As your business grows, so will your CRM. Each day, your sales reps add a few more prospects into the mix and over time things start to get out of control. So much data, yet so little consistency. Next thing you know you are stuck with a very large and messy set of data, and you are probably left wondering how to deal with it all.

Lucky for you, it isn’t too late to get your CRM all cleaned up, even if it seems impossible at the moment. Chances are this intimidating task is actually a lot easier than you thought. Here are 4 ways you can start the process:

1.   Relevancy. The Fields in your CRM need to be relevant to the sales process, meaning they add some sort of value that will be helpful later on. If it doesn’t add value, get rid of it. This is also the time to eliminate any overlapping or redundant fields. We have been surprised by how many irrelevant fields our customers have on their CRM. Not only does it make the CRM more complicated, but it costs more too.

2.   Training. Be sure that your entire sales team has a clear understanding of what each field means and what kind of information needs to be entered into it. Consistency is key. This is also an opportunity to show your sales team the value of your CRM, that it is not just a data collecting platform but a sales tool. You want to make a case to your sales team and “sell” it to them.

3.   Access. User permissions and privileges need to be put in place. If everyone has equal access to the CRM it can become a bit of a free for all and it becomes much harder to manage. This can help limit the number of fields being created. Designate an admin team to evaluate the CRM and flag anything that might seem off. If it’s time to get a CRM admin, don’t wait any longer.

4.   Automation. This is key. Despite your team making their best effort to keep things clean and tidy – they are busy people. And cleaning up the CRM is not always at the top of their task list. There are a ton of tools available out there that can help manage your past and future data; by merging duplicates, filling in missing or outdated information, lead generation, email sequencing and much more. If there is a gap in your CRM, there is probably a tool to fix it. In our experience, even some of the best and most organized sales teams still suffer from a CRM that is 20% junk.

Take a step back to understand the scope and motive of your organization. Then make the appropriate changes to your CRM to fit the needs of your sales process. And remember that effective change can only happen when everyone on your sales team is on the same page. You might want to read The Happiness Project while you are at it.