Data is at the heart of everything you do in your business.  It is also the engine that drives your Salesforce instance. Without it, how could you determine where to invest your resources or who your top performers are within the company? How could you ever be able to make the right decisions?

Business decisions rely heavily on data and metrics. It is critical to properly and securely manage your  data to facilitate informed decision-making. Old, unmanaged and poor quality data can mean you are running your business on a very rusty and untrustworthy engine. Imagine the repercussions of duplicate customer records in your reports, or unreliable  opportunities in your sales funnel or worse yet, inaccurate quarter-end metrics. So whether you are migrating data from a legacy system, building reports to share with management teams, planning territories, and assigning sales quotas, or reaching out to customers to build relationships - you have to ensure that account, lead, contact and customer data is accurate, clean, and complete.

But where do you start? Here are three key steps to creating  a solid foundation on which to build reporting complexities without fear of poor data quality:

Step 1: Assess and manage the current state of data quality data quality assessment is a quick and easy method to get a visual representation of your CRM data quality. Not only do you get a report that let’s you analyze your account, contact, and lead records, to gain details on data completeness and quality- you can also setup a one on one consultation with a certified Specialist. With the Data Quality Assessment Accelerator*, the Specialist will provide best practices and work with you to assess and improve the quality of your data.

Duplicate records are a function of human error and sometimes programmatic flaws. But, having duplicates within Salesforce is painful and could costs thousands of dollars to clean up. Organizations do not even realize how incomplete or out of date their data is, unless they have to aggregate it for management reporting. Salesforce dupe management is another great feature that allows you to identify duplicate records as well as prevent future duplicate records from being created. Need help with duplicate management? Check out the Prevent Duplicate Records Accelerator*. With the help of our experts, you’ll learn to activate and configure Duplicate Management to prevent redundancies before they happen.

Step 2: Determine key metrics and build useful dashboards

One part of the equation is to have the right data quality but the second, equally important part, is to have the right dashboards. Being able to assess the health of your sales, campaigns or customer base in a quick glance and even while on the go - could make the difference between meeting your business goals and missing them!

For sales teams, here are some key metrics to consider:

  • Time to close
  • Opportunity pipe
  • Forecast by rep, forecast by stage
  • Activities by sales rep
  • Win/loss rates

For service teams, these metrics are must haves:

  • Time to case resolution
  • Cases by source
  • High severity case volume
  • Top customers by open case
  • Case volume trend

Marketing teams can not function without:

  • Leads by source / campaign
  • Campaigns by region
  • Campaign conversion funnel
  • Pipeline
  • Top revenue generating campaigns

Need help building or optimizing your dashboards for any of the above use cases? Check out these Accelerators* that will provide experts who can guide you through proven best practices for building and customizing reports and dashboards.

Sales Cloud Dashboard

Service Cloud Dashboard

Sales Cloud Marketing Dashboard

Step 3: Build 360-degree view of your customer data

Your business runs on customer data – it is your competitive advantage, driving investment and business decisions, establishing sales and marketing priorities, and impacting the quality of your relationships with your most important accounts. Incomplete or disjointed data is a critical liability.

360 degree view of your customer: bringing data across multiple sources in the enterprise, combining/enriching it with third-party data, and then cleaning and matching all data sets to form a single view. While there have been successes, for most this has been a complex, costly endeavor that doesn't reflect the elegance, ease-of-use and scalability of salesforce cloud applications. Today’s master data management brings data together in the cloud, not only managing customer profiles, but combining a limitless number of entities such as products, price, locations, and relating them all together in powerful hierarchies and affiliations. You want to use powerful new big data technologies, similar to those used to power Facebook and LinkedIn applications, to combine interactions and transactions, including social data, delivering an all encompassing view for relevant insights and recommended actions.

Building a master data management strategy can be a daunting task, and so we have built multiple Accelerators to help you quickly establish a roadmap and identify the best approach to building a single view of customer data.  Customer Master Data Harmonization Accelerator* will help you establish an enterprise data management framework that focuses on better managing of customer data, enabling you to achieve maximum value across your enterprise architecture. Salesforce Integration Patterns Overview and Architecture will give your team an expert led overview of Salesforce integration capabilities so you can seamlessly integrate Salesforce with other enterprise applications and manage data more effectively.

*Accelerators are fast, focused engagements with certified Specialists who will provide best practices, guidance and hands-on support to help you reach your goals

Want to hear more about best practices around data management? Join this webinar.

Check out our portfolio of Accelerators.