Your database is like the veins of your sales operation. It is essential to have a well-maintained and clean database for your sales reps to generate new leads, follow up on opportunities, and close deals. A clean database means that your reps spend less time on administrative tasks and more time selling.
A clean database also maximizes sales efficiency because it ensures that your marketing and sales teams are working with accurate and up-to-date information. When your data is clean, you can trust that the leads your sales reps are pursuing are qualified and that the reports you’re basing decisions off are accurate. In short, having a clean database should be a top priority for any business that wants to optimize their sales operation.
So how do you ensure that your database is always clean? Here’s 5 things to look for:
1. Duplicate records
The first thing you should look for when cleaning up your database is duplicate records. Duplicates can happen for a variety of reasons including manual entry errors, importing data from multiple sources, or even just different reps inputting the same lead into your system. Regardless of how they happen, duplicates can wreak havoc on your data quality and make it harder for your sales reps to do their job effectively.
To find duplicates, check for similar names, contact numbers, emails, or account details. Once you’ve found the duplicates, decide which record you want to keep, and delete or archive the rest.
2. Missing or Incomplete Data Fields
Another common issue in databases is missing or incomplete data fields. This can happen when sales reps forget to update a field after completing a call or when incomplete data is inputted. Incomplete data fields make it difficult to segment your leads and contacts, which can impact everything from targeted marketing campaigns to effective lead nurturing efforts.
To find missing or incomplete data fields, run a report on all leads and contacts in your system. Take note of any missing or incomplete information and aim to fill them.
3. Inconsistent data
Inconsistent data is another major headache for sales teams. It makes it difficult to track leads and contacts, identify trends, and make informed decisions. In addition, inconsistent data can lower your team’s morale by causing confusion and frustration.
To minimize the impact of inconsistent data on your sales operation, it’s important to standardize all the data in your database. Make sure that all sales reps are using the same naming conventions for leads and contacts (e.g., first name followed by last name). This will help ensure that everyone is entering data into the system in a consistent manner. Subsequently, it will make searching and filtering your data much easier too.
4. Outdated information
One of the challenges of working with databases is that information can quickly become outdated. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as when an employee changes roles within a company or when a lead changes his/her contact details. When outdated information is not updated or removed from the database, it can lead to inaccurate reporting and decision making.
There are a few different ways to clean outdated information in databases. One approach is to manually review each record and update it as needed. This can be time-consuming, but it ensures that the data is accurate. Another option is to use automated scripts to first identify outdated records. This approach saves you half the time needed, showing you which record needs updating. Sales reps need only to focus on updating these records with the latest information instead of going through the entire database.
5. Incorrect data
Most sales database systems (CRMs, LMSs, etc) are designed to be user-friendly, but that doesn’t always mean that the data they contain are error-free. Incorrect data can creep in for a variety of reasons, including human error and faulty data entry. Regardless of how it happens, incorrect data can lead to missed opportunities and wasted resources.
To correct any errors in your data, start by looking for typos, and incorrect values (e.g., someone’s job title is listed as “Accountant” when it should be “Account Manager”). Where integration with other software is present, you should also consider running random cross-checks to ensure that your data sync successfully.
Having a clean database should be a top priority for any business that wants their sales operation to run smoothly. A well-maintained database ensures that your sales reps spend less time on administrative tasks and more time selling, maximizes sales efficiency, and allows you to make better decisions based on accurate data.
To keep your database clean, be sure to deduplicate records regularly, keep an eye out for missing or incomplete data fields, and establish processes to address inconsistent, outdated or incorrect data. While it may seem like a daunting task, we know that you can definitely get the job done! If you need a little help, let us know. Otherwise, we hope you’re well on your way to having a clean and neat database that will support a successful sales operation!