3 Insightly Tips For Preventing Bad Data

Insightly is a well put-together CRM for any small business. Let's keep poor data out!

In this article, I want to cover a few ways you can keep your Insightly data relevant, with cooperation from your sales team and others who interact with your data. It's critical to the health of your business to keep your contact data clean and up to date. Research tells us that businesses leak up to 12% of their revenue through poor data. This is a lot of cash left on the table. Cash that can be scooped up with a little change in process and using the right tools. All the reasons to maintain high quality data seems to stem back to profits: Why does data quality matter? Bad data creeps into Insightly a few different ways: Just to name a few! Let's go over a few things you can do keep your Insightly data clean and relevant.

1. Form a tagging strategy

If only tags were apart of every system, not just Insightly. The reason why I want to touch on tagging is because tags can be used in any context. For your sales funnel, for spotting out paid users, for highlighting opportunity contacts, and other quick bits of info you want to search later. For my clients, I use tags to remember who uses PayPal vs. Stripe, who is a paid customer, which plan they're subscribed to and more. I can later run lookups (or searches) for specific groups of my SaaS users based on their tags. Insightly's API has integrated tags as apart of their contact endpoints. You can pass the Insightly API documentation to your developer to create automatic updates on tags when users take specific actions in your app or on your website. An example: Let's say you run a content writing firm. When someone contacts you through your email web form, you can tag them as, "Website Contact" and later use it as a client on-boarding metric. A powerful example: If you run a blog for your SaaS, and someone subscribes to your blog newsletter, you can add a script connecting to the Insightly API and updating that contact's tag to "Newsletter Subscriber". All these little bits of information can be used later when the prospect finally signs up for your service, giving you some important bits of history of their pre-interaction with your sales and marketing funnels. Keeping your tags clean and up to date and can be a little frustrating. If someone downgrades from plan "Pro Plan" to "Basic Plan" your sales and support team needs to be aware enough to make that switch in the tags. The best way to do this, based on my small business experience, would be to create a teaching document to make sales and support reps read when they join your team. It would go something like this: Manual tags: Cancel - To be added when a user cancels Contacted Phone Support - When a user contacts a sales rep or support team member Follow Up - When a prospect has given permission to follow up within a given amount of time (Also, add a note of when the last interaction took place so we know when to follow up) ... Your tagging strategy depends on your team and your business model. To start forming a tagging strategy, split the tags into categories, also taking into account, which ones can be automated using the API and which ones are, at this point in your company, more practical to update manually. Once you have a clean tagging strategy in place, you'll have a power searching tool to create views of each group of customers, in each category you've defined. The good thing is that Insightly has a great search feature.

2. Get the most important data the first time around

It can be hard to take the steps to add extra data to a contact when they're first added to Insightly. This is why it's important, again, to think about which data is important to your company. What contact data is important to?: Knowing this will give you an idea of where you want your sales team to spend extra time filling out data. Because this is a tedious process, you want to make sure the extra time is spent on important info and not just data that is nice to have. You also want to prevent developers from writing extra code to add data fields that are of no consequence. Some Insightly API queries are harder to write for. If your developers know you only need X and Y populated, it helps them speed along and avoid over-scale (the silent killer of all businesses). Again, we have the dimension of time working against us. So, like I outlined above with the tagging strategy, you also need a section in your teaching material that touches on when and what to update based on each interaction with a customer. Many of these things can be done programmatically depending on how close your business resembles the software business. However, you need to peak into the processes happening in your software, or around your company that are causing inaccurate data from leaking in. Focus on these areas and determine whether it's a people problem or a technology problem. Include it in your doc and share it with the whole team, emphasising how important this is to the overall health of the company.

3. Keep contacts deduplicated

Duplicate contact records are another silent killer of businesses big and small. I've devoted a huge portion of my time in building algorithms and systems to combat this problem with Dedupely. While computer algorithms can be powerful, as I've learned, with the correct types of technology, it's next to impossible to completely eliminate this issue. Even the healthcare industry suffers from this problem:
According to Just Associates, the direct cost of leaving duplicates in an Master Patient Index database is anywhere from $20 per duplicate to several hundred dollars. The lower cost reflects the organization’s labor and supply costs to identify and fix the record while the higher expense reflects the costs of repeated diagnostic tests done on a patient whose previous medical records could not be located. The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) estimates that it costs between $10 and $20 per pair of duplicates to reconcile the records. If the records aren’t reconciled, however, the costs are even higher.
Duplicate contact records not only confuse sales people and make your company look bad, like I wrote about the Nimble Blog. They also cause incorrect or inflated numbers to slip through your sales reports, increased mailing and software quota costs and an overall inaccurate view of your overall business. Duplicate records bring nothing good. So what can you do to combat this problem? Number one, is to always teach your people interacting with Insightly to "Merge" every time they add a new contact. Your team needs to be aware of duplicates and the severe treat it poses to your company. Number two, use tools to automatically deduplicate your account. There are a few tools out there. I strongly recommend mine, Dedupely for Insightly, because it merges duplicates automatically twice an hour. I haven't seen too many other tools in the marketplace that can do what I've developed. Most tools will make you do everything manually and cause you to spend extra time. However, feel free to look around the web for solutions until you find the right fit. The most powerful strategy is prevention! If your team prevents duplicates from entering Insightly, you wont have the problem of duplicates in the first place. However, that said, imports, syncs and automated tools tend to fight you a little as you don't always have control over how contacts are created or updated.

Conclusion: Build an Insightly reduction strategy

Poor data is always going to slip into Insightly. The true consequences of bad data are hard to quantify. However, the good news is that, with a little careful planning and team communication you can reduce poor data in your business. The data strategy for keeping good data in and bad data out can be similar in all CRMs, with subtle differences. Don't wait to tackle this problem. Most companies wait until it's a costly problem before they take action. It's up to you to take care of this before it becomes an issue.