Cleaning Up Your CRM Data Step by Step


Installing and launching your CRM (Customer Relationship Management platform) is the easy part of introducing this system into your business. What can be tricky is making the most use out of the data your CRM collects, keeping it up to date, and organizing the data you’re able to gather. Being able to do all of this is just as important as finding new leads, and businesses need to properly make sense of their data. It just takes a little work and know-how to have excellent CRM hygiene.

If you’re “spring cleaning” other aspects of your business, now would be a good time to optimize your CRM as well. Typically, this involves ensuring that one’s CRM is up to date and accurate.

Consider a few key questions: Has an important contact switched jobs or relocated? If so, have they identified who replaced them, and where the original contacts moved to? Is the company still active?


‘…more than 50% of typical CRM contact data

for any given business has changed…’


In post-pandemic 2021, you might find that many of your contacts have changed in the context of employment and position, and your CRM data may simply not be up to date. In fact, it is estimated that more than 50% of typical CRM contact data for any given business has changed, as many contacts have moved on or are no longer connected to the original record. It all comes down to improving your contact research and sales funnel data organization.

Luckily, cleaning up and optimizing your CRM data isn’t too difficult. Follow our guide below to optimize your CRM data and have it ready and accurate for the coming year.


How to Clean Up Your CRM Data Step by Step

Fix any formatting problems and standardize your formats.

There are a number of ways to do this, and there are plenty of tools out there that use marketing automation to make the process easier. However, reviewing your CRM data manually presents a good opportunity to check on your lead nurturing processes.

There are two items that you need to format correctly:

  • Capitalization of names. This may seem like more work than is worth tackling, but name capitalization is a big deal. Your CRM data uses the names it sorts through to generate personalized emails and other contact points. If a name is incorrectly formatted, that simply does not look very professional.
  • ZIP codes. Many businesses will plug spreadsheets of contacts into their CRMs and upload them directly. Unfortunately, Excel often has difficulty sorting ZIP codes that begin with zero– which could roughly be about 8% of your contacts. We recommend formatting the column containing the ZIP codes by selecting Format > Cells > Number > Special Category > ZIP Code before uploading it to your CRM.


Consolidate and improve your data fields.

You likely have lots of poor-quality data in your CRM for your contacts. If you’re not on top of tracking your email communications with leads, you might be surprised to find that some emails you’ve sent off are not GDPR compliant and not updated accurately as contact data changes. Just as well, some businesses go a little too crazy with keyword variations that make organizing a particular lead group almost impossible. It’s worth noting that being GDPR compliant will keep you out of trouble regardless if you market in Europe or not.

You can fix this by using a software de-duping tool to correct any data inaccuracies. For extremely disorganized CRMs, many companies will invest in outsourcing a temp team to re-key their data fields manually.


Standardize your fields from the get-go to improve lead generation.

Remove any issues with your naming conventions by launching a quality assurance system that helps your sales team understand the right clean data entry habits they should have to keep your CRM organized. You can easily do this by just being a bit more involved with your team. We recommend looking at your team data once a week to identify problems with data entry before they become an out-of-control problem.

Standardized your naming conventions as well. By establishing guidelines, lots of the mess that comes with incorrect data entry are eliminated. Depending on your niche, you can be as simple or as complex with these guidelines as you please. Many CRM guidelines typically include company name, opportunity pipelines, positions, etc.


How was our guide to understanding and cleaning up your CRM? Tell us which tip helped you the most in the comments below!