From our guest writer at InaPlex:
Leading with GoldMine – Lead Transfer and CRM
This post (presented in two parts) looks at the challenges that can arise when importing data, such as leads, into a CRM system. Effective techniques for moving data are discussed, and a step-by-step process for transferring leads to GoldMine is provided.
GoldMine provides a wealth of tools for managing client information, so it’s important to make sure that new customer details are seamlessly transferred to GoldMine as they become available, no matter where they come from.
Moving data can cover a lot of areas, so in this post we’ve simplified the subject by looking at a fairly common requirement for CRM users – importing leads. The post is made up of two parts. The first part (below) describes typical challenges and how to overcome them, and highlights the problems that can arise when leads are imported incorrectly. The second part (posted next week) steps through the process of actually setting up and running lead imports. Together, the two parts tell you how to import leads correctly into GoldMine and show you exactly how to go about it.
Does it matter where the leads come from?
Leads can come from a wide range of sources such as marketing automation systems, third party providers or web sites, and may be stored in Excel, CSV files, or any other ODBC source. They might need to be moved to the CRM system occasionally, frequently, or almost continually. Whatever the source, or the frequency of transfer, however, there are techniques to ensure leads are updated correctly in GoldMine, whenever they are needed. As long as you understand the data format, it doesn’t really matter where the leads come from.
Identify and overcome data quality issues
One of the first things to check is data quality as it’s not unusual for leads (or any data) to have integrity issues. Here are some examples:
- Capitalizations – are names and addresses capitalized incorrectly? If you transfer across mr. jones, as an example, emails will use this unprofessional salutation
- Invalid email addresses – is the error simple (such as .co is probably .com) or more fundamental (such as email@example.com)
- Incorrect naming conventions – how should you transfer ms annie smith mba?
- Find any junk data hiding in the leads, such as nonsense phone numbers or addresses
There are many other variations that frequently occur and data formats need cleaning before they’re transferred. If you end up with sloppy client details in GoldMine this will limit the effectiveness of follow-up, and lower the image of your Company.
Do you have duplicates in the leads being imported into GoldMine?
There is no point transferring a lead that is already a client unless you attach it to the existing client record. The last thing you want is to treat an existing contact like a stranger by creating a duplicate contact in GoldMine. Plus, there are benefits to knowing how many new leads are in any new batch of leads. For both these reasons, catching duplicates is imperative.
There are a few ways this can be done. You can look for matches on fields or groups of fields and use these to catch duplicates or you can use fuzzy matching to ensure details meet certain criteria to be confirmed as an existing client. It doesn’t really matter which approach you take, as long as you do something to make sure your GoldMine database doesn’t become full of duplicate contacts.
You’ve cleaned up the leads, made sure there are no duplicates, so now what?
Clearly you want to make full use of the leads as soon as you can, and good way to do this is to make use of Goldmine’s automated processes; this is the best way to attach preset processes to leads when they are moved into GoldMine.
Let’s say that you want new leads to be handled as follows:
- An automatic email is sent immediately
- A follow-up email is sent two days later unless the contact becomes active
- An attractive offer is sent 6 days later unless the contact becomes active
- And so on…..
You can set up a process in GoldMine to schedule these, or any other, steps (from sending emails or setting call reminders to booking meetings) and attach this process to leads as they are loaded into GoldMine. You can even have different processes for different types of leads. The upshot is that leads are dealt with automatically, appropriately, and in accordance with your business processes. This is not only a time saver; it’s also a very efficient way of handling lead management.
Make sure leads are sent to the right people for follow-up.
If you want to get fast follow-up by the right people, another thing you can do is automate smart lead routing, especially if you have several different sales teams or regions. This makes sure that the right people are automatically assigned to follow-up a lead, and also lets you balance the load so that leads are distributed fairly and evenly across the correct sales team. This is another level of efficiency to make sure the lead management process works as well as it can.
Now that you know the theory around importing leads, let’s look at how to do it.
This document has given you an overview of what needs to be considered when transferring leads into GoldMine, however it hasn’t shown you how to actually do this. Next week’s post will provide step by step instructions and processes you can follow to load your leads quickly and correctly into GoldMine.