A B2B Marketer wondering through a CRM jungle

How To Keep Your CRM From Growing Into A Mysterious Jungle Wilderness

If your organization has been around for more than a year and you haven’t started to clean out your contact database you’re way behind.

If you don’t go through your CRM to organize and clean, it will soon turn into a wild jungle full of mysterious mystical information that is no use to you or your company.

People’s relationship with your company is always shifting. Here are some common reasons that CRM hygiene is important:

1) People change companies – when people get a job at a new company, often times they get a new work email. Make sure you don’t have obsolete emails in your database. The average worker in the U.S. changes jobs every 4.4 years. Millenials change jobs twice as often.

2) People opt out of your emails – No matter how incredible your emails are, some people will unsubscribe.

3) People might have a problem that your company can solve – if you don’t organize and clean your CRM, it will be impossible to separate people who are ready to buy from your company and people who barely know who you are.


Before you delete anyone, you need to organize your contacts into lists so that you can see what’s what. When it comes to organizing, move from general to specific. There are four general categories that you should organize your contacts into.

Here are the categories: 


1) Sales Qualified Leads (SQL)

  • People who are extremely engaged
  • People that have the GCPTBA/B&I to purchase your products or services.

To do: Reach out to them personally (by email and phone) and see if they need anything.


2) Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL)

  • People who are somewhat engaged, but aren’t ready for you to get all salesy on them

To do: Make sure they’re in a workflow that sends them relevant offers. Keep an eye on them and be ready to react quickly when their engagement goes up or down.


3) Weak Leads 

  • People who have been converted into a lead, but haven’t shown much interest in your brand 

To do: These leads need to be woken up. Create a workflow designed to get these leads re-engaged. Make sure that your subject lines for this workflow are personalized, attention grabbing, and honest – let them know they’re missed. 


4) Bad Leads

People who have opted out of your emails, or whose emails aren’t valid anymore

To do: These contacts need to be cleared out. Check out this article on “7 Types of Email Addresses To Delete From Your List Now!


So how do you organize your contacts into these different categories? Here’s what you do:


1) Create lead scoring

You need to come up with a lead scoring process. Custom lead scoring can be done manually, or set up to work automatically if you have CRM software.

Lead scoring adds or subtracts points to leads based on specified behavior. For example, you can assign point values for downloading an ebook, subscribing to a blog or visiting your website. You might subtract points for unsubscribing from emails or not visiting your site for a certain amount of time.


2) Define your categories 

Once you have lead scoring set up, decide what score a person needs to get in order to be categorized as an SQL, an MQL or a weak lead (you don’t need lead scoring to tell if someone is no longer willing or able to recieve your emails).


3) Create lists 

Once you’ve figured out what scores define an SQL, MQL and a weak lead, set up lists for each of your categories. When leads get a certain score, they can then be added to their respective category list. If you have CRM software, you can set up smart lists that automatically add a lead to your category list when they get the specific score.


4) Create workflows 

Now that you are organized you now actually have to do something. That something starts with creating workflows. A workflow is an automated series of events that you can put your leads through when they meet certain criteria. Lucky for you, you’ve already got that criteria defined.

When a lead reaches the definitive score for an SQL, an MQL or a weak lead, they can be assigned to a work flow. You should make your workflows complete these tasks:

SQL: send a personalized email out asking them if they would like to speak with someone from your company.

MQL: send them emails every once in awhile with relevant offers

Weak lead: wake them up with some personalized, and straight forward emails letting them know you miss them. Give them an offer they can’t refuse.

Bad leads: dump them and move on. I know it’s hard. The end of one thing is the birth of something new.


Give yourself a pat on the back. Hopefully by now you have successfully given your contact database some foundational organization that will allow you to focus on your top priority leads, throw out your obsolete ones and nurture the ones in the middle. You should feel accomplished.

At this point you may hear a soothing voice telling you that since you are so organized, you can now shut the door on your contacts and let your system work on its own. Don’t listen to that voice.

This process is never over. Even if you think you have the perfect lead scoring, lists, workflows, and emails, your content and company will always change, and therefore, so must all these other things. Letting your CRM sit (even if it’s fully automated) will only turn it once more into a jungle-like disaster. You should continually be pruning and improving it to make sure that it is always getting better and none of your contacts are falling through the cracks.

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