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

What is Cloud Computing?

Conrin was recently invited to deliver a presentation on the benefits of cloud computing and how it can provide cost-effective, scalable IT infrastructure for any business, regardless of its size.  Several requests were received for the presentation so we decided to make it available here.

The following slide show was created to provide a high-level overview of the basics of cloud computing.  Please feel free to contact us for more detailed information or if we can be of assistance in any way.

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!

Conrin Inc Salesforce EDO Data security

Salesforce Data Security Webinar

Data security.

What happens if……..

  • Your password and username are stolen and your online banking accounts are compromised?
  • Your password and username are stolen and your credit cards are maxed with fraudulent charges?
  • Your password and username are stolen and the your company’s data is held hostage, pending payment of a “ransom”

Data security needs to be part of any company’s business continuity plan.

How many of us use one or two passwords for all of our accounts?  It can be hard to remember 75, 50, even 10 passwords. But when we use the same password over and over, we leave ourselves open to hackers.

We’ve seen identity thieves take advantage of people in all kinds of ways. In the last couple years, I’ve had to deal with fraudulent international flights, credit card purchases, and tax returns. It is no wonder why so many companies are offering identity theft insurance.

EDOs need to make sure they’re protecting their data and not leaving themselves open to serious security issues.

 

A great way to learn more about this is at Salesforce’s multi-factor authentication (MFA) webinar on March 9 at 12:00 EST.  Here’s the agenda:

  • Introduction to MFA
  • Your Enablement Journey
  • Demo: Setting Up MFA
  • Demo: How to Monitor User Adoption
  • Resources
  • Q&A

To register for this event click here.

Data security is something your organization needs in order to stay safe online. It’s time to stop using Password123 for all of your accounts.

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

EDO Salesforce CRM Metrics

It’s All About Metrics

Conrin Adds Salesforce.com Email Marketing Services

Conrin is pleased to announce that it is offering email marketing services that are completely integrated with Salesforce.com.  Conrin’s clients can now obtain Salesforce.com implementation and management services and email marketing support from a single vendor.

Conrin’s email marketing offer includes:

  •  Development of effective messaging and graphics
  • Implementation of proven white list strategies that allow your campaigns to reach more of your contacts
  • Back-end analytics designed to track successes and calculate ROI

Best of all, these services are completely integrated into the Salesforce.com platform.  This allows a single point of access while supporting organization-wide communication of email marketing activities.  Sales teams will now know exactly which campaigns an individual has received before contacting the prospect.

For more information on how Conrin can help your organization take advantage of integrated email marketing fill out our contact form or give us a call at 616-897-4325.

Economic Development CRM Salesforce

Economic Development Relationships

Go on a Field Trip to Find Custom Field Usage Information

BA-Qandor_Field Trip App banner

Field Trip App allows you to run reports on standard and custom field usage.

Salesforce fields must be populated in order to have data which calculates trends and ensures intellectual capital isn’t lost, should someone leave an organization. Over extended periods of time, Salesforce.com also can become cluttered with fields that are no longer used – making the system more difficult to navigate.

Thankfully, if you are a Salesforce Enterprise Edition subscriber, you have access to a free application on the AppExchage – Field Trip. The app allows you to analyze the fields of any object, including what percentage of the records have that field populated.

This app performs the three following functions:

  • Find out how often fields are being used
  • Run Reports on fields
  • Analyze all or a subset of your records

To use Field Trip, install the app and click the “Field Trip” tab. From there, create a new Field Trip Record and name it, select an object (such as, Accounts), and then add a filter if you do not want to process all records in that data base.

Next, using the “Analyze” button, you will see the “Field Analyses” related list on your Field Trip. This will be populated with records that represent every field on that object. You can then run and export reports on the fields for that object – including a column that tells you how many records have that populated, and what percentage of the records that is.

The app has 4.4/ stars. One user, Mike Gerholdt, reviewed the app, stating. “I’ll be honest- I have been an admin for four years and during that time I have lost track of the fields I have created for users. But more importantly I had lost track of how much those fields are being populated. As Salesforce adoption has increased throughout our company I needed to report back and gain insight into how fields were being used. Field Trip did exactly that for me.”

Does this tool sound like it could benefit your organization? If you aren’t sure, contact Conrin for all your Salesforce needs.

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