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4 Signs Your CRM is Growing Out of Control

on January 4, 2018

As your business grows, your CRM database grows as well. When you add new contacts,  sale details, documents, emails on a daily basis, your CRM database may get messy over a period of time. And you may notice that the performance of your database has become progressively worse.

Poor data quality, spam contacts from social accounts, duplicate sales calls are few signs that your CRM system requires repair or maintenance.

Here are few major tell-tale signs that it is time to overhaul your CRM.

CRM Database Sucking up Resources & Providing inaccurate data

Nowadays, Salesforce and other CRM products have come into a common use. Numerous organizations have developed their own CRM solutions. However, due to increase in strong offerings, most organization do not get enough space to give their CRM a regular check, maintenance, and repair causing poor performance and excessive use of resources.

CRM systems should give you an instant and detailed view of customer information, which should be completely accurate and reliable. However, if your employees suspect the data accuracy or data is not being provided in the right and organized manner, it is important to analyze the issues and resolve them as soon as possible. Inaccurate and unreliable data can destroy your brand’s reputation anytime.

 

No Clear Improvement in Sales

Most companies use CRM system to increase their sale growth. As modern CRM systems have been designed to achieve goals, they portray clear sales improvement. And if you are not experiencing any significant improvement in your sales pipeline for a long time, it is time to upgrade your CRM system.

It is crucial to keep a regular check on your sales record and get engaged with CRM system. Today, there are numerous top-level state-of-the-art CRM systems that can help meet your sales goals.

 

Lacking Mobile Capabilities

In the modern working conditions, sometimes employees have to work remotely via mobile to stay on top of their game. If you’re going through some difficulties in operating and managing the CRM system from far away, it may decrease performance and efficiency of your company. This decrease in performance can be much higher than what you might have presumed.

If you find that your CRM system is not being accessed from anywhere except for your office location, it can be an obstacle to your company’s growth. It can lead to data loss, customer frustration, poor sales, etc.

 Therefore, always check if your system needs an overhaul. If you require, you should not hesitate from buying a new CRM system that can integrate mobile application and other mobile-enabled systems.

 

Standing Between Your Brand and Customer

CRM Systems have been designed to make customer relations strong and easier but if you notice that your existing CRM system not helping you to attain these goals, it may be time to overhaul it.

Make sure CRM is not generating spam contacts from social accounts. A reliable and effective CRM system should help you to develop a healthy relationship with stakeholders and make communication easy and smooth.

If your CRM system is decreasing efficiency in any manner, it is time to upgrade it.

4 Ways Duplicate CRM Data is Costing You

on January 3, 2018

Well-arranged client data is the lifeblood of every business. However, there are numerous issues associated with handling a large data. The biggest one is that of – data duplication. Even the prestigious enterprise software like CRM can face this issue.

Duplicate CRM data may not sound a big issue to many but it could be a big hurdle, especially when marketers need to improve the productivity and performance of their campaigns.

Here are 4 ways CRM duplicate records are costing you.

Waste of Time and Money

Duplicate CRM data means employees are practicing data entry many times for the same customer record which is simply a waste of time. It is probably worse than having no customer records at all.

Assume the wasted cost of adding 5 of the different entries to a single person. This duplicate record will diverge over the period of time. And, when clients will call for purchase or any service, they will not be able to locate the accurate record on time.

Moreover, when a user wastes time searching for a duplicate contact, let’s say 2 minutes, over a course of a year these 2 minutes would add up to a lot of time wasted.

If you consider the wasted time as a loss of money, you stand to lose on a great percentage of your overall annual revenue.

Negative Impact on Brand Reputation

For years, we know that duplicate data can cost time and money. However, there is one another thing that it hits badly and that is your brand’s reputation.

Assume the impact on your brand’s reputation, if your CRM system is showcasing the multiple contacts and mailing details for the same record. No one would view your company as professional.

Duplicate records not only hurt your brand image but also the relationship with clients.

Expensive Marketing

It may not sound like the most apparent thing but duplicate CRM Data has the potential to develop into a real marketing issue. If your CRM system has a big volume of duplicate records, then cost of marketing campaign can skyrocket. For example, if an entity is looking to execute campaign through coupons, mailers, or giveaways, it may lead to worthless additional costs.

Besides, even if an organization is performing email campaigning, its clients’ mailboxes will be flooded with duplicate messages that may irritate them and organization may lose some valuable customers forever.

