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Garbage in, garbage out – don’t kill your CRM.

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A successful CRM project requires your users to input quality data. If they put garbage in, they will get garbage out - rendering the system a failure.

Have you ever heard of Cause and Effect? It’s a theory that suggests every action has an equal reaction.

For example, Joe forgot to plug his laptop in (cause) and his laptop stopped working (effect).

So, what does this have to do with data management in your CRM system? Simple, the better the data that you input, the more valuable the information that you extract will be.

If you’re to believe research carried out by numerous companies, roughly 65% of CRM systems fail. The main reason for this? A lack of user buy-in because they don’t feel that the data stored is valuable.

The challenge is that the information isn’t valuable because it’s the effect of the garbage data that they’re inputting into the system.

Bad data housekeeping will damage your business as your investment in a CRM system will become worthless. You can’t monitor the true situation of your business and a huge amount of time will be wasted during the process.

How can you make sure that your CRM investment doesn’t end up in the trash like the data being inputted?


Simplicity is key. Your CRM system shouldn’t be bloated with features and fields that give you little value. Strip it down and start with the basics because your sales team will be more inclined to use the system and enter the correct information. From my experience, mandatory fields also cause problems because if the salesperson doesn’t know the information but must select an option, they enter incorrect information just so they can save the record.

Think about how easy it is to find and access the data stored within your CRM system. Does it take more than a few clicks to find a contact? Is sales activity readily available in a dashboard? Can important information be accessed out of the office? Having easy-to-find business-critical information will ensure adoption rates and daily usage.

A CRM system is rarely implemented purely for management, often it’s for users across all departments. However, it’s management that usually pushes the system onto its users without involving them in the implementation process and explaining its value. If your CRM users don’t get why they need to enter certain information in the system, your data will likely suffer. The success of your CRM system is going to be dependent upon the value your users believe their time and effort will give them. Users will always ask themselves, how will this CRM system make my job easier, save me time, and make me more money?

A CRM system with garbage data is pointless and will negatively impact your business in the following ways:

  • High overhead costs for a system that isn’t serving its purpose
  • Misalignment of marketing, sales, and customer support teams
  • Damaging to the company's reputation if personalized emails have the wrong name/information
  • Lost sales as opportunities won’t be followed up in a timely manner
  • An additional expense to clean data
  • Incorrect email addresses can blacklist your company’s server if you send bulk emails
  • Your sales team doesn’t know who they spoke to, what they spoke about, and when
  • If an employee leaves, all their sales activity is lost

So, what can you do to ensure you don’t get garbage in and garbage out?

  • Collect the right amount of information – not too little, not too much
  • Only make key fields like a company or first name mandatory fields
  • Explain the value that good data housekeeping will provide
  • Involve its users in the design process
  • Create a policy where if data isn’t inputted into your CRM, it doesn’t exist

Looking for a better CRM system?

sales-i’s CRM is designed specifically for manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors to help them discover, manage and close their sales opportunities. sales-i is simple and effective and has one of the best retention rates on the market. To see how sales-i can help you, book a free online demo with us.

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