Duplicate Data

You have 7 John Smith’s in your CRM – which one were you suppose to call again?

This is one of my biggest headaches. Let's say the sales team passed along a support request that Mr. Smith had. ‘It seems like a pretty easy fix.’ my sales rep says, ‘Give him a call. He’s free between 2-3pm next Monday. All his info is logged in CRM On Demand.’ Indeed, it's a simple fix -- I can call him and be done in under 15 min. So, 2:30 pm rolls around on Monday, and I go to look up his phone number in CRM On Demand. But there’s 7 John Smith’s. I interrupt my sales rep’s demo to ask, ‘Um, which John Smith?’ The one from AT&T, we're planning to close a deal with them next week. But there are four John Smith's from AT&T. And they all have different phone numbers. I can't bug my sales rep again. What would you do?

I used to open every single one in a new tab, and then scour the email and call history logs for my sale's reps call last week. Three of them have activity, so I try to find the most recent. John Smith A has the most recent activity, but John Smith B is listed as a Prospect, and John Smith C asked a question last week but it's logged to a different sales rep. Wait a second, is it John Smith at AT&T Corp, or AT&T Inc? Now it’s 2:50 pm…. so which one do I call?

I'll sit there for a few moments wondering how we have four John Smiths from AT&T in the first place. And why I’m sitting here wasting my time.

Where does duplicate data come from?

Duplicate data accumulates quickly. Really.

Your sales rep could talk to John Smith for the first time, then add him to the CRM without checking to see if he already exists in the system. Or maybe she did check, but since he was entered as 'Jon Smith,' he didn't show up in the search results.

The CRM admin could migrate data into CRM On Demand from another CRM. Magically, there are now three Marty McFly's with different create dates, and you have no idea whose information is correct.

You might import a list of hot new leads from the marking team, and match for duplicates by the “On Demand Row ID.” I've found that this really means you catch no dupes.  When your marketer calls Marty McFly next week after already having talked to him last week, Mr. McFly gets frustrated about being bugged twice in the same month and cancels the potential sale. Oops.

What are the consequences of duplicate data?

Duplicate data happens. It can happen fast or slow. Duplicates definitely accumulate over time.

The consequences of duplicate data can vary:

  • Waste time for searching for the right Account in CRM On Demand instead of fixing their problem.
  • Lose revenue while your sales reps is deciding who to call rather than selling.
  • Damage your credibility as support reps contact the wrong Jane Baker, while the one who needed your help is frustrated that she can’t get any help.

How can duplicate data be prevented or cleaned?

You can search for existing records before entering them. This works for easy, unambiguous contacts and accounts – I can find my existing Jane Baker, but what if it was really Jean Baker? Well, now I have two contacts with the same phone number.

You can ask your Sales Reps to set aside a few hours every week to manually clean out their dupes. Knock out the Leads whose last names start with A this week, then B next week.... but who has time for that? Can you really de-dupe your 3000 A-leads in one sitting? And you’ll probably just acquire more dupes by next week.

The best solution for preventing and cleaning duplicate data tend to be software packages that plug into your CRM system. These specialized tools can use smarter search algorithms to check for duplicates before creating new records, or find and aggregate existing duplicates based on a set of predefined match criteria.

What are ActivePrime's solutions?

AtivePrime's solutions to duplicate data include CleanEnter™ and  CleanCRM™. Both are hosted tools that are integrated directly in your CRM and feel 100% native.

Before you create a new record, CleanEnter uses applied Artificial Intelligence to scan your entire CRM for potential duplicates with smarter search logic. Learn more about CleanEnter.

CleanCRM scans the existing records in your CRM for duplicates based on settings that you have complete control over. Learn more about CleanCRM.