Even when you implement customer relationship management software to help you segment your data and align your teams, success is not guaranteed. The source of your failure might be the quality of the gathered data and your employee’s reluctance to use the new software.

In reality, two-thirds of sales reps’ time is spent on activities other than sales. They spend their time on administrative tasks that should be conducted with some form of automation. This is even scarier when you consider that this research only covers users who are actively using CRM.

Here, we will examine five ways to make your data cleaner and more reliable and to encourage your team to accept the new concept so they can focus more on sales.

Create a strategy

Every management decision should be backed by a strategy that benefits the business’s end goal. Simply using CRM software without following through with the proper implementation can do more damage than good.

Having a clear idea of why you are gathering the data in the first place will help you avoid gathering unnecessary data that could only clog your system and hinder your salespeople’s efficiency.

Here are some effective goals that should help you form a solid strategy:

  1. Improve the automation process
  2. Create buyer personas
  3. Analyse customer buyer patterns
  4. Train your teams on data usage
  5. Create KPIs for data quality

Standardise your data

This is the first step in receiving clean data. If you’re collecting data from the web, the main concern is to know what that data is and how it is being collected. Standards drive information into your database in an unvarying, predictable way.

Your data sources are supply points from which data gets transferred to your database. Marketing and sales teams mainly have their own data sources, which they mine and maintain. However, other teams might also have their own data sources, so it’s important to be transparent and pull them all together.

To build valid standards, you need to know each source, how often they supply data, which teams own which sources, and whether the sources are first, second or third-party sources.

With increases in data volume, velocity, and variety, your standards might become inefficient, leaving you with a large amount of unnecessary data.

For that reason, your standards need to be adaptable and foreseeing. A start-up might not have a huge amount of data, but you won’t get caught off guard if you hit it big. Map out your standards for data that’s being entered currently with a future increase in mind.

Types of data sources:

  • Top-funnel
  • Embedded web page buttons
  • Pop-up lead gen forms
  • Landing page forms
  • Questionnaires
  • Follow-up phone calls

Your standards need to be adaptable and foreseeing. A start-up might not have a huge amount of data, but you don’t want to get caught off guard if you hit it big. So, map out your standards for data that’s being entered and for what might come in the future.

Clean up your data

By clean data, we mean updated real-time data. About 30% of data management employees believe their data is inaccurate and outdated.

This is a huge problem as it negatively impacts customer trust and satisfaction, which in turn lowers profits. This means you should validate and update your customers’ emails, phone numbers, and addresses. Also, remove duplicates and delete contacts that have been inactive for a long time.

There are data validation tools that can be integrated with your CRM and help your employees take away this repetitive task.

Here are a few tips for data cleansing:

  • Perform a current data audit
  • Avoid data silos
  • Have a consistent data format
  • Along with cleaning your data, ensure you have a data backup plan

Use Cloud CRM for security and backup

One of the biggest benefits of using a cloud-based CRM system is its high level of security.

Many companies worry that a cloud-based solution is still inferior to an on-premise one. But this is far from being true. Cloud-based solutions have a much higher standard for security than your average on-premise IT team.

Cloud providers’ bread and butter is guaranteeing that using their services is more secure and accessible, so they use the latest encryption systems to keep your data safe.

Another perk compared to an on-premise system is the time it takes to stop a possible cyber attack. If any threats are detected around the clock, a team of experts will be there to take immediate action. If the system crashes, they can use backups to restore the data immediately. This is hard to achieve with an on-premise team as they won’t be working 24/7.

Except for security, a cloud-based CRM is much more agile, as your employees can access it from anywhere.

Make sure your employees see the value

All of your management decisions and preparations will be wasted if your employees are not on the same page.

Just like with any new technology, end-user adaptation might be complicated. If your employees are not familiar with CRM’s benefits, they will avoid inputting data into it. This can cause even more hardships, as managers might draw up reports the old way since they don’t trust the data provided by sales reps.

To develop trust in your newly implemented CRM, you need to conduct staff meetings that highlight its benefits. The key here is for your line managers to accept the new strategy and influence the rest of the workforce.

If this doesn’t work, your next step is to change the incentive structures by introducing dashboards and score sheets that show who the adoption leaders are. This will help create a healthy, competitive environment.

If all else fails, you’ll need to take a stand and cut bonuses to employees who are still reluctant to change their old work habits.


By following these practices, your sales, marketing, and management teams will be well on their way to optimising the whole sales process.

Effective data management allows for personalised marketing campaigns aimed at specific buyer personas and optimised sales funnels. This will increase your chances of acquiring new customers, and your retention rates and profit will improve.