Case Study: Leadership Strategies

Leadership Strategies was founded in 1992 to help deliver facilitation expertise to individuals and organizations alike. Their courses have over 20,000 graduates and they are they are the leaders in management training, presentation delivery, collaboration, problem solving in a professional environment, and much more.

Leadership Strategies implemented Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 for sales pipeline management and were planning on an upgrade project to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016. To have a successful upgrade one of the key decisions that needed to be made was whether to clean up dirty data before or after the upgrade was complete. One of the main data quality issues was the large number of duplicate Leads, Accounts, and Contacts in the system caused by sales team members creating new records without properly searching for existing ones that may already be there. Also, Leadership Strategies did not have a universal naming convention in place for key data components which contributed to the issues of multiple iterations of the same record being present in CRM. The lack of a universal naming convention also led to additional data standardization issues that was brought on by an integration with their E-Commerce platform.

Leadership Strategies initially took on the initiative for deduping their CRM records themselves by manually going through all the records in excel and leveraging the out of the box duplicate detection and merge functionality. However, during that process they ended up with two different databases from marketing and the sales team which began to make the deduping process unattainable.
Their first step was to work with their partner of record to build a custom solution that would identify lead to contact duplicates. However, with the high development cost that kind of project would have entailed, their partner steered them towards an ISV solution.

Leadership Strategies had a few objectives with their data deduplication and cleansing project. The first was to dedupe all the Leads, Accounts, and Contacts in a specific order that would make the upgrade from Microsoft Dynamics 2011 to Microsoft Dynamics 2016 smoother along with reducing the number of records in their CRM database to streamline processes. Another was after the deduplication process was completed, to implement a standard naming convention so that all the sales team members were creating records and adding data in the same manor. The last piece of the project was continuing to change internal processes so that duplicates do not get into CRM in the first place.

Since Leadership Strategies was taking on the data deduplication project to help them with the upgrade process from Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 to Microsoft Dynamics 2016, they wanted to have duplicates identified and tagged in both environments but wanted to dedupe Leads first in 2011 environment. Leadership Strategies also needed a solution that could use data from related records and search up and down the hierarchy. With the process being to clean up backlog of duplicates before the upgrade and catch any that may have slipped through the cracks after, Leadership Strategies opted to use AutoMerge as one-time cleanup for records in 2011 and 2016.

“With our end users giving us feedback about the problems that were being caused by having so many duplicated records in CRM, we wanted something that would be easy to use and preferred a native solution within Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Genbil’s AutoMerge solution bolted on easily and was very straightforward to use. We also liked the granularity of the solution and the simplicity of use for people that didn’t have a very technical skill set. They also allowed us to configure match detection and merge winner logic very easily.” -Sherry Wilkinson, Sales at Leadership Strategies

After their custom duplicate identification logic was implemented, AutoMerge tagged the records for Leadership Strategies to review before any merging occurred. After validation, Leadership Strategies opted to have a bulk merge job scheduled rather than go through and clean up the duplicates with the AutoMerge buttons on the ribbon. This process allowed the duplicates to be cleaned up within a day and helped Leadership Strategies move forward on the next part of their upgrade project.

“The amount of time, money, and energy that AutoMerge saved us in cleaning up our duplicates was absolutely tremendous.” -Sherry Wilkinson, Sales at Leadership Strategies

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