Of the various ironies which IT managers have to deal with, one of the strangest concerns CRM software.
The clue is in the name. These systems were designed to facilitate relationships… yet, in many companies, the all-important bond between sales staff and customer relationship management software is non-existent.
If you were to send a typical salesperson and their CRM app to couples therapy, the counsellor would note a toxic combination of forced politeness, hostile body language and quiet muttering under the breath. They’d conclude that they were looking at a relationship on the point of total breakdown.
Well, ’tis the season for reconciliations and new beginnings, and a heady whiff of 2021 IT budgets is drifting through the frosty air. Wouldn’t this be a great moment for a fresh start? Follow DQ Global’s three New Year’s Resolutions, and your sales team and your software can begin a journey towards a state of connubial bliss.
DQ CRM Resolution #1: Connect & Commit
As any counsellor will tell you — in relationships, commitment is everything. The value of your CRM system increases whenever a user updates a record. Apathy and inertia on the part of users undermine the worth of the whole system.
As a manager, you’re in a position to set a strong lead here. By making a 2021 resolution to encourage your people to ‘connect&commit’, you’ll enhance the value of your CRM.
You’ll need be on the alert for ‘islanding’, the virtual door-slam that shows when a contributor has withdrawn from shared data space. (This process begins with heavily-annotated Post-Its, progresses via spreadsheets, and ends with standalone databases.)
You’ll also need to allocate time for one-to-ones. Whenever you spot an ‘islander’, you’ll need to spend a few minutes making it clear to them that your shared commitment outweighs their personal preferences.
The upside of all this is that you’ll save money on consultancy fees. Every instance of ‘islanding’ highlights a weak spot or bottleneck in your CRM. Just remember to pass on those insights to your IT guys and solution provider!
DQ CRM Resolution #2: The In-House Fix
Some CRM problems come within the domain of the developer or solution provider. Others belong to the users.
If you’re concerned about issues of data integrity (“Which numbered field for the post town?” “How do I format international dialling codes for Skype?”), your second resolution for 2021 should be the appointment of a system champion — aka CRM Data Quality Manager.
Giving responsibility to one sharp-eyed individual will often be enough to catalyze a general raising of consciousness. But what if no-one wants to step up? You might try a piecemeal allocation of custodianship. (“Those dialling codes are naturally the province of the telesales guys.”) Giving everyone in the office their own slice of data to look after is a great way to foster feelings of collective responsibility.
DQ CRM Resolution #3: Follow the 1-10-100 Rule
By some estimates, as much as 25 per cent of the data in an average CRM is simply wrong: outdated, mis-spelt, or compromised by errors like transposed street numbers and incorrect birthdates.
This has led to insiders to formulate the “1-10-100 Rule”, a half-serious guideline which states that if it costs $1 to verify a record at entry, it will cost $10 to clean it up retrospectively, and $100 to ignore the problem. (That last includes knock-ons like undeliverable shipments and alienated customers.)
We already took care of new entries via Resolution #2. But the existing errors in your data will go on costing you money. That being so, Resolution #3 is simply to follow the logic of the 1-10-100 Rule, and make 2021 “the Year Of The Ten Quid Cleanup”. (Or $10, or €10 — you get the idea.)
A data specialist like DQ Global will give you the tools required to ensure you tackle your longstanding CRM data challenges, increasing your trust in your reporting and in the long term, saving you time and money.
We hope that, after the festivities are done, you’ll bite the bullet and invest in data quality management. All the best for Christmas, and we’ll see you in the New Year!
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