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Preparing Your Database for CRM Migration

7 things you need to do before your database is ready for a CRM migration

Preparing Your Database for CRM Implementation

Congratulations on making the decision to integrate your existing spreadsheet of contacts, prospects, accounts, vendors and products into a CRM (what is CRM? click here). Before you are ready to import that information into your new CRM platform, it would be a good idea to give it a good cleaning. A database cleanse is a just a way to make sure that the information you are about to import is up to date. A CRM is a lot like a gym membership, you only get out of it what you put into it. To ensure your data is ready for your CRM here are 7 things to consider.

  • Accuracy: Is the data I am about to import accurate? email addresses, phone numbers, and mailing addresses are all things that will change as our contact move into new positions, new companies, and new regions.
  • Relevancy: Is the data I am about to import relevant to my business? Friends and family may be great supporters of your business, but if they are not paying clients, or prospects with revenue potential, they do not belong in your CRM.
  • Consistencey: Is the information I gather for each contact consistent? With all the different lead sources we have available to us, it is easy for inconsistent gathering habits to form. For example: you may have a newsletter sign up that only requires an email address, but your website contact for requires Name, Company, Email, Phone. Always try and stay as consistent as possible when gathering data to prevent incomplete and inconsistent profiles.
  • Redundancy: Do I have any duplicate contacts in my database? A common challenge with multi-level corporations is there is often more than one employee entering data into the database. Even if you have a great CRM that recognizes your clients names as you type them, a misspelled name can trigger a new contact action, resulting in two martin/marty MacDonald’s to be entered.
  • Frequency: How often do I contact this person or account? If it has been a while since you have been in contact with this person, you may want to check that their information is still current and accurate before entering them in your database.
  • Transferability: Does your new CRM have all the right places to store the information you wish to transfer? Maybe your contacts date of birth is vital to your marketing plan, but your CRM has no field for D.O.B. If this is the case you either need to create the D.O.B field in your CRM or remove it from your contact list before importing to your CRM.
  • Permission: Do you have permission to contact this person? With all the anti-spam legislation in place, it is absolutely critical that you are confident you are allowed to contact the person you are entering. If you violate any anti-spam laws your company could face some very high fines.

Every contact in your database who fails any of these 7 checks is not ready to be imported into your CRM, and should either be removed or updated. Once your database is imported into your CRM it is vital to maintain the health of that database with regular check ups. Using your database in your marketing plan is the most effective way to check on its health. Keep track of unsubscribed contacts, rejected email addresses, returned mail, and disconnected phone numbers, if you have no way to contact the person, then they are not a contact.