Bad Sale Records

Duplicate CRM data may also lead to multiple sale repetitions. Unknowingly, your employees will work on the same record, lead, or account. And, this repetitive working will reflect badly on the sales and overall performance of your organization.

Final Words

Duplicate record matters a lot. It may have various hidden costs for your organization. So, if you want to eliminate the impact of a duplicate record in your CRM system have a proper plan for the same.

CRM vs. Marketing Automation: What’s the Difference and Which Do You Need?

on January 2, 2018

All these years I lived under the impression that Nordic countries and Scandinavian countries were the same.

Turns out, they’re not. Surprising, I know.

That’s almost the same kind of reaction people get when they’re told that Marketing Automation and CRM are not synonymous. They may sound like they are, but they aren’t.

With that said, I intend to unveil the major differences that set these two systems apart.

Let’s divvy-up –

The difference of focus

The prime difference stems from who these systems target. A CRM is focused around sales whereas marketing automation systems are focused around marketing. A customer relationship management tool saves crucial customer information such as their phone number, address, name, and the nature of interaction with the company.

Marketing automation systems also share the same details, but that’s the only similarly between the two.

The latter allows you to chase/track top-funnel marketing activities such as –

  • when the customer visited the website,

  • when he opened an email

  • read the blog,

  • or filled out the form on the website

  • and so on.

The idea is to track and schedule marketing campaigns (particularly email campaign).

Difference of functionality

CRM

  • Sales team can keep track of the sales process and see in which phase the customer is currently in.

  • Paints a clear picture of who the customer is by showing their buying history; thus creating room for a more personalized conversation for sales rep.

  • Allows sending promotional materials targeted to the customers which amplifies the chances of the lead getting matured.

  • Several CRMs can be synced with social media thus showing you the channel with the maximum traffic.

  • Sends automated internal alerts at events like during the setting up of a new account, a scheduled call, or when it’s the birthday of a customer for more personalized greeting.

Marketing Automation Software

Digital marketing campaigners use these software to track and schedule marketing related campaigns; particularly B2C and mass business communications.

Here are some of its functionalities explained:

  • Allows segmenting various prospects into relevant mailing lists based on their personal preferences, interests, and the nature of interaction they’ve had with the company.

  • Allows sending of automatically emails which are triggered when a user shows interest in the product/service. The software also allows scheduling of drip campaign which sends a ‘series’ of emails to stay in the eyes of the prospects.

  • Marketing automation software generates ‘analytics’ report after the campaign ends to show just how successful it was.

Now that you know the basic differences between the two, you must wonder why a company would track half the prospects in one system (CRM) and the other half in another (marketing automation).

The thing is – with most automation systems, you can sync the data of CRM in order to make the prospect information accessible through a common

What is CRM Data Duplication? Why It’s a Trillion Dollar Problem

on January 2, 2018

What’s “duplicate data” or more specifically “duplicate CRM data”?

Simply put, any piece of data that’s been created more than once or appears identical. For example, three contacts named “John Smith” who refer to the same person (not actually three John Smiths, but the same one), would be considered duplicates.

CRM software has only been around for a few decades but duplicate data has been an issue since the printing press, or sooner. It could be argued that even the ancient Sumerians ran into this problem when carving cuneiform script into their clay tablets.

Duplicate data really became an issue with the advent of computers. When data could easily be copied without much human input, algorithms were created to combat this issue. Imagine the pains Dropbox ran into dealing with synchronizing folders and files across multiple machines that might already have the same data.

We don’t give duplicate data much thought when it’s easily taken care of by software and virtually invisible. However, when we do encounter this problem we usually have to take extra steps to prevent it. Oddly enough, computer technology has become highly advanced, yet we still have trouble finding tools to organize and cleanse the digital mess we leave behind.

Maybe the area we notice is the most is when it comes to our personal contact lists in our mobile phones. Earlier feature phones didn’t have this issue because entering a contact was done manually and usually wasn’t the quickest and easiest thing to accomplish. Once smartphones and cloud-syncing came on the scene, duplicate contacts became an instant problem. You might have dozens of the same people across multiple social networks, email accounts, and previously imported or migrated contact lists. You might also manually enter a contact that already exists in your list, but you simply forgot it was already there. Or, you didn’t have the time to quickly search for the name before entering it.

