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The Data Dilemma: How to Deal with Bad Data in Your CRM

Posted on 5 September 2023

Venue Management


Your venue's sales game relies heavily on your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. It keeps your team on track with leads, interactions, and sealing the deal. But what if you hit a roadblock by not having enough data - or, even worse, bad data - in your CRM?


We're diving into ways to tackle this data dilemma head-on. Get ready to amp up your venue's sales performance with some killer strategies and top-notch practices for keeping your data clean.


What is ‘Bad Data’ in Your CRM?

What exactly is "bad data" in your CRM? Defining it can feel complicated, so let's break it down. Typically, bad CRM data shows up in one of these ways:


  • Contact has an incorrect email address and/or phone number
  • Contact is missing key pieces of information
  • Contact has left the business
  • CRM contact input information is inconsistent - some may use correct capitalisation, while others are input with lowercase or uppercase
  • Contacts are duplicated in the system
  • Contacts have filled out forms with incorrect details 


CRM Statistics You Need to Know

  • 91% of data in CRM systems is predicted to be incomplete, stale, or duplicated each year.
  • Sales teams spend around 18% of their time in a CRM system
  • 17% of businesses say manual data entry is their biggest challenge in using their current CRM.
  • Garner estimates that poor data quality costs the average business $13.5 million
  • Insights from Salesforce reveal, up to 70% of data in a CRM system goes bad every year
  • In 2008, 12% of businesses used cloud-based CRM systems - in 2022, the figure had increased to 87%

How Can I Fix Bad CRM Data?

Fixing bad CRM data is essential for maintaining accurate and reliable information about your customers and prospects. To help you clean and improve your CRM data, consider:


iVvy_Icon-88Assessing Your Current CRM Status

Understand the sources of your bad data, such as whether it's due to manual entry errors, integration issues, or other factors. This helps you target root causes and put preventative measures in place.



Standardising Data Entry Procedures

Establish consistent data entry standards to ensure all data is entered in a uniform manner. This could include setting guidelines for inputting addresses, phone numbers, and other data fields. 



Finding and Merging Duplicate Contacts

Identify duplicate records by comparing fields like names, email addresses, and phone numbers. Merge duplicates to avoid having multiple versions of the same contact in your CRM, which can lead to confusion, inefficiency, and in some cases, added costs.



Validating and Verifying Data


Use data validation tools to verify the accuracy of email addresses, phone numbers, and other critical data. Implement validation rules during data entry to ensure certain fields meet predefined criteria (e.g. valid email format or complete phone number.)



Regular Data Cleansing


Regular data cleansing helps prevent the accumulation of bad data over time. Schedule routine processes to clean your data at regular intervals. This could involve using software tools to identify and correct errors. 



Staff Training and Education


When users understand the significance of data quality, they're more likely to follow best practices. Provide training to your CRM users on the importance of accurate data entry and specific data entry standards you've established.



Segmentation and Categorisation

Group customers and prospects into segments based on common attributes, such as industry, location, or behaviour. This allows for more targeted marketing and sales efforts, as you can tailor your approach to each segment's needs.



Data Governance


Create data governance policies that outline who is responsible for data quality, what the standards are, and how issues should be addressed. Regularly audit and review the data to ensure compliance with these policies.



Integration and Automation


Integrate your CRM with other systems like your venue management software to ensure data remains consistent across platforms. Automation reduces the likelihood of manual errors during data updates and synchronisation.



Backup and Recovery

Regularly back up your CRM data to a secure location. This ensures you can recover your data if anything goes wrong during the cleaning process.



Continuous Monitoring and Improvement

Continuously monitor data quality metrics to identify areas for improvement and track progress over time. Stay up-to-date with best practices and emerging technologies in data management to ensure your processes remain effective.


Keeping Your CRM Data Clean for Long-Term Success


Tackling the data challenge in your CRM system is about taking proactive approaches and really committing to having top-notch data. Since your CRM is at the core of your venue's sales success – it's a big deal. We've explored the different ways bad data can impact your business operations and provided some practical solutions you can put into action.


Start with getting everyone on the same page when it comes to inputting data, and experiment with additional tools and cross-checks to make sure your data checks out. Each move you make gets you closer to having a seriously polished CRM setup. Keep in mind that this isn't a one-and-done practice – you need to keep training, keep watching, and even throw in some automation to keep things working smoothly.


CRM tech keeps changing, so you need to stay on top of advancements and change with them. Stay in the loop with what's new and make your moves accordingly. By doing so, your sales team is going to get the most out of your CRM, nailing customer and client communications, using personalisation more effectively, and securing more venue bookings.

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