a desktop computer showing graphs and 'CRM'

How to Keep CRM Data Clean and Consistent

Data is crucial to understanding your sales process. When you know with whom to speak, the budget with which your lead is working and their timeline, you can move things along the sales pipeline easily. Most companies will use a Customer Relationship Management tool for this, commonly known as a CRM.

CRMs allow you to track each deal and record key information, such as names and contact info of prospects as well as meeting notes. But CRMs are much like other areas of our technological lives: without organization, they can become frustratingly cluttered. When your CRM is littered with inconsistent data, deals can be lost, which means a loss in profit for your company and loss of commission for your staff.

By putting clean and consistent data into your CRM, staff can see and understand where each deal stands, making handoffs, meetings and closing deals easier for everyone.

Here’s how to keep CRM data clean and consistent.

Decide on Your Terminology

There’s a lot of sales terminology out there and not all of it will fit your company tone. To avoid every salesperson using their own version of ‘Decision Maker’ or ‘Budget’, decide on a group of terms that suits your company. Use language natural to your team.

You want your terminology to be

  • Self-explanatory
  • Consistent in tone
  • Memorable

Encourage all staff to use the same terminology to avoid confusion when deals are passed along. Consider creating a document with your terminology and share it with your team for reference.

For example, even a short standard format can help you understand where things sit at a glance.

Note:
(#) users @ (#)% Discount
Next Step: (Conversation/Start trial) on (Date)

Get Everyone Onboard With the Right Support

Templates in CRM

Some CRMs allow you to create custom data entry fields. If so, you can create fields for key information that needs recording in the CRM using your pre-determined terminology. By having visual prompts, your team are less likely to miss an important piece of data.

In-House Training

Get everyone on-board and attentive by doing in-house training. Outline the importance of clean data in the CRM and highlight its link to closing deals. For example, clean data:

  • Saves your employees time by making everything easy to search
  • Avoids missing information, which could lead to forgetting to follow up on an important lead
  • Makes hand off to colleagues seamless
  • Makes the data easy to ‘collect’ if higher management want to review what is an isn’t working in the sales process

When your team understands how consistent data can impact their targets – and commissions – they’ll be onboard.

Outlines Independent of CRMs

There are tools which can work alongside your CRM to help your team with entering consistent notes. Tools such as TextExpander will allow you to create outlines for your CRM notes which are a bit more flexible that what the builtin templates typically provide. Also, these notes aren’t tied to the CRM, they can be used anywhere.. And shared with the whole team. Having these outlines for notes handy will prompt your team to remember to enter all the important data.

For example, your outline might contain the following prompts:

Champion:

Use Case:

Business Issues:

Evaluation Criteria:

Socialized Pricing:

Competitors:

Next Steps: Follow up call / Send more information / Set up call with Champion

Having a limited amount of pre-agreed answers after ‘Next Steps’ means all staff know what’s next, reducing the need for excessive notes during handovers.

Correcting Your Terminology

Another benefit of a typing tool used along with your CRM is that it works for small things you wouldn’t put into a template, such as correcting misspelled terminology. Set up small auto-corrects for misspelled terms, or for alternative terms to make sure the correct terminology is used. For example, when your team types ‘Decision maker’, it could autocorrect to ‘Champion’.

To learn more about setting this up in our video introduction.

More Time to Sell

Once your team is on board with prioritizing clean and consistent notes, data logging and reading becomes a breeze, leaving your team to do what they do best – sell!

Do you use TextExpander at work? Let us know @TextExpander and in our group on Facebook.

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