Data Hygiene Best Practices for Financial Services Firms

4 minutes
Aug 01, 2022
Data Management

Big data is the driving force behind most marketing, sales, and distribution activities. It helps organizations — including banks, brokers, insurance providers, asset management firms, and other businesses in the...

Big data is the driving force behind most marketing, sales, and distribution activities. It helps organizations — including banks, brokers, insurance providers, asset management firms, and other businesses in the financial sector — understand who their customers are, what they care about, when they’re ready to do business, and other critical details.

When the data is accurate, or “clean,” organizations can derive insights to drive stronger results. But the opposite holds true as well.

When data is “dirty,” organizations run into problems:

  • Time wasted managing and cleaning data
  • Ineffective marketing campaigns and outreach
  • Lost revenue — about 12%

The solution: Establish a regimen for good data hygiene.

Conduct an Audit

Before you do anything else, you need to perform an audit and see just how dirty your data is, and find out where the messes are coming from.

  • Look for data that is duplicated, incomplete, and inaccurate. We’ll tell you what to do with those issues later.
  • Determine which data fields are necessary in your CRM. Too much information overloads your marketing, sales, and distribution teams, and more data coming in increases the chances some will be dirty. Only keep data fields that are relevant for understanding your customers and advancing business conversations.
  • Examine your data sources. That includes forms on your website, as well as third-party data sources. Are your data platforms communicating with your CRM and with each other? If not, data siloing can cause you to lose visibility.

Once you’ve found the dirty data, you can start to clean it up and implement measures for keeping it pristine going forward.

Remove Duplicate Data

Having multiple records for the same account in your CRM can:

  • Prevent you from having an easy-to-view single source of truth for your customers
  • Result in wasted campaign spending
  • Make database maintenance time-consuming

A Customer Data Platform (CDP) can help merge duplicate records from your CRM and other platforms, creating and maintaining a single up-to-date record for each customer.

Validate Accuracy

Common data hygiene problems that hamper sales and marketing teams include:

  • Two different people listed are under the same role for an account
  • A contact is listed with two different phone numbers or email addresses
  • A previous contact is no longer in the same role — or even at the same company
  • Duplicative outreach caused by data silos, leading to inconsistent messaging and a jarring customer experience
  • Contradicting data, usually because a single customer will have multiple contact records across various systems, and those records are out of sync

You could have your team members going through each account manually to verify contact information, but that’s also impossible to do in real-time. Thankfully, there are tools that can help with data cleaning that also validate data accuracy.

Keep Data Up to Date

Data ages rapidly, and it’s important to update it as frequently as possible, ideally in real-time. You can ensure you have the latest data by making sure all of your data sources are reporting to your CRM, and by using third-party tools that automatically fill in gaps and provide the latest data.

Eliminate Data Silos

Sales/distribution often works from the CRM, and marketing relies mostly on marketing platforms. That means they are often looking at different KPIs, and working with different sets of data.

Unifying your data across all departments aligns teams on business goals and metrics, and improves business outcomes. You can do this by making sure all of your data sources are reporting accurately to your CRM and marketing platforms, or even better, switching to a single platform that can be used by the whole revenue team.

The Takeaway: Get a Solution That Does it All

6sense provides integration with CRMs and third-party data sources, creating a unified source of truth that empowers financial services businesses to efficiently and effectively capture pipeline and transform it to predictable revenue growth.

6sense looks at CRM data to build-proven AI predictive models and uncover your ideal customers. It also continuously cleanses, enriches, and syncs your CRM data to ensure it’s accurate and ready for field teams to use, ensuring your teams work with a clean set of data — and are in the best position to drive revenue growth for your business.

See how 6sense helped one customer get the most out of their data and accelerate marketing efforts.