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Database Management Tips for Meetings Industry Suppliers

Data Cleansing
With the dozens of data cleansing projects we do for hotels, CVBs and other meeting industry suppliers, I am often asked for tips on how to manage a sales database. Here are a few best practices:
  1. Reduce the number of accounts your sales reps are responsible for: We did a LinkedIN poll last year and found the majority of salespeople who responded had more than 250, some even 500+ accounts under their initials in their company’s CRM. That is way more than anyone can effectively manage. CSO Insights reports that 100 accounts is probably the maximum number of actively managed accounts a rep can handle PER YEAR. If you want your data to be better maintained, cut back on the number of records assigned to each person.

  2. Size should not matter: Do not allow a sales manager to earn a badge of honor for entering a ton of business cards after a tradeshow or event. Choose quality over quantity. Before ANY record is entered, make sure it is qualified; interest does not mean the ability to buy.

  3. Have a mechanism to track & flush: If your CRM is also used to send out regular communication to prospects and you must enter the data before it is fully qualified, make sure you assign a source code and date. That way you can easily send dedicated follow-up messages (e.g. Thank you for stopping at our booth…). This also allows you to query your CRM to assess response to any campaign, organize a follow-up call campaign and eventually delete the data if there is no response.

  4. Make sure to nurture: Communicate with your clients and prospects often and through varied media (not just email; snail mail too!). How often? At least every 30 days (click here for a great article about this). Maybe that big planner who was interested in your hotel for their annual incentive next year just got let go. How would you know unless you call as soon as you find out her email bounced? Make it the responsibility of one admin person in your office to call and update any undeliverable email record or address. (Do NOT assign this to the salesperson. You pay them to close.) When you do this monthly the task is less overwhelming.

  5. With your regular communication, offer incentives to self-update: Ensure all your eblasts offer an opportunity to update their information online. Publicly thank people who have updated (e.g. “Congratulations to Planning Office XYZ on their recent office move, and thank you Sally for updating your information. There’s a Starbucks card in the mail for your efforts!).
Keeping a database current is not a complicated thing to do. Unfortunately it is often the simplest things that don’t get done… If you are looking to organize a larger-scale clean up effort, check out our data cleansing tips. To ensure success, do the basics regularly and keep your database CLEAN.