With all this automation and ease of use, it’s easy to see (and something we experience on a daily basis) how duplicate contacts quickly take over our phones and email clients.

And that’s just what happens to the phone you use for personal use.

In any company that has customers, this becomes an instant problem as well, but ten times easier to get wrong. Especially in our modern age where everything is kept digitally. Marketing and sales companies are especially prone to this problem. Most, if not all, tech companies have experienced this issue across their user or customer base, email lists, lead lists and, well let’s just get to the point, CRM.

CRM is commonly referred to as an industry, but CRM can also pertain to anything we use to maintain a list of business contacts, with data to help keep on top of the sales and marketing or any other business related use.

The CRM industry has this issue mostly because of the shear bulk of, not just customers, but:

  • Email subscribers synchronized from the likes of MailChimp (which sometimes also contains duplicate emails).
  • Leads collected from marketing campaigns, later imported into the CRM.
  • Followers and fans from social networks, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. that are often times automatically synced with the CRM.
  • Cold leads collected from the phone book, purchased email lists, phone lists, etc.
  • Web2CRM-style leads fed in through forms and other opt-in methods
  • Contacts synced through integrations that don’t check for duplicates
  • Lack of duplicate checks on imports

Just to mention a few.

With all of the technology moving back and forth, and people’s lack of ability to combat this themselves, it’s no wonder nearly all businesses have this issue.

So why is this really an issue? Who’s actually getting hurt and why do we need to even think about this?

You don’t have to look too far to find the downsides of duplicate data. There are major drawbacks that effect not only your company from the inside, but also your customers, your credibility, and your overall brand.

According to the 2016 Data Science Report from Crowd Flower, “60% [of data scientists] said they spent most of their time cleaning and organizing data.” That’s a huge amount of time that could be better spent on actually doing their job.

In the sales sector, duplicate data confuses salespeople who make thousands of calls per month. Ever get cold calls from the same company multiple times, even after you’ve asked to be removed from the list (also, multiple times)? This is because they can’t always simply remove you from the list (assume there is no “the” list). You’ve probably been entered more than once. One of your entries has a note to stop calling, but other duplicates haven’t been updated. Which salesperson on a quota would consider updating or deleting multiple entries, even if they bother to “strike you off the list” at all?

This pushes anyone interacting with your company to get frustrated. Why would a credible company make such a gross mistake? From within the company, it’s easy to see why. From outside, there’s little room to save face. Especially, when you combine personal that don’t care with a mix of data issues.

Even real pros who can’t possibly remember every name and interact with 100s of clients a year. How are they supposed to remember that they called this person three months ago when there was no note or record, or the record of the last interaction was attached to another duplicate?

Another example is when you receive the same newsletter multiple times from the same company. You probably signed up for the same newsletter more than once, or opted in somewhere else and landed on the same list.

Bad data messes with everyone. Duplicates are everywhere and it works like a cancer, eventually getting too big to handle.

Okay, okay! Duplicate contacts aren’t as bad as government dept, or actual cancer, world hunger or the 100s of way worse issues society faces. But it is a problem, one that’s worse than your website not working in Internet Explorer 8, the odd broken link or the extra 40 cents you could save on another brand of disposable coffee cups. Duplicate data does actually have a dark side, that affects your business’s bottom line. IBM estimates that bad data costs US businesses, give or take, 3.1 trillion dollars, a year. That is, not handling your duplicate data (and not cleansing general “bad data”) is leaking real money from your company.

Really, we can’t blame the team for not being better at data cleansing:

The reason bad data costs so much is that decision makers, managers, knowledge workers, data scientists, and others must accommodate it in their everyday work. And doing so is both time-consuming and expensive. The data they need has plenty of errors, and in the face of a critical deadline, many individuals simply make corrections themselves to complete the task at hand. They don’t think to reach out to the data creator, explain their requirements, and help eliminate root causes.

Harvard Business Review: Bad Data Costs the U.S. $3 Trillion Per Year

Conclusion

Duplicate data is a common problem across all businesses. And since technology touches nearly every industry, it has become much easier to accelerate without any effort. Yet, that much more challenging to combat, with real penalties to those who try.

Financial reports derived from marketing, sales and general customer data get skewed. Credibility and moral suffers. Teams are much less productive. Proper decisions can’t be made because data is inaccurate. Extra time has to be spent hunting for the right contact, note, piece of data.

