Given the number of CRM and data enrichment options available today, it’s surprising that data still tends to be inconsistent. If a sales team is going to get the most out of Salesforce, they need to have a clear understanding of what data they are going to trust.

What do you do when you have a database that’s stale? One way is to look at enriching your data with a crawl, walk, run approach.

In order to crawl you first need to decide what your source of truth is. Source of truth or single source of truth (SSOT) is the “one source of data that everyone in a company agrees is the real, trusted number for some operating data,” according to InformationWeek. Getting alignment across the organization establishing what the source of truth is, allows for a clear path to cleaning up data. Is the company going to use Hoovers for revenue info or rely only on 10-Ks? For contacts and leads are you going to use LinkedIn, Data.com or Insideview? Once the source of truth is agreed upon, you can better understand which data enrichment options are right for your company's specific needs.

While many data providers claim that their enrichment process is proprietary and unique, nothing beats going to the source for the actual data. With contact and lead data, wherever possible leverage LinkedIn as a source of truth. LinkedIn data is first-party which is by far the highest quality. Third-party data, on the other hand, is generally scraped from sites, so it tends to be inconsistent and out of date. While Linkedin isn’t perfect (especially when considering the number of employees), its users tend to do a great job of keeping their profiles up to date and the fact that it’s a public site where users can cross-check and update data regularly cuts down on friction between reps.

By establishing LinkedIn as your source of truth, you’re ready to walk. When looking at data enrichment with the crawl, walk, run approach, the walk phase is enriching records with consistent data. Ideally, you could directly integrate LinkedIn and Salesforce, however, LinkedIn’s API doesn’t allow for that. This means that companies end up sending lists overseas and then upload them into Salesforce which ends up being nearly as painful and inefficient as having reps update data manually.

With SifData you’re able to capture data from LinkedIn, compare it to your current data set and surface job changes in real-time. Because it’s built natively into Salesforce, you can generate alerts and trigger processes to make sure reps are following up. By having this information at your sales rep’s fingertips, you’re now running! Additionally, your company is further ahead of 99% of the companies out there that still can’t decide on a source of truth.

Data enrichment is crucial to having viable data that your sales reps can act on. By establishing a source of truth, collecting consistent data and utilizing tools like SifData your sales reps will be able to focus on doing what they do best, generating new business.