Sr. Content Marketing Manager
Customer data is only useful when it’s accurate. Which is why data hygiene is so central to getting the most out of your CRM.
It’s so important, in fact, that our VP of Revenue Operations, Wyndham Hudson, joined our recent Coffee with Copper webinar to share insights on how we handle our data here at Copper — plus advice on how you can keep your data clean, too.
Let’s get into his tips to help you make sure you’re getting the most out of your CRM and Copper reports. With some housekeeping and best practices, you’ll have confidence that your data is analysis-ready.
The role of data in your CRM
When we talk about data, we’re simply talking about the information inside your CRM that relates to your business. This includes everything from your customer and prospect information to your revenue numbers.
There are four main types of CRM data:
- Identity data: anything that relates to a contact’s identity or record (i.e., name, telephone number, business name, email)
- Descriptive data: this data provides specific segment insights (i.e., job role, decision-making power, purchase information)
- Qualitative data: this data is more subjective and typically requires conversations or surveys with your customers (i.e., notes, satisfaction levels, contract requirements, customization requests).
- Quantitative data: this is your measurable and objective data (i.e., number of purchases, purchase amount, revenue, total sales, won deals)
Data is pretty darn important — because it’s what empowers you and your team to run your business effectively. It’s literally the information you use to operate on a day-to-day basis, and make important business decisions.
On the marketing and sales front, descriptive data enables you to segment your outreach to strengthen lead generation and lead nurturing efforts. And on the revenue operations side, you can drill down into the data to uncover trends and patterns to predict revenue and identify problem spots.
Data is power, and when harnessed, it enables you to take your business to the next level. But to use your business data, it has to be legible and digestible.
Copper already does a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to data organization. For example, it automatically stores and sorts your contact and sales information to make it easy to see and analyze. It also populates templated reports to make sense of the information you have.
But if you don’t take steps to keep your data clean, these insights won’t support business efforts effectively — and things might get messy.
House-cleaning rules for data cleanliness
The most important thing about data management is keeping the data clean. Take consistent, proactive measures to clean up records, eliminate old data, and update out-of-date information.
“Unfortunately, it’s not ever going to be perfect because you’re trying to keep up with a world that’s constantly changing,” says Wyndham. “But you can do a few things that will help you keep it as clean as possible.”
Here are the things we do to keep our data clean at Copper:
- First, we tell everyone how important data cleanliness is because if everyone can understand the importance of clean data, it will be easier to get them to do their part.
- Second, we automate where we can by eliminating manual entry whenever possible.
- Third, we keep it simple by eliminating unnecessary fields and requirements. Most salespeople don’t have the time or bandwidth to fill out a bunch of contact information.
- Fourth, we try to leave the CRM cleaner than we found it. When we have a moment, we spend a bit of time tidying up.
- Fifth, we regularly do bigger clean-outs to get rid of and update old records and information.
If you take these simple steps, you’ll be ahead of the pack in keeping your records and CRM data up to date. But the entire picture doesn’t end there.
6 tips for keeping your CRM data and reports clean
Another critical component of CRM data management is deciding which data you actually need inside your CRM. Do you really need all of the information you currently collect? Figure out what information is critical to your business and get rid of the rest.
Once you know which data you want to collect, think about how to create the forms inside of Copper.
“You have to spend a little bit of time thinking about how your data fits and maps into Copper,” says Wyndham. “You’re taking something that’s quite complex — the real world — and boiling it down into something that’s quite simple.”
Here are some tips to make sure the data you collect propagates correctly into reports and usable information.
1. Checkboxes versus dropdowns
Checkboxes are a terrific and easy way to collect yes and no information. But if you find you’re asking a lot of similar questions, like “are they a prospect?” or “are they a partner?”, consider using a dropdown instead. Dropdowns make it easier to quickly select an option rather than wasting time checking a bunch of boxes.
2. Dropdowns versus multi-selects
We recommend using dropdowns instead of multi-selects wherever possible. “I don’t recommend using multi-selects [because] if you ever want to do any kind of reporting or anything complex with the data, then you quickly get into some complex logic where you need a logician to help you,” Wyndham says. “I’d only recommend using them if people are going to be consuming the information as an end-user. Don’t try to build any reports on the backend of them.”
3. Text areas versus text fields
Lean towards text fields when you can. Many companies tend to choose text areas that result in these large blocks of text, which can be hard to make sense of, especially when trying to dissect information quickly.
4. Use connect fields
“Connect fields are one of those hidden gems inside Copper. They’re actually really powerful,” says Wyndham. “They let you create custom relationships between people or companies at Copper.” Say you have a customer you’re working with through other partners you have in Copper; you can create a custom connection between them to keep track of everyone. (This is really useful in the events and vendor spaces).
5. Page layout and sections
A lot of people spend time on their data and then forget about the end users. They may have great content, but it’s confusing to find. Arrange your fields in the right way so that you consume them much more easily. Then, use sections that can be hidden or displayed for different use cases.
6. Check out the Community
If you’re ever in doubt, check out the Copper Community. There’s a lot of great content from Copper users and employees sharing tips and tricks on making the most of your data inside Copper.
Power up your CRM data with Copper
With just a little ongoing cleaning and some quick tips, you can supercharge your data inside Copper, making your reports cleaner and your customer information more digestible. And everyone’s lives easier.
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