Can we really trust our data to do the job we trust it with? It really depends on how much time you and your team are spending on “fixing” the data. The extent at which your data is corrupt makes itself known. The reassuring part is that it’s never silent for long. So yes, you can probably trust your Google Analytics, your bank statements, your call history or anything that isn’t synced, touched and updated on a continual basis by dozens of people and services.

Your CRM, your center of data collection, the data you collect and organize, your customer data, recorded interactions. Data that constantly moves, morphs and populates is the data you need to pay attention to, and probably your largest source of pain, lost productivity and lost opportunity.

How to Prevent CRM Duplicates Before They Enter Your CRM

on December 31, 2017

Introduction

Customer Relationship Management is integral to any business. We are always looking for effective tools and methods of interacting and relating with our customers. We want to manage the whole customer lifecycle in a very convenient manner, and CRM tools help us do that. However, a very prevalent challenge that can hinder the effectiveness of CRM tools is the duplication of customer data. These duplicates are often very expensive and cost businesses in several undesirable ways. We will proceed to tell you how to prevent CRM duplicates right before they enter your CRM. But first, let us find out what exactly CRM duplicates are.

 

What are CRM Duplicates?

CRM duplicates refer to exact customers’ data that appear multiple times in a CRM system. Whenever any customer’s data appears multiple times in your CRM database, there is said to be data duplication. There are several causes of CRM duplicates, but they mostly stem from processes and people. CRM duplicates are some of the most hideous challenges plaguing CRM systems.

How to Prevent CRM duplicates

There are several factors to consider when looking to prevent CRM duplicates before they get into your CRM. The first and most important thing to do is to ensure that your company has a good policy surrounding customers’ data. You need to make sure that every section in your company understands what duplicate data in CRM is. They also need to understand the effects of these duplications and how they affect the business in general. Ensuring there is an active and working clean data strategy in the company is key to preventing CRM duplications.

Another thing to consider is the installation of your CRM. You have to ensure that your CRM is well setup according to its developer’s specifications. If you do not setup your CRM according how it was designed to operate, then you would have complications, which could lead to duplicate data. In fact, duplicate data should be considered when installing your CRM. This will ensure you setup processes that help keep it in check. From duplicate alerts to duplicate checks, installing your CRM the right way will ensure all of these are put in place.

The CRM is integral to any business because it combines and synchronizes with other parts of the business – sales, product development, etc. This means that there has to be some sort of integration with the other parts of your business. This also means that you would be importing data from various sources and parts of your business. All of these can prove to be overwhelming, leading to multiple and repetitive customers’ data. Integration should be done carefully and by someone who has proper knowledge of the CRM. Importation of data from the various sources of your business should also be done meticulously, making sure to avoid duplications.

 

 

Conclusion

The reason why duplicate data in CRM is such a big deal is because of how widespread it is. Many businesses are always looking to eliminate these duplications because of its insidious effects. This post has comprehensively addressed how to help prevent duplicates in your CRM before they get into your CRM. With the tips provided here, you can make your CRM totally free of these duplicates.

Rahul Varshneya is the co-founder of Arkenea, a custom software development company that builds custom mobile and web apps for entrepreneurs and enterprises. Rahul has been featured as a business technology thought leader in numerous media channels such as Bloomberg TV, Forbes, HuffPost, Inc, among others.

How Much Duplicate Data is Really Costing You

on December 31, 2017

Introduction

CRM have greatly improved how businesses relate with and manage their customers. Everything from marketing to the actual sale of the product to post-sale services are effectively taken care of by CRM tools. One of the things that can hinder the success of CRM tools is duplicate data. These repeated customer information can prove to be hazardous in ways that prove detrimental to businesses. Duplicate data occurs when the same customer information occurs multiple times in a CRM. Whilst it might not look like this should be much of a big deal, duplicate data is quite insidious. Its insidious nature is the reason why it is almost always being overlooked. We will proceed to help you understand how duplicate data can cost your business.

