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March 8, 2023

How to Clean Your CRM Data in 5 Quick Steps

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 data-driven decisions. To ensure the highest level of data integrity, implement a thorough data cleaning as part of your RevOps process. This involves identifying and separating dirty data, standardizing entries, deduplicating entries, automating data entry, and keeping regular track of changes. 

Identify and Separate Dirty Data

The first step in cleaning up your customer data is to identify and separate any data that is “dirty”. Dirty data is any information that has become outdated, incorrect, or incomplete over time. This could include things like contact information or purchase histories that have not been updated in a while. Once you have identified what data needs to be “cleaned”, you can begin the process of segmenting and reorganizing it into an actionable format.

Consistently monitoring data issues and utilizing ID, standardization, and cleanup tools can effectively consolidate your datasets and transform them into valuable insights that can drive your business operations forward.

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.

Free Template Download: The Ultimate HubSpot Configuration Checklist

Standardize Entries

Having a consistent format for your CRM data is an important step in cleaning up the information stored. This involves ensuring that the same terms and formatting are used across entries. For example, if you have customers from different countries, set a standard for displaying their names or addresses – such as using commas when separating street address components. Doing so will make searches for data easier and more effective in the future.

Structuring 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 through the use of automated data-cleaning tools. Some solutions, such as those utilizing natural language processing (NLP) algorithms, can not only detect duplication but can also "clean up" text entries by recognizing typos and correcting them automatically.

The standards you set in the initial stages of data cleaning should be followed throughout any subsequent cleaning efforts to ensure a standardized output across all of your data.

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.

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. 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.

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, you won’t be able to see how that customer is interacting with both locations. If you’re only targeting one database, this could lead to less accurate predictions about overall customer behavior.

By removing duplicate entries from your CRM database, you can consolidate your customer information and gain a more complete understanding of their behavior. 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.

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.

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

Keep Regular Track of 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.

Regularly updating and verifying customer contact information is vital for maintaining accurate sales reports and preventing incomplete data. Implementing processes and procedures for auditing contact records and reaching out to customers with surveys or direct email campaigns every two months can help ensure that your reported figures are reliable and up-to-date. This proactive approach to data cleaning will not only improve the quality of your CRM data, but also increase the effectiveness of your sales and marketing efforts.

The Takeaway

Investing in a robust CRM system is essential for effective data cleaning and maintaining accurate contact records. HubSpot is the ultimate solution, providing top-notch data management technology that optimizes revenue cycles across all industries, making it a go-to choice for high-growth teams.

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.

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Guido Bartolacci

Guido is Head of Product and Growth Strategy for New Breed. He specializes in running in-depth demand generation programs internally while assisting account managers in running them for our clients.


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