The Importance of Maintaining Data Hygiene
The mission of every sales team is to maximize win rates while ensuring the sales cycle remains as efficient as possible. This involves a continuous investment in building your sales pipeline, so maximizing the potential of every deal is essential to generating the greatest return on investment (ROI). A key element in maintaining a healthy sales pipeline is strong data hygiene.
By ‘data hygiene’, we are referring to the practice of maintaining clear, accurate, and up-to-date deal information in your Sales CRM. This is foundational to successful pipeline management. Without strong data hygiene, effective pipeline management is almost impossible.
In this blog post, we highlight the common challenges that companies face, the best practices for ensuring data cleanliness, and the impactful benefits of having a well-maintained CRM. Keep reading to discover how to navigate the complexities of deal hygiene to support your sales team’s success.
Is Your Pipeline Data Hygiene Healthy?
To determine the health of your pipeline’s data hygiene, consider a quick self-assessment. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Deal Status: Could anyone review deals in our CRM and be clear what is the current state of this deal?
- Next Actions: What is the specific next action we need to take to progress the deal?
- Task Ownership: Who is responsible for this next action?
- Task Completion: When does this action need to be completed?
Reflecting on these questions can reveal insights into the effectiveness of your Sales CRM setup, sales process and execution throughout your sales motion. Often this leads to identifying exciting opportunities for improvement that can take your sales attainment to the next level.
Common Issues with Deal Hygiene
Many sales organizations struggle with poor deal hygiene due to:
- An unclear or absent sales process.
- Vague requirements for note structure/format.
- Cumbersome User Interface (UI) setup in the Sales CRM for data entry.
- Incomplete or inconsistent deal information updates, notes and task management.
- Reporting setup and/or data accuracy issues that affect the clarity and reliability of reports.
These challenges often lead to inconsistent and inefficient pipeline management, negatively impacting the ability to accurately track and progress deals.
Best Practices for Healthy Deal Hygiene
Now that you are aware of the challenges and the importance of deal hygiene, we recommend implementing our best practices to maintain a healthy and efficient sales pipeline.
- Evaluate Your Sales Process: Ensure each stage of your sales process represents a meaningful milestone or status. This should include explicit objectives, criteria or triggers for exiting the stage, and clear task ownership.
- Define Success in Deal Hygiene: What data should each deal include? What should note formats look like? Consider developing a ‘Deal Health Checklist’ that aligns with your hygiene requirements.
- Align Views: Ensure your deal, contact, and company views in the CRM align with your deal hygiene standards.
- Utilize Tasks for Every Deal: Adopt the mindset that “there’s always another task until the deal is won or lost”. Make sure tasks are clear in terms of who is responsible. Additionally, clarify what needs to be done and when it should be completed.
- Build Proactive Deal Management Reporting: Tailor your reporting to support proactive deal management.
- Implement Role Specialization – BOM (Business Operations Manager): We found this has been transformative in increasing pipeline success, and more cost-effective. Tasks stay on track, prospects experience a smooth process, AEs can manage more in the pipeline while focusing on their strengths, and you get more accurate reporting for better decision-making.
The integration of a structured approach to deal tracking and management ensures smoother sales processes. It also enables more strategic decision-making based on reliable data.
The Impact of Strong Deal Hygiene
Adopting these practices not only improves the health of your sales pipeline, but also enhances the overall sales experience while also laying the foundation for long-term sales success. Prospects are more impressed with the organization and active communication in the sales process, Sales Executives can handle a larger pipeline more effectively, and there is a noticeable increase in the attainment per Sales Executives. Additionally, better-informed decisions can be made thanks to more accurate reporting. This comprehensive approach to deal hygiene is a game-changer for sales organizations aiming to maximize their win rates and efficiency.
Implementing a Robust Deal Hygiene System
Now that you have a clearer picture of the importance of deal hygiene, it’s time to determine the best approach for your business. You will need to consider factors such as: operational processes, expertise in this area, resource availability and allocation, and impacts on customer acquisition cost (CAC). The goal is to accomplish the greatest impact on sales growth as efficiently as possible, with the strongest net return.
We understand this can be a bit overwhelming, and Growth Era can help you understand your current situation and evaluate your options. We are experts in sales pipeline management with the experience to help you quickly gain a clear assessment of where you stand today and the opportunities to close gaps to accelerate your sales growth. To help you gain a clearer picture of the health of your deal hygiene today and pinpoint any areas of opportunity that may exist, we can provide you with a complimentary discovery session. If you’d like to take advantage of this resource, just book a convenient time on this Meeting Link.