 

Five ways Duplicate Data is costing you

There are several ways by which duplicate data in CRM costs your business. We have to highlight five such ways below:

  1. Waste of Sales resources: Whenever there is duplicate data in your CRM, multiple sales reps might be given the same customer to work on without knowing it. This will definitely lead to a waste of sales resources as the same effort that would be used in pursuing this one customer could have been used for multiple customers.
  2. Negative Impact on Reputation: When a customer receives the same information multiple times, it gets annoying. When multiple sales representatives talk to the same customer about the same thing, it almost becomes like you are bugging your customers. This also goes for emails and other forms of contact. When a customer becomes disgruntled with your businesses’ aggressive communications, they will think less of you and could unsubscribe from your services.
  3. Poor Forecasts: When you have duplicate data, you are fed with a false representation of your customer base. This means that decisions made off this false representation will definitely be wrong. This is one of the most detrimental effects of duplicate data – you are sure to make inaccurate forecasts and plans based off your customers’ data.
  4. Poor Customer Service: Duplicate data in your CRM means that your customer service representatives cannot identify customers accurately. Whenever a customer has an issue, there will be multiple records and history of that customer’s activities. This will lead to a poor customer service and will definitely leave your customers dissatisfied.
  5. Troubled employees: When employees are constantly dealing with the impacts of duplicate data, they will become dissatisfied with their jobs. When they are getting backlash from customers, they will be troubled. This will lead to a decrease in the productivity of your employees and you could have an uphill battle on your hands.

 

Conclusion

By observing the level of negative impact that can be caused by duplicate data, it can be deduced that duplicate data should be avoided at all cost. There are several other ways by which duplicate data can cost your business. However, now that you are aware of the consequences of these duplicates, you can now make the best decisions concerning your CRM.

Rahul Varshneya is the co-founder of Arkenea, a custom software development company that builds custom mobile and web apps for entrepreneurs and enterprises. Rahul has been featured as a business technology thought leader in numerous media channels such as Bloomberg TV, Forbes, HuffPost, Inc, among others.

Flatly.io: Backup Your CRM The Easy Way

on December 31, 2017

Introduction

One of the most important things in CRM is data. From customer’s data to business data, CRM tools are fueled by the data we possess. Given the significance of data in CRM, it is very essential to back this data up in case of any eventuality. One innovative solution for backing up CRM data is Flatly. This software tackles every CRM data backup challenge head-on, delivering a seamless and noteworthy solution.

What is Flatly?

Flatly.io is an integration that provides solutions to several Customer Relationship Management (CRM) issues. From backup issues to data flattening; Flatly helps ease your CRM backup process.

Benefits of using Flatly to backup CRM data

There are several advantages that come with using Flatly to backup CRM data. Some of them are discussed below:

  1. Integration with several CRMs: One of the great benefits of Flatly is the fact that it can be integrated with several CRMs. This means that you are not tied to just a single CRM, and whatever your choice be, Flatly will work for you.
  2. Integration with Several Apps: Flatly works with several applications across various industries. From e-commerce to payment to accounting, Flatly can be easily integrated with many of these applications.
  3. Integration with several Cloud platforms: As regards cloud platforms, Flatly also works with several of them. Whatever your desired cloud platform – Google Drive, Dropbox, One drive, Amazon Web Services, etc. – Flatly easily integrates with all of them.
  4. Easily Monitor data backed up: Backing up data is one thing, but one would also love to monitor and keep an eye on the data backed up. Flatly makes this possible by providing a log that is easy to read and shows every information about the data backed up.
  5. Total Control of Backup process: With Flatly, you can be sure of total control over your backup process. You can customize the backup process by scheduling the frequency of exports, defining the folder you want your data backed up to, amongst other things.
  6. Airtight Security: When dealing with data, security should never be compromised. Flatly makes sure of this by providing topnotch encryption that ensures your data is not at the risk of any security vulnerability.
  7. Ease of Use and good Aftersales services: The ease of use of Flatly is another very important benefit of Flatly. Also, Flatly provides excellent aftersales services that ensures customers do not have any problem with their service. Flatly runs a blog that contains information about integration with various cloud platforms, CRMs and other applications. There is also an excellent support service that helps solve whatever challenge customers may encounter.

 

Conclusion

There is no doubt that backing up CRM data is very essential to any business. Flatly ensures that you do not have another thing to worry about by easing this whole process for you. The benefits of using Flatly have been revealed, so you know you are getting valuable service. With Flatly, you can be sure that your CRM data will be backed up without any hitch.

P.S. Flatly offers a 14-day free trial so you can get started and test out the service right away.

