How do you take care of your data? How do you collect, store, clean, and ultimately use it? Do you have required fields? If you don’t have a clear picture of what happens to your company data after interactions, you should reevaluate your data management practices.
How you set up your CRM to collect, store, and process data is more important than you think. And required fields and data standardization play a significant role in it.
Required Fields: What Are They and Why Do They Matter?
Mandatory fields are an excellent way to ensure proper data quality inside your CRM. In the long run, having strong data quality protocols plays a huge role in customer experience and your customer’s perception of your brand.
These fields are the information to drive process automation, enabling segmentation, and providing data input for reports and dashboards. Thus, required fields are essential to ensuring that your marketing efforts, sales activities, customer service requests, and internal reporting are as efficient as possible.
Mandatory fields allow you to ensure that customer or lead information is correctly loaded into your system and that you can make the most of your CRM by:
- Significantly reducing missing essential data
- Driving processes for automation
- Enabling segmentation for marketing to create target lists
- Providing input for reports or dashboards
In the lack of required fields, having NULL data in these fields will decrease the effectiveness of collected information. This will have consequences across all departments and will impact how your teams use and interact with your CRM, but most importantly, your customer base.
Required fields allow you to ensure that you are fully informed of customer or opportunity account information and help you tailor marketing, sales, customer service, and customer experience strategies. Ultimately, this makes a platform that does the work for you valuable to any organization.
Determining Which Fields are Required in Your CRM
To determine what required fields are needed in your CRM, consider which fields your organization needs to truly understand your customer or prospect. Not all companies need the same customer information, but there are some standard fields all companies utilize. Ideally, you should have required fields for both account level and contact/lead level.
Certain fields enable marketing and sales teams to target audiences and effectively track conversion rates:
- Contact Full Name
- Company Name
- Lead Source
- Phone Number
- Email Address
When thinking of which required fields are important to your organization’s CRM, consider your ideal customer. All companies should define an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). An ICP is a perfect place to look for clues regarding what should be considered as required fields within your CRM. Let’s assume that your company is selling Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Here’s what information you want to be sure you’ll find in your CRM later:
- Company Size: The number of employees at a company and/or how many people will be using your software.
- Budget: The allocated customer budget for software investment and license purchase.
- Location: Where the location of the company is; company headquarters or the location of the branch you’re working with.
- Product Interest: What type of product(s) are the customer indicating interest in and what information you have indicating their preference.
- Company Name: The company name that you will potentially be working with. This includes the parent company and any subsidiaries, so you can do proper research.
How you set up required fields influences data quality. When setting up your required fields, only focus on the core set of data required for a deal to advance through the pipeline. This will also help to increase internal adoption rates, and thus, productivity across your teams.
Learn why you should adopt required fields and additional best practices you can implement within your CRM by downloading your free copy of our Data Quality—Unlocking Customer Experience’s Secret Weapon eBook.