Data Management Made Easy – 4 Simple Tips20 Sep 2012
Regardless of the type business you run or industry you work in, chances are you will be dealing with customers and companies day in day out. Clients, potential customers, suppliers, competitors and partners are just a few examples of the types of folk that come across your radar.
Once your list of contacts starts to accumulate you need to manage this data with a CRM system of some description, at this point it doesn’t matter how simple or sophisticated. And as you start to work with your chosen system you need to look at how you can make this data best work for you. There are a large number of steps which can be taken to ensure maximum return from your data and some of these are surprisingly easy to implement.
1. Look through your existing system and identify which fields are underused or not used at all. If not why not? Is it because the field is of the wrong type? Maybe you have a free text field where you should have a companies look-up or a pick-list, which would minimise the variations of entries in the system. Instead of having a “St Pauls”, “St. Pauls”, “Saint Pauls” and “St. Paul’s” as four different companies on the system, a pick-list or companies look-up would have created one company record only and thus your data would be far more useful.
2. If a field is barely used it may be because it is simply not useful. A data migration or review of your system gives you the chance to rethink your approach, take a step back and look at what has worked for you so far and what has been less useful – too many seemingly useless fields may discourage your users from using the CRM at all if it is deemed unwieldy.
3. Are you missing vital information? Perhaps you need to review which fields are made mandatory. You may have too many customers in your system with no contact details, as it is easy to simply save after collecting a new customer name, and hoping to fill in phone and email details later. That later soon dwindles into the back of the mind and the contact record becomes fairly redundant.
4. As well as missing vital information due to fields not being used correctly, you may also be missing vital information because there is no field in which to collect it! It is worth inviting your future CRM user-base to contribute ideas to what they would like to see in the new system – something that may be blindingly obvious to those actually using CRM on a daily basis may not be at all evident to other involved in the CRM implementation process.
As well as the obvious factor of getting more useful data into your CRM system, these ideas also help make your new CRM software more end-user centric and this certainly is a determining factor on ensuring a successful user-adoption rate.
OpenCRM is a UK based provider of fully featured hosted CRM software that is easy to use and intuitive with a familiar interface and powerful features. We also offer a flexible bespoke Consultancy, Training and Support service which can be tailored to suit your needs by our clever team of professionals. For all matters CRM including links to a demo please visit http://www.opencrm.co.uk
Before I got my start in the tech industry as part of Apple’s UK Mac launch team, I was a professional drummer (notice I didn’t say musician). But once I got in, I was hooked and I’ve been involved in the tech industry, primarily software development, for over 35 years. I founded this company and I now have the enviable title of System Architect (as well as Managing Director) here at OpenCRM.