That’s WAY Too Time Consuming!

Data Field DependencyYou want to grow your business. You meet so many people that could use your service or product, but their business cards keep piling up on your desk. And the spread sheets… UGH! There are so many you’ve lost count. At this point, in order to clean up the mess, it would take a huge effort and time commitment on your part and, wait… did I hear you say that? “That’s WAY too time consuming!”

Your contact data is one of the largest assets you have in your business and yet we cringe when faced with cleaning it up. It’s like pulling weeds in the garden – necessary for healthy growth.

There are some workflows and field dependencies you can put into place to ease the burden and automate the processes from the beginning. Let’s start with a simple example of field dependencies.

Remember when I talked about setting standards in your data fields? Well this is particularly important when connecting fields together.

What is Field Dependency? It is when there is a relationship between two fields where information from the “parent” field will determine the information placed in the “child” field. For example, the United States consists of 50 states, one District and six territories. Every time you type CA in the “State” field, the “Country” field should automatically populate with USA. Same scenario when typing in ON (representing Ontario) – CA should appear in the “Country” field to represent Canada. You could even map the dependencies as detailed as entering the postal code so the city, state and country appear. Companies like UPS and USPS use this technique to ensure accuracy of the addresses entered while shipping products.

Any fields you have in your database where one is dependent upon the other can be set up to automatically populate.

Another form of auto-populating your data is through what is known as a “workflow” rule. This uses {if} {then} rules to add data, update data, trigger actions and send alerts. Let’s look at an example.

I have a form on my website. Someone fills out that form with their name, address, email and work phone. They indicate that they are interested in learning more about my event operations services and would like for me to call them on a Monday in the afternoon between 1:00pm and 3:00pm. This form triggers the following response within my CRM:

First Name, Last Name, Street Address, City, State, Country, Postal Code, Phone Number are all added to my CRM as a “Lead.” The “Lead Source” field is denoted as “Website” and “Area of Interest” field is labeled as “Event Operations.” The day and time selected by the person in the form triggers a “Task” set-up for me to call them on the next available Monday at 1:00pm. Setting up the task triggers an automatic internal email, letting me know that someone filled out the online form and I need to call them on Monday at 1:00pm.

Workflows can be created to automatically update much of your information so you are not manually having to type in loads of time consuming data. They can also be used to ensure the data you have in your CRM is clean, accurate and up-to-date.

If you have contacts that are sitting on your desk and should be in a well organized CRM or need assistance with setting up field dependencies and workflows in your CRM, please contact me today to schedule an appointment.