Conrin Salesforce Contact validation chart

Data Hygiene

Best Practices for Economic

Development Organizations

Everyone knows economic development organizations must maintain accurate company, contact, project, and BRE data. Protecting and nurturing this information is critical for the long-term health of the organization.  A well-managed CRM is the only way to capture and manage this mission-critical data.

Frequently, CRM is the first thing moved to the backburner when the unexpected occurs.  And, in most cases, that is the correct decision. Last-minute site visits or RFP requests are high visibility and time-sensitive. The challenge is to make sure CRM isn’t completely forgotten.

Where to Start

Forbes magazine’s “Best Practices For Data Hygiene” article details the process of auditing and maintaining an organization’s contact records.  Based on my background with CRMs in the economic development space, I would like to offer my best practices.  It all starts with “The Audit”.

The Audit

The audit doesn’t require an overly complex analysis of the entire data set.  A sample will provide insight into the overall data hygiene of the CRM.  A series of basic reports are a great place to start:

  • Created date: Companies created more than three years ago may need updating in areas such as new/improved products and services; primary contact information; expansion locally or abroad and new worker counts.
  • Last modified date: Contact information that hasn’t been updated in more than three years is likely to be inaccurate.  These days, contacts are likely to have moved on to new roles or actually left the organization.  According to CNBC, at least one in four people quit their job this year, and the share could grow before the end of 2021.
  • Email verification:  Invalid email accounts are a sure sign that contact has left the organization.
  • Conrin’s email verification service identifies contacts with invalid email addresses.  Records with bad email addresses  – are tagged as “Inactive” in Salesforce.com.

Data Cleansing

Conrin Salesforce Contact validation chart

 

Your CRM data has been entered by many people over the years, so don’t be surprised if there is a lot to do.   Don’t, however, bite off more than you can chew.  Data hygiene is a continuous process.  Look for low-hanging fruit and move on from there.  The best place to start is with your contact records.

Contact information is typically the largest “bucket” of dirty data within a CRM (see above). Review the reports created during the audit:

 

 

  • Start with the highest priority records by criteria
    • Companies and contacts associated with projects
    • BRE-related contacts
    • Investor contacts
    • Contacts related to companies within key industry sectors
  • Take advantage of Conrin’s new contact validation service.  Contact email addresses are validated using an automated process.  The service provides both a dashboard and status report email status for all contacts managed within the CRM database.

Upon client approval, Conrin electronically tags records as “Inactive” within the contact record in Salesforce.com.  This process provides the ability to leverage email validation to quickly identify and update invalid contacts.

Conrin Data Hygiene Contact ValidationData Quality Guardrails

Now that you have made the first step into the world of data hygiene, be sure tovimplement guardrails to ensure ongoing data hygiene.

  • Leverage Salesforce’s dupe blocking feature. It helps prevent duplicate entry in real-time (and it’s free!).
  • Analyze field utilization.  Simple is good.  If a field isn’t needed, remove it.
  • Search for multiple fields with the same purpose. Example:
    • County picklist – Morgan County
    • County text – Morgan Cty; Morgan; Morgan County
    • Disable and remove the text field (this can be done electronically)
  • Remove unused tabs and page components to simplify navigation and data entry.
  • Training – Do not underestimate the importance of training team members on the importance of quality data entry compliance.
  • Ongoing review – Running reports every six months is a great place to start.  You will be able to spot areas that need to be addressed before you fall back into the data hygiene nightmare!

 

Repeat.  Data hygiene is an ongoing process!

Free Data Hygiene Audit

Conrin is offering a complimentary audit that includes the following:

  • Recommendations on formatting Salesforce to support ongoing data hygiene – Replace with “Field and page layout analysis and recommendations to improve accurate data entry
  • Summary contact verification based on email deliverability report
  • A formal report outlining findings and recommendations for moving forward
  • A follow-up call to review findings and recommendations

 Contact us today to schedule your free audit!

tsmithee@conrin.com

616-340-4519

Conrin INC CRM Economic Development audit

CRM for Economic Development Organizations

CRM for Economic Development Organizations

Less” May be Part of the Best Solution

 

Conrin INC CRM Salesforce auditWe’ve all heard it.  A vendor reaches out to tell you about their company’s latest feature enhancement The new app will (supposedly) provide amazing benefits, such as:

  • Increase sales by 30 percent
  • Customer satisfaction scores will double
  • ROI will improve by 25%

Before signing the contract, ask yourself a couple of question:  How many software add-ons have you implemented during the past five years?  Are any of them actually being used?  How many have delivered the promised results?  Do you even remember all of the apps you already have?  Maybe it’s time to consider a new option.

