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Q&A: How are Ops Leaders Solving Common Data Challenges?

October 27, 2022

How are top RevOps leaders solving common data challenges?

Have you ever wondered what other revenue leaders are thinking and doing when it comes to their data challenges?

Whether it’s knowledge, strategy, or a secret stack of tech tools, let’s dive into how do they stay ahead and prevent common data pitfalls from holding their company back.

Q: What are some best practices when it comes to governance?

“I don’t let an account be created without a country value. Every Salesforce Org I’ve ever been in, by day two, I’m turning on State and Country picklists. To me, it’s the difference between having a clean data set and not. The longer you wait, the dirtier the data gets and then you have to clean it up later.”

Brooke Treseder, Senior Vice President of Revenue Operations at

Brooke places an incredible amount of importance on being able to consistently manage and govern data.

And it’s no surprise. Revenue teams that don’t have clean data are constantly playing from behind.

Turning on State and Country picklists helps create a clean data set where country values are standardized. Teams can then use that data to create formulas or different regions.

Here are some other pro tips and tricks around data governance from Brooke: 

  • Avoid mass imports that can turn clean data into dirty data
  • Implement validation rules like country or website values to help prevent duplicate accounts

Q: Data changes on a constant basis. What’s one way you prevent proliferation in your Salesforce org?

“Identify all data entry points and lock them down. Really control how data comes into your organization and have a consistent way in which you’re going to allow people to enter information. I think that if you’re simply allowing your account reps to enter new accounts on their own, that’s a recipe for disaster. You need to have a consistent way in which there’s a matching mechanism so you can avoid duplication and proliferation of poor data.”

Sean Crowley, Vice President of Marketing at Dun & Bradstreet

A starting point for stopping the proliferation and spread of dirty data is controlling how it enters your Salesforce org. If there’s no consistency around how data is entered or new accounts are created, companies will suffer from a lack of information and duplicate accounts.

In fact, Salesforce users and a lack of process is one of the major sources that duplicate data stems from.

Sean’s tip:

  • Use a “Search before Create” process to ensures duplicate account doesn’t already exist in the system
  • Have a “matching mechanism” or an automated lead-to-account match solution

Having a tool that automates lead to account matching in Salesforce helps remove the manually effort by matching, merging, and converting duplicate records upon entry.

Q: How do you make sure your team is working with both clean and accurate data?

“I would say the number one mistake people make is to assume that your sales team and other people are going to keep this really clean, maintained database. Really what you should be doing is relying on an external data source that’s already professionally maintained.”

Rusty Jensen, Head of Global ISR Sales at Conga

Only two in 10 companies strongly agree that their CRM has clean and actionable account data to sell effectively. So what’s one way that Rusty ensures that his team’s data is not just clean but accurate, too?

By creating a strong foundation with external tools that are consistently maintained and up-to-date.

Rusty’s tip:

Whether it’s due to accelerated growth, people changing roles, or mergers and acquisitions, companies are changing faster than ever and you need to keep up. In fact, Rusty even argues that it’s time consuming and even unreasonable to rely on a sales organization to maintain accurate hierarchies and accurate data.

Q: What is the downstream effect of bad data, and how do you tackle this?

“Bad data is the source of account conflicts. The biggest piece of advice I’ve got is to get your data in place before your planning seasons. Catching up on all this after you’ve pushed your territories out or after you’ve done your restructuring creates so many issues. Even before there’s an Opp created, there’s so much time spent planning out these account strategies, getting your contacts, loading them in, and working with marketing. Get this done before your fiscal.”

Matt Wester, Sales Planning Manager at Copado

Dirty data is the biggest culprit behind account conflicts and territory disputes. And when your sales team is spending the majority of time resolving a conflict, both company morale and revenue are taking major blows.

Matt’s tip: 

  • Clean your database and align it with your go-to-market strategy before planning season

Once your data is clean, only then is it time to plan out territories — and using account hierarchies is a great way to optimize that process.

For example, it’s important to identify the subsidiaries of enterprise accounts and where they fall within a hierarchy. When it comes to planning, having this level of information is crucial for scoring or balancing territories.


Every revenue leader we asked brought a different solution to the table.

But here’s one sentiment that many of them shared — process and standardized data entry can go a long way in keeping your data clean.

Not to mention, a clean CRM can be the difference between celebrating revenue milestones or trying to navigate duplicates and solve account conflicts.

Take the first step towards solving your data problems and check out our step-by-step guide to deduplicating your CRM.