With a complex Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform like HubSpot, with regular use there’s bound to be a few areas in need of cleanup every now and then. Before you start your next cleanup project, here are a few questions to ask to make sure you’re cleanup up the right things and keeping the data you do want. I’ve included questions to ask stakeholders in each area to get the process started for you. (PLUS a free template I use for custom property documentation.)
In a perfect world, contacts are cleaned up periodically to stay within contact limits, focus sales efforts to meet quota, and clean up contact reporting. Unfortunately, a poorly maintained database can mean tens of thousands of un-engaged contacts you have to clean up… and make the job of maintenance a real pain. Here are three questions to ask to quickly identify the wheat from the chaff and clean your database fast.
Q. What qualifies as a “low quality” contact for the sales team?
Low quality contacts are contacts with insufficient data for the marketing team to email or the sales team to contact, OR are otherwise taking up space in your contact database.
Common factors indicating low quality include:
- Missing first or last name
- Missing email address
- Missing phone number
- Bounced email address
- No company information
- No location information
- Contact is a duplicate
Knowing the minimum amount of contact information needed will help you pull better cleanup lists and identify areas for data quality improvement down the road. To clear out unwanted contacts based on this data, your team should create workflows to fill in data where possible and then segment contacts who fit the low quality factors.
Q. What qualifies as a “low value” contact for the sales team?
A low value contact is a contact whose overall fitness and interest levels for your service are low; keeping them in your database only wastes your contact limit. If you’re using scoring (especially HubSpot’s built-in Predictive Lead scoring), you’ll be able to separate high, medium, and low value leads through scoring.
If not, some factors to look for include:
- Alignment with your Ideal Buyer Persona (age, interests, location, etc)
- Amount of engagement with your brand (emails, social, blog posts)
- Recency of engagement with your brand
- Subscription status
- Contact Owner Assignment Status
- Lifecycle stage and time spent in lifecycle stage
- Predictive lead score
- Email domain (e.g., if you’re B2B, you may not highly value gmail addresses)
- Contact source (e.g., are conference-generated leads lower quality than meetup-generated leads? What about offline vs. online? Etc)
The good news is that if you don’t have lead scoring in place, digging deeper into these factors can help you build lead scoring so you can move forward in a more organized fashion and reach higher quality leads.
The good news about companies is that there really is no limit on the number of companies in your HubSpot database. However that doesn’t mean you should just let thousands stay, especially if your organization relies on account-based marketing. The questions at the company level are similar to those at the contact level.
Q. Which qualities make for a good fit for your organization’s services?
Unlike at the contact level, company information is populated by Hubspot’s Insights tool unless you have that setting turned off or the company’s domain name is missing. Therefore, the question to ask is more around fitness and your ideal buyer.
Common factors indicating low fitness include:
- Company is part of an industry that your organization doesn’t serve
- Company is a size your organization doesn’t serve
- Company is outside your ideal geographic location
- Company is a duplicate
Cleaning up companies is easy enough with a workflow now, but will be even easier once HubSpot rolls out its Account Based Marketing beta to all customers.
Campaigns are one of the areas of your HubSpot CRM that can get messy very quickly over the course of normal management. Here are some questions to ask.
Q. Are there any campaigns in here we obviously don’t need?
Most organizations have campaigns they just don’t need. For example, you probably don’t need “TEST” campaigns, or campaigns which never launched. You also probably don’t need to keep campaigns with data you no longer need to reference, such as for Inbound Recruiting or campaigns from several years old for which rollup reporting has already been published.
If you don’t want to delete any campaigns, a simple cleanup your team can undertake is to standardize campaign (and associated asset) naming conventions moving forward. (Unfortunately, you can’t rename past campaigns in HubSpot – YET, anyway.)
Workflows are another area that gets messy very, very quickly due to how important they are to automating your marketing and sales tasks. Here are some questions to ask to clean up your workflows.
Q. Are there any workflows we can delete?
Chances are, you have at least a few workflows that are “TEST” or inactive. Those can likely be deleted, especially if they’re over six months old.
Q. Do the workflows share a common naming convention?
Another way to improve the working experience inside your HubSpot instance is to clean up the naming convention for workflows so they’re easier to understand. For example, your workflows could be something like PROJECTCODE_WORKFLOW PURPOSE_VERSION #.
Q. Can the workflows be organized into categories?
It can be daunting to sort through hundreds of active workflows. To mitigate this pain point, organize your workflows into folders. You could organize your workflows in many number of ways, such as:
- Marketing, Sales, and Recruiting
- By Campaign
- By Purpose (Lead generation, nurturing, cleanup, sales)
- Status (Live, In Progress, Archive)
The most important yet time consuming area for cleanup is custom HubSpot contact, company, and deal properties. Getting these right is important for being able to create accurate reporting.
Q. What are all of our HubSpot custom properties?
Unfortunately, there is no way to export a list of HubSpot properties to answer this question quickly. Instead, you’ll need to go to your Properties section (Settings > Properties) and sort through your properties manually.
To make sure that you look at all the properties, you’ll want to make sure that you’re viewing each of the HubSpot object types which can have properties (Contacts, Companies, Tickets, and Deals). Inside each object type, you can then sort by Created by or All Users to see properties created by someone other than HubSpot.
When I perform a property cleanup, I always create a Custom Properties Report. That way, I can present the current custom properties and recommendations in a single document, rather than trying to view them all inside HubSpot.
Things to look for in the properties section:
- Duplicate Properties
- Unused properties
- Properties with too-long names
- Integration properties no longer needed
- Properties which should be used more than they are
Q. What do we want to know that we can’t find out (or easily find out) right now?
This question will help you determine what properties you actually need moving forward. For example, do you need to be able to sort your leads by interest? Or do you need to roll the company industry up into categories? What about custom lead scores? Now is the time to figure out what your team actually needs to report on… and which custom properties you might need to attain that result.
There are obviously more areas to clean up, however these few are the biggest pain points in a HubSpot Database Cleanup.
A HubSpot database cleanup looks daunting, but can actually be really easy once you ask these questions and get consensus on what information your sales and marketing team needs to get value out of HubSpot’s 360 customer view. And thanks to HubSpot’s task automation (via Workflows) and mass selection tools, you don’t have to do it all manually OR be a tech wizard to move forward quickly.