Sometimes “less” is your best option.

A recent study published by the University of Virginia found that people tend to add solutions when problem-solving.  The study found that when people are trying to improve something, they frequently default to the “what can I add” mindset.

We frequently see this when working with clients who have been using Salesforce.com for some time.

When working with clients such as these, we conduct a detailed audit to identify “digital clutter” that has accumulated over the years.  Areas of focus include:

  • Third-party applications
  • Field usage per page layout
  • Page layout and ease of use
  • Application-wide navigation
  • Login history
  • Data integrity

Upon completion, the audit is reviewed with our client.  They are typically surprised about the number of unnecessary fields, features, page layouts, etc.  We integrate information gathered during the audit with the overall development process.  This process provides the client with the ability to focus on key metrics and manage day-to-day activities, without having to navigate an endless maze of unnecessary fields and business processes.

Contact us today for a complimentary audit of your Salesforce.com configuration.  We’ll provide our findings and make recommendations on how you can add productivity using the less is the best solution for your economic development organization.

Conclusion:  The next time you are faced with a problem, ask yourself, “is adding additional capabilities is the best avenue to solve the problem.  Or is simplification the way to go?” 

Contact Conrin for a complimentary Salesforce.com audit.

616-340-4519

tsmithee@conrin.com

 

SALESFORCE CRM FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.

IT’S ALL WE DO.

 

Conrin Economic Development CRM infrastructure

The Role of Infrastructure in Economic Development

Infrastructure and Michigan’s Pothole Hotline

888-296-4546

Conrin Economic Development CRM infrastructure

Potholes are part of everyday life in Michigan. It’s so bad that the Michigan Department of Transportation created the “Report a Pothole Hotline.”

It’s a given. We need to improve our roads, bridges, and transportation networks. The proposed infrastructure bill provides the financial investment needed to address all of these. In the twenty-first century, we have another important infrastructure need: High-speed internet.

In the 1800s, railroad easements were used for installing telegraph and telephone networks across the country. The same concept should be considered today: Install fiber networks simultaneously with highway infrastructure improvements. This will allow for a cost-effective network buildout.  The construction teams and equipment will be there anyway. Employees, employers, and the environment will all benefit from this strategy.

As work from home becomes more popular, cloud-based technologies such as Salesforce and Zoom are must-haves for companies and workers.

Company Benefits:

  • Greatly expanded access to workforce talent.
  • Reduced operating expenses such as office space and internal IT support.
  • Talent retention based on improved employee job satisfaction.

Workforce Benefits:

  • More flexible schedules improve work-life balance.
  • Reduced commuting time and associated expenses.
  • Continue to reside in their area of choice instead of uprooting their family and moving to company headquarters.

Environmental Benefits:

  • Reduced carbon emissions associated with transportation (per the EPA, 28 percent of emissions are associated with transportation)
  • Improved local air quality.
  • Potential to minimize the overall number of cars per family.
  • Less highway maintenance required over time.

CONCLUSION:

Improvement in infrastructure is on the way. As always in economic development, multiplier effects must be considered within the decision-making process. Broadband must be an important part of the discussion. It’s just as important to us today as telegraph lines were in the 1800s.Implementing and managing CRM is an important investment that can quickly provide significant dividends. Real-time information capture delivers a framework for data-based decision-making.  Selecting the appropriate implementation partner is critical for an on-time, efficient rollout.

Conrin has implemented Salesforce.com for economic development since 2003, with clients in 27 states and provinces. Our industry knowledge allows us to hit the ground running, while simultaneously sharing best practices. We also understand the importance of EDO-specific metrics.

  • Company and Contact Management
  • Projects
  • Incentives
  • Business Expansion and Retention
  • Workforce Development
  • Investor Management

While the initial implementation provides the foundation for a successful CRM program, it is not the end of the process. End-user and system administrator training is necessary for long-term success. Regular “health checks” ensure feature use is maximized. Conrin partners with its clients for the long haul, long after the initial rollout has been completed. We are there for you today and in the future.

