How Dirty Data can sabotage your CRM experience

Dirty Data. The name itself is enough to send shivers down the back of any business owner looking to make data-driven choices. And, if you’ve made the move to a Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM solution you understand the importance of good data – and the terrifying consequences of Dirty Data.

As good as Dynamics 365 is, it’s only as effective as the end users. If the people using the software aren’t properly trained, or not convinced that utilizing a CRM system is of benefit to them, then a CRM implementation can fail to meet its expected goals.

Independent studies have shown that nearly 2/3 of CRM implementations do fail to meet those goals. It’s with that in mind that the CRM Dynamics team goes that extra mile to ensure that we design a system that fits your needs and that we work with you throughout the development process to make sure there are no surprises along the way.

It’s our goal to make sure that you have all the tools to fully realize your CRM goals once your system goes live. In addition to our support and training during the development phase, we also provide free ongoing tips with our webinars, learning academy  and on this blog.

To bring it back to Dirty Data, the biggest single roadblock to fully realizing Dynamics 365 is the strength of your data. Here are a few tips to make sure your data is as clean as possible.

1. Start with the right design

It is important that Dynamics 365 is gathering the exact information that is vital to your company. To accomplish that it’s important to work with CRM Dynamics to make sure that you understand what each data field should be capturing and how that information is of benefit to you. Don’t be tempted to create 100 data fields when 10 will do – complicated design is not always good design. If fact, it rarely is.

2. Train your staff

Although Dynamics 365 will automate a great deal of what you do, there still will be some manual entry required. It is vital that your staff be trained in not just the functionality of the system, but also on what constitutes clean data. Do not assume that a quick email will do the trick here. Spend the time to make sure everyone understands how to get the most out of the system.

3. Show the value

You have spent months researching, developing and imagining what Dynamics 365 is going to do for you. Your staff, meanwhile, have just been trying to do their jobs. If you don’t get a buy-in from them you won’t get the full benefit of the system — many will stick with the inefficient ways they have always used to collect data and your CRM investment will be going to waste. Don’t just teach your staff how to use Dynamics 365. Show them how it will benefit them.

4. Be consistent

It’s one thing to input the right information into the system. It’s intuitive as to why you don’t want to spell someone’s name wrong, after all. But, you also need to come up with a standard style that all data entry follows. Do you want to address by a surname or a first name? Has someone been YELLING WHEN THEY ENTER THE DATA? If so, fix that. Keep everything the same and professional.

5. Identify duplications and fix

Although Dynamics 365 includes default duplicate detection rules for accounts, contacts, and leads, it doesn’t for other types of records. If you want to track duplicates beyond that scope you’ll need to create a new rule. You can learn to do that here.

It’s still best to make sure users aren’t entering the same data twice though. And, it’s easy to duplicate a contact — especially when they have a common name, or a name that has different spellings – but it can lead to big problems if it isn’t addressed. Train your staff to take an extra second to make sure they aren’t entering duplicate information and to merge the contacts into a single contact, when appropriate.

If you want to learn more about how to fully realize your Dynamics 365 experience, give our experts a shout.

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