7 Simple & Effective Questions to Ask to Measure CRM Data Quality


Customer Relationship data such as accounts, contacts and leads are the most important dataset you can ever have to generate revenue. Bad or low quality contact data will lead to several issues such as overspending on marketing, lower close rates, extended sales cycles and lower customer lifetime revenue. In this show we will discuss 7 simple questions you can ask to measure the health of your crm and contact database. We will also provide insights on how to manage the sanity of the data being collected.

Listen to the 7 Simple and Effective Questions to Ask to Measure CRM Data Quality show

Show Summary:

For users in the marketing, marketing analytics, marketing ops teams or marketing technology teams and all those are involved with the some sort of marketing data management, I think the question is the biggest question is how do you manage the quality of your contact data and your CRM data.

So that’s what we are going to talk about and provide the questions you need to ask to measure your data quality. We want to help answer questions that can help you across all data stages, whether you are collecting the right pieces of information, and whether or you are building your contact database or your marketing database or you need to rethink about your data collection strategy.

1. What type of data do you collect for your contacts, leads and accounts?

As a marketing leader or as a marketing ops leader you may want to think about this question because it’s extremely important to know the type of data you’re collecting. When we say the type of data we are referring to whether you are just collecting simple information such as first name, last name, email, telephone number and company name or you are collecting more advanced level information such as their job title, company revenue and similar.

In addition to the type of data it is also important to define what is that you are trying to achieve or what are your business objectives. For example, if my goal to reach out to the prospect either by email or phone then I will only focus on collecting that initial piece of information instead of asking lots of questions upfront.

There is a point of diminishing return when you start collecting too much information without focusing on your business goals and objectives. This is where you get more smart and start using marketing technologies that allow you to collect that additional piece of information later. We highly recommend using vendors like Axiom or using marketing automation progressive profiling so you can collect additional data at a later stage.

2. What is the completion rate of your critical data fields in your CRM solution?

The critical data is the most important piece of information your sales teams or your marketing teams need in order to continue the discussion with the customer. For example for our company it is name e-mail and telephone number. I think that is what differentiates between your critical data and additional data is the information you are going to need about the customer to move them to the next step.

Once you have a strongly vetted process of collecting the critical dataset the next part of the puzzle is to know your completion rate. Completion rate is the ratio of the information provided by the user vs the total number of fields you are trying to collect. You may feel like you are asking all the critical information on your digital forms or tradeshow kiosk but your users may not be filling out all the information. Maybe there are not filling out the email, phone or last name which you need for effective prospecting. Interestingly, there are ways to overcome these challenges where you make these fields mandatory in your system and if these four or five pieces of information are not available then the data cannot be entered into the CRM or the data cannot be entered into the marketing automation system. There are pros and cons to this approach as you may reduce your form completion rate but improve your data quality.

3. What are your CRM or Marketing Automation data sources?

Your CRM or marketing automation data sources means the origin source of your data. For example, your data source could be a website, or it could be a digital channels such as your organic search, emails, webinars, direct traffic or it could be your offline sources such as tradeshows, seminars, other events or any other online activity. The reason we want you to ask this question is it will make you plan the capture of critical data fields from all these sources.

Asking this questions will allow you to look at these data sources or channels where the data is coming from to make sure like every single one of them is being checked and made sure you are collecting that right information. It will help you ensure every single data source that’s delivering data is following the same system and is following the same mandate you have in the organization for data collection and the best way to do is to run an audit.

IBM did a study that showed on average the marketing department uses 35 different tools on a daily basis and if you have several tools then you need to audit all of your data capture tools and service providers.

4. How would you rate the accuracy of your contact data?

This is a tough question to answer because unless you until you have initiated some sort of contact for the contact record or contact data you are not going to know the accuracy a hundred percent of the time. For example, let’s say if you have 100 contacts in your database and you have reach out to all hundred contacts and out of those 20 percent are good contacts then your contact accuracy rate is 20 percent.

However, if you think that you have collected really good quality information and have done your data audits, performed all the checks and balances your accuracy rate will improve. Your data accuracy rate is a simple and effective way to measure your data quality and contact accuracy.

5. How would you rate the accuracy of your account data?

The main difference between a contact and account is the fact that an account can have multiple contacts. If your organization is using the modern account based marketing approach then in addition to making sure you have accurate contacts you also have to make sure you have accurate accounts to target.

You don’t want to have a very siloed approach where a portion of your sales team is working with two people in the I.T. organization versus the other sales folks are working with people in the marketing group and both are trying to sell them the same product. It is advisable for you to consolidate the account by then company names. So at the end, if there are 10 people from a company you want to make sure you approach them in a more structured way with a cohesive message and strategy.

When we go back to the statement where you say how do you rate the accuracy of your contact data and then lead on with the account data then your contact data might be great but you still may not be approaching this company as a whole.

6. On average, what percentage of your CRM data is duplicate?

Data duplication happens due to several reasons:

a. Absence of automation deduping mechanism in your CRM.
b. Forced entry of existing data leading to duplicate record.
c. Not connecting accounts to contacts leading to duplicate contacts on the same account.
d. Same contact filling out multiple digital forms with different emails (partial duplication).

It is important to identify the percentage of duplicate records so you if data duplication has a major or minor impact on your data quality. Smaller percentage of duplicate records may indicate you have strong data deduping process and place and your data quality may not improve by solving for duplicate records. Similarly, larger percentage of duplicate records will give you the insight to implement strong data deduping processes.

7. How frequently you dedupe your system of records or CRM?

As we discussed in the previous question, it is important to first measure your data duplication rate and then use systems, process and people to dedupe your data. Every organization generates data at a different velocity, variety and volume. Some organizations will generate terabytes of contact data within a month vs others may take years to generate a gigabyte.

If your organization is smaller and the data set is manageable i.e. you only have couple of hundred thousand records then I would definitely encourage you dedupe your data every quarter using some type of deduping tool. There are lots of data duplication tools in the market such as Ringlead, LeanData and several others that will run on to your database and will automatically clean up duplicates based on your set criteria. So, every month/quarter or year depending on your data production you can run the data deduping system and it will resolve your duplication issue based on your selected criteria.

Besides using data deduplication tool you also need to implement a companywide policy or process to prevent entry of duplicate records. For smaller organization, you can designate one or two people who can be your data entry employees. For larger organization, you will need a data governance team with stakeholders from each part of the organization that deals with CRM or contact data entry.

You can also recruit third party vendors that specialize in data hygiene or cleanup. There are multiple ways to do this and it is very important to have a process because as you spend lots of money to generate and add new leads to your CRM the last thing you need is bad quality data which could impact your close rates, optin rates and revenue creation.

The idea of keeping your contact data or your CRM data quality in check and making sure that you’re measuring goes beyond the day to day cycles of reviewing the data. These questions will help you develop a data governance strategy, acquire new tools and establish new policies and process in your organization.

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