My nephew’s thinking of a career in sales. While researching on the internet he came across the infamous sales movie Glengarry Glen Ross starring Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon and Alec Baldwin. For all sales people out there, this is just ones of those movies you watch, whether you agree with the contents or not, but for some young sales people, the testosterone driven environment is really encouraging.
One of the most famous scenes is where Blake (Alec Baldwin) is sent from the parent company to motivate an underperforming sales team by unleashing a torrent of verbal abuse. In that scene , he introduces the A B C of sales:
A simple acronym which keeps in the fore front of the salesperson’s mind the need to make a deal, after all, this is the primary reason for salespeople, to bring in new deals.
In that moment it occurred to me that we MUST :
(I know, maybe thinking about data too long!)
This is the ABC of our data world: Always Be Cleansing.
Why should we always be cleansing, well there are two primary reasons:
Data degrades; and
Data entry errors
Data is always degrading with contacts leaving, positions changing, contact information changing, businesses going out of business for good or bad reasons, etc.
Also, as humans, we accidentally enter poor data into our systems. If you have a systems that’s constantly being updated then a good percentage of your data may have data entry errors. As much as you try to prevent poor data entry, there always seems to be a way round it.
There are other reasons for data degrading but I would say these are two of the most common.
So many companies wait until the data gets so bad before taking action, which then it results in poor marketing ROI, fewer sales, loss of confidence for CRM users, etc.
Let me continue with the sales analogy, every sales manager knows if your sales numbers are short than it’s a lack of prospecting 3 months earlier that resulted in a smaller pipeline and lower sales. If you then start prospecting, it will be 3 months before you are back on track. You always need to be prospecting and always be closing.
Same for data, one-off data cleanses help you in the short term, but the problem of old data and poor data rear their ugly heads soon enough when users complain or marketing campaigns return poor results, etc. Then you have to repeat a big cleanse until it goes wrong again.
A much better way is to clean your data daily, monthly, quarterly, etc. allowing you to have great marketing returns, more sales, greater confidence, etc.
You will never fall into the trap of poor data affecting your business adversely as the data quality will always be good. So, always be cleansing.
Like any repeatable process it’s important to measure it.
Incorporating a measurement for your data quality means you now have your data in control. Data you can analyse, data that senior management can rely on and data that expands your business.
The measurements allow you to see what’s working and what’s not working.
The measurements can be of teams’ data entry performance or the quality of the overall contact information, quality for a particular data segment, quality for an upcoming marketing campaign, etc.
Here are a couple of charts people use:
If you like to have management reports for you data quality, please contact us and we can help improve and incorporate good data quality.
The Always Be Cleansing philosophy should be part of the fabric of your organisation. Much better than Sometimes Be Cleansing or Never be Cleansing