January, as we’ve discussed, is a great time of year to make changes to your processes and revamp the way you approach your CRM. So with the end of the month upon us, we thought we'd leave you with one last tip to clean up your ACT! (clearly that pun is unavoidable).
One really great way to get the most out of ACT!, is to standardize your company’s usage. Do you have data entry standards? Here’s a great way to set some:
1) Toss the empties
Empty fields just tempt users to stow away data that doesn’t seem to have a home. Then the data, sitting in a mislabeled field, is report resistant—it isn’t organized so it won’t come up in a field search, and can’t be pulled into a report for analysis.
2) House the homeless
Look around your database. Just sift through some entries. Do you see a pattern in the data that is being tossed into “catch-all” fields? Create new fields to accommodate data you want to collect regularly, and move the data into the properly labeled fields where they belong.
3) Consult the staff
You may think you know what needs to go and what should stay, but maybe your staff thinks differently. Have a quick meeting about your current ACT! usage, what people are using, what they aren’t, and what they wish they could do differently. You should decide who is responsible for filling out which fields, and set up a standard by which people assign tasks to each other to facilitate smooth workflow.
4) Idiot-proof it
Where possible, consider setting up activity series to encourage the steps in a workflow plan. Every time someone adds a new prospect, does that mean your salesperson should make a call? Or if every time a support contract has an expiration date, should a renewal request call be made 8 months later? Set it up so ACT! asks you to schedule these things.
There are a number of ways to get your data to work for you--do you have any suggestions for keeping a clean database? Tell us about it in the comments!