The Risk of Holding on to Data for Too Long in Salesforce

Greg Poirier, Founder & President of CloudKettle, discusses the risk of holding on to records for too long. And what forward-thinking organizations can do to minimize this risk.


Hi, I’m Greg Porier – Founder and president of CloudKettle.

What we’re going to talk about today is the risk of holding on to too many records for too long in your Salesforce and revenue operations ecosystem. Doing so means you expose your
organization to legal and regulatory penalties, as well as fines and unnecessary cost and liability.

So forward-thinking organizations now understand that yes, there’s a cost to acquire prospects. And we’re all very good at thinking about things on a cost-per-lead basis.

What’s harder to keep in mind is that it’s no longer a question of if but when you will have a data breach. And in the scenario of a data breach it’s likely the damages will in part be calculated in relation to XX dollars for every person’s data leaked.

In that context,  this PII has a liability cost. So if the cost of a breach is $150 per record, and you’re holding on to 10,000 records that are no longer providing any value, that is a liability of $1.5 million that you’re incurring for no good reason.

So in that context, there’s some obvious things we want to do to protect our Salesforce ecosystem. We want to make sure we have MFA in place. We want to have encryption in place. We want to put all those usual protections in place, but also we want to make sure we minimize amount of data that we’re holding on to so that we reduce the number of records that may be exposed in the case of a breach. And how we think about that in the context of CloudKettle is a four-step process.

So step Step One is determine what your organization’s data retention and deletion requirements are. Undoubtedly you have a data deletion and retention policy that you can get from your legal department. You need to determine how that applies to your Salesforce and revenue operations ecosystem.

Step Two is you need to find the proper stakeholders, get their buy-in to delete the data, and ensure everybody agrees on what can no longer be kept beyond what’s required.

Step Three – we’re going to document the connected systems so that we can ensure once the data is deleted in Salesforce it isn’t inadvertently kept somewhere else like a marketing   automation platform or Outreach or Sales Loft. But also it doesn’t accidentally get reintroduced   to Salesforce, as an example, as a part of some sync. So you delete it in Salesforce,  accidentally it’s still in Pardot (MCAE) and then it reappears in Salesforce. We don’t want that.

Step Four is we want to make sure we automate this process. And the reason that’s so important is it can take quite a bit of time to get the stakeholder buy-in that we  need in order to do this deletion cycle. People tend to be very precious about keeping records,and once we convince everybody and get them onside, that occurs, that might take 3 weeks even 2-3 months at a larger organization. And we want to do that cycle once. And what I mean by that is we want to get everybody to agree that we’re going to  automate deleting this data on a weekly basis as opposed to doing a one-time batch deletion where we need to go get the stakeholder buy-in all over again in 2 or 3 months.


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