If your CRM is full of stale contacts or isn't tracking key engagements, you may have a data hygiene problem. In fact, bad data hygiene is more common that you may think. A recent Salesforce study found that, "the average customer’s contact database consists of 90% incomplete contacts." Digging further, they found that 74% of the records needed updating and 25% were duplicates.

Data quality is vital for any organization to drive consistent predictable revenue, especially those using the breadth and complexity of a platform like Salesforce. Read on to learn how modern revenue teams are keeping their SFDC data clean.

The Importance of Data Hygiene in Salesforce

Salesforce data hygiene is maintaining clean, accurate, and complete Salesforce data. This includes deduping Salesforce records, completing missing information, cleaning up old or unused Salesforce fields, and removing Salesforce users who no longer need access. 

Clean data is one of the top trends of revenue operations this year. Data hygiene best practices help ensure that your sales data is organized and efficient. Duplicate, inaccurate, or incomplete data leads to reps wasting time searching for the correct information. 

Some best practices for Salesforce data hygiene include:

  • Salesforce data deduplication: This process ensures no duplicate Salesforce records exist. Duplicate records can occur when multiple sales reps enter the same customer information into Salesforce or when customers change their contact information (such as their email address).
  • Data cleansing: This process removes old or unused Salesforce fields, which can clutter your CRM and make finding the information you need challenging.
  • Data security: This process removes Salesforce users who no longer need access to Salesforce. This helps protect your data from unauthorized access.

What exactly is data hygiene in Salesforce (SFDC)?

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Data hygiene in Salesforce means that your SFDC is always up-to-date with the most recent contact information and engagement. This process includes filling in the missing gaps in SFDC data, while merging duplicates and fixing inaccurate information. 

There are a few key things to keep in mind when it comes to Salesforce data hygiene:

  • Keep your data current: This means regularly removing old, irrelevant, or outdated information and adding new or updated information.
  • Ensure accuracy: Incorrect data naturally leads to inaccurate insights and decisions. With manual data entry, it’s not hard to make a mistake, and with quick organizational changes, data can become outdated very quickly.
  • Make completeness a priority: Incomplete data might mean missing contact information, last conversation dates, current status, and more. Knowing how to coach reps and which deals require your attention becomes much more challenging without a complete picture. 

Practicing these data hygiene tips can result in:

  • Better-informed business decisions
  • Strategic customer targeting

What is considered "bad" Salesforce data?

Bad Salesforce data is any inaccurate, outdated, or duplicate data. It means you don't have the complete data you need for accurate sales forecasting and pipeline management.

You should regularly check your Salesforce data for accuracy and completeness. Salesforce data extensions can help keep your Salesforce data clean and accurate. Examples of “bad” Salesforce data include:

  • Incorrect or outdated information: This includes obsolete contact information, incorrect product pricing, inaccurate lead scoring, and more.
  • Duplicate data: This can happen when Salesforce users create duplicate records or when data is imported from another source without being deduped first.
  • Incomplete data: This occurs when Salesforce users don't enter all the required information or when data is imported from another source without being complete. This can also happen when online forms aren’t filled out entirely by potential leads or data forms are set up or not connected correctly. 

SFDC data is a powerful tool for sales and marketing teams, but only if it’s accurate and complete. At SetSail, our business is data quality, so we understand the importance of keeping your SFDC data clean. 

Salesforce Data Quality Best Practices: How to Clean your SFDC Data

Perform a data audit

A data audit is a great way to get an overview of the quality of your Salesforce data. This can help you identify any areas that need improvement. Traditionally, you’d need to export your Salesforce data into a spreadsheet to perform a Salesforce data audit. 

Then, you’d use Salesforce Data Explorer to assess the quality of your data, allow you to evaluate the quality of your Salesforce data, and identify any areas that need improvement. You should perform data audits regularly for effective Salesforce data hygiene.

However, if you’re interested in the easiest way to uncover your company’s sales data gap, SetSail can run a “Data Gap Assessment” to identify all contacts, emails, and meetings missing from your Salesforce. Then we provide a report showing all the sales data we would write back and show you what data is in SetSail’s dashboard. The assessment is complimentary!

Create (and enforce) quality standards for clean data

Having a realistic baseline for what "clean" data looks like is essential. You won't get consistent results if you don’t make it clear to your team members. And if you’re not sure of your quality standards, cleaning or auditing the data won’t be standardized, which can defeat the purpose.  

Knowing the required quality standards will make it easier to find the right clean sales data platform for your data hygiene needs. 

"Clean" poor data

If you have insufficient data, you can "clean" it by removing duplicated or inaccurate data.

Deleting data is not always the best option, however. If you have dirty data, you may be able to improve it by cleansing it. Data cleansing is essentially identifying and correcting inaccuracies and inconsistencies in your data.

Data cleansing is essential but time-consuming, so it’s worth considering software that can do the work for you. 

Use a data cleansing platform

The right sales software can help clean your data–and keep it clean.

Clean data platforms can help you automate data entry to ensure all activity is logged accurately. SetSail is a Sales Data Hub that provides complete and actionable sales data and helps clean up your current data. SetSail gives you complete visibility into your data and uses machine learning to detect buying signals and productivity patterns.

Manage your salesforce data deduplication

Data deduping is the process of identifying and removing duplicate data. Duplicate data can occur for many reasons, including errors in data entry, importing data without deduping, merged records, multiple form submissions, and changed contact information. 

Deduping can help you improve the quality of your data by ensuring that each record is unique. If your sales reps find multiple contact information for one lead, they’ll spend too much time determining what is accurate. Deduping can help save time and storage space and keep reps from contacting the wrong person. 

Continuously update your data

One of the most important things you can do to maintain data hygiene is continuously updating your data. This means keeping your contact and account records up to date and ensuring that any new leads or opportunities are entered correctly. 

Of course, updating data can be incredibly time-consuming. At SetSail, our standardization tool automatically updates data to meet your organization's standards. Our AI-driven Sales Data Hub finds sales data from every source and writes it back to your CRM, removing the need for manual data entry.

Best Revenue Tools You Can Use for Salesforce Data

Keeping your SFDC clean can be easy (and automated) with the right tool.

SetSail is a leading Sales Data Hub for Salesforce data hygiene. We help you get the full picture and ensure your data is always up-to-date and automatically logged.

We can also enhance your RevTech stack through powerful add-ons, like: 

  • Innovative Contests: Incentives for your reps that reward lead-converting behaviors. 
  • Success patterns: Our powerful AI assesses historical sales data demonstrating the path sales reps follow for success. 
  • Streamlining data: Our RevTech can stream sales data to your CRM or BI tools like Snowflake. The data is written to the correct account or opportunity and enriched with additional contact data—no manual data entry is required. 

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