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Keep it clean!

Jun 13, 2016
It may seem like common sense, but many companies overlook the benefits of maintaining a clean, accurate and well managed database. Here Darren Frostick, Director of Leading Edge Market Solutions – a company that supplies information for the removals, office fit-out and telecoms industries about companies planning to relocate - gives his advice on how to keep your data relevant and up to date.

The data you hold on your customers and prospects and their responses to your marketing are an important business asset. It doesn’t matter how good your sales people are, without up to date and accurate information they will struggle to obtain meaningful results.

With changes to personnel, e-mail addresses and phone numbers, customer data deteriorates rapidly. It is estimated that information erosion is around 2% a month, meaning within three years that expensive list you brought for your e-mail and telemarketing could be useless.

So how do you make sure your information is accurate? Start by making a master database rather than having lots of lists saved in different places that are worked at different times. Ideally use a CRM system that allows multiple people to use and update the database, that way everyone will know the status of every customer and prospect.

It’s important to get organised. Make sure you can see when the information was added, when the prospect was last called and when they will be called again. All people working the data need to be aware of the importance of it being kept up to date and accurate. Add any new data immediately to avoid any mistakes.

If you have not been working your data regularly in a systematic way, or the list you have is old, you will need to cleanse the data. You can do this by calling everyone on the list to verify the information and update the record accordingly, but as many lists run into thousands of prospects this can be very time consuming and you may prefer to use a specialist agency to do it for you.

My company, Leading Edge Market Solutions, uses special software to verify e-mail addresses and phone numbers electronically, other agencies will no doubt have similar systems. Any non-working numbers or e-mail addresses will be removed from the record and the remainder contacted to verify things like contact names and other information relevant to your sales campaign. There is no point in holding contact details for an irrelevant industry sector or targeting a job title not involved in buying what you are trying to sell.

Failing to keep your information up to date is like throwing money down the drain, not only in terms of the cost of any data you have bought, but also in the wasted time your team will take contacting outdated prospects. The best policy to ensure consistency is to have a continuous rolling policy of data reviews and updates.

Photo: Your staff need to be aware of the importance of data being kept up to date and accurate.

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