How to Clean CRM Data
The knowledge that can be gained from an enterprise software integration is invaluable. From shop floor operations and inventory to customer data and target markets, connecting ERP and CRM results in 360-degree insight. However, you can’t simply decide to integrate your software and complete the sync on the next day. There needs to be a careful plan in place to make your integration project as successful as possible.
One of the first steps of this process is cleaning up your pre-existing data. Inaccurate CRM data inevitably leads to slip-ups that seriously impact your sales performance and customer satisfaction. Integrating systems filled with dirty data and duplicate entries will just magnify those problems by populating all of your enterprise systems with errors. By amplifying the errors, it will be even harder for your employees to use the system and degrade the credibility of your entire software suite's data going forward.
Long story short: Clean your CRM data before you integrate it with your ERP. Here’s how to get started.
Do a Mindful Cleanse of Existing Data
The first step to clean CRM data is taking the time to go through your entries with a thoughtful eye. Consider what information you have that is truly useful and what might be superfluous and unnecessary to integrate with your ERP. Do you have customers who have been out of contact for a long time and probably won't be making orders in the future? Are there employees who are no longer working at a company and therefore won't be a useful touch point going forward? Consider getting rid of their entries so that you only have to sync your most current and relevant data.
If there are crucial fields missing from certain contacts, try reaching back out to them to fill in the gaps. If you figure that they aren’t worth the effort, then discard them as well. Nervous that you might end up deleting valuable customer information? Store that data in archives so that it is not synced, but still available if they do eventually return to your business.
Your data purge truly needs to be thorough. Go beyond customer data by looking through any other information stored in your CRM. Tasks that were never attended to or simply checked out may still be lingering around and don’t need to be transferred. Consider this an opportunity for a much-needed spring cleaning of your CRM—benefiting not just your upcoming integration but also your entire sales process.
Merge Your Duplicate Records
During your clean up, ensure that you are merging any duplicate records that you find. You don’t want to reinforce these mistakes even further when you do send that CRM data to your ERP. If certain fields are redundant (i.e., Employer and Company), consider creating a flow that will merge them and standardize the entries within those fields.
Some integration platforms may have data or entry limits, and erasing duplicates will ensure you’re only paying to store the essential data. The work you do now to build a foundation of clean CRM data will make it easier for your business going forward.
Enforce A Data Standard
Once you have cleaned all the data that is already inside your system, you need to start enforcing policies to keep your CRM data clean until the integration. Ideally, you should already have these data entry practices in place. However, because clean data is integral to a successful enterprise software integration you should work even harder to make sure your entire team contributes to the accuracy of your information.
Your sales team, along with everyone else who has a hand with inputting CRM data, needs to have a best practices guideline for how to input specific fields or tasks within the system (if phone numbers are written with hyphens, or state names abbreviated, for example). Inconsistent acronyms or shortened company names can mess up crucial functions you need your integration to perform and muddy the reports that you are drawing from that data.
A clear, well-enforced guideline ensures that every employee is acting the same way inside your enterprise software in the period preceding an integration. CRM data that you worked so hard to clean must be kept that way.
Assign Security Roles
Another way to ensure clean CRM data before an integration is by creating a hierarchy of security and data access for your team. If everyone has the same, full access to your data they will be more likely to make errors or accidentally delete integral fields or records. Allow users only the access they need to sufficiently complete their work and input all the information they will be collecting. Your manufacturing team, for example, will want to be able to assign orders and production to certain clients, but they don’t necessarily need the power to create new orders, quotes or alter current client information.
Security roles don’t just streamline user experience and increase adoption; they also maintain all the correct information you need when it comes time to sync your data.
Integrating your CRM software with ERP can give you the information you need to transform your business into a customer-focused powerhouse. However, integration needs to be done carefully and correctly for you to truly realize the full benefits of data synchronization. Performing a thorough data cleanse before integration is the best way to follow best practices and execute a successful enterprise software project.
In need of a helping hand or the right solution for your CRM and ERP integration? Look no further than Datix. An Epicor Platinum Partner as well as a certified partner of both Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM and Salesforce, we’re the premier experts in ERP and CRM. Using our Unity integration application, our consultants quickly install a seamless integration between your software instances. Unity is a scalable, hassle-free solution that powerfully maximizes the value of your software and the efficiency of your enterprise. We'll guide you throughout the integration process to help you achieve the utmost ROI.
Make your ERP and CRM integration a success. Reach out to Datix’s experienced consultants today to start building your connected enterprise!