After a long, cold winter when many people were stuck inside, a thorough spring cleaning is often an annual ritual. A time to deep clean, organize, and declutter. A seasonal chore that helps keep our homes and health in good condition.
The same care should be taken (at least annually) with your customer relationship management (CRM) system. It doesn’t matter if you’re using Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365, or even a homegrown service; the concept is the same. Dedicate time to take a deep dive (a deep clean) to organize and declutter your CRM to help make your data easier to collect, access, and analyze.
While your CRM may have customized (not out-of-the-box) areas that you should allocate time and resources to clean up, here are 11 areas that your organization should consider reviewing and cleaning.
- Deactivate old leads that are not engaging with you, or that you’re not engaging with. If you aren’t contacting them, and they aren’t contacting you, is there a point to keeping them as active leads?
- Take a look at the lead data you’re collecting. Are you gathering data that is relevant? Do you need to remove or add fields in the Lead Record to match the needs of sales and marketing?
- Are leads assigned to the right person to move them forward? This also is a great time to evaluate your lead to opportunity process.
- Deactivate contacts that are no longer with the company or in roles that won’t engage with your products or services. It’s OK to check in with your customers to verify if contacts you haven’t engaged with are still there or relevant to your services.
- Are there key data points missing or outdated for key (primary) contacts? Similar to leads, determine if you have the proper fields in the contact record to collect relevant data. Add what’s needed; remove what isn’t. Information you collected two years ago may not be relevant to your team today to track. Look for duplicates; even though you have duplicate detection turned on, if a contact has multiple email addresses, there’s a chance there are duplicate/multiple contact records in your CRM for one person.
- Are all your accounts classified correctly (prospects, customers, former customers, vendors, and partners)? Are all your current customers listed, and do they have primary contacts associated with them? Are the current products or services they use noted in CRM?
- Do you have revenue amounts connected to each account? Are you able to classify or segment your accounts within CRM based on specific criteria?
4. Marketing Lists
- It’s easy for email marketing lists to become stale and outdated. Go through each active marketing list to determine if that list should stay or be deactivated. In addition, can static marketing lists be replaced with dynamic marketing lists?
- When was the last time each marketing list was used? Are there active or future campaigns that will use these lists? Can lists be consolidated? If you’re using a third-party marketing automation service, check with your marketing team to see if any of the marketing lists are syncing with CRM before deactivating or deleting those lists.
5. Active Campaigns
- If you’re using campaigns in CRM to track your marketing efforts, are all campaigns listed as “active” still active? Have you reviewed the results? Deactivate any outdated campaigns that are no longer in use. Having a long list of Source Campaigns only makes it more difficult for sales to attribute new leads and opportunities to the correct campaign.
- Do you have any current campaigns that should be added?
6. Views, Reports, Charts, & Dashboards
- Is your list of system and/or personal views in CRM longer than the Mississippi River? What views are still relevant? Are there popular personal views that should be considered for system view creation? It can be easy to duplicate views or create a view that was used for a single instance or was shared with you by someone who’s no longer with the organization. The same premise goes for reports, charts, and dashboards. It’s easy to go “dashboard happy” and create 50 dashboards you think will benefit you. If you haven’t looked at that dashboard in the past year, it’s unlikely you’ll look at it in the future.
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- Workflows are designed to create efficiencies and improve accuracy within CRM. Are all your current workflows still needed? Have your processes changed so that some flows are no longer required? Are all the active workflows functioning properly?
- Are there additional areas within CRM where you can create workflows to help improve data accuracy? Spring cleaning your workflows and flows is a great time to validate time savings and data accuracy—and get ideas for additional workflows.
8. Activities & Tasks
- How many open, outdated activities and tasks are in your CRM system? Perhaps follow-up calls that never happened, open appointments, or to-do tasks from a salesperson who left a year ago. You may be surprised to see the number of activities and tasks that remain open in your CRM system.
9. Active Users
- You’re paying for user licenses—are they all being used? CRM administrators can run reports to show unused licenses and identify active users that are rarely active. Cleaning up your active users will allow you to transfer licenses to team members who will actually use CRM. Have a few extra licenses and don’t know what to do with them? Expand your use of CRM beyond sales to marketing, customer service, or operations!
- This also provides an opportunity to identify users who could use some additional training or incentives to drive user adoption.
10. Enhancement List
- Are you maintaining a wish list of enhancements your organization would like to implement in CRM? These can be major initiatives, like rolling out a customer portal or case management system for customer service, or small enhancements like adding fields, updating pick-list values, or reconfiguring the navigation based on user feedback.
- Spring cleaning is a great time to pull out that list and determine if each enhancement should remain on the list, which ones you can put into motion now and implement, and which are no longer relevant.
11. Storage Capacity
- Housing documents and files for leads, accounts, contacts, opportunities, contracts, etc., can eat up your data storage space. Increasing data limits can add up quickly. Are there files that are no longer needed? Can a new process or integration allow you to store and access documents elsewhere and free up space in your CRM?
- It’s best to stay on top of storage instead of getting a “storage full” surprise during the year.
While this list may produce a lot of results for you, it’s not inclusive. Take a look at your CRM system and how your organization uses it to best identify key areas to address. Don’t have time? Start with a few of these areas and set a monthly spring-cleaning schedule. If you do this on an ongoing basis, it will help you stay on top of it.
Finally, try not to operate in a silo. Engage others who use CRM and the data, such as management, IT, sales, marketing, customer service, operations, etc. While spring cleaning is a great idea, it’s never fun when you realize someone threw out your favorite pair of jeans (even if they were old and pretty worn out).