Promoting Salesforce Data Health Across Your Organization

crmdatahealthJust scrolling through this blog (or any other dedicated to Salesforce, for that matter), you’ll notice a key complaint coming up again and again: customer / lead data lives in a constant state of decay and, realistically, at least 30% of the database that you love and care for is completely worthless.

I know it hurts, and, in some ways, you start to feel as though that decay is just a law of the universe pronouncing itself in Salesforce. Just as stars and planets die, so too does the data in your database.

But it doesn’t have to, not at that scale at least. It just takes you – the humble Salesforce admin – leading the charge to break down silos and get multiple teams aligned in maintaining data health. Each team can make unique contributions to the effort and, frankly, they should. It is, after all, the main revenue driver for the business and is vitally important to virtually all sales and marketing functions, especially in the B2B market.

You just have to let the right people know. And here’s how you do it.

How To Lead a Concerted Data Health Initiative Across Your Organization

The C-Suite:

Who You Need To Talk To: CEO, CFO

What You Need From Them: A blessing and buy-in you can carry to other departments, financial commitments as needed

The Impact Their Efforts Will Make: Executive buy-in and support makes conversations with departments easier, speeds up timelines, and ensures necessary budgets will be available.

What They Need to Understand: Contact data health is vital to their margins. At a 30% decay rate per year, they’re spending thousands of unnecessary dollars replenishing lists and paying for wasted time across teams. In sales alone, they waste an estimated 10% of total spend on productivity saps while, in ops, they waste another 5%. And that’s just sales. Decaying data destroys records of viable prospects, current customers, and impacts both budget and bottom line in big ways.

The Sales Team:

Who You Need To Talk To: Chief Business Officer, Head of Sales

What You Need From Them: A commitment to continuously refresh data entering the CRM via data hygiene tools.

The Impact Their Efforts Will Make: The constant influx of data will do two things: 1) grow your database size and 2) refresh some amount of contact information that has gone out of date. The amount of networking and outreach salespeople undertake is enormous and will make a noticeable difference if all that data makes it into your CRM.

What They Need to Understand: Similar to what you’re telling the C-Suite, sales leaders need to understand that, as contact data decays, their sales efforts become less and less successful. Reps spend more time prospecting and cold-calling, lead nurturing efforts are going to waste, and what should be 90-100% of time at work spend selling dwindles to about 35%.

The Marketing Team

Who You Need To Talk To: CMO, Director of Acquisition, Director of Lead Gen

What You Need From Them: Reports on email marketing campaign hard bounces, and a commitment to leverage partnerships for sales-related customer exhaust data.

The Impact Their Efforts Will Make: Understanding which data is decayed makes sanitization and hygiene processes much easier. By interpreting hard bounce reports and other partner-acquired exhaust data, you’ll be able to remove bad data that gunks up the CRM and otherwise increases unnecessary spend from your organization.

What They Need to Understand: In addition to offering really effective lead gen opportunities, customer data is often used to build highly reliable advertising audiences. With incorrect / outdated audiences in place, ads are misdelivered, email campaigns bounce, and the marketing automation software (the one that leverages Salesforce data for its delivery flows) becomes – in essence – a colossal waste of money (about $19,000 per year according to CEB) and one that returns less and less good news with each deployment.

The Salesforce Team (You)

Who You Need To Talk To: Your direct report, yourself, SFDC-specific engineers that help you

What You Need From Them: An iron will (you’re about to have a lot of conversations), a large-scale data hygiene tool integrated with your CRM

The Impact Their Efforts Will Make: In addition to mobilizing a great team to take great strides for your business, your integration of a CRM-sized hygiene tool will work to update and refresh outdated, incomplete records.

What They Need to Understand: Salesforce is only as useful as the quality of the data it houses. Your expertise in the nitty-gritty of the tool is excellent and useful, but you – and everyone else – are committed to a common goal. Your business invested in Salesforce, and a lot of stakeholders rely on its ability to meet a lot of needs, but all of that is dependent on data quality.

Having these conversations won’t be easy, but facilitating a data health initiative across your organization is vital to the future of your business. It’s a top concern across industries and, by taking the time to help your business get aligned, you’ll all reap the rewards.


Austin Duck is Content Marketing Manager for CircleBack, an innovative address book designed specifically for promoting data hygiene. He regularly contributes to StartupGrind, Business2Community, and elsewhere and lives in DC with his wife and army of cats.

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