Please contact us today and let us show you see how we can help!

 

Salesforce.com for Economic Development.  It’s All We Do!

Email Marketing Apps for Economic Development Organizations

So you need to get email marketing off the ground and running yesterday.  Your boss wants to leverage your investment in Salesforce to promote your EDO.  Requirements include:

 

  • Manage campaigns targeting key contacts associated with potential projects.
  • Build awareness with site selectors.
  • Provide stakeholders and investors with regular updates on your activities in areas which they might find of interest.
  • Promote your organization and its ongoing record of success to your community.

 

Salesforce logo Conrin INC CRM for economic development

Salesforce.com’s AppExchange is the best place to start.  Similar to the Apple App Store and Google Play, the AppExchange provides more than 5000 ready-to-install apps designed to integrate with Salesforce, including email marketing tools provided by MailChimp and iContact.  Both apps provide a robust feature set, including:

 

  • Real-time update of campaign member records, providing insight into email history.
  • Synchronize records with Salesforce, ensuring a single, updated contact database.
  • Cost-effective solutions that are easy to implement and use.

However, before you jump in feet first with a new email marketing app, you may want to consider utilizing features already available within Salesforce.com.  Benefits of this approach include:

  • Leverage existing Salesforce.com functionality at no additional cost.
  • Same-day rollout allows you to quickly launch your first campaign.
  • Identify detailed feature requirements prior to investing money and time in email apps that might not fully meet your needs.
  • Who knows – you might even find that existing features fully meets your needs!

Conrin Inc. is 100% dedicated and devoted to utilizing Salesforce CRM for EDOs.  Please feel free to contact us if we can be of assistance with Salesforce.com CRM, application selection, and integration. We are here to help!

 

 

To schedule a conversation/demo, please click here.

Conrin Salesforce Contact validation chart

Maintaining CRM Data Hygiene

Data Hygiene

Best Practices for Economic Development Organizations

Everyone knows economic development organizations must maintain accurate company, contact, project, and BRE data. Protecting and nurturing this information is critical for the long-term health of the organization.  A well-managed CRM is the only way to capture and manage this mission-critical data.

Frequently, CRM is the first thing moved to the backburner when the unexpected occurs.  And, in most cases, that is the correct decision. Last-minute site visits or RFP requests are high visibility and time-sensitive. The challenge is to make sure CRM isn’t completely forgotten.

Where to Start

Forbes magazine’s “Best Practices For Data Hygiene” article details the process of auditing and maintaining an organization’s contact records.  Based on my background with CRMs in the economic development space, I would like to offer my best practices.  It all starts with “The Audit”.

The Audit

The audit doesn’t require an overly complex analysis of the entire data set.  A sample will provide insight into the overall data hygiene of the CRM.  A series of basic reports are a great place to start:

  • Created date: Companies created more than three years ago may need updating in areas such as new/improved products and services; primary contact information; expansion locally or abroad and new worker counts.
  • Last modified date: Contact information that hasn’t been updated in more than three years is likely to be inaccurate.  These days contacts are likely to have moved to a new role or organization or left the organization.
  • Email verification:  Invalid email accounts are a sure sign that contact has left the organization. According to CNBC, at least one in four people quit their job this year, and the share could grow before the end of 2021.
  • Conrin’s email verification service identifies contacts with invalid email addresses.  Records with bad email addresses are tagged as “Inactive” in Salesforce.com.

Data Cleansing

Your CRM data has been entered by many people over the years, so don’t be surprised if there is a lot to do.   Don’t, however, bite off more than you can chew.  Data hygiene is a continuous process.  Look for low-hanging fruit and move on from there.  The best place to start is with your contact records.

Contact information is typically the largest “bucket” of dirty data within a CRM (see above). Review the reports created during the audit:

  • Start with the highest priority records by criteria
    • Companies and contacts associated with projects
    • BRE-related contacts
    • Investor contacts
    • Contacts related to companies within key industry sectors
  • Take advantage ofConrin Salesforce Data Hygiene Charts Conrin’s new contact validation service.  Contact email addresses are validated using an automated process.  The service provides both a dashboard and status report email status for all contacts managed within the CRM database.

