A new lead – we will call him Matt Smith – comes through a form on your website and you eagerly pick-up the phone to introduce yourself.

“Hi Lindsey – Thanks for the call, but Erin on your team has already reached out and I am scheduled for a time to speak with her next week.”

Your hot new lead now identifies themselves as an existing opportunity for someone else within your company.

Where did you go wrong? Chances are your CRM is not working in your favor. With a poorly structured database – you can miss out on valuable opportunities, send irrelevant information, or appear lazy to your contacts.

In this example, Matt Smith was entered in as a duplicate contact, and had already been in contact with another sales rep. I see this scenario roll out far too often, and I credit that to an unorganized CRM. There are many steps you can take now to ensure your team is set-up for communication success.

  1. Tidy Up Your Spreadsheets

Prior to importing data into your CRM, it’s important to tidy it up as much as possible. Deleting unnecessary fields is a good starting point; consider which data is critical, and which is disposable or could create potential confusion down the road.

If you are moving from one CRM to another, take note of the additional fields that systems include in your export. Often times there will be unnecessary fields that you may have used in a previous system, which would no longer apply.

  1. Create a Standard Data-Entry Process

Much of bad data unfortunately stems from human-error. You can significantly cut down on the error of inputting bad data by creating a standard process for documenting new data.

Within Hatchbuck, we allow for drop-down custom fields – which helps to save time and error. Drop down fields allow the admin to pre-define the options their team has, so the team can stay consistent in their selections, forgoing spelling errors and renaming.

  1. Merge Duplicate Contacts

The majority of CRM systems will match based off of email address and/or full name. Whichever merging criteria you choose, it’s important to remain mindful of how incoming leads will be entered into your system, so you can avoid entering duplicates.

You want your communication with your contacts and internal sales team to be rock solid, and if you have multiple people on your team contacting the same individual – things can get messy very quickly.

  1. Keep Your Process Simple

Clutter often derives from a complicated process. You can keep a tidy CRM by eliminating unnecessary statuses and custom fields, and keeping tags to a minimum. A good exercise is to consider and plan with your team which pieces of data are crucial to your sales and marketing process. Everything else can be considered fluff, and should be eliminated to reduce confusion down the road. Streamlining your sales funnel and creating a well-structured process for segmenting your contacts can help to cut down on the clutter.

A few small changes upfront can help create large impact over-time. Internally, we like to ensure a clean import, consistent data entry, and minimum contact fields to maintain a clean CRM.  At Hatchbuck, our goal is to help you create more meaningful conversations, close more deals, and maintain more customers by providing you a well-structured and easy to use CRM.