Developing a management strategy that maximises the value of your data
Traditionally law and accountancy firms have used centralised data stewards to manage their CRM data. But what happens when the economic climate is difficult and resources are tight? At such times having accurate data is more important than ever for attracting and retaining business. But how can you do it? Here are a few suggestions for adapting your data management strategy.
Critically review your data
Not all the data in your CRM system will be of equal value so, when resources are limited, it’s important to identify which is of most importance.
There will almost certainly be data in your system that is old and can be archived or deleted. Deleting old information can reduce data management time considerably.
When you have deleted or archived old data you will be left with some data that you are legally obliged to keep up to date, for data protection purposes, for example. This data will be your highest priority.
Once you have isolated these two extremes then it makes sense to tier your data and the controls that will be applied to it according to the business benefit you get from it and the risks associated with inaccuracies. For example, getting client data wrong will almost certainly undermine confidence, so it makes sense to carefully vet changes before they are applied. On the other hand, you may decide that allowing changes to prospect data to flow through unchecked carries very little risk.
Automate where possible
If your CRM system is anything like Lexis® InterAction® there will be a whole range of automation options. For example, there may be processes that automate contact verification, allow the mass updating of personnel addresses when clients move offices or identify missing information on an exception basis. Maximising the use of these options can significantly reduce the effort involved in managing your CRM data.
Decentralise data management
Decentralising data management can be a good route for maintaining high quality data. Identifying and up-skilling data owners not only provides you with a key opportunity to spread the data management workload, but it puts the responsibility for data accuracy with the people who have the most interest in keeping it correct.
Consult and communicate
Finally, remember that the quality of CRM data impacts the whole organisation, not just the business development or marketing department. So it’s vitally important that everyone, from the top to the bottom of the firm, is comfortable with the decisions that are taken and committed to following them through. In turn that means consulting and communicating at every stage of the process for revising your data management strategy.