What distinguishes high-quality customer relationship management data from low-quality data points? Why is accurate CRM data important?
You’re not using CRM software correctly or effectively if you aren’t taking data entry seriously.
My name is AJ. After scaling and selling my business, I’ve learned a few things about CRM data and related topics.
I created this guide to help small business owners like yourself learn the importance of accurate CRM data and how a CRM application utilizes data analysis.
Let’s look at everything you need to know!
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What is CRM Data Entry?
CRM data entry is entering data into a CRM system and storing it.
There are several types of CRM data (I’ll get into those in the next section).
Accurate CRM data entry is an essential element of a high-functioning CRM system.
Additionally, accessing usable data is necessary for your business’s CRM to yield profit, and data entry is how to get there.
Types of CRM Data
There are four kinds of CRM data, including:
Understanding the differences between data types is crucial for data quality and organization.
Identity CRM Data
Identity data includes the information your business needs to stay connected with your leads and customers.
Although this information is basic, it’s critical for maintaining a loyal customer base. Examples of identity data include:
- Full name
- Company name
- Email address
- Physical address
- Phone numbers
- Social media handles and usernames
This customer data aims to give your employees easy ways to contact your leads.
Descriptive CRM Data
Descriptive CRM data is customer data that helps you understand your target audience better.
This type of data aims to understand what motivates your customers and includes information such as:
- Educational level
- Marital status
- Number of children
- Types and ages of the cars they own
- Specific hobbies
- Special interests
- Causes they support
Businesses use descriptive data to determine whether their products and services align with a person’s interests and hobbies.
Quantitative CRM Data
Quantitative data points are hard facts that you can measure objectively.
These points help your business form CRM metrics, including the following:
- Customer renewal rates
- Customer acquisition costs
- Average purchase amount
- Number of contacts in each sales funnel stage
Quantitative data also helps you track what your sales representatives are doing and measure sales progress.
Qualitative CRM Data
Qualitative data helps understand customers’ attitudes, opinions, and satisfaction levels associated with shopping and buying patterns.
Although it may seem similar to descriptive data, qualitative information focuses on behavior rather than specific contact traits.
Businesses typically acquire qualitative data through customer feedback before, during, and after a sale.
Why Is Data Entry (& Cleaning) Crucial for a CRM?
Customer relationship management software functions appropriately when a business takes data collection seriously.
Here are three reasons your company must take data entry and data cleansing seriously.
Prevent Costly Data Decay
High-quality CRM data is critical for CRM services because it prevents data decay.
Data decay occurs when once-relevant information becomes unusable because of aging, hardware failure, or getting lost.
One example is a customer’s record, including an email address they no longer use.
Decay means your business loses valuable time and resources because employees work with outdated information.
Poor Data Leads to Decreased Business Growth
Accurate data helps you identify the best leads, make faster decisions, and build customer relationships.
On the other hand, low-quality data can lead to poor decision-making and wrong investments.
As a result of inaccurate information, your sales team has a challenging time making sales, sales forecasting is inaccurate, and marketing campaigns aren’t targeted.
All of these circumstances eventually lead to a decline in business growth.
Bad Data Can Hurt Current Customer Experience
When customer records are inaccurate, sales teams cannot provide a personalized experience and tailor pitches to their preferences.
Also, poor data accuracy often results in employees taking longer to find customer profiles, resulting in poor satisfaction rates.
CRM Data Entry Pros and Cons
Now I’ll review the pros and cons of CRM data entry.
CRM Data Entry Pros
First, your business must know the three benefits of CRM data entry.
Provides a More Clear Picture of the Customer
Accurate data capture results in a more effective CRM platform.
When CRMs are accurate, they offer a clear picture of each customer, allowing sales reps to see them as people and not as mere data points in a system.
Company Data is Consolidated into One Platform
CRM data keeps everything in one place, from lead scores to personal information.
The entire organization can view, add, and update data across devices. Switching between multiple platforms to find contact records is time-consuming (and frustrating) for employees.
Data Mining & Analytics
CRMs utilize data mining and analytics to generate reports and offer predictions, ensuring companies make profitable decisions.
CRM Data Entry Cons
Given all the benefits of CRM data, you may be surprised to learn there are also some downsides.
Here are the cons you must know.
CRM Data is Highly Sensitive
Highly sensitive data means a single mistake can result in inaccurate reports and false analyses.
Manual data entry is at risk of human error, so it’s crucial to emphasize high data quality and careful entry.
There is a Learning Curve with Most CRM
Regardless of your team’s chosen CRM system, there will be designated time to learn its functionalities.
