Broken Window Theory of CRM Data

Former New York City Mayor, Rudy Giuliani and his broken window theory of policing criminals successfully brought down crime rates in NYC during his time in office.

His theory mainly states that if a certain crime is left unpunished, more criminal activity will arise, much as a broken window when left unfixed would increase the occurrence of people breaking more windows.

Moreover, by maintaining and monitoring urban environments in a well-ordered condition, it may stop further vandalism and escalation into more serious crime.

As much as there are bad people, there is also bad data.

You know you have it when you have more emails bouncing and undeliverable, or when you see duplicates and out-of-date information throughout your CRM system. What’s the point of investing in CRM when all you have is data that you can’t even use?

The more data you have, the more difficult it is to keep clean. Whether the data was entered by your team or was purchased from a third party, having data that is 100% accurate is nearly impossible because it’s always changing. Prospects change jobs, which lead to changes in emails and phone numbers.

What happens if the bad data is left to linger?

You may not notice it at first, but as bad data piles up, you’ll have more and more difficult using your database, resulting in more undelivered mail and decreased leads. Your team will begin to see that the contacts in your CRM aren’t any good and will simply cease to use the system. Soon your database will become useless and the money invested into your CRM will go to waste.

If this continues, your sales team will turn to other means to get the leads they need in order to meet their sales goals, viewing the CRM system as a waste of time and effort, like a sorry old building with all the windows broken.

Take bad data off the street

The only way to annihilate this enemy is by taking it off the street. You’ll need someone to patrol your CRM software, identifying and eliminating the perpetrators. Here are some other ways you can keep bad data at bay:

  • Set regular data clean-ups: Use these periods to purge records, remove duplicates and update important information.
  • Purchase data clean-up tools: Though this may cause an unexpected hit to your budget, consider it an investment to keep your CRM valuable and usable. We love Cloudingo
  • Do away with incomplete records: Define the required data fields on the front end, when you or your team is inputting the data

Bad data is a strain on your CRM’s reliability and on your sales team’s sanity. There’s no need to wait for every window to be broken before fixing up your CRM system and putting bad data where it belongs.

Related: 5 Signs Your Business Has Outgrown Spreadsheets and Needs a CRM

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