Sparking Joy by Cleaning Your Sales and Marketing Databases

Since making her television debut on Netflix’s Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, the titular personality – Marie Kondo – has quickly won the hearts of American audiences with her famed “KonMari” principle: that we should keep those objects that spark an immediately identifiable sense of joy within us, and (gratefully) let go of those that don’t.

While people typically understand Kondo’s “sparking joy” idea to mean a bubbly sense of happiness, Kondo explains that it’s a little more complicated than that. It’s less, “Does this make me happy?” and more “Does this contribute meaningfully to my life in a way that makes it better?”

In that sense, marketers can learn a great deal from the KonMari method, especially as the field becomes increasingly data-centric.

As marketers sift through data from countless touch points, segment their contacts, and plan their engagement campaigns, they can find themselves dizzied by the sheer amount of information they have to deal with. Bringing the tidiness of the KonMari method to your marketing can ease that confusion by cutting out what isn’t contributing meaningfully to the end goals of your marketing programs and bringing the most relevant, valuable information to the fore.

Less confusion and more valuable, actionable insights to work with? That sounds joyous to us. Here’s how to do it.

Dealing with data in marketing & sales databases

If you’re going to tidy up your sales and marketing databases, you’ll need to know the different types of data you can clean and why – especially when it comes to information stored in your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and/or Marketing Automation Platforms (MAPs).

Understanding the Types of Marketing and Sales Data

  • Contact/people data: Information about individual personnel, including email addresses, role information, phone numbers and other “people-centric” information tied to an individual contact.

  • Firmographic data: Broader business information, such as a company’s firm name, its size and its principal verticals.

  • Technographic data: Binary tech stack information, essentially what tech a company is using to run its various operations.

  • Behavioral data: Actions taken in relation to your website and the content you’ve attempted to engage this audience with.
  • Intent data: Black-box data about companies that intend to purchase a type of product. It may be gathered from known search queries, conversations or other data points that give you a sense of what a business is planning.
  • Contextual information: Deeper account insights like propensity to purchase, potential spend, account value versus risk and other factors that are quantitatively determined based on current cloud usage.

These aren’t the only kinds of sales and marketing data. Web analytics, social media and other forms of data exist as well. But when it comes to keeping your marketing databases tidy and nimble, the information most commonly found and acted upon in CRMs and MAPs tends to be the most important.

Why clean your marketing & sales databases?

We’ve already touched on why you might want to clean your marketing and sales databases in broad strokes. General cleanliness and organization, so you can focus on what’s most important, is key.

For example, if you have thousands of contacts and only a hundred deals in your pipeline, it’s probably a good idea to start cleaning up your databases.

But there are other good reasons that are a little more granular. They might include the following:

  • Your company is launching an account-based marketing program

  • You’re switching from a qualifying to a disqualifying sales process

  • Your company is focusing on better aligning Marketing and Sales

  • Your company or product is pivoting

  • You’re hoarding old data

  • Someone told you to

Whatever the reason, it’s important for sales and marketing teams to align in their purposes and then determine the best path to execution. By tidying up your database, you simplify the playing field and make it easier for all the players on your teams to perform at their best.

How to tidy up your marketing & sales databases

Now that you know what data you should focus on tidying up and why, you’re probably wondering: how do I start?

There are a variety of methods and best practices to clean up your databases, but for simplicity’s sake, we’ve focused on a few of the most important ones.

Update and Standardize Formatting

As you update your marketing database, it’s important to draw focus to the fields you’re using to retain data about your prospects. What information is truly valuable to your business goals? How is that information represented syntactically?


What is merely bogging you down and adding clutter? Consider removing any bloat from your marketing database, including fields that aren’t relevant, so you can better focus on and organize those materials that matter most. Once you’ve done that, make sure your team knows to stick to the proverbial script unless they have extraordinary reasons to collect other information.

Ensure Data Quality

Is the information in your marketing and sales database of high quality? Are all the email addresses you have listed for your contacts associated with personnel whose names and roles you can verify? Do the emails you reach out to bounce or not? Make sure you know the contact information you have is valid and in use – and be sure to eliminate any duplicates so that when you do reach out, you don’t damage your own marketing efforts by sending redundant material to prospects without realizing it.

Establish a Tidying Policy & Schedule

Once you’ve established your quality standards and fields, removed duplicates or irrelevant contacts and placed your most important information at center stage, it’s important to ensure that you refrain from hoarding in such a way that you have a massive mess to clean up in your database in the future. One way you can do this is by making it a policy at your organization to regularly tidy up your email database and to set a schedule for when that happens. Depending on the life cycle of your outreach processes, that can take place anytime between 3 and 12 months.

Spark joy across your teams with a tidy database

Tidying up your marketing and sales databases can be daunting at first – but just like a home that’s been freshly spring-cleaned, there’s a sense of freedom and motivation to be experienced in your newfound organization.

Your marketing and sales teams will be thrilled to work with a more effective, lean database that they can act on and learn from quickly without having to stumble over heaps of hoarded data that doesn’t do much to help them. For marketers, that’s a sense of joy that can’t be overstated.


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