CRM Data Hygiene for Investment Firms: What is it and How Do You Maintain It?

If you are in the sales business in any industry, you already know that a CRM can be a double edged sword. It can —and should— be the number one sales tool that enables teams to drive business and build relationships. 

But it can also be a major pain point throughout your work day. 

What makes the difference here is the quality of the data within the CRM. If your sales team knows that it’s full of outdated, essentially useless data, they won’t use it, and the CRM won’t get adopted. 

If they know the data is helpful, will allow them to schedule more meetings with qualified buyers, and contains the critical information they need to meet their goals, it becomes a whole new ballgame. 

Many CRM users assume that the data in their CRM is clean and ready to be used by the sales team. However, without regular clean up, a team of dedicated administrators ensuring the data is up to date, and regular data hygiene checks, this is likely not the case. 

In fact, 44% of businesses in a recent study said that they lose over 10% in annual revenue due to low-quality CRM data. 

That is a lot of money being left on the table due to bad data. 

So, what can you do to make sure your CRM is updated and full of useful, accurate data? Luckily, there are a lot of small, manageable steps you can take to promote data hygiene within your CRM.

In this article, we’re going to go through common misconceptions about CRM data, health, Salesforce best practices, and recommendations that will help you get ahead of your bad data problem. By the end of the article, you’ll have a clear understanding of next steps and best practices. 

What is CRM Data Hygiene and Why Is It Important?

You might be wondering what a data hygiene check is and how you do it. 

The answer is simple. A data hygiene check is a regular review of your CRM and the data within it, to ensure that the data is clean and updated. 

This could be anything from removing bad data, eliminating duplication, adding additional clean data to enrich contacts, or correcting inaccuracies in the data.

When it comes to data entry, especially data entry done by multiple people, human error is inevitable. 

That means things will be entered incorrectly, data will be duplicated, and there will be inconsistent information over time. 

Reviewing your data on a consistent basis ensures that these things are remedied and do not grow as time goes on. 

Reviewing data can mean correcting several things including:

  • Duplicate records and data
  • Contact names that are misspelled or capitalized correctly or consistently
  • Addresses, roles, or job titles that are inaccurate or incomplete
  • Fields that are inaccurate or missing data altogether

Once these areas are cleaned up, the CRM will not only be easier to use, but will make your sales team up to ten times more efficient. 

This can look like:

  • Better relationships with clients, leading to more renewals
  • More meetings and closed deals
  • Improved segmentation for marketing efforts 

Manual, in-house data review vs. data cleansing tools

When it comes to third parties, you can go in a few different ways. You can get your data directly from an outside source (database subscription) and import it into your CRM or use an outsourced database administrator. 

A database subscription: You pay a yearly subscription fee in exchange for access to a database of accounts and contacts within the investment industry. These are specialized to fit the needs of the industry, and come in a variety of sizes, from hundreds of thousands of accounts and contacts, to a more scaled down list. Depending on the database your team chooses, you still might need to verify the data to ensure accuracy.

A database administration system: These are software options that will help ensure that your data is as up to date as possible. These types of systems, offered by companies like Oracle, SentryOne, and Redgate, are often designed to complement your data team, rather than act as a single solution to data upkeep. 

Next, we’ll dive into the pros and cons of third party data management.

The benefits of third party data management

Greater efficiency: At the end of the day, outsourcing your data and data management is going to save you and your team time. Instead of hunting for information on who to call, it’s already at your fingertips and ready to use. This allows your sales team to get to work making calls and setting meetings, which leads to more deals closed.

Access to large quantities of data: A third party database is able to pull a large amount of data in a short amount of time. This means your team will have access to a ton of information without spending hours of time researching it first. Databases are especially beneficial for large projects, or for when a company is trying to get a sense of a new industry or market. 

The drawbacks of third party data management

Your data can get stale: If you’re getting your data from a third party source or relying strictly on the industry, your data can get stale, leading to outdated contact information. Instead you need to find and update contact information yourself, or update and build relationships with people, allowing you to keep it updated with minimal effort.

The data isn’t always accurate: If you’re getting data from a third party, there is no guarantee that it will be one hundred percent correct. This could mean the need for human intervention and double checking data received, or working with the third party database administration system to oversee that it is correct.

In-house data management

The benefits of in-house data management

Real-time updates: Having a dedicated person or team within your organization means having a dedicated resource to focus on cleaning up your data, so it will always be as accurate as possible. With a third party or software, there could be delays, especially if you are working with a large data set. In an industry where data can get stale very quickly, this can be a major downside that may sway you to keep things in-house.

Dedication and trust: Having someone who understands the needs and goals of your business and can be focused on them adds a layer of trust to the process that may not exist with third party resources. 

The drawbacks of in-house data management

It can be time consuming: It is a very time-intensive process to go through all of your data each day and ensure that it’s updated and accurate. Depending on the size of your data team, you might not be able to update as much information in bulk as a third party source or system would. 

So, which is right for you?

This ultimately depends how specialized you and your company are. 

If you’re looking for a broad amount of accounts and contacts, then a third party data source would be better. 

If you’re more specialized in a specific channel, (RIA, Consultants, etc.) then updating data in-house, or subscribing to a smaller, more manageable database would be best because it’s more specific and constantly updated. 

A good middle ground is subscribing to a database and employing an internal data team to maintain it, so that you are constantly being given a new set of data that is updated and accurate. 

If you’re not sure what level of time, resources, and commitment are right for you, we’d love to set up a fifteen-minute consultation to help review your firm’s data health, and recommend some solutions for your team. 

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Written By: Gui Costin, Founder, CEO

Gui Costin is the Founder and CEO of Dakota.