“How Can ‘Unclean’ CRM Become Costly?” – Interview with Ben Bradley, Founder of CleanMyCRM.com

CRM systems are amazing- they make our lives so much easier. BUT every now and then, we encounter a challenge or time consuming task that we wish someone else could take care of. This week, I spoke Ben Bradley, who founded a business that does just that- they ‘clean’ your CRM so you can work more effectively. I thought his work was very interesting and relevant to my readers. Keep reading to hear about this new service for Salesforce use. Ben, please begin by telling us about the market demand for a ‘cleaner CRM’, specifically Salefsforce, and how you tackle this need with CleanMyCRM. Some background might help. I am the managing director at a B2B marketing agency called Macon Raine and we have a service called CleanMyCRM. All our clients use CRM and all our clients complain that they never have the right names in their databases. Most of the companies we work with are looking for a better way to keep their databases clean but very few people want to spend their weekends and evenings cleaning their CRM – so we do it for them. This was the inspiration for CleanMyCRM. We didn’t start CleanMyCRM because of market demand, we started the service because all of our clients wanted to improve the performance of their marketing and selling programs but didn’t have the time. So how does CleanMyCRM Work? The CleanMyCRM process is remarkably simple – human analysts log into the client’s system and scrub and update and research the data.  We do the work that no one wants to do. For example, did you just launch a mass email? We take care of all the bounces and make sure those records are updated in Salesforce. Then we go into LinkedIn and other web databases to track down that person’s new contact information – more than likely they have moved to a new company with a new job. Once we find that person, we create a new record in Salesforce for that contact and assign that cold record to a sales rep. It makes financial sense as well. Do the math, if you have a sales person with a $1M annual quota, their time is worth about $500 per hour ($1M/2000 hours=$500/hour). If you have good sales people, you want them to spend time with customers and prospects, you don’t want them spending time turning over rocks looking for contact information. How can an ‘unclean’ CRM become costly? What are the most common user errors that cause this problem? We like to think of dirty data as marketing friction. If 30% of your data is bad, that means you are only getting 70% performance from your marketing programs. It means your sales team is working harder than they should. In B2B it is impossible to market to someone unless you have good contact information. Your maconraine.com blog post mentions the importance of preventing “bad data”. Please expand on Bad Data in Salesforce and share a few rules of thumb to best avoid it. Data quality is everyone’s business. The best way to get great data is to focus only on the data you need and nothing else. If you force sales to collect too much data, they are spending their time on the wrong activities.  In a perfect world where I was king, some part of sales’ comp plan would be tied to the cleanliness of data in each sales territory. How often should CRM data go into a cleaning process? Data should be cleaned every day.  Data hygiene is not a separate process. What is your personal favorite Salesforce feature or app that some users might not be familiar with? What are its benefits? I love everything about Salesforce.com.  We recommend Data.com and CRMFusion to all our clients.  Fixing data integrity is low hanging fruit – companies see an immediate ROI by cleaning their CRM.  
Amanda is the Lead Author & Editor of Rainforce Blog. Amanda established the Rainforce blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Salesforce usage.