No matter the size of your organization, keeping your sales and marketing database well maintained is key. Regardless of how you interact with this information, you need to have somebody that is responsible for managing all of it. This should be easily accomplished now that most sales and marketing teams have direct control of their CRM system and are not as reliant on IT support.
Think of it in these terms…
Data drives everything that we do as sales and marketing professionals. Picking up the phone to talk a customer or prospect, implementing an email or direct mail campaign or performing customer support tasks, all rely on data.
When you are using unreliable or incomplete information for your sales and marketing initiatives you are essentially wasting your budgets. It costs money to have a rep on the phone calling the wrong number, delivering that catalog to the wrong address or not being able to support customers because you have the wrong information.
Keeping your information up to date can be accomplished in a couple of different ways that are not costly or time consuming.
Make it a team effort
You have a lot people interacting with your data. Make sure that they understand the importance of clean and reliable information. It not only affects the company but them as professionals. Enlist their help in maintaining the data by enacting simple rules to follow on updating or replacing incorrect information as they come across it.
Assign someone as a data manager
You can usually find someone in your marketing organization that can fulfill this role, or bring someone in part-time to help out. By setting aside some time each day (or week) to make sure that the database is being maintained properly by the team, you will save yourself a lot of headaches down the road. Authorize this person to go out learn some new tips and tricks from the pros and more importantly empower them to take ownership of the data management process.
Hire a professional
Sometimes it helps to bring someone in that has the experience and background to get things done quickly. One of the things you may consider is to initially have them give you an assessment. Ask them to identify the areas in your data that are the most suspect or where you have the most holes. This would enable you to focus on those particular areas that most crucial.
In a perfect world you would probably take action on all three of these items. It may cost you a few bucks up front to get this initiated, but in the long run you will end up saving money. Not only will your people be able to do their jobs more effectively, but also you can ensure that your marketing and sales campaigns will be a greater success.