March 13, 2024

Your Quick Guide to CRM Data Cleanup

5 Steps to (Spring) Clean Your CRM Data

Ever take a look at your closet, your car, or even your kid’s playroom and feel instantly overwhelmed? There’s just so much … stuff! Where does it go, how should it be labeled, how can you make it easy to find what you need, and why do you have so much stuff?! 

This same overwhelm is something many of our clients feel when they start to look under the hood of their CRM. We know that maintaining data integrity is crucial to the success of your CRM efforts. 

Without clean, consistent data, it becomes nearly impossible to gain accurate insights and make good data-driven decisions. 

The truth is, your data can tell you a story, but if your data isn’t clean and up to date, you may as well be weaving fairytales. 

 

And without clean data? You may as well be reaching out to Neverland when it comes to understanding where your contacts truly are in their journey. It really is that important. 

While giving your CRM data a spring clean (or any season, for that matter) can feel like a ton of work, my team and I make sure to break it down in just five steps to ensure nothing gets missed as part of your overall revenue operations processes.

Here are the five steps for a successful CRM data cleanup: 

  1. Identify and Separate Dirty Data
  2. Standardize Entries
  3. Deduplicate Entries
  4. Automate Data Entry
  5. Keep an Eye on CRM Changes

With HubSpot's CRM, managing customer relationships, adding or editing contact information, and tracking customer interactions with your brand has never been easier. Its simple drag-and-drop interface simplifies data cleaning, while automated workflows can be set up to verify email addresses or reach out to customers who haven't made a purchase in over three months. The CRM automatically collects and records any contact activities related to web forms or emails, ensuring that no customer interaction is overlooked during your regular audits.

HubSpot makes it easy for you to have the cleanest data on the block, but only if you know what to do with it. Here's a closer look at the steps we suggest for your CRM data cleanup: 

1. Identify and Separate Dirty Data

The first step in cleaning, which also goes for your data, is to tidy up and get rid of “dirty” things. For your CRM data, this means identifying and separating any data that is “dirty.” 

Dirty data is any information that has become outdated, incorrect, duplicated, or incomplete over time. 

This could include things like contact information or purchase histories that have not been updated recently. Once you have identified what data needs to be “cleaned,” you can begin the process of segmenting and reorganizing it into an actionable format.

This could include things like creating a duplicate property for a form because you think one didn’t exist. But now, you’re left with split data sitting in two different spots on an object record, which can be a nightmare.

Free Template Download: The Ultimate HubSpot Configuration Checklist

Data Matching

Data matching is a powerful tool that can transform your messy customer data into a unified format. By using algorithms to identify matching entries with different formats, you can streamline your CRM database and gain more accurate insights into your customers' behavior.

For example, if you have a list of customer emails that are formatted differently, data matching can be used to turn them into one unified format, making it easier to track customer interactions and make data-driven decisions.

Standardize Entries

When you think of your CRM, I have one word for you: Consistency. Putting your CRM data in a consistent format is critical not only for CRM data cleanup but also for future maintenance.

When I think of consistency, this means using the same terms and formatting across your different entries.

Some common mistakes that I spot are things like ensuring your phone numbers are formatted correctly (so you can use those HubSpot calling features!), similar-sounding (but not matching) job titles (VP vs. Vice President, which one are you using?) or even adding in a space in front of the first names accidentally. 

One other process that I strongly recommend for CRM data cleanup is to be smart about your naming conventions for assets and remember that folders are your friends. 

These are easy things to identify that are ready for cleanup and will make your data mining far more effective in the future. 

2. Structure Your Data

If there are entries that have been duplicated or entered incorrectly, take the time to remove and merge them. This can be done through manual elimination or the use of automated data-cleaning tools.

At New Breed, we use a combination of automation methods and re-mapping your entries so that they’re neatly consolidated. 

