Practical Strategies for Building a Data-Rich CRM

Imagine trying to navigate a maze blindfolded. That’s what using a CRM with bad data feels like. Inaccurate customer information hinders your ability to understand their needs and preferences. With good data in your CRM, however, you gain a clear view of your customers. This empowers you to make data-driven decisions about sales, marketing, and customer service. In our previous blog article, we’ve established the importance of reliable data in marketing automation, let’s dive into practical strategies for collecting and managing data within your CRM.

Here’s what you can do to get your organization ready to make the most of marketing automation.

Before diving headfirst into data collection, let’s take a step back and identify the specific data points most critical for your marketing goals. Are you aiming to create more effective lead segmentation for targeted campaigns? Personalize email journeys to nurture leads? Understand customer lifetime value and optimize your marketing spend? Knowing your objectives will guide what data you collect and how you structure it within your CRM. By defining your needs upfront, you ensure you’re gathering the most relevant information to fuel your marketing automation efforts.

Now that you know what type of data you need, you come up with a process to capture that info. Strategic use of forms on your website and landing pages is key to building a data-rich CRM. Design forms that capture relevant customer information while providing a smooth user experience. Don’t overwhelm visitors with lengthy forms – prioritize the essentials and consider offering incentives (like exclusive content) in exchange for more detailed information. This will encourage users to provide valuable data while respecting their time. The same goes for collecting information at physical events of course.

Forms are a great way to collect data, but there are also other places to look for desired information internally. Break down data silos by connecting your CRM with other platforms your business uses, such as your website analytics tool or email marketing software. This ensures a consistent flow of data across all customer touchpoints. A unified view of customer interactions allows you to build more comprehensive profiles and personalize marketing automation campaigns based on the complete customer journey. This part might be a little easier if you are using a best-of-suite solution, e.g. a full Salesforce, Microsoft or HubSpot stack.

Another way of enriching and completing your data is to encourage customer self-service and progressive profiling. Let your users be in control of what data they share, including their interests and preferences. Empower customers to update their own information through self-service options within your CRM, e.g. via a preference centre. This reduces data entry errors on your end and keeps information current. Additionally, leverage progressive profiling (if available) to gradually build richer customer profiles over time. Start by collecting basic information and allow customers to provide more details through website interactions and email engagement. This approach respects user privacy and avoids overwhelming them with lengthy forms upfront. We can help with setting that up for you, it’s powerful.

Next up, you want to standardize data entry and regularly cleanse your CRM. Develop clear guidelines for your salespeople on how, when, and where data is entered and formatted within your CRM. This ensures consistency across your team and facilitates accurate reporting and analysis. However, data degrades over time due to typos, outdated information, people changing jobs, and duplicate entries. Schedule regular CRM clean-up sessions to remove inaccuracies and ensure the quality of your data. By maintaining a clean and standardized CRM, you can be confident that your marketing automation campaigns are running with the most accurate information available. A clean database may also mean removing inactive leads, which will save you money with most CRM & MA solutions (don’t tell them we told you).

Finally, establish clear ownership and access control for your CRM data. Define protocols for data usage and security to maintain compliance and ethical practices. Data governance ensures the responsible use of customer information and protects your brand reputation. Be picky about who should have what kind of access to your data and what they can and cannot do with it.

We hope some of those tips will help you transform your CRM into a powerful repository of customer data, ready to fuel your marketing automation efforts and deliver personalized experiences that drive real business results. Remember, clean, accurate data is the lifeblood of successful sales and marketing initiatives. We work with leading CRM, Sales & Marketing platforms and can help you wherever you are in your journey. Reach out to us to schedule a meeting or a CRM & Data / Marketing health check.

So where do you start?

As your long-term partner for sustainable success, Sirocco is here to help you achieve your business goals. Contact us today to discuss your specific needs and book a free consultation or workshop to get started!