Eliminate the Damp and Wrinkled Cardstock: How to Manage Your Contacts in 5 Minutes or Less

Do you know what’s arguably the worst thing in the world?

Sweaty palms when talking to a new contact—the dreaded handshake; the grubby hands; the exchanging of damp business cards. UGH!

Do you know what can make this less of a big deal?

Using an organized contact database to manage and communicate with your new contacts

But imagine having sweaty palms and a messy database. This is pretty much a double whammy of not-so-great. And when you’re trying to manage your contact database and keep it up to date—especially if you’re trying to do it quickly—it can feel like an impossible task. But it doesn’t have to be! 

You worked hard to build a contacts database but haven’t made the time to maintain it. You’re nervous, paranoid, and have sweaty palms because you don’t know who is still in your contact database, who isn’t, or if their information is even up-to-date. Do you have all the correct information on the person you are reaching out to, cold calling, or meeting with?

A recent study showed that having bad data may cost companies as much as $3 trillion annually in the United States. That’s a lot of money! 

We don’t want you losing sleep over this, but there is a question we need to ask (hopefully without opening a can of worms): With your old ways of managing your contact database, are you costing your company precious funds?

The numbers never lie: 

  • 64.8% of sales reps’ time is spent on non-revenue generated activities.
  • 40% of sales representatives are looking for somebody to call.
  • 24% of sales managers cited lead quantity and quality as one of the more significant challenges in prospecting clients. 

Dirty data is still an obstacle for sales teams as inaccurate data costs 546 hours a year per full-time sales rep—which is around 27.3% of the reps’ time! 

But, there’s good news: Sales leaders can turn this around by making sure their teams have access to accurate data from the get-go, so they can spend more time with clients and less time chasing down inaccurate information.

If contact management is still an additional burden to your already long list of tasks, don’t sweat it! Make your job easier and save a shit ton of time. Learn how to manage your contact database in five minutes or less with this quick guide, and get rid of that overwhelming feeling for good.

Supercharge your sales with RocketReach

Shit in, Shit Out: Declutter by Regularly Cleaning Your Database

You’ve heard the saying “shit in, shit out”. Well, this holds true to your company’s business contact database as well. If your contacts are flowing with a bunch of bad data, your sales and marketing efforts will have a hard time hitting home. 

Dirty data is the absolute worst. Believe it or not, I’ve even had instances where I’ve emailed people who were dead. Yes, DEAD! I’m telling you if you haven’t experienced it already, that is an awkward conversation to have with the person relaying the message that my contact is now deceased.

There are two main types of dirty data: internal and external. Internal dirty data is any information entered incorrectly by a user or automated process (such as a computer program). In contrast, external data is any information entered correctly but did not align with your expectations or standards.

Examples of bad internal data include:

  • Spelling errors
  • Incomplete entries (for example, an address without a city or state)
  • Poorly formatted phone numbers or dates
  • Wrong values (for example, age recorded as “no age”)
  • Poorly integrated marketing techniques that show incorrect data for items like website visitors, ad clicks, and email open rates

On the other hand, bad external data can be:

  • Incorrect demographic information
  • Outdated company growth or stability indicators
  • Errors on third-party platforms used to gather customer or company information

This is where data cleansing becomes crucial. Also known as “data cleaning” or “data scrubbing”, this process includes removing or modifying inaccurate, duplicated, incomplete, or corrupt data. The procedures may require deletion and editing of your dataset to restore a specific sample to its original state. 

With the current state of CRM data management and by applying these data management practices, you can:

  • Increase sales productivity by up to 45%
  • Reduce costs associated with prospecting by up to $2 million per year per sales rep
  • Reduce time spent on non-revenue activities (like searching for information or fixing mistakes) by up to 546 hours per week per rep

Also, the clean-up process must be thorough to ensure that the contact database is accurate and reliable. Remove all duplicate records, eliminate empty fields, and ensure spelling and syntax are double-checked for accuracy. 

Clean Your Data Every 6 Months

Clean your data every six months and follow these steps:

  1. Identify inactive or unengaged contacts. 
  2. Identify duplicate records. 
  3. Identify structural errors and incomplete data. 
  4. Investigate bounces. 
  5. Re-engage inactive contacts. 
  6. Segment contact lists. 
  7. Remove inactive or inaccurate contacts.

If you still find gaps in your database for contacts, don’t worry! There are several ways to fix this problem. We recommend using RocketReach’s tools because the robust features enable you to quickly find missing information and fill in the blanks left by other programs.

Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That, So Utilize Automations

Workflows and automations don’t only apply to marketing efforts. This can be utilized within sales processes as well. Nearly 40% of workers spend a quarter of their workweek on repetitive tasks.

Depending on the capabilities of your CRM, you can build automations to do part of the data cleanup for you. For example, let’s say that you know Company X went out of business five years ago but you still have a ton of contact database information for their company that no longer is relevant, you can build a workflow as follows:

If COMPANY NAMES includes “Company X” or if CONTACT EMAIL includes “companyx”, then change “LIFECYCLE STAGE” to unqualified and “UNSUBSCRIBE FROM ALL MARKETING AND SALES EMAILS.” Boom. Launch that sucker and watch those contacts not only fall out of your pipeline as well as your contact lists but they can also be filtered and put into a “Mass Cleanup” list where you can make a bulk deletion from the database all at once.

Once your database for contacts has been organized and verified, what’s the best way to use this data?

Let’s Face It, Your Data is a Mess. So, Let’s Optimize It. Think of It Like Brad Pitt Getting His Abs Back. 😉

Email accounts getting blocked purely because of the quantity of emails being sent out (we’re looking at you, cold emailers) is a myth. However, you could definitely be blocked if a recipient marks your email as spam. The most common reasons we see both sales and marketing emails hit the spam folder are:

  • A hard-sell email is being sent without nurturing the contact first.
  • You sent an email with a bunch of other people CCed or BCCed.
  • Your email is returning a high bounce rate.
  • There is no unsubscribe link in your message.
  • You send too many emails in too short of a period of time.

Just as spiderman taught us, with great power comes great responsibility, and your data holds A LOT of power. 

Now that your contact database is organized, it’s time to properly optimize it. This is one of the most important steps to managing your data. No one likes receiving communications, especially email or LinkedIn InMail messages, with content that isn’t relevant to them. The clean data within your contact database should be your guiding light when it comes to your sales and marketing efforts. This data should not only determine how you can build the best contact lists for successful email engagement but also what the central focus of your messaging should be.

Using the data within your newly organized contact database, such as location, company, industry, demographics, or engagement with other sales and marketing efforts, allows you to effectively drive traffic to the areas you want your contacts to go and keeps you out of the spam folder since you’re sending valuable content that is relevant to your contact.

For more email segmentation tips, check out another one of our informative blogs, 4 Email Segmentation Tips for Targeted Campaigns.

Dominate Your Sales and Marketing Messaging with a Clean Contact Database

Without synchronized processes, contact management solutions, and strategies on how to keep that data safe, you could find yourself drowning in unorganized data, counting unproductive hours, and even being a legal liability. Find a contact database management platform like RocketReach with the tools you need to streamline contact management and automate tasks to reduce human error. 

The best part? It’s not just for big companies—you can use it too! Whether you’re looking for a solution for yourself or your business, you can stay away from the old methods of business cards and rely fully on your contact database. See how simple it is to find up-to-date, accurate information with RocketReach’s free Advanced Search tool today.