 

Upon client approval, Conrin electronically tags records as “Inactive” within the contact record in Salesforce.com.  This process provides the ability to filter inactive contacts while retaining communication records, notes, and files for future reference to leverage email validation to quickly identify and update invalid contacts.

 

Data Quality Guardrails

Now that you have made the first step into the world of data hygiene to implement guardrails to ensure ongoing data hygiene.

  • Implement the change to leverage the Salesforce.com dupe blocking feature. It helps prevent duplicate entry in real-time (and it’s free!).
  • Analyze field utilization.  Simple is good.  If a field isn’t needed, remove it.
  • Search for multiple fields with the same purpose. Example:
    • County picklist – Morgan County
    • County text – Morgan Cty; Morgan; Morgan County
    • Disable and remove the text field (this can be done electronically)
  • Remove unused tabs and page components to simplify navigation and data entry.
  • Training – Do not underestimate the importance of training team members on the importance of quality data entry compliance.
  • Ongoing review – Running reports every six months is a great place to start.  You will be able to spot areas that need to be addressed before you fall back into the data hygiene nightmare!

Repeat.  Data hygiene is an ongoing process!

 

Conrin Data Hygiene Contact ValidationFree Data Hygiene Audit

Conrin is offering a complimentary audit that includes the following:

  • Field and page layout analysis and recommendations to improve accurate data entry.
  • Summary contact verification based on email deliverability report.
  • A formal report outlining findings and recommendations for moving forward.
  • A follow-up call to review findings and recommendations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact Conrin Inc. for a complimentary Data Hygiene audit.

616-340-4519

tsmithee@conrin.com

The #1 Way to Measure ROI on Salesforce: Campaigns

Salesforce has an often overlooked feature, Campaigns, that you might not be currently utilizing.  It comes standard with most Salesforce.com Editions and is a powerful tool that will allow you to measure ROI on various marketing activities including trade missions, email campaigns, and seminars.

Salesforce.com describes a Campaign as “an outbound marketing project that you want to plan, manage, and track within Salesforce. It can be a direct mail program, seminar, print advertisement, email, or other type of marketing initiative. You can organize campaigns into hierarchies for easy analysis of related marketing tactics.”Measure ROI on Salesforce with Campaigns

Campaigns allows you visualize your marketing efforts and their ROI on Salesforce. You can create valuable reports that track and measure your campaigns, and their success or failures. Campaigns allows you to define a “success” that you establish at the beginning of the campaign will gauge the level of success for the audience targeted, responses, and impact on Projects as well as jobs created, projects closed, and overall response rate.

Once a campaign has started, you then track responses, through lists loads, web-to-lead forms, or syncing it with a marketing automation tool. This will allow you to report on the Campaign success and impact to opportunities.

Campaigns in Salesforce allows you to select specific groups that you want to contact based on certain criteria. Your Campaign history then shows up in the Contact and Lead record, giving you a quick idea of what people are responding to. The best part of Campaigns? It tells you the ROI on trade missions and all campaigns, as it is related to Projects.

If you are a Conrin client, you most likely already have Campaigns. It is included with the Enterprise Edition and Professional edition of Salesforce. Our goal is to have you use Salesforce to the best of its ability, so why not take full advantage of something you are already investing in?

Contact us for a free demo! It’s simple enough to set up yourself, but we are always here to help.

Show Your Economic Development Value for EDOs

Salesforce.com helps EDOs show Economic Development Value

Every Economic Development Organization wants to be able to show what they are doing to help provide value on every project they are working on. One of the keys to showing that is having a CRM that can track such data. With Salesforce.com, it can be configured in such a manner that will allow you to track site visits per project, which helps you justify your work to your constituents. Salesforce will provide metrics that will also allow you to show all your activity for each property and what kind of activity you have been doing so you can avoid those “What have you done for me lately” possibilities that sometimes come up just due to lack of data.

You will be able to show your value and worth to your community by showing different stakeholders that you are working to help them because of the data that you can provide.  This helps alleviate some politics that sometime accompany what you do.  There is also transparency where you can also show stakeholders what potential buyers are saying about their properties which allows them to (stakeholders) to make improvements to better market their property. These features allow EDOs to provide feedback to property owners on how they might make changes to their property to make it more attractive to buyers/leasers which aids in making your pitches more efficient.

