Guest Blog | Ben Bradley
Bad data sucks.
It kills CRM adoption. It reduces campaign performance, and it confuses customers.
Up to date, accurate data is the lifeblood that keeps b2b sales organizations moving forward. Absent fresh data, it’s hard to find prospects, and then turn those prospects into customers.
Here are five steps to improving data quality:
- Love your data: You cannot delegate intimacy. Understand your data – where it comes from; who touches it; how it is updated and how it performs. If you love your data, it will love you back.
- Protect your data: Keep your data safe and protect it from harm. Protecting your data from well meaning people sometimes means you must prevent some people from touching it, or amending it.
- Have your users worship the data: Something simple like Salesforce.com’s data validation rules force the behaviors you need. If data doesn’t meet standards, use whatever tools you have in your arsenal to make the offending sales people miserable until the data is fixed.
- Respect your data: If you have the same data in more than one place, mistakes will happen. Whenever information spawns, it is easy to lose track of which version is the correct version.
- Embrace third-party data: Third-party data gives your team an edge. Mix and match this information with internal data append processes to get insight into purchase behavior or buying cycles.
Keeping your data clean is not a one-shot deal. Keep after it or it will quickly degrade. Make sure you measure data quality on a regular basis. Make data quality a visible marketing metric.
When you talk about data quality on a regular basis, eventually the message will resonate with prospects.
Ben Bradley is managing director of Macon Raine, a management consulting, marketing, and lead generation company. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.