The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Your HubSpot Data

Stephanie Lehuger
Stephanie Lehuger
May 3, 2021 · 4 min read

While you can’t avoid inconsistent or incorrect data completely, there are a number of data cleaning steps you can take to maximize the value of your HubSpot data.

In our increasingly data-driven world, “bad data” — data that’s inaccurate, incomplete, inconsistent, or duplicated — creates significant barriers to successful sales and marketing. Bad data is more than just a nuisance. According to IBM, it costs companies a collective $3 trillion per year on average.

Of course, in order to build and maintain an effective sales funnel and ensure a consistent customer experience, companies need to gather ample CRM data in a platform like HubSpot. Data must constantly circulate between marketing and sales teams to maximize productivity across your sales pipeline (and beyond).

While you can’t eradicate bad data completely, with the proper data cleaning techniques, you can minimize its presence and impact. This begins with taking steps to address common data quality issues. Keep reading to learn why you should:

  1. Eliminate formatting inconsistencies in your CRM data
  2. Optimize your CRM data for effective filter use
  3. Minimize storage bloat and data duplication to cut costs
  4. Establish clear internal processes for data standardization and cleaning

1. Eliminate formatting inconsistencies in your CRM data

HubSpot research suggests that 27% of salespeople spend over an hour on data entry each day, taking away precious time from their core responsibilities. Not only is this inefficient — you want your salespeople to be selling, right? — but it inevitably leads to bad data. Like it or not, even your most diligent team members will let some inconsistent formatting slip into their records. When humans input multiple data points by hand day after day, you’re going to end up with names that aren’t properly capitalized, phone numbers and mailing addresses that are inconsistently formatted, and email addresses are misspelled.

Such formatting inconsistencies can have very real ramifications. For instance, incorrect emails will either bounce or get sent to irrelevant individuals, which can hurt your company’s domain authority among email providers. That’s why it’s essential to both set clear guidelines for data formatting up front and make formatting clean-up a cornerstone of your HubSpot data cleansing efforts.

2. Optimize your CRM data for effective filter use

For many companies, searching through their entire database of CRM data is impossible without the use of filters — there are just too many rows of data to handle at once. However, for filters to serve their purpose, the data they’re cutting must be clean. Again, this boils down to consistency.

Take job titles, for instance. “CEO” and “Chief Executive Officer” are used interchangeably in common conversation, but if you were to filter your data by job title, these titles would show up in different cross-sections of your HubSpot database. This holds true for positions with similar names and functions, such as “Chief Marketing Officer” and “Marketing Director.” When you’re working through your default data cleaning steps, you should be sure to standardize titles like “CEO” and “Chief Executive Officer.” Standardizing titles like “Chief Marketing Officer” and “Marketing Director” is more of a matter of preference, but if you choose to keep them distinct, you’ll want to be sure to work in a platform like Actiondesk that makes filtering based on multiple characteristics easy (more on this below).

3. Minimize storage bloat and data duplication to cut costs

As alluded to above, most companies need quite a bit of CRM data to drive real results. There are just too many variables at play in today’s crowded competitive landscapes to make decisions based on small sample sizes. The obvious corollary to this is that companies need sizable data storage systems, which can become expensive. Striking the right balance between sufficiently robust data and excessive data can be challenging, but regular data cleaning helps reduce storage bloat so that data storage costs remain reasonable.

Typically, optimizing CRM data involves removing redundant legacy fields, email contacts that bounce, and email contacts that have unsubscribed. (In fact, under the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, it’s actually illegal for companies to continue sending marketing emails to individuals who have unsubscribed from their mailing lists.) It can also involve removing data pertaining to completed campaigns or discontinued product lines.

Making a point of minimizing data duplication also does wonders in the fight against storage bloat. Duplication of data often occurs when you execute a large data transfer across platforms. Without clear data cleaning steps in place, data duplication rates can range from 10% to 30% (according to HubSpot research). If not dealt with regularly, duplicate data can occupy a ton of your storage space, leading to completely unnecessary costs.

4. Establish clear internal processes for data standardization and cleaning

Keeping your data clean is as much about people as technology. No matter how efficient your HubSpot data cleansing processes become, they won’t be able to keep up unless everyone in your organization is fully on board with the idea of “data quality as a team effort.”

Team members need to follow any and all data standardization guidelines you distribute. They need to understand the day-to-day responsibilities they have when it comes to maintaining a clean database. Anyone who is responsible for learning data cleaning techniques must receive clear instructions about when and how they will be expected to deploy them. In short, while there’s little reason for everyone at your organization to be a data cleaning expert, no one should be left asking, “What is data cleaning?” 

Streamline your HubSpot data cleaning with Actiondesk

Team members from sales, marketing, customer service, and finance query and manipulate your HubSpot data on a daily basis. As such, inconsistencies, inaccuracies, and duplications are bound to occur. Fortunately, by pulling all your HubSpot data into an intuitive spreadsheet interface, Actiondesk makes previously tedious data cleaning processes a breeze.

Actiondesk empowers you to organize, audit, and explore your data using the spreadsheet formulas you already know. What’s more, the data in Actiondesk is always up-to-date — make a change in HubSpot (or any other connected data source) and it will be reflected in Actiondesk. Because Actiondesk functions like a spreadsheet, filtering your data based on any criteria is incredibly easy. So is making bulk changes to multiple records as part of your data standardization efforts.

Actiondesk’s utility doesn’t stop there. Once you’ve cleaned your HubSpot data, you can leverage Actiondesk’s automated reporting and data visualization capabilities to transform your clean data into actionable insights. From custom funnel reports to automated sales rep dashboards, Actiondesk’s many HubSpot-specific use cases are designed to help you maximize the value of your CRM data.

Try Actiondesk for free today to experience the power of better data management and analysis!

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