Data Counts, now measure it

March 20th, 2011 by

When I meet with small to medium size companies to discuss the possibility of a CRM project, the majority of prospects want to measure how well they are communicating with customers and discover how they can improve communications with them. One of the reasons they are not able to measure how effective their communications are with customers is the current communication tools like MS Outlook, Excel, and mobile devices like Black Berries, have poor data quality; as a result it is difficult to append communications against a single data record allowing the customer to measure the success of their communications.

During our CRM QuickStart process we work with the customer on Data Governance and Data Quality strategies to ensure the data loaded into the CRM allows us to achieve the goal of collecting communications information against a single account or contact record and measure the results. Listed below are definitions for Data Governance and Data Quality and some tips for building a master account record for a CRM.

Data governance is a set of processes that ensures that important data assets are formally managed throughout the enterprise. Data governance ensures that data can be trusted and that people can be made accountable for any adverse event that happens because of low data quality. (Wikipedia)
Data are of high quality “if they are fit for their intended uses in operations, decision making and planning” (J. M. Juran). Alternatively, the data are deemed of high quality if they correctly represent the real-world construct to which they refer. ((Wikipedia)

CRM Account Tips & Tricks

Account records within your CRM represent customers, competitors, and partners. Each account stores information such as name, address, and phone numbers. Quality account records within your CRM are the foundation for creating a 360 degree view of your customer, as result it is important to set-up the account record properly within the CRM.

Listed below are some tips and tricks to help you with creating Account records:

Account Name – It is important to create a standard naming for account names to help minimize duplicate accounts.
Website – Collect as many website address as possible, it helps the sales process and can be used a unique identifier when matching contacts to account records.

Annual Revenue – It is a great tool to help segment accounts and build clusters. In the case of energy companies you may not know the production numbers, but you can work it back an estimate if you have the revenue.

Employees – It is a great tool to help segment accounts and build clusters. In the case of energy producers you may not have revenue or production numbers, but you can work it back an estimate if you have the employee numbers.

Address Info – Address data quality is essential, companies need to standardize on a format for the street, city, state/province and country.

Industry Description – This should be a mandatory pick list that groups accounts based on industry, because it is mandatory the list has to be short enough that it is easy for reps to identify and select.

Primary SIC/NAIC Code & Description – The North American Industry Classification System like NAICS and SIC are the standards used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy.

Key Word Tags – Keyword tags are used to describe what services the company provides, they are usually found in the products and services section of a the accounts website.

Account Description – Capture a snippet of information from the “About Us” section from the website, it can be used as an account refresher, tags or account searches for account views or campaigns.

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