Sales & Marketing Alignment

Get your CRM Ready for this year with 8 Simple Tips!

It’s a new year and a new chance to get the insights you want from your CRM. Want to be able to trust your reports this year? Need more data to understand your customers better?

Updated: Dec, 2023

Below are a few quick recommendations for the new year’s housekeeping on your CRM that will help get you in shape moving into the new year.  Make this year the year you drive decisions with real data!

Review your funnel’s open deals with expected order dates from last year (or unknown).  

HubSpot Deals Dashboard

Have the sales reps update these or close them out as needed.  While you’re there, take a peek to see how many are outdated, how often this is the case, what some of the reasons are, etc. Talk to the sales team about why they haven’t reviewed/updated them.  

Then think for a moment about how you can improve the processes around when/how the sales team should set the dates (do some products take longer to close than others?) and enlist any automation you can enable to create reminders for reps when expected close dates have passed. Talk to your sales team and set new guidelines and goals for deal maintenance. 

Review the time since the last activity on open deals that were expected to close recently.  

deal stage activities hubspot

If a sales rep hasn’t reached out in the last month (or longer), is it still reasonable to expect the deal to close any day now?  What is a reasonable amount of time before the close date that you want to accept? If a deal’s latest activity is further out than that, have the sales rep review it and reconsider the expected close date. 

Check for deals without owners, associated contacts, or associated companies.  

HubSpot Deal Properties

How many deals do you have without an amount?  Make sure all deals have the necessary relevant information to report on them later. A few minor filter changes should provide these quickly. If deals are often missing amounts or expected close dates, determine when in the process you expect these to be known (or estimated) and set your CRM to make them mandatory at that stage. Talk to your sales team about how to estimate these.

Share with them your average time to close/sale price by product or funnel and even make a cheat sheet for them if needed or build it into the automation.  


Define your "Next Steps" field. 

next steps hubspot

So many companies have this field, but so few actually use it and maintain it.  Perhaps your tasks cover this area and it’s not needed, however, as a manager, it might help provide a consolidated understanding of what the rep needs to move to the next stage as well as be essential when reporting upward on the funnel.  

Decide if this is an important field for your team and if so, create a template for the information you want to see here. How should it differ from a task on the deal?  Ex: “I need to do x in order to get y from the customer to move to the next stage.” If it’s not, remove it. 

Review outdated tasks.  

hubspot tasks list clean up

How many tasks are overdue?  Is it consistent across the team or certain individuals?

Reach out to them and understand the root cause.  Are there too many?  Are they completed but not marked?  Are they not helpful?  Once you understand the issue, you can modify workflows or change the timing of reminders to have them better serve your sales team.

Check to see if call/meeting outcomes are being utilized.  


More often than not, call and meeting outcomes aren't being utilized. However these data points provide insight into how many calls or meetings are needed before a deal is closed. They help to understand the quality of leads if calls are never being connected or meetings are always canceled. They also help managers understand how much of a salesperson’s day is spent in meetings or rescheduling them.  

Great leads result in customers who want to take calls and have meetings to learn more about how your product can help them.  

Review your closed lost or closed won reasons field.  

hubspot closed lost reasons

Is it being used? Is it mandatory? Do you truly understand why these things are happening? Do these reasons still hold true? Do you need to add/remove any? Is everyone just using “Other”?  

Talk to your sales team and see how they feel about the options, what’s missing, why they may not use them, etc.  These two fields can provide invaluable insight into your leads and help your sales team be prepared to work around objections that may arise based on these. For example, if cost is the major reason, give your sales team talking points in this area to share with the prospect highlighting your product’s unique advantages, comparisons with competitors, or an ROI case study from a recent customer.  

Lastly, what data are you missing?  

missing crm data puzzle piece

Now is a great time to set up a new process to capture it so you can have a full year’s worth of reporting to compare against next year.  Instead of thinking about what KPI you want to capture, think about what question you want to answer.  Then work backward to determine what field you may need to create and where in the process to insert it.  Make it multiple choice or numeric if possible to make reporting on it easier (avoid text fields at all costs if possible).  Determine who should enter the data and when? If possible, automate it!

Now that you’ve set the stage for 2024, you can start building reports that you will trust to guide the decisions you make to drive your business.  Remember to set up a few data quality reports as well to ensure that the practices you put in place are being adhered to (quick charts on deals w/out owners or counts of overdue tasks by sales rep).  

The key is not to add work to your sales team but to understand the challenges they face and provide solutions that work for both of you.  Doing so will help you build a process that makes everyone more likely to succeed!  

If you need help cleaning up your HubSpot CRM for the new year, feel free to contact our team of experts to get you fresh and ready for 2023.


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