Four Effective Ways to Create Accurate Lead Data

More and more companies depend on reliable data to inform their decision-making. Using a customer relationship management (CRM) tool like Salesforce means maintaining accurate lead data.

For instance, one study revealed that 72% of businesses have become more reliant on data in their digital transformation efforts. Therefore, ensuring high-quality lead data is essential.

First, let’s review what leads are in Salesforce and dig deeper into the importance of their reliability.

What Is a Salesforce Lead?

When using Salesforce, a lead represents a potential client or account. It’s a preliminary or transitional record that contains information about a person or company. 

Leads can result from either in-person interactions, such as meeting someone at a seminar, or online interactions, such as when an individual fills out a “Contact Us” form on a website.

Lead data can include:

  • name
  • email address
  • phone number
  • education
  • industry
  • purchase intent signals
  • point of contact
  • date of contact
  • company size

Leads exist in Salesforce to help businesses validate the data before converting it into an account or contact. Typically, you don’t wish to create a Salesforce contact from random information. You can first confirm interest by calling or emailing the lead. Then, you decide whether to dispose of the data or covert it.

When you convert a Salesforce lead to a contact, the CRM guides you through creating accounts, contacts, and opportunities, connecting that data with existing information in its system.

Why Accurate Lead Data Matters

There are at least three benefits to having accurate lead data.

  • The sales team can deliver tailored pitches to potential clients. Lead data that includes the company name can help the sales team research the business to determine the best possible offerings. Lead data that provides customer pain points allows the salesperson to connect with the customer and offer a solution that addresses their needs.
  • The marketing team can use lead data to understand your target audience better. As a result, they can build better campaigns. For example, they can create an ideal lookalike audience on Facebook or retarget users who have already engaged with your content.
  • Duplicate data can create negative customer experiences. Accurate lead data means filtering out identical information from your CRM. That way, a customer won’t receive two calls from two sales reps from the same company.

Statistics showing the costs of not having accurate lead data

How to Create Accurate Lead Data

The following tips will help you successfully build accurate lead data.

1. Have standards for data entry

If users fill out a form on your site (e.g., Contact Us, Request a Demo, Download a Brochure), consider these suggestions:

  • Use as few form fields as possible
  • Implement a single-column design
  • Order fields from easiest to complete to most difficult
  • If the user provides their email address, enable email verification

One area that would simplify data entry and improve data accuracy is having drop-down fields for particular values, such as the industry a person works in or their job title. For example, suppose several users who fill out the form are system administrators. If the field were a text area, they could enter values like:

  • System Administrator
  • Systems Administrator
  • Server Administrator
  • Computer Administrator
  • Infrastructure Administration

There are even more possibilities. A drop-down field with the “System Administrator” option would standardize the data entry. 

2. Clean up duplicates with Salesforce tools

Salesforce Lightning Experience provides several options to deal with duplicate lead records. Just enable the Potential Duplicates component to accomplish this:

  • In Setup, in the Quick Find box, find Lightning App Builder.
  • Add the Potential Duplicates component in the lead layout and choose an alert option.

Screenshot of Potential Duplicates component in Salesforce Lightning Experience

Now, with the Potential Duplicates component enabled, a sales team can perform one of these tasks:

  • Users can merge up to three duplicate records into one, selecting the correct values from each copy.
  • Salesforce can warn a salesperson that they are creating a duplicate record.
  • Salesforce can block a salesperson from creating a duplicate record.

3. Make data quality checks part of the job description

In an ideal world, data quality manager would be a separate job. Someone with accountability over data quality will understand the value of the process, invest in personal training, provide training to others, create audits and checks, and more. If your company can provide the role, you’ll have an advantage in ensuring high-quality lead data.

If having a data quality manager isn’t possible, you can still create accurate lead data by either training or assigning tasks to different teams. For example, train the sales team to verify information when communicating with potential clients. For instance, the salesperson can confirm the client’s job title or the spelling of their last name. When it comes to the deduplication work, have the IT department handle the auditing and addressing.

4. Perform automated cleaning with third-party tools

Salesforce can integrate various third-party tools that help you keep high-quality data. After identifying the most significant issues with your records, find the tools you need to address them. Here are some problems third-party tools can fix:

  • Prevent someone that fills out a form several times from becoming multiple records.
  • Automate the import of new records, eliminating the possibility of human error.
  • Automatically validate physical addresses by matching them to the USPS database.

Leverage Rainmaker Cloud’s Salesforce Expertise

Rainmaker helps businesses gain powerful data insights from their lead data. By partnering with us, your business can further its digital transformation and deliver excellent customer experiences.

To learn more, contact Rainmaker today! 

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