It’s no secret that clean data is the lifeblood of today’s companies.
However, developing and maintaining clean data is a continuous challenge for many sales teams. Their segmentation, data privacy, personalization, and lead scoring all rely on structured data in key fields.
So how can you tell if your company has dirty data? It comes in the form of duplicates that need to be merged, missing field data, or even unverified, incorrect data. Any of these issues can prove harmful to your sales process, especially when you start syncing with marketing automation software.
According to Ovum Research, dirty or bad data can cost a business 30 percent of revenue.
Organizations can sidestep many data issues–including the high cost involved in processing errors, manual troubleshooting, incorrect invoice data, and sending shipments to a wrong address–simply by cleansing their data.
Did You Know This About Your Existing Data?
- Experian revealed in a recent survey that 63 percent of companies do not have a centralized approach to maintaining data quality.
- According to Dun and Bradstreet, over 500,000 businesses change their addresses each year.
- Approximately 85 percent of organizations say they have noticed improvements in timely and personalized customer communications after improving their data quality.
Several Major Advantages to Data Cleansing
In a nutshell, data cleansing means “cleaning out your database” to ensure that only the highest quality data remains. By updating your company’s database, you can establish better customer engagement, maximize customer retention, and optimize overall marketing performance and results.
Data cleansing also:
- Minimizes data redundancy and duplication
- Ensures the reachability of correct data to correct audience
- Enhances customer retention and acquisition
- Leads to increased sales
Before implementing a data cleaning strategy within your organization, it’s important to look at the big picture. Ask yourself questions, such as “What are your goals and expectations?” or “How do you plan to execute the endeavor successfully?”
If you plan to incorporate data cleansing processes within your company, try to keep the following factors in mind. Also, remember that cleaning your data takes discipline and is an ongoing process.
- First, Develop a Data Quality Plan: Understanding where most of your organization’s data quality errors occur and identifying incorrect data can help you better assess the origin of a problem and create a game plan. A comprehensive data plan can benefit numerous departments, so keep communication lines open, encourage transparency, and point out that enhanced intelligence will ultimately save money across your organization.
- Standardize Contact Data at the Point of Entry: Check critical data at the point of entry as it will ensure that all information is standardized when it initially enters your database. It also will be simpler to catch duplicates along the way.
- Validate the Accuracy of Your Data: Take the time to research and invest in technology tools that can cleanse your data. It is vital to validate the accuracy of your data.
- Detect Duplicates: Save your company time and incorporate data tools that effectively identify any duplicates. Remember, the less manual work, the better off you will be in the end.
- Append Your Data: Once your organization standardizes the data and validates and scrubs it for duplicates, use third-party sources to append it. Reliable third-party sources can capture information directly from first-party sites and clean and compile the data to provide more complete information. This method can help you establish and fortify your customer segmentation, sending more targeted information to current customers and prospects.
- You Know What They Say: ‘Out With the Old’: In today’s highly competitive market, knowing your prospects and providing them with relevant, targeted data can make all the difference between losing and winning business.
When done carefully and correctly, successful data cleansing can detect and remove significant errors and inconsistencies that slow business down. Data cleansing also can help you spend less on sending messages to inactive customers and help you begin to see improved results, including higher open or click-through rates because you now send the right messages to the right people..
A CRM is only as good as its data. Maybe it is time to take a closer look at your organization’s data. By performing regular cleansing strategies and conducting annual reviews, you can maintain an invaluable database that will support your company’s teams for years to come.
About the Author
Lisa C. Dunn a freelance writer, copywriter and ghostwriter who develops high-quality content for businesses and non-profit organizations. For over 20 years, she has worked with numerous PR and digital marketing agencies, and her work has been featured in well-known publications including Forbes, VentureBeat, Mashable, Huffington Post, Wired, B2C, USA Today, among many others.