The folks over at Marketo have put together a great blog post this week that focuses on keeping the data in your CRM clean. They list 5 steps, which should all be relatively easy, but almost all of them rely on you using the right tools for the job. Points 1, 4 and 5 are especially interesting to us at FullContact because they’re specifically what we help companies do.
1 – Identify Duplicates
This is actually a lot harder than it sounds. How many people with the same names do you know? Chances are, more than a few. It takes more than just a name and an email address to identify which two are alike, so we rely on public social data to help us make those decisions.
2 – Check for Uniformity
Normalization of your database is crucial. Maybe someone is in Denver, but is that Denver Colorado or Denver Oklahoma? There’s also the issue of making sure that everything that you input is done in the exact same way every time.
For example, if you let leads type in their country of residence, rather than choosing from a drop-down menu, you’re bound to collect inconsistent results. Residents of the United States might write ”US,” “U.S.,” “USA,” “U.S.A,” or “United States of America.”
3 – Eliminate Junk Contacts
Maybe it’s a fake email address, or maybe it’s a sub-address like brad+Ifirstname.lastname@example.org. Whatever the case, there’s nothing useful about junk contacts in your leads. The FullContact Name, Email and Person APIs do a great job of helping you to figure out which ones are real, and which ones simply aren’t worth your time.
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Image Credit: Conan via Flickr