* Get 10% off Month 1 every month with Flatly using the coupon: DEDUPELY

Rahul Varshneya is the co-founder of Arkenea, a custom software development company that builds custom mobile and web apps for entrepreneurs and enterprises. Rahul has been featured as a business technology thought leader in numerous media channels such as Bloomberg TV, Forbes, HuffPost, Inc, among others.

6 CRM Trends to Follow in 2018

on December 31, 2017

Introduction

CRM has come a long way, and it is always interesting looking at the evolution of CRM. From its basic form in the ‘80s to the introduction of automation in CRM in the ’90s. In the 2000s, there was already great buzz around CRM, and new technological advances made sure CRM tools served even more purposes. In truth, the evolution of CRM has been noteworthy, and this is revealing of the fact that the future could be even more exciting. We will be examining the future here, looking at the top 6 CRM trends to follow in 2018.

 

What are the 6 CRM Trends in 2018?

These trends have been expertly put together, considering many factors in both the CRM industry and other technological industries. Below are the top 6 CRM trends to follow in 2018:

  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI): Artificial Intelligence is set to play a very major role in Customer Relationship Management. Artificial Intelligence will add more power to CRM systems by helping them learn from interactions with customers. Needs will be able to be predicted and all the tedious tasks will be easily automated with Artificial Intelligence. Chat bots were on the rise in 2017, and we are likely to see more of them in 2018. These bots, which are powered by artificial Intelligence, will make interaction with customers seamless and will ensure their needs are met without any hassle.
  2. Social CRM: Social Media is one of the platforms that generates the most leads in CRM. Also, many customers go to social media to vent about their needs and poor services. Social CRM will focus solely on social media, helping CRM teams to fully harness the potential of these platforms.
  3. Augmented Reality (AR): One technology that has been on the rise in 2017 is Augmented Reality. Several platforms are beginning to adopt this technology, and CRM will definitely not be left behind. AR can be incorporated into sales and marketing by creating interactive campaigns. It can also help customers’ get exactly what they want by providing a preview of products. Aftersales services can also be done with AR.
  4. Omni-Channel CRM: Presently, CRM tools interact with several channels and sections of a business. These channels are bound to increase in 2018, and CRM tools will be developed to adopt to the new channels. Customers are constantly moving across several channels, and CRM will have to find them.
  5. Auto-population in CRM: Manual tasks like Data entry and populating accounts will be completely automated in the coming year. Often times, these tasks lead to data duplication and other mistakes. Come 2018, they will most likely be totally automated.
  6. Improved Data Analytics: Data is constantly being generated across various channels of a business. Making sense of this data is key to the survival and differential success of any business. CRM tools will possess powerful data analytics feature in 2018. These analytics capabilities will ensure that valuable data is not just lying fallow in CRM.

 

Conclusion

In order to stay ahead of the curve, it is important to understand the trends of any industry. We have explored the top 6 CRM trends to watch out for in 2018. Keeping these developments in mind will ensure you stay ahead of the CRM game in 2018.

 

Rahul Varshneya is the co-founder of Arkenea, a custom software development company that builds custom mobile and web apps for entrepreneurs and enterprises. Rahul has been featured as a business technology thought leader in numerous media channels such as Bloomberg TV, Forbes, HuffPost, Inc, among others.

7 Common Mistakes That Cause Duplicates in Your CRM

on December 31, 2017

Introduction

Customers are the backbone of any business, and this is why managing them effectively is important to business success. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools make it easy to manage everything about your existing and potential customers – from relationships to interactions. However, there are some challenges that can make your CRM tool less potent. One such challenge is that of Duplicate data in your CRM. This problem is not new and is responsible for reducing the effectiveness of CRM tools. There are several mistakes that can lead to duplicates in your CRM. We will explore seven of them here, revealing what you should avoid in order to make your CRM free of duplicates.

 

What is Duplication in CRM?

Duplication in CRM basically refers to existence of repetitions of a customer’s data and information. This duplication can occur for multiple customers which always proves to be detrimental to the business. Duplication of data in CRM prevents businesses from having a holistic and real view of their customers. These data duplications often lead to reduced revenue, loss of customer goodwill, inability to forecast accurately, amongst other things.

 

What are the common mistakes that lead to duplicates in CRM?

