Knowing how to implement and maintain an effective data management plan can improve your business relationships, save you time and ultimately give you a high return when it comes to your CRM investment.
These 10 practices will help to clean up and update old data while helping you to establish proper guidelines for entering new data into your CRM.
1. Create Spelling and Naming Conventions
Trained employees that need to enter or update data in your CRM system will require data entry rules to eliminate all unnecessary iterations. This will help to keep your data concise and consistent so everyone on the CRM team is on the same page.
Conventions to include would be punctuation, upper and lower case consistency, underscore usage and word order.
2. Establish Numerical and Abbreviation Rules
Numerical and abbreviation inconsistency can easily translate into missing files when you need them the most.
As with the spelling and naming conventions, you should ideally create an in-house guideline that details whether one only enters numerical numbers into the CRM system or if all numbers are written out.
Similarly, you should also include whether abbreviations are allowed and how certain words are to be abbreviated.
3. Implement Data Entry Protocols
Knowing how to enter information on your database is an important as the naming conventions that shape it. This is because without the correct guidelines, duplication may occur and is often the case in a multi-user space.
Before making a new entry, team members should do a quick search to make sure the entry does not already exist. Include partial word searches too, just in case a spelling error occurred on the original entry.
Furthermore, it is also better to save your data in a format that is universally accessible by any application. That way, you can easily export data in an Excel format when it’s time to audit your CRM data management plan as well as make it a lot easier to import new data.
4. Edit Records According To A Set Protocol
Every now and again, you will come across those duplicate or old data records that need to be edited or done away with. Consequently, it would be best to establish an editing protocol for staff to follow when they need to edit CRM data.
It’s always best to inspect a record thoroughly before deleting or merging it. Even though some data fields contain similar information, it may not warrant any record changes at all. If you are unsure about a certain record, ask the person that entered it into the CRM system for clarification before actioning the next step.
5. Keep Central Records
Whether you are entering data into your CRM or deleting records to keep your data management plan free of unnecessary duplications, working off a central database is key to being accessible.
Add new data directly to the central records, and if you want to simplify things somewhat, create a summary page to use within your section of the business.
6. Keep Record Of Errors
Ideally, your content management plan should allow for quality control in the form of a record that keeps track of all the data entry errors within a given timeframe. This will allow you to pinpoint the problem areas maybe not yet addressed in your entry guidelines and will also help you to keep track of the operators that entered the incorrect project data.
7. Clean Up CRM Data Files
As with any system, in time, certain records can become dated or duplicated. In other cases, there might be crucial data missing that was simply never entered when the record was initially created. To remedy this, it is important to schedule regular CRM data file cleanups.
This can be done through bulk edits and also through tracking how the data you are capturing is being used. If you find you are collecting unnecessary information, then tweak your CRM to ensure optimal productivity.
8. Create Mandatory Fields
To ensure complete data entry, you can establish specific data fields as a prerequisite when saving a record. To simplify this process, you can adjust the fields according to the specific requirements of each record type. As a result, you will spend less time cleaning up your data files since most crucial data categories will already be filled in.
9. Enable Validated Entry Fields
Another way of ensuring correct data entry is to implement validation rules for certain data entry formats. An incorrect entry will prompt an error message, and the entry will not save until such time as the format error, or omission error is rectified.
10. Identify Gaps In Your Data
Not having the information you need can halt production and productivity. One way of clearing up this problem relatively fast is by enabling a filtered search function. This will enable you to locate empty data fields on all your current records, identify who processed the entries and assign them the task of filling in the missing information.
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