Salesforce.com - CRM Data De-duplication Prayer

Salesforce.com - CRM Data De-duplication Prayer

If there was a prayer that would automatically de-dupe all the leads and contacts data in your Salesforce.com or other CRM applications, would you say that Prayer? Everyday? If you answered yes to that, we'd love to talk to you today.   Unfortunately, as we all know there is no such prayer but answering the question above will help every marketing manager realize and take notice of this grave problem that is eating away at your campaign effectiveness and sales team productivity every day. See this post and this report for more on how bad data can be bad for business.  

Duplicate records are one of the most critical problems in CRM databases today and I am positive that majority of organizations who have this problem have not yet figured out a good solution for it. Before researching any tools and service providers, I think it is important for marketing managers to first define how they want to attack the problem and what logical methods they think they can live with. Figuring this out is a great first step to the problem and here are some of the best ways to look at your de-duplication problem:   

  • De-dupe and merge all records that have the same email addresses. 
  • In the absence of email addresses in contacts and leads tables, the next best way is to de-dupe and merge based on "first name + last name + company name" and this will most likely work. One thing you must do is to export the list of such records as you merge them so your marketing operations team can eyeball them to find any discrepancies. 
  • For all new leads that are being added to the database, the best way to avoid an ongoing problem of duplicate records being created is to use a product or service that compares and remove duplicates from any list before it is added to the CRM system. The ReadyContacts service or RingLead or CRMFusion tools are an example of this. 
What are other tactics and strategies that you are using for de-duping and what has worked and scaled for you well? I'd love to know your experiences and ideas. CRM database cleansing and enrichment is a crucial new area for all marketing organizations and we are seeing an increasing number of marketing departments that are recognizing this as a priority for 2009, when doing more less has become important due to an economic recession in the markets.   

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kyle testimonial Kyle Martinowichsmartling
ReadyContacts has been instrumental in our demand generation strategy at Smartling. ReadyContacts continues to clearly understand our ideal customer profiles and buyer personas to curate accounts & contacts. ReadyContacts ability to deliver high quality leads while being flexible with our timelines has been instrumental in growing our pipeline. They have been a true partner!
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Vaibhav was great to work with. He took the time to understand our needs to generate the best lead list for our requirements. He also managed the transaction with us professionally