Category Archives: CRM Data Plan

Love and the Clean CRM

Do you remember your first time?  I do.  How could I forget?  I was in love.  The anticipation of being alone,  just the two of us,  was something I had been thinking about for weeks.   When we all met our new team member,  it was like every sales rep in the company was distracted.  I couldn’t get any one-on-one time.  Finally a holiday approached and I planned to be in the office, long after everyone had left.  We would be alone.

The egg-nog was gone, the lights were dim and the office was empty.   I opened up my browser and we were alone.  Just the two of us: me and my salesforce.com

The first thing I noticed, my new love was unhappy.  We had transferred all our data from a old Siebel CRM.  My beautiful Salesforce was full of non-standard data and tons of duplicates.

So I took action.  Here are the steps I took:

1. Develop a Normalization Plan. 

(In the past I’ve called it a Data Plan), but the phrase has evolved.  A Normalization Plan is a set of standards for your data.  For example: for job titles, do you want them list verbose, such as “Vice President of Sales” or compact like “VP Sales”?  Removing extraneous spaces and punctuation is also something to decide upon.  Do you always go with “Incorporated” or “Inc”?

2. Normalize your CRM

Don’t even think about deduping your data before normalizing.  This is a mistake of the uniformed.  If a consultant wants to dive right in and dedupe, they are not skilled in the art of loving their CRM.

Dedupe without normalizing first is akin to putting underwear over your pants.

3. Pick your dupe matching rules

It’s got to be the right time and you must do some testing to make sure you’ve got it right.  Use one of the tools from RingLead that provides customizable dedupe logic to match your business requirements. RingLead is a pro at removing Salesforce Duplicates.

4. Dedupe

It’s not the first step, it’s the last.  When you really love your CRM you take care of everything else first.  At this point, you’ll have a plan, you’ll know about all the little nuances and dedupe will be natural and successful.

 

 

 

 

 

The One Thing you MUST do Before Account Deduping

Duduping a CRM is like an equation waiting to be solved.  Just like a high school math, the more variables you know the values for, the easier the problem is to solve and the more likely you will come up with the correct answer.

CRMs include is a vast number of “Data Markers”.  These markers are a literal road map to filling in missing data.   For example, if 100% of the emails for a particular company have the email format of Firstname.Lastname@domain.com, then you can probably fill in missing emails for other contacts with confidence.  If you have the email domains for contacts, but the account record is lacking a website, that can be filled in too.

A company’s website address is a unique identifier.  It is more important than the company name.  Look at Peoplesoft as an example:  long after the company was acquired by Oracle, you could navigate to www.peoplesoft.com.  A few years later, it was totally absorbed…but the website did outlive the company.

Done properly, leveraging data markers within a CRM allows the properly trained consultant to pre-fill data for a more complete picture…BEFORE deduping.   In addition the data should be standardized (sometimes called Normalized) before the dedupe process is done.

If you take the correct measures of:  (1) data normalization and (2) data fill before deduping,  your dedupe process will be greatly improved.