If you are considering other CRM systems like ExecutivePulse or Synchonist – they do not have the reporting capabilities to be able to show this like Salesforce.com does.  At Conrin, we regularly “upgrade” our EDO clients from both of these other platforms because of ways we can improve your ability to show value and return-on-investment (ROI).

Find out more about how we can help by contacting Todd at 616-897-4325 or use our form.

Lead Management

Lead Management with Salesforce.com

Lead management and helpful dashboards from Salesforce.com

Proper lead management (also known as your suspects and prospects) is critical to the ability to attract and also manage your potential projects. The more effective lead follow-up you do can give your organization a significant competitive advantage against your competition.  Utilizing a CRM, such as Salesforce.com, provides you the ability to quickly manage and follow up with your leads.

How you set up your organization is very important to how much success you can have with a Salesforce.com solution.  With the proper configuration based on how your organization works, your team will be able to receive the following benefits:Lead Management Salesforce.com

    1. Easily integrate your website with Salesforce.com so your contact forms will feed into your Saleforce.com account, so you don’t have to re-enter the information

 

    1. You can receive immediate notification via email whenever a new lead is captured from your website. This lead can be routed to the proper person as well.  With the Salesforce1 extension, you can even receive notification via your smart phone or tablet, allowing for almost real-time follow up.

 

    1. Once you come back from trade missions or if you buy a list, you can mass import these leads via an easy to use import wizard and assign these new leads to the specific individuals that will handle it based on lead criteria you have set.

 

    1. You can track leads by source so you can easily calculate your return-on-investment (ROI) of your lead generating activities based on projects you land.  This will help you make more profitable decisions on where to spend your marketing and sales efforts.

 

    1. You can create easy to read dashboards that provide critical information at a glance and customize reports based on the data you want to measure against.

 

Leads are difficult enough to generate as it is. Be sure to leverage Salesforce.com Lead Management’s lead management capabilities to generate, manage, and convert leads into announced projects.

If you want to know more about how you can best integrate Saleforce.com for your organization, you can start the conversation with us today!

Improve ROI on your Salesforce.com Investment

Improve ROI on your Salesforce.com Investment for EDOs

You have made the investment in Salesforce.com for your organization. We take the time to point out some key benefits and how to improve ROI on your Salesforce.com investment.

If there is one thing our 13 years of experience implementing Salesforce.com for Econonic Development Improve ROI on your Salesforce.com InvestmentOrganizations it is how to maximize user adoption and your return-on-investment (ROI).There are several benefits for the client or potential client.

There are generally two main means that help drive usage. First is to establish “the carrot” and second is to put things in place to help make salesforce.com a necessary tool.

Establish “the carrot” –  Include stakeholders with input for your organization into the Salesforce.com configuration. Input has a tendency to transfer “ownership” of it to the person.  Make sure everyone is aware of the benefits to the end user such as:

  • Having mobile access to all data
  • The ability to manage all critical information in one place
  • The ability to forecast and
  • A way to organize their to do lists and ensure that Salesforce.com is useful to them
  • Provides reporting at the press of a button
  • Always show where they stand versus the goals and objectives

Some will feel like it is just “Big Brother” watching them but all the ways to help them should outweigh that when positioned properly and you show them all the benefits and time savings they can get.

Make it a necessary tool – You can make it stick based on how you use it. For Instance, start to make all of your weekly/monthly strategy meetings go all paperless. You view them on the screen, in salesforce.com.  If the information is not there, they will not be included. Team members will HAVE to have their data entered. If they don’t then they do not get to discuss a project or issue or anything else that should be in Salesforce.com and they will “look bad” to their colleagues. Another way to ensure usage is include it in their job descriptions and/or compensation somehow.  “If you aren’t doing x, y and z, then you are not fulfilling your job function” and/or “if you keep your information accurate x% of the time,  it raises your job evaluation.”

We help our clients navigate these waters all of the time to get the most out of their investment into Salesforce.com. If you want to find out more about maximizing your investment or you need some support based on your current situation, please do not hesitate to contact us or call Todd at 616-897-4325.