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How to Structure, Manage and Analyze Data in Your CRM

Matt Pliszka

Customer Acquisition at SoftwareSupport

Customer Acquisition at SoftwareSupport. Several years of experience in advisory, finance, and marketing for international businesses.

6 min read

written by

Matt Pliszka

Customer Acquisition at SoftwareSupport

Matt Pliszka | Pipedrive Partner​,​ CRM Configuration​/​Integration

This guide is a part of the below ultimate guides:
An Ultimate Guide to Integrating Your CRM to Grow Sales and Automate Work

Inputting data into the CRM seems to be nothing difficult in today’s times of cloud technology. It doesn’t take too much time to add new companies to your CRM system, by uploading Excel files you’re working on or by migrating from any other sources.

But simply uploading all your information to one place without having a proper structure in place, first, might have negative consequences on your data management and analytics.

Reasons for structuring the data in your CRM

Attribution of your contacts’/leads’ sources

Having all the information about your business contacts and potential leads is a great first step to setting up an effective CRM process within your business.

But once you and your team have all the information in a CRM, your database will keep growing and at the end of the day, you’d like to know why these records appeared in your CRM system.

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Setting up sources' attribution in Pipedrive

That’s where a source attribution comes into play. With the right identification of the source of companies stored in your system, you’d be able to:

  • Analyze the conversion of leads coming from specific acquisition channels
  • Set up automation depending on your lead source
  • Easily segment organizations depending on the source

Data management and analytics

So what’s the ultimate goal of storing all the information in a CRM? One of them is definitely a more efficient sales team and every day’s workflow. But using a CRM also means storing all the relevant data in one place.

If you have all the data in place why not use it in optimizing your business strategy and operations?

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Progress and axtivities' analytics in Pipedrive

If you structure the data properly, you will find it very easy to extract proper analytics from your CRM tool, including:

  • The efficiency of your activities, depending on your lead’s source
  • Conversion, depending on the industry of your customer/lead
  • Most efficient communication channels depending on your lead’s source or industry

Filtering and data management

Putting the right data structure in place will make it very easy for your team to use the CRM more effectively in your daily work.

Let’s say that your sales team wants to target companies of specific size, industry or revenues. Having the proper structure set up in your CRM will let your team do the proper filtering and consequently, make it very easy to export all the information to any other tool they use on a regular basis.

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Filtering Pipedrive database by activity

How can filtering work in practice?

  • Target companies which have not received any activity from your side within the last few weeks
  • Identify and export companies from your target industry or size
  • Identify the accounts which have interacted with your salespeople more than a few times to find the leads most interested in your products

How to do data management & structuring using Pipedrive CRM?

1. Set the goal of analytics and data needed by your sales team

The first step to an effective data structure setup is learning about your needs when it comes to the analytics and sales process.

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Setting up goals in Pipedrive

The good way to do it would be to:

a) Establish key business KPIs driving your decision-making process.

These could be data like:

  • number of leads from specific sources,
  • industry/size of leads and their conversion,
  • number of employees of targeted companies,
  • contact to decision-makers

b) Design a sales process within your business

Designing a sales process and dividing your team’s responsibilities will help you identify your team’s technological and data needs within each part of this process.

Before you start with data structuring you should have a clear view on:

  • The stages in your sales process
  • The responsibilities of your sales team within each stage of the process
  • The activities and interactions performed on each stage of the sales process

Only then would you be able to learn about the actual data needs within each stage of sales.

c) Run a meeting or survey with your team.

After all, any data you store within your CRM should help your team succeed in their daily work. Thus, running a meeting or survey with your team is a crucial step to learning about your actual needs.

If you have a large team, use tools like JotFor or Typeform to build surveys and collect answers from your team. Alternatively, if your team is small schedule the group meeting with your team, using Calendly or Doodle.

Some of the questions in the survey can include:

  • Which data about your customers/leads would help you make better decisions in the sales process?
  • Which statistics would you use to optimize communication with customers/leads?
  • What do you most often look at when selecting the leads/customers to contact?

2. Set up attributes for particular levels within your CRM

Once you’ve collected all the relevant information, it’s time to set up the proper data structure in your CRM. To make it work, you need to list the attributes which will be included on specific data level in your CRM, including:

  • Organizations
  • Contacts
  • Deals/Leads

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Adding custom fields in Pipedrive

So which attributes can you use to make it work right in your organization? Here are a few examples:

  • Source (acquisition source of a company or lead)
  • Industry (industry of the business)
  • Size (number of employees or revenues)
  • Technology/product used (e.g. a competitive software or product currently used by the lead/customer)
  • Partner/Customer (e.g. a field letting you distinguish between your customers and partners distributing your products)

3. Ensure proper data input from users and automated upload

Now we come to the most important step which is inputting all the relevant information to the CRM system. This can be done either by manually inputting the information by the CRM users or every time you want to upload a new batch of data into the system.

So what are a few key tips to make it work right in your CRM?

a) Set up the most important fields to display in the “Add new” dialogue

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Adding information about your deals/orgnizations in Pipedrive

Making sure the fields display every time something new is added to the CRM will increase the chances of the most important data stored in the CRM.

b) Set up important fields to pin to the screen prompting a user to fill in the data

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Marking important fields in Pipedrive

With the built-in Pipedrive’s feature to mark the most important data, you can make sure the most important information is pinned to the screen, prompting the user to fill in the information whenever he visits a company profile.

c) Set up a Google Spreadsheet file for automated data upload

Whenever you’d like to import new data to your CRM, you can do it in 3 ways:

  • Adding the data manually one-by-one (we don’t like this one as it requires too much time ;))
  • Importing the data using Pipedrive’s import tool
  • Setting up a Google spreadsheet and connecting it through Zapier to ensure automated upload

It’s helpful to set up a proper system, letting you upload any new campaigns to the system automatically, without too much work needed from your side.

A good choice is setting up a Google Spreadsheet file, synced with your CRM (or/and mailing automation tool) to help you upload information in a structured way.

Data management as a start to effective CRM integration

An automated CRM will not help your business grow unless you have data to use and act on inside your system.

Setting up a database is a great first step to start using a CRM more effectively and if you’re running any kind of business you already have a significant database in place — either in personal files, excel spreadsheets or in other software, you’re using.

Make sure you reflect the structure of the data in your CRM properly to support your sales process, team’s activity and weekly, monthly or annual analytics.

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written by

Matt Pliszka

Customer Acquisition at SoftwareSupport

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