It’s no small task setting up Salesforce, particularly when it comes to migrating, cleaning and maintaining data. Which data needs to be migrated, and which can be scrubbed? How can your company decide?
RelationEdge has helped many clients implement and customize Salesforce, giving us a unique view on best practices (and common mistakes) when migrating, cleaning, and maintaining your business’ data.
Mismanagement of data can slow down your team, confuse your clients, and could ultimately get you in a lot of trouble — especially with new legislation like GDPR emerging. Read on to learn how to best manage your data, and reap the rewards of data organization.
Moving Houses, Migrating Data: Take Only What You Need
Think about moving to a new house. You can hire people to pack your belongings and move them, but ultimately you have to be the one to go through your possessions and decide which items to keep and which will be discarded. Do you need to keep those old clothes? Should you take the end table to the new house, sell it, or put it in a storage locker? There are decisions a homeowner must make and won’t outsource to a third party. To save unnecessary effort or cost, it’s important to make those decisions before moving everything to a different house.
It’s the same when implementing an enterprise solution such as Salesforce. While we help our clients implement Salesforce, we recommend they do some level of data cleanup in advance. A client’s internal team will understand the value and accuracy of their data better than an external team. Just like moving to a new house, this data cleanup should be completed before migrating to Salesforce, so the solutions can be configured in a way that suits your company’s data needs.
RelationEdge can advise on what types of data should be cleaned, and what can be retired. Over time, we’ve observed that:
- Account and contact data is the most important start for data accuracy. Having accurate data about companies and people is critical. Ancillary data that gives a 360-degree view of a customer is also extremely valuable.
- Notes on customers should only be retained if relevant and useful. Some clients may decide not to migrate note data, or to limit to a specific date range. Certain industries, such as financial services, may find note data is more relevant despite its age, or it may be required to be saved for regulatory compliance purposes.
- It’s important to set rules on what comes and what doesn’t. Again, think of moving to a new house. It’s time-consuming to assess every piece of clothing you own to decide whether it comes with you. It’s easier to set a rule that anything that hasn’t been worn in four years doesn’t come to the new place. Similarly, set rules based on the age and type of data to determine whether they need to be migrated or not.
Avoid These Common Data Mistakes
As we’ve helped clients manage and clean their data, we’ve seen them make similar mistakes. Whether your company is working with a consultant to support your data management practices, or directly managing data migration, be sure to avoid these common mistakes:
- Skipping data migration altogether. Every so often we see clients who decide they want to start with a “clean slate” and don’t want to move any data records. This can impair a company’s understanding of its relationships with its customers. CRM systems are implemented to guide relationships with customers, based on customer data, trends and insights. Casting aside all existing customer data can be counterproductive to this goal.
- Missing hierarchical relationships. Hierarchical relationships allow companies to see the total value of a client, including its parent and/or child subsidiaries. Establishing these relationships can seem simple, but it can be a complex web. Some Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms don’t support hierarchical relationships as well as Salesforce, but when this data is set up correctly, it can be a source of tremendous insight and analysis.
- Neglecting data maintenance. Some companies put in all the effort at the front end, cleaning their data and designing an efficient system to manage it — and then they completely neglect to maintain it. Back to our house analogy, it’s like buying a new house, and never changing the filters or organizing everyday items efficiently. Set up data validation rules so people are guided or forced to maintain data integrity standards. Run monthly reports to identify outliers where data may have been entered incorrectly. Maintaining the quality of data over the long term will pay dividends with the insight it provides.
Cleaning and migrating your company’s data is as much an opportunity for a fresh start as moving into a new house. Take the time to do it well, and your company will be better positioned to build stronger, more lucrative relationships with your customers.
If you’re interested in implementing Salesforce but have questions about how to migrate your data, RelationEdge can help. Reach out today.