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.