What To Do When Your CRM Sales Data Is Bad

Just ignore it and ask your sales reps and supporting team members to do additional work in Excel to make the numbers right. Read that sentence again and then think to yourself if that sounds crazy. Well, it’s what many companies chose to do.

But it has a BIG cost. Not correcting your CRM sales data can cost $5,600 a year per salesperson. This cost is just related to additional work hours and does not consider the opportunity cost of a rep not spending time focused on pursuing the right opportunities within their pipeline.

With such a high cost, fixing your CRM data can be done at a fraction of the cost of not fixing it. Why do so many companies decide not to tackle the issue? Our research would suggest it’s due to not having the knowledge of what to fix, and the willingness to apply the rigor and discipline to enforce those changes. Fixing the challenges requires real effort and change. There’s no time like the present to make a change. Left alone, data will continue to get worse. A systematic approach to tackling bad data must be executed.

Step 1. Assess your existing lead-to-cash workflow. Determine where the data starts going bad and the downstream impact. Review lead, opportunity, and order management processes. With this information, prioritize your time and effort.

Step 2. Dig deep into each area of concern. Focus your efforts on the behaviors of the people who are responsible for updating and managing the data. Interview users and managers to get to the root of the challenges. Once you are confident that you know what is happening, you can then look at the CRM system itself and any additional enablement tools. Is your lead management application set up properly to capture critical lead waterfall data? Are your opportunity pages over-developed and inefficient for the sales rep? With an understanding of behaviors and system requirements, develop and launch corrective actions.

Step 3. Institute a formal quality control process by aligning metrics and KPIs to specific individual and group behaviors that provide appropriate checks and balances. Make sure that incentives and compensation are aligned to specific desired outcomes for everyone involved, including management.

These three steps will help you to identify gaps and areas for improvement across your defined sales process, related behaviors, and your technology platform. Start with a short list of improvements that will have the biggest short-term results. Yes, this will impact the sales team, processes may change, and technology might need to be updated.

The cost of doing nothing is large and exhibits linear growth. You need to attack the root cause of your data challenges. If you are still not motivated to act, simply grab a calculator, take the number of sales reps that you have and multiply by $5,600.