Therefore, you must set aside time to train anyone using your CRM software to prevent errors and ensure clean data.
Manual Data Entry Can be Tedious
Manual data entry is considered the biggest downside to implementing a new CRM.
Errors are more likely, and the process is time-consuming for manual data entry.
Still, your team must manually enter data in your CRM database occasionally, and this information must be reviewed to ensure accuracy.
What is an Example of CRM Data?
Below are some examples of CRM data that will help your business processes.
Customer Contact Information
Contact information includes basic information such as:
- Phone numbers
- Email address
Your company needs a way to contact customers, and this information is how.
Customer Source/Lead Capture
Customer source and lead capture information is how customers hear about your company.
This information tells you which marketing campaigns are most helpful.
Customer Purchase or Inquiry Dates
Other data your CRM utilizes are purchase dates and customer support inquiry dates.
Purchase dates can show shopping patterns and which customers purchase products and services more often when special deals are available.
Customer Details About Sales Transactions
Sales order records can provide valuable insights into the customer’s journey and purchasing history.
This data helps you make more informed decisions and better identify opportunities in your market.
By utilizing these pieces of data, a business can determine the right strategies to reach goals faster and serve customers.
Customer Contract Renewal Dates
Contract renewal dates indicate your company’s customer retention rates and customer satisfaction with their experience.
Additionally, contract renewal dates show you whether clients are eager to continue doing business with your team.
Customer Lead Scores
Lead scoring is a strategy marketing and sales teams use to assign values to potential customers.
These values determine the worthiness of a lead.
For instance, low-score clients tell your sales reps to pursue other leads first because they are less likely to result in a sale.
Best Practices for Maintaining Accurate Customer Data
There are specific steps you and your team can take to ensure your customer data remains accurate, helping you reach your business goals faster!
Let’s take a look.
Get Buy-in From All Sales Reps
First, your sales reps must be engaged and onboard. That said, you must ensure your team utilizes your CRM platform as it’s designed.
Listing long-term advantages and time-saving techniques are two ways to encourage your sales team to buy in.
Train All Sales Staff on Your CRM
User training is critical for accurate data management practices and better customer interactions.
If your employees don’t understand how to use CRM technology, they will either give up on the software or enter incorrect information.
Ensure you set aside ample time to train employees on using CRM software.
Maintain a Relationship with Your CRM Vendor
Your CRM vendor should be on the same page as your team. You must contact them for any issues or errors in your data capture process.
Additionally, having a relationship with your CRM vendor can result in additional benefits such as discounts and loyalty rewards.
Perform Monthly/Quarterly Audits of CRM Data
As I mentioned in a previous section, existing data in your CRM can get outdated, resulting in inaccuracies.
Therefore, it’s essential to review and audit your data quality regularly.
While running my company, I was initially opposed to auditing CRM data because I thought it was a waste of time. However, a successful business demands accurate information!
Stop Bad Data from Being Added
If data is entered incorrectly, it can cause a domino effect of inaccurate information.
You must implement consistent data validation processes and error alerts to ensure your CRM won’t accept incorrect data.
Additionally, set up an approval system for anyone who adds new users or lead records. This way, you can ensure accuracy and prevent any mistakes.
Best Ways to Add Data to Your CRM
Below I’ve listed the three strategies my company utilized to add information to our CRM platform.
My employees often used a couple of these methods rather than just one.
Implement whatever method works best for your industry and preferences.
Manual Data Entry
Although manually entering data can lead to errors, it is inexpensive to get information into your CRM system.
A technique I found helpful was having two different employees work on the same data set.
For example, one person would submit information into the CRM database. After they were done, another person would check their work.
This strategy, although time-consuming, resulted in fewer errors and simple mistakes.
Automating data entry is an excellent option if your company has the expertise and budget.
Automation saves time and allows employees to work on more projects and tasks they care about.
Automation typically results in fewer mistakes than manually entering information into a database.
CRM Vendor Assistance
CRM provider assistance is also an option for some businesses.
Your provider may offer services like import/export functions or onboarding help that can streamline the data entry process.
Ultimately, your CRM vendor should be available to answer any questions and provide assistance with CRM data entry.
CRM Data Entry Final Thoughts
CRM data entry is an essential piece of operating an effective CRM platform.
Accurate information gives employees access to comprehensive customer profiles, beneficial data-driven reports and recommendations, and time-saving tasks.
What data management strategies does your company use? Let us know in the comment section below!
And best of luck finding the perfect CRM application for your business!