As you clean up the data in your CRM, make sure that you’re documenting any findings so that this can be applied to any future cleaning efforts as well

Last but not least, consider the value of your data. Creating a structure for data entry will make sure that all of your future inputs are consistent, which makes it much easier to identify when redundant entries have been inputted. At the same time, having a standardized way of entering data helps with running reports and analyses in the future.

Implementing a standardized system for data entry not only saves time but also helps identify any inconsistencies or irregularities that may require attention during the cleaning process. For instance, having correctly formatted customer addresses from the beginning eliminates the need for additional reformatting before analysis.

3. Deduplicate Entries

Many companies store their customer data in multiple locations across their CRM instance. As a result, it’s easy for duplicate entries to slip past your administrators, which can lead to false forecasts and other data-driven outputs that influence revenue. To ensure that you don’t have double counting of your contacts, take the time to go into HubSpot and weed out any duplicates that have crept in over time. You can use deduplication tools to quickly identify and delete unnecessary entries from your database.

This is something I constantly see with our customers that we can support, or even teach you how to use the Hubspot Operations hub to do this yourself if your team has the bandwidth.



Another benefit of deduplicating your database is that it allows you to gain insight from a wider range of data. For example, if two customers with the same information are stored in different databases, say in Hubspot and Salesforce, you won’t be able to see how that customer is interacting within both systems. We can help make sure that your contacts are properly synced so you have a full picture of all of the relevant information about your contacts. 


This not only leads to more accurate predictions and models but also allows you to personalize your marketing efforts to better meet their needs. Deduplication is a critical step in data cleaning that should not be overlooked.

4. Automate Data Entry

You can also make the data entry process much easier for your team by automating it. HubSpot Operations Hub offers features that allow you to integrate third-party applications, like Zapier, into your CRM instance. This makes it possible to move data from one platform to another, or even to collect contact information from landing pages automatically. You can also set up automated triggers that will update contacts’ information when their details change across multiple channels.

For example, with HubSpot's two-way sync feature, updating contact information has never been easier. By integrating with third-party tools like ZoomInfo, you can effortlessly verify and cross-reference names, addresses, and emails to ensure that all contact records are accurate and up-to-date without the need for manual data entry. This feature streamlines your team's workflow and helps maintain organization across all channels.

We usually recommend this for sales teams who are targeting specific job titles at companies, or those that may have dipped their toe into account-based marketing to pull a list of job titles at target companies.

It’s an easy way to identify your champions as you mature your sales process. 

Automated triggers can alert your team any time contact information changes across integrated channels to keep all of your customer data as accurate and current as possible. This type of automation can be beneficial in a few different ways. Not only does it streamline the data entry process and make it easier for your team to keep records accurate and up-to-date, but it also helps reduce manual errors that come from manually entering customer information multiple times.

Free Template Download: The Ultimate HubSpot Configuration Checklist

5. Keep an Eye on CRM Changes

Keep track of any changes that happen within your customer database. This should involve verifying the physical addresses and email addresses of existing contacts to make sure they’re still working, as well as double-checking phone numbers.

Having up-to-date information in CRM for all customers is critical for representing them accurately when communicating with them and helps ensure you have quality data in reports

 

One way we suggest doing this is by regular email campaigns, as you’ll be able to check deliverability and it allows the contact to update their information. Since email campaigns should be a part of your regular marketing efforts, this is just one more way that this can help keep your CRM tidy, too!


Is Your CRM Growth Ready? 

Investing in a CRM system is essential to maintaining contact records, but the extra “work” that goes along with that investment can feel overwhelming, especially if you don’t know where to start. My team is here to support you with your overall HubSpot spring cleaning, ensuring you’re making the most of the solution to provide top-notch data management to fuel your growth campaigns and set your marketing efforts up for success. 

revops assessment

 

Editor's Note: This blog was originally published in March 2023 and has been updated. 

Jacque Turbett

Jacque is the Senior Manager of Revenue Operations, where she helps clients align Marketing, Sales, and Service departments to ensure smooth handoffs and improve customer experience. She has worked with HubSpot and in Revenue Operations roles for the past three years. In her spare time, she trains for marathons. To...

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