We know that duplicated data in CRM can prove to be very expensive to businesses. There is however no way we can prevent these duplicates if we do not know how they come about. There are several mistakes that can lead to the existence of duplicate data in your CRM. We will proceed to reveal and discuss 7 of these common mistakes. They are outlined below:

  1. Poor Integration in CRMs: This is a major mistake that leads to duplicate data in CRM tools. Often times, CRM tools need to be integrated with other software in the company, and this can lead to duplicate data in the CRM. It is a common mistake not to consider the type and characteristics of other software tools in a business before bringing them on board. Considering all of this will help with a good knowledge of integration and synchronization with the CRM tool. Also, sometimes a business can decide to use multiple CRM tools, and integrating them frequently leads to duplicate data. It is a good idea to employ proper technical know-how in the integration of CRM tools as this will reduce the possibility of repetitive data.
  2. Improper importation of data: Data is important in businesses and it is often gotten from multiple sources. Businesses scour for customers’ data from various parts of their operations and even from external sources. This often gets clumsy and messy, leading to duplicated data. There is no doubt that importation and sourcing of data is important in any business, however it needs to be done right. Importing from the wrong sources can lead to spams and duplicated data, and this is one very popular mistakes made in the CRM of several businesses.
  3. Improper Creation of subsidiary accounts: Whenever one is dealing with customer data, several accounts often need to be created. This helps in effectively understanding the customer and grouping them. One such accounts is the subsidiary account. The creation of this account is important, but getting it wrong often leads to duplicate data. When creating subsidiary accounts, there is often a common case of repeating existing customer information and saving them as a totally new customer. It is very paramount that people who are skilled with the CRM create these subsidiary accounts, as this process is one of the leading causes of duplicate data in the CRM of a business.
  4. Poor setup of CRM tools: As with many things, once you get the start all wrong, you will most likely bump into challenges later. This is no different in CRM tools, as poor setup often leads to duplicate data. It is important that you follow the instructions laid out by the developers of the CRM tools, otherwise one might get the setup totally wrong. Setting up CRM tools includes other processes such as setting of duplicate alerts. If the setup is bad, then the duplicate alerts could be affected, leading to an abundance of duplicate data without any way of detecting them.
  5. Infrequent Duplicate checks and not setting Duplicate alerts: There is a need to be proactive if one is looking to eliminate duplicate data in the CRM of a business. One such way of being proactive is by performing regular duplicate checks on data in your CRM tool. There is a reason why many CRM tools have duplicate checks and detectors. All of these are put in place for these software to automatically detect duplicate customer data. As a result, it is essential to perform duplicate checks at least once in a week, depending on the rate of new customer addition. Also, duplicate alerts will help notify your CRM team about the presence of duplications, and failure to set this up will definitely lead to the abundance of duplicate customer data.
  6. Poor arrangement and classification of data: A good arrangement and grouping of customer data in your CRM often reduces the possibility of data duplication. One very prevalent mistake that businesses make is the poor grouping of stored data. When data is clumsy, it is difficult to detect duplications. This means that it is important to have a standard method of storing, arranging and classifying customer data in CRM in order to reduce duplications.
  7. Lack of clean data policy in company: If a company does not take it upon itself to preach the need for clean data, then there is bound to be messy and duplicate data. Everyone in the company needs to be aware of the negative consequences of having duplicates, as well as trained on how to avoid them.

 

Conclusion

The penalties resulting from duplicates in CRM are often too severe for a business to bear. As can be seen, there are several widespread mistakes that lead to duplications in CRM. We have discussed seven of them here, helping you understand how they cause these duplications. With the insight provided here, you should be able to effectively avoid duplications in the CRM of your business.

Rahul Varshneya is the co-founder of Arkenea, a custom software development company that builds custom mobile and web apps for entrepreneurs and enterprises. Rahul has been featured as a business technology thought leader in numerous media channels such as Bloomberg TV, Forbes, HuffPost, Inc, among others.

Dedupely Vs. Five Alternatives For Deduping Your CRM

on December 31, 2017

We don’t have many competitors. That is, there aren’t too many other companies out there specializing in data deduplication.

However, we still do compete. I once heard a smart entrepreneur say “Your competition is the process your market uses outside of software”. We don’t compete with other companies or focus much on what they do. We do however have to compete against the rather old, outdated processes our customers use before using Dedupely.

Let’s cover a few data deduplication alternatives and why I’m convinced Dedupely is the best:

1. Google Sheets & CSVs (Export-Clean-Import)

You can remove duplicates with Google Sheets. This takes a bit of doing, but you can eventually end up with a cleaner CSV to import back into your CRM.

