Data is a notoriously difficult part of CRMs, but through some effort and a good knowledge of your data management process, that data can promise some significant returns. This begins with the information value chain. The information value chain is the process of data refinement. It provides a structural guide on how to transform data as you refine it into its final form, actionable insight. Actionable insight is the improved decision making you get from collecting and analyzing data. This analysis is reliant on data taxonomy or the method of classifying and categorizing your data towards useful outputs. To begin organizing your data, you should first categorize by priority. Here is an example of how we perform a Contact Data Taxonomy:
Divide the kinds of data you want to keep into three categories: Must Haves, Should Haves, and Nice to Haves. For example, the data kept for a contact record must include information like a full name and contact information such as email address and phone number. These are the essentials or the Must Haves for building a contact record. After that, you can identify data that while not necessary to fill out a form, plays an important role in a sale. This information includes company name, job title, physical address, and any other descriptors directly related to the contact’s function. These data fields are the Should Haves. Finally, select a few fields for the Nice to Have category. These data fields include information such as LinkedIn profiles, birthdays, and hobbies. Nice to Have data is extraneous information that isn’t immediately useful to an opportunity but can play a role in the future for building relationships and securing more deals. By organizing the data you receive in such a manner, you gain a clue into how to filter that information into a format that is more useful to you. Along with contacts, you should also consider doing data taxonomies for companies and opportunities as well.
Now that you’ve decided the kinds of data you want to keep, take some time to consider how to best manage and interact with your data. To keep things legible, make sure that the process of inputting data and outputting actionable insight is easy:
To keep things easy, it is important to standardize the way you input your data. With Prophet CRM you can use Outlook’s contact systems to easily and many times automatically retain the information that you want in a uniform manner. You can also import and export data on Prophet through Excel. This gives you the flexibility of maintaining data integrity while giving you the maneuverability for actions such as mass record updates.
The next step to tackle is preventing and removing duplicate data:
Duplicate data pollutes the clarity of your ability to infer useful information from data. The threat of duplicate data comes from the data entry stage. This can occur when you create a new contact, a new company file, importing data, and web form integration. Once a duplicate record has been identified, be sure to delete it as it can mislead your analysis. Prophet has built-in business logic functionality that cleans up duplicates by merging duplicate records.
The third is to Inspect what you Expect:
In order to have sustainable data management, it is important to set goals and quantifiably measure the progress towards those objectives. Begin by asking yourself performance-related questions:
- When were Records Last Updated?
- Is the Data Complete?
- How many new contacts were created?
- How long is my Sales Cycle?
Questions like these decide the metrics that are the bread and butter of sales. Once you have you have your data set, you must also check for internal consistency. CRMs notoriously fail if proper measures aren’t taken towards correct data input, so make sure you and your colleagues are on the same page on this front. The higher the quality of data you can collect, the more valuable your insight becomes.
Get Actionable Insight
Now that you have your data, it’s important to make sure you can view it in a format that you understand. For some, just looking at rows and rows of Excel records might be enough, but for us at least, using graphs and being able to use models plays a large role in interpreting data. With Prophet CRM, you have the capability to transform your data into a variety of different models and look at trends that can further influence your decision making. For example, get Pipeline Reports like this one:
Other analytics dashboard options include Activity and Intelligence reports:
With this insight, you can see which of your functions perform well and which need improvement. Our advice is to do more of what you excel at. Find the holes in your game and bring your operations to the next level.
Check out our webinar which details how exactly these concepts are applied in Prophet CRM.