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We’ve talked about the importance of keeping your data quality high so you can get the most out of sales analytics. But how do you actually get there? When your reps are finishing their 10th demo, 23rd call, or 5th proposal, how you can motivate them to enter the information that’s critical to running your business by the numbers?

It’s a team effort. And it takes some finesse. Here are the 3 things we’ve found consistently help improve data quality.

1. Get specific

“Joe – we’ve talked about this. You need to do a better job of recording your stuff. Go back and fix your opps.”

I’ve heard sales managers say that plenty of times. It’s a natural approach. You imagine it’ll be enough to light the fire under them and get results.

But it rarely works. Why? It’s too open-ended. The rep is immediately intimidated – and frustrated – with the idea of tracking down all their data quality errors. After all, your reps often have less experience and comfort running reports in your CRM. What’s more, they don’t necessarily know your priorities—i.e. which fields and errors you care most about.

So point them in the right direction. Here at InsightSquared, we recommend that our clients use our Data Quality Scorecard to identify the most important and specific changes for each rep. And then they use our “Email Report” feature to mail each rep that specific report.

2. Show them how that data is being used—and where

Do you behave differently if you know something is being shown in front of your CEO? I know I do. And I certainly care more when I know that the data is actually being used in an important way—like to drive decisions.

But I’ve worked in organizations before where weekly and monthly reporting was a complete mystery to the rank-and-file. They didn’t know what reports were generated, who created them, and how they were used. That’s a bad sign.

If you don’t know what your bosses are reporting, who is using it, and what they’re using it for, you can’t appreciate their importance. Share that information and you’ll see higher compliance with day-to-day data entry.

At the least, take 5 minutes and send an example of your key reports to your team. Or better yet, bring it up during your next pipeline review.

3. Make it useful for them

As we’ve emphasized before, your sales reporting and analytics need to be both strategic and tactical. The strategic analytics help your team improve its efficiency and effectiveness over time by targeting the right customers, deals, etc. Tactical analytics focus on doing better right now. It’s what the reps really care about—closing that next deal today.

If you’re building custom reports, make sure you’re factoring in the reps day-to-day challenges. Build reports that make their life easier. When they have a personal stake in the outcomes of their data entry, they’ll be more motivated to keep it clean and up-to-date.

For example, one of our most-used reports is the Pipeline Today report.  It shows reps which of their opportunities are most promising and urgent—and what their next step is—so that they can act immediately.

Want to see how we can help with your Data Quality?

 

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