but now the contact has changed jobs or left the organization?

According to Netprospex, “Data quality decays at 2% per month. The impact of bad data on demand creation is such that for every 1% of data quality improvement, marketing can generate 5-6% of incremental revenue.”

Even with the best Marketing Automation tools, this data still finds a way to slip through the cracks. I think we have come to the hard conclusion that you're never going to have perfect data. We’ve found that they key is that there needs to be some kind of process in place to manage it.

Here are a few of things that we’ve done over the years to address this issue:

  1. Clear out data from your CRM that is 2+ years old: This has been a good rule of thumb for the team here at AG to maintain the integrity of what’s in the system. Anything created in our system over 2 years ago has proved to be 65% inaccurate. We’ll re-import the remaining 35% once our data management has verified accuracy. Doing this monthly has been helpful. We’ve learned the hard way that if you wait too long it can spiral out of control.

  1. Don't bother buying data from vendors over 1+ years old: This has been something I’ve been preaching for years now. We see a 30% bounce rate from the lists we purchase from most vendors. The older the data, the more likely it ends up being useless…then why bother paying for it?

  1. Actually take the time to track your bounces and remove bad data: Most of us don’t have the time or the patience to do this. In the end, it’s worth it since it gives you a good sense of the viability of your list sources. You can also push this back to your list vendors for a refund or in exchange for more accurate info.

  1. Evaluate all of your data before you bother purchasing more: Assuming the data is accurate, is it relevant to the campaign you’re running?  Do you really need 35 people from IBM to call on because they remotely fit the title you want to speak with? Reality is, you probably only want to talk to 2-3 of them. It’s painstaking, but take the time to pull out the 32 other folks that aren’t worth your time. This will help keep your CRM storage management costs in check. 

  2. Train your reps to proactively update the data: If you train and proactively monitor the usage of your CRM by your reps, they can be helpful in cleaning your data as well. Easier said than done since we all know how great sales reps are at maintaining a clean CRM… but we can dream.

There are many ways to keep your data up to date and costs down, but no matter how you do it, you will always need a process.  Can you offer any additional tips?

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