This content is part of the Essential Guide: Inside the Salesforce platform: The Salesforce clouds

Salesforce Sales Cloud centers on CRM data quality

Garbage in, garbage out is the oft-used mantra, and it should be the watchword for CRM systems. CRM data quality can make the difference between system adoption or abandonment.

Will Moxley

Over the past several years, sales reps' jobs have transformed, in part because mobile CRM software arms salespeople with information at the ready.

Sales reps can exploit information on the fly by looking up a customer prospect's information on a table or seeing key customer account data on their phone just before a client meeting.
Like other mobile CRM tools, the Salesforce Sales Cloud places this information in the hands of sales reps.

Three-quarters of 1,500 respondents say that Salesforce offerings make it easy to do their jobs, according to Bluewolf Consulting's "State of Salesforce" report; and 85% of respondents have adopted the Sales Cloud, the core platform for sales enablement. At the same time, the report flags mobile CRM as an area of improvement, with 61% of Sales Cloud users saying they want an easier mobile experience. Data quality is just one reason mobile CRM needs improvement, said William Moxley, senior vice president of product management for Salesforce Sales Cloud.
Recently, we spoke with Moxley about what's new in the Sales Cloud platform, mobile CRM software and why customer relationship management data quality is so critical in the mobile sales environment. What have you done this year in terms of the dedupe feature in the Sales Cloud to improve data quality?
William Moxley: A lack of data quality is one of the top three reasons CRMs fail. It's one of the reasons we bought Jigsaw and got into the business -- improving data quality.

About a year ago, we released the dedupe technology. It was the No. 1 idea on Idea Exchange for two years. We saw that feedback from customers. They were asking for the ability to block duplicate data from getting into the application. "If a contact exists, how do we prevent them from creating that contact again?"

We created a technology that would do fuzzy matching or straight matching of certain key fields, and customers can customize that logic to prevent bad data from getting into the application. In the past year, we have had tens of thousands of customers roll that feature out.

We also licensed Google Maps and the Google Maps API that does things like address validation. When someone types in address, it validates or auto-resolve the address they are typing in.

Something in pilot right now [that we're working on] is called Shared Contacts. It's the ability to link a contact to multiple accounts. You need this in certain industries, as in healthcare. A doctor might work for two hospitals and a private practice. Typically, a customer would have to make the contact three times, with three accounts. Now they can make it once and link the three accounts. It streamlines the data model.

Why is data quality so important for the Sales Cloud?
Moxley: If people go into the app and can't find a contact or find 20 versions of a contact, that frustrates them. It is painful.

If people don’t trust the data or can’t find what they want, they don’t want to use the application.
Will Moxley, senior VP, product managementSales Cloud

Mobile has even brought this more so to the forefront. You're on a little screen. If you get 20 versions of the same person, you're like, "Which is the right one?" If people don't trust the data or can't find what they want, they don't want to use the application. Anything you can do to improve data quality will significant impact of the adoption of that product.

Does mobile CRM make data quality more important?
Moxley: Yes, that's part of it, but part also is that if you're on your desktop and get back three of the same contact back, you can click through relatively quickly, but people don't have the patience to do that on a mobile phone. They want to search and find the right record immediately and click right into it. They won't dig into every record -- especially with the small screen real estate on a mobile phone.

From the perspective of data entry, you have empowered them to enter data wherever they are, so bad data can get into the system more easily, but also finding information has to be incredibly efficient on a mobile device.

How has using the Lightning development platform made a difference in the Sales Cloud?
Moxley: When we introduced Lightning into the product, we were trying to make it faster, make it fewer clicks, faster to accomplish the core tasks as a sales rep what you want. Lay out the screens, more optimized experience. Review your whole pipeline. Your deals organized on one screen and then you can move them around.

For more, check out our guide on all the Salesforce Clouds.

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