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Deleting Leads - best practices

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Deleting Leads - best practices

We have over 100,000 potential junk leads in Marketo and it's really slowing down our database performance. I would love to delete them but our SFDC ops team is objecting to deleting them on the SFDC side. Then we have to deal with the common issue that even if we do delete them in Marketo, they will come back anytime there is an SFDC sync. I know there is an option to create a field like what is suggested here: Managing your Marketo database size | RMS to hide these leads from Marketo.

Are there any other solutions out there? How do you handle when you want to delete or even just merge leads and don't get buy-in from the SFDC team to do the same on the SFDC side? We have 40K+ duplicates and have already purchased EZ Merge but are running into a similar situation where the SFDC admins do not want us to merge them in SFDC. Any suggestions on what we could do?

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Anonymous
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Re: Deleting Leads - best practices

We have the same challenge. 

Our sales team thinks its useful to have the previous engagement history for future conversations with either that lead at his or her new firm, or with other contacts at his old firm. And they'll point to that one time it was useful to justify keeping thousands of old records.

We're starting to make some headway by chipping away one or two categories at a time.

One thing we've agreed on is cleaning up data to remove contacts at organizations that no longer fit our Ideal Client Profile.  The company refocused several years back, and many contacts entered prior to that point work for firms that we won't ever sell to.  For example, we no longer sell to banks, so we can remove all banking contacts.  While not a complete clean up of invalid contacts, it does get a substantial number out of the system.

The next area was getting them comfortable removing invalid contacts that never engaged--either directly with a sales rep or with a marketing campaign.  This was more difficult because the company fit our profile.  However, the lead never clicked on an email or filled out a form over the time they worked at their old firm, there's no real history worth preserving.

We're also looking at job titles or functions that don't make sense. some of our now-departed reps would enter every contact they could find at a target organization.  Depending on your business, you may find that there is no reason to have Warehouse Managers or Controllers in your data.  I'm getting some agreement on removing those names.

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Anonymous
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Re: Deleting Leads - best practices

Nina Valtcheva​ hey there! Why doesn't the sales team want to delete duplicate leads? Is there a way you could get them to agree on deleting some leads? I would recommend why they would want to keep bad quality data in their instance. If it's bandwidth, that's one thing, are they reporting on these leads?

Sounds like a challenge, especially if you're running up against your limit. Is there any way for them to agree to at least deleting some of those potential junk leads? Maybe if you soften the ground with a smaller number, and follow this process: http://developers.marketo.com/blog/how-to-clean-your-marketo-database/ that could gain traction.

If Marketing's structural performance is being deterred due to misalignment, it sounds like a conversation has to happen between the two Ops leads to come to an agreement. If there is a lead lifecycle delay, everyone suffers!

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Anonymous
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Re: Deleting Leads - best practices

We have the same challenge. 

Our sales team thinks its useful to have the previous engagement history for future conversations with either that lead at his or her new firm, or with other contacts at his old firm. And they'll point to that one time it was useful to justify keeping thousands of old records.

We're starting to make some headway by chipping away one or two categories at a time.

One thing we've agreed on is cleaning up data to remove contacts at organizations that no longer fit our Ideal Client Profile.  The company refocused several years back, and many contacts entered prior to that point work for firms that we won't ever sell to.  For example, we no longer sell to banks, so we can remove all banking contacts.  While not a complete clean up of invalid contacts, it does get a substantial number out of the system.

The next area was getting them comfortable removing invalid contacts that never engaged--either directly with a sales rep or with a marketing campaign.  This was more difficult because the company fit our profile.  However, the lead never clicked on an email or filled out a form over the time they worked at their old firm, there's no real history worth preserving.

We're also looking at job titles or functions that don't make sense. some of our now-departed reps would enter every contact they could find at a target organization.  Depending on your business, you may find that there is no reason to have Warehouse Managers or Controllers in your data.  I'm getting some agreement on removing those names.

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Re: Deleting Leads - best practices

Thanks Allison and Steve! Great points. And Steve, that is the same reason our sales team won't let us delete anything--they are worried about losing activity/engagement history.

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Anonymous
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Re: Deleting Leads - best practices

Nina Valtcheva​ are you able to identify any of those leads that don't have any activity, in particular the dupes?

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Re: Deleting Leads - best practices

Yes, I will try to narrow down the lists based on inactive and invalid leads. Thanks Allison!

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Level 5

Re: Deleting Leads - best practices

Nina

We went through a similar exercise like this recently.

Here some of the ideas to segment your data and then combine them to get to a set of data you want to delete.

- Records with no email addresses on Accounts, on Active opportunities, Engaged with sales, ....

- Records with Invalid email addresses with no contact details, Engaged with Sales, on Accounts, on Active opportunities, ....

- Inactive records = never filled out a form, never clicked on an email for a 2 years period with leads created more than 3 years ago ...

- Records that never sync to SFDC with no activity

Activities on records where sales is engaged can be done by using SFDC task for example : Look at the filters called: Activity was logged, Activity was updated, Was Sent Sales Email.

Hope this helps

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Anonymous
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Re: Deleting Leads - best practices

Thanks for the response, it was very helpful!