Pros

  • Totally free.
  • 100% power over match calculations.

Cons

  • May or may not be easy to merge multiple duplicates into one line, rather just removes the other duplicates.
  • You lose references to Notes, Tasks, Deals, Companies, etc. when importing back in.
  • Exporting and importing again takes a lot of extra time and work and often messes with your data.

2. Coders

Getting a coder to write deduplication scripts is one alternative I’ve seen a few companies use.

Access to powerful programming languages is abundant in this day and age. Hiring coders from Fiverr or UpWork can be fairly easy and inexpensive. You can even do this yourself if you are a tech-savvy person.

Pros

  • Get more control over your unique situation
  • Tweak and change things over time
  • Direct access to the API to avoid CSV imports/exports

Cons

  • Anything close to big data (more than a few thousand contacts) begins to require more computational power. You might need to invest in a better computer or server stack.
  • You need to get the coder to update things on a continual basis when you want to tweak how the deduplication scan works.
  • Building a deduplication script is not always simple, and paying a programmer can cost you > $20 an hour (especially programmers who know how to write powerful algorithms).

3. VAs (You outsource data deduping to)

Using a VA (Virtual Assistant) to manually dedupe is probably the most common alternative. Our first customer (back in 2014) did this before he switched to Dedupely.

Pros

  • Relatively cheap depending on your duplicates situation.
  • You don’t have to do it yourself.

Cons

  • Moral killer for the VA (I can safely say, no one likes spending hours deduplication contacts)
  • Can be costly depending how many duplicates you have and how often they enter your CRM
  • Can be very very slow. It takes time for humans to hunt down duplicates.

4. Other Data Cleansing Companies & Consultants

Yes, there are other companies out there that specialize in data cleansing and deduplication. They are few and in-between but you will find a few if you look hard enough.

I’ve noticed that most CRM deduplication companies only focus on the enterprise. Smaller cloud-CRMs are usually left in the dark. As such, pricing is much higher than smaller businesses or businesses, in general, can justify paying.

I’ve also noticed we are the only ones that cache your CRM data for faster results. Other software out there tends to only dedupe and scan via the API or CSVs, which can take months vs. taking a few hours.

One more point. I’ve seen a few companies who integrate deduplication features in their software. But it’s usually and afterthought and these companies don’t specialize, so it’s usually not very effective (at least from what I’ve heard from customers who have used these products)

So far, Dedupely is the only company solving this issue with a modern web model and giving access to the customer at a price that reflects the value.

5. DIY Manual Merges

The most mundane and hair-pulling method of deduplication is doing it yourself. This works great for small databases. But later, once you get integrated with forms, and other services, building a team, importing from other sources, this will drive you and your team absolutely nuts!

Searching for duplicates is the worst part. It takes hours to detect duplicates, then later find the matching duplicates. Some CRMs will only allow you to match two duplicates at a time. So this can take way more time and effort than you really care to put into it. Not to mention, you can’t say much about your productivity after you’ve spent 12 hours deduplicating your CRM instead of talking to customers or doing pretty much anything else in your business.

Now imagine you have hundreds of duplicates. A very quick task in Dedupely. One that takes possibly a few hours by hand. Not only that, what if you’re 3rd party integrations are causing duplicates on a daily basis? Do you really want to spend hours a week merging all that? Thousands of duplicates takes this eternal suffering to a whole new level. Now, you might as well just forget about it.

Doing it yourself is a possible alternative to Dedupely if you don’t have much data. We know that you probably don’t need Dedupely in that case. Once you grow, and your data starts taking on a life of its own, we’re here to help you handle that.

Why We Believe We’re Numer One

Before you start, think about the total investment. Most of these methods will cost you anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars and 10-20 hours plus of your time. Dedupely is made to save you time, and only starts at $29/mo (and goes up to a few hundred depending on the amount of data in your CRM). We estimate that you can save from 5x to 10x, in resources invested.

This shameless plug is to show you why we are convinced about what we do. Why we think our product is a 10x improvement over everything else out there. We’re sold, and we want your business.

Our team constantly keeps focused on the customer. This is why we added hundreds of new improvements and around a dozen new small features in 2017. We’re obsessed with serving our customer so our product is always a no-brainer.

If you do find a better alternative than Dedupely, tell us!