It’s 9:38AM on a Thursday.

Imagine your sales rep finds a great contact in their database to go after. They look at the account history in their CRM, click into their inbox, and compose an email.

About 6 minutes later they come up with their angle and finish writing their cold email. They hit send, then suddenly they see this:

bounced email-1

The rep feels demoralized, but they don’t give up. They jump back into the CRM and look up the prospect’s desk phone number, and pop it right into their dialer.

The phone rings endlessly, and never goes to a voicemail box. The rep hangs up. It's now it's time to move on.

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This is why having good data hygiene is essential.

Bad data quality is one the easiest ways to make your CRM less and less useful. 

It's been estimated according to Salesforce that over 30% of your sales activities will never reach your prospect. 

Between bad phone numbers, bounced emails, and reps not checking for turnover, an unsuccessful sales activity not only is wasting your reps time, but hurts the probability of real touches hitting your prospect.

How does an email bounce impact your deliverability?

This video above explains the impact of hard and soft bounces on your deliverability. 

So when you send a cold email to a prospect, and the email bounces, the inbox provider the target account is using (likely Google Apps or Outlook) will look at four things. 

  1. Your sending address.
  2. Your sending domain.
  3. Your sending IP
  4. The content of your email. 

These four things help establish your reputation with that inbox provider, and will impact the likelihood that your team's prospecting emails will actually reach your prospects.

When a server answers back that an email is a bounce, it is more likely to put your company, IP, sending address, and similar content into a spam folder, or worse, get future emails rejected outright. This is why it's important for your team to keep good hygiene in your CRM. 

The obvious and self promotional way to get better data into your CRM is to pick a reliable provider of that data (cough cough...we can help with that). 

Another thing you can do is train your reps to report inside your CRM that an email address or phone number is bad.

If you work in sales operations or you are a Salesforce admin, there are few ways to get your sales team to report bad data. 

Option #1: Build a custom field on your lead and contact records that indicates the email and phone are verified. 

This first option is a little tedious, but it can make it faster for your reps to do their follow up tasks if they aren't using a tool like SalesLoft or Outreach. 

To build a custom field, click the SETUP button on the top right of Salesforce. Then go down to the BUILD section of the left side menu and pick CUSTOMIZE. 

Here's a quick video for original Salesforce (sorry Lightning users) on the locations of the menu bar. 

 
Once you get into the LEAD or Contact Custom Fields (this will be based on how your team uses leads vs. contacts in Salesforce), this video shows you how to add a customer field. I thing a checkbox for a field type is easiest. Did the email bounce? Yes (checked) or No (unchecked) ? Is the phone data confirmed? Yes or no. 
 
 
 
Option #2: Buy a service like Outreach or SalesLoft

This may seem like a lazy option, but given what both these companies do to help their customers out on the prospecting end, both Outreach and SalesLoft will report bounces when they happen and prevent a rep from reaching out to that contact or lead again, as long as the rep is using one of these platforms. 

I'm a sure there are others that do this as well, but these two are ones I know for sure do it. 

Option #3: Train your reps to report bounces and bad phone numbers in their activities. 

If you are working on a lower budget, another easy way that won't let you run reports, but will make it easier to prevent a rep from emailing a prospect with bad contact data is to train them to log it as bad email or bad call. 

bad email activity

The bottom line is this, whatever option, you need your reps reporting bad data, but more importantly, you need to make it easier for your reps to put good data into your CRM. 

Having good data hygiene will save your reps from wasting their time, improve your cold email deliverability, and also make it easier for you to track how well your current data providers are fulfilling your team's needs. 
Posted by Ryan O'Hara
Ryan O'Hara
Ryan O'Hara has been an early employee at several startups helping them with marketing and prospecting tactics, including Dyn who was acquired by Oracle for $600+ million in 2016. He's had prospecting campaigns featured in Fortune, Mashable, and TheNextWeb. Ryan specializes in branding, business development, prospecting, and coaching people on how to make good digital first impressions. He also mentors two accelerators, The Iron Yard and The Alpha Loft, and hosts The Prospecting

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