Sales and marketing teams rely on CRM platforms to automate processes, manage customers, and organize leads. To do so effectively, they need to have accurate, complete, and relevant data, including contact information, transactional, and behavioral insight.

However, if you consider that studies show about 40% of people change their phone number annually, and 37% change addresses, there is a high propensity for CRM data to become inaccurate. As well as that, human error, poor communication, inadequate data verification policies, legacy technology, and a lack of data governance can all lead to “dirty data.”

CRM cleaning is a process that updates, verifies, and organizes your platform data, maintaining its integrity and keeping it useful.

Methods of CRM Cleaning

There are several ways to clean your CRM and negate the problems associated with low-quality data.

  • Data archiving

CRM records can quickly become out of date. For example, if you have not heard from a customer for 24 months, they can be considered lapsed or inactive. There is little value in continuing communication with them on a regular basis.

  • Deduping

CRM systems can be filled with duplicate customer records. Duplication is caused by human error, but more commonly, where there are so many digital channels, customers create new accounts when they forget one already exists. A deduplication process will merge the records into one and maintain integrity.

  • Validation and verification

Email, address, and phone verification built into CRM systems can avoid low-quality data at the point of sale. For example, it can check whether a given email address is valid or if an address exists for the customer. It is a process that businesses should regularly undertake to keep customer information up-to-date.

  • Data cleansing tools

There are many data cleansing vendors on the market. The tools use algorithms that can ascertain the accuracy, completeness, and relevance of the data you hold. For example, it can pick up on whether every date of birth is in the same format.

CRM cleaning can improve customer retention by up to 27%, making it more valuable than costly acquisition strategies.

CRM cleaning cycle

CRM cleaning should not be an ad-hoc activity. Businesses need to operate on a continuous cycle of validating, verifying, and resolving data quality issues. The process will include some of the methods that we talk about above, if not all of them. 

Why do you need a CRM cleaning process?

There are several benefits to having clean CRM data.

First, clean CRM data will save time and money. The ability to automate sales leads in real-time and distribute to the right people in the network is incredibly advantageous and more productive than manually assigning leads to agents.

A clean CRM will also ensure data is consistent, whereby it goes through validation at the source before being stored in a central location. Moreover, it will help you to ensure the business operates smoothly and retains credibility.

Reliable data will underpin success in marketing campaigns. A clean CRM ensures up-to-date contact details, customer information, and transactional history. Without that, it could make leads uncontactable.

One of the biggest reasons for keeping CRM data clean is compliance. GDPR compliance dictates that you must have the relevant permissions for customers and hold accurate information. Those who fail to comply with the regulation may face hefty fines.

According to AIIM, organizations spend $20 to file a document, $120 to locate one misfiled, and $220 to create a lost document (in terms of labor costs). The costs often relate to poor CRM data collection processes. When relevant data is collected and properly organized, it makes tasks more straightforward for all departments and will create a better return on investment.


Ultimately, a business cannot function properly if the CRM does not have high-quality data. Having a standard procedure in place for regular CRM cleaning will improve efficiencies, saving time and money.  If you are looking for data cleansing services, StrategicDB Can help, get a free data audit today.