5 Automated Ways to Clean Up Your HubSpot CRM

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If you work with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, you know how challenging it can be to keep your customer profiles accurate and up to date. What’s worse is that even though having a clear understanding of your prospects, partners, and customers is vital to your success, it’s hard to justify spending hours upon hours manually sorting through unactionable data.

While there are data management tools that integrate well with HubSpot (and with other top automation systems, too), there are also plenty of simple automated workflows that can help you maintain a healthy database with minimal effort.

Related content: How to Automate Your ABM Strategy with HubSpot 

Here are five quick ways to automate your way to a cleaner, more actionable HubSpot CRM:

1. Consolidate company industries into an industry category field.

One of our favorite features of HubSpot’s CRM is HubSpot Insights, which automatically fills in important information about a company based on an associated contact’s domain name. This data comes from internal and third-party sources, so it’s consistently improving over time.

Through HubSpot Insights, companies that are added to your database are assigned an industry, which can be one of 148 different classifications. That long list of industries poses a few problems:

For one, by reducing the size of a segment, you’re decreasing the chances that your sample will be representative of the whole. Another (more practical) issue is the fact that it’s rather difficult to create a separate marketing and sales strategy for 148 different segments.

We solved this issue by sorting HubSpot’s industries into categories. In doing so, we reduced the number of industries from the original 148 to 15. To populate the “Industry Category” field, we created a workflow that automatically entered a category name based on the industry provided by HubSpot Insights.

For instance, companies in any of the “Restaurants,” “Retail,” or “Sporting Goods” industries are now categorized under one category: “Consumer Brands.” As a result, our mailing lists and reporting dashboards can all be managed at the category level, which allows us to craft different strategies based on those industry category characteristics.

2. Quarantine your bounced emails.

One of the inevitabilities of professional life is the fact that people are going to change jobs from time to time. Your contact at company “x” may not stay there forever, and unless you update his or her profile with his or her new email address, you’ll be sending emails to an account that no longer exists.

Why does this matter when it comes to CRM?

Your email sender reputation is a measure of the relevance and timeliness of your organization’s email program. To create this sender score, Internet Service Providers take several factors into account, including how much email you send, how many people mark your emails as SPAM, how many recipients unsubscribe, and how many people interact with your emails.

Your sender score is also affected by your email bounce rate, or the percentage of emails that aren’t delivered to the intended recipient’s inbox. A “soft” bounce may indicate that a person’s inbox is full or your message is too large to be delivered, but a “hard” bounce indicates that your message is permanently undeliverable.

If you’re not currently excluding email addresses that bounce from your marketing email lists, the time to do so is now. To automate this process, create an Active List that populates with contact profiles who are associated with any email bounces. Then, in order to protect your sender score, exclude this list from any automated or scheduled marketing emails.

After that, automate a “task” assignment to the contact’s owner, instructing them to either remove the record or personally reconnect with that individual via phone or LinkedIn. Your sales team can use this as an opportunity to re-engage with the person while also updating their company and contact information.

3. Aggregate contact data at the company level.

In many B2B sales scenarios, teams don’t just have to convince an individual decision maker; they also have to persuade people within the organization who influence the decision maker’s thought process.

For those of us selling agency services, for example, our approach usually has to address the needs of both the leaders of a business unit and the people who work to support those leaders.

Because of that fact, looking at behavior at the individual contact level can sometimes mask the effectiveness of your marketing and sales efforts on the account as a whole.

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Think of it this way: When you create a deal in HubSpot, it’s not uncommon to attribute one or two decision makers to that deal record. When you investigate the touchpoints (e.g., meetings, marketing emails, events) that are attributed to those individuals, you may miss the activities that influenced others in the organization (particularly others who may have had an impact on the sale).

To create this view at the account level, we created several company properties based on activities logged at the contact level. One of these is “Last Registered Event,” which populates on contact profiles via our integration with Eventbrite.

To get an idea of how a given event influences our sales pipeline, we created a company property called “Company Last Registered Event,” which populates with the name of an event if any contact within the company registered to attend.

This report, as a result, illuminates a lot of successes at the account level that are missed when only analyzing the experience of the individuals associated with a deal. With these new properties in place, we can easily identify the channels that are most effective (and least effective) at closing business, rather than relying on signals from a single person.

4. Reassign any unassigned records.

If you opened up your HubSpot CRM right now, would any of your contact, company or deal records be listed as “unassigned?”

If the answer is “yes,” who is responsible for keeping those records up to date? Who is responsible for reaching out to contacts who browse important pages on your website or submit a form? There are lots of opportunities that may go unnoticed if no one is held accountable to managing those records.

There are a couple of ways to automate the reassignment process. The simplest approach is to automatically assign any unassigned contacts or companies to your internal data champion: a person on your team who is responsible for distributing leads or researching their professional information.

Another option is to assign leads based on profile characteristics, attributing an owner based on industry, geography, job title, language, or annual company revenue. This approach can be applied in a similar way to automate a change in owner based on lead status, if different team members are responsible for different parts of the customer journey.

Related content: The Importance of Team Communication 

Once every contact and company has an owner, HubSpot has numerous alerts that owners can opt in to, including lead revisit notifications, which alert the appropriate team member when his or her “owned” contacts visit your website.

5. Set up notifications for missing data fields.

Although the central theme here is “automation,” maintaining a world-class database still requires a bit of a human touch. What can be automated, however, is the creation of a “to-do” list of profiles to update.

First, determine what properties are most important to your marketing and sales strategies. What qualities describe your ideal buyer persona? What characteristics or behaviors distinguish a qualified prospect from an unqualified one?

Related content: How to Use Buyer Personas for Your Target Industries 

Some of those properties may not automatically populate, depending on how a contact or a company entered the system. For instance, a newsletter subscription form may only collect a person’s name and email address, leaving out their job title.

For those properties that require either a specific form field submission or a manual update, set up an automated workflow that is triggered by an empty (“unknown”) property field. If the “job title” field, for instance, remains unknown for one day, automate a task assignment to the owner to add the missing information to the profile in question.

These notifications help break up the effort required to update your CRM as a whole, eliminating the need for full-system overhauls and large-scale research projects.

Value of HubSpot

Working with HubSpot’s all-in-one system makes it easy to maintain your customer data integrity. Creatively applying their automation tools to your existing customer data is the first step to achieving marketing/sales alignment.

Want to know more about the opportunities within your CRM? Request a CRM Audit by contacting our strategy team today.