This is the first mistake that many sales leaders make. They round up everyone at a Monday meeting and tell them that they’ve all got to improve the quality of data in the CRM. Then they are surprised that by Friday nothing has changed.
Of course it hasn’t. “Better data quality” is too large an objective, meaning that individuals tasked with doing this will just ignore it because it’s too difficult to hit. This is the equivalent of saying “be better” to a rep, yet a sales manager would never give such vague advice in terms of sales coaching. Data quality should be an integral part of sales coaching, with leaders showing the specifics of where a rep can improve to help themselves and help the team.
This means 2 things:
- Making reps accountable for their data
- Giving specific feedback on what they can change
The first point is solved by making data quality a part of your hiring and onboarding process. By starting from these first principles, you’ll already be ahead and getting the data you need. The reps you are hiring should be organized and detail-oriented. During their ramp up process drill in the importance of getting the data right. Get them understanding that they have to live inside the CRM, so they’ll input the data the moment the sales interaction is made, increasing accuracy.
The second point is dealt with by using the current data and looking for where each individual rep is failing in recording important information. This could be anything, just as long as it’s specific. Ideally, it should be tailored to the rep so that they can make changes and see tangible effects of their changes.
An example of where a rep might omit data is the reason for a closed-lost opportunity. They might consider this a waste of effort, as the opportunity is closed and gone, so why bother adding any extra data? They are more interested in moving on to the next possible opportunity.
But this is vital information for the rep and for the team. Without knowing why they are losing opportunities, there is no way for them to improve this metric. By breaking data quality down into smaller objectives (“Improve your Lost Reasons recording this week”) the goals become more manageable.
In this case, without this data, there would be no way of knowing that the team is losing opportunities through timing and lost momentum, and therefore no way of rectifying this.