Data ownership and accountability: Who is responsible in your CRM system?

By - July 31, 2013

Time and time again, we continue to see the internal business process struggles of data ownership.  The question becomes ‘Who is responsible for the data quality in CRM?’ 

Typically, companies don’t trust the sales reps to input the correct account information and they typically place that responsibility on one or two individuals that are usually the CRM administrators.  Our concern about this process is the fact that a company is relying on one or two key individuals to enter this information.  Depending upon the number of sales reps, this can create a funnel effect that may slow down or prevent sales reps from working with an account.  For example, if a sales rep is cold calling on a new account and does not have the responsibility to create a new account or add notes from the cold call, then how will the sales rep demonstrate his or her time out in the field? Better yet, what type of communication corresponded on the cold call between the rep and the prospect?  Is the sales rep manually writing notes down and then going back into CRM the next day to enter those notes all over again?  The purpose of CRM is to empower the sales reps and to eliminate manual duplicate entry.

The solution to this issue is two-fold:  accountability and training.  Sales reps need to spend as much time as they can out in the field, and Sales Managers need a tool to use so that they can see what is happening with their sales people on a daily and weekly basis.  Therefore, why not empower the sale reps to create their own accounts in CRM and train them on proper account creation.  For example, if a company name is abbreviated like ‘A.C. Company’, then should the rep enter the name in CRM as ‘Atlantic County Company’ or ‘A.C. Company’?  This is your typical business process decision.

Another way to resolve the issue of account creation is to allow reps to create the account in CRM and have a check box for the reps to check when they create a new account.  A workflow can be created to trigger an account creation alert to the system administrators.  Then the system administrators would be responsible for the data quality by checking to make sure that this is not a duplicate account and that it was entered correctly in CRM.  This way, the sales rep doesn’t lose his or her momentum out in the field and they can immediately add activities to the account.  Ultimately creating a win-win for an organization.

RSM has been implementing CRM systems like Microsoft Dynamics CRM since version 1.0.  Our specialists are skilled at automating your business process with use of a CRM tool.  Contact our professionals today to learn about how we can implement an data accountability and training strategy. 

Pam Finnerty – New Jersey Microsoft Dynamics CRM consultant

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