Dealing with Lead-Contact Duplicates in Dynamics CRM

One of the big challenges when it comes to data management in Dynamics CRM is dealing with duplicate records across multiple entities. For marketing, sales, and any other types of business processes that are leveraging the Contact and Lead entities, filtering out duplicates can be challenging especially since identifying them can leave lots of caveats and if left un-cleansed those duplicate records can not only become embarrassing but also lead to increased marketing costs and lost opportunities.

Take for example this common scenario where a lead comes into CRM named “John Smith” who wants to get a quote about an organizations products or services. In a lot of organizations, a sales rep would search either in the global search or list view for leads that match “John Smith” and if none are found create a new one. However, many times when end users are in the process of creating records, they may not search multiple entities and that same “John Smith” often can be a contact in CRM. This can obviously lead to “John Smith” being contacted by different personnel for different reasons without anyone knowing. Depending on the specific sales processes that an organization may have this could be ok (for example real estate where a contact could be a seller and a lead could be a buyer) but it could also lead to increased marketing costs and lost opportunities if sales and marketing personnel are mistakenly working on the wrong record and can make the organization look incompetent.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s out of the box duplicate detection rules (as explained in this link Microsoft duplicate detection ) allows for an admin or end user to set up certain duplicate detection rules than can look for fields on entities that are the same. However, this typically doesn’t go far enough for most organizations. After selecting a base record field and a matching record field, the out of the box criteria is unfortunately limited to “exact match”, “same first characters”, or “same last characters.”

This is not usually a realistic way of catching all the potential duplicates in CRM since end users don’t all enter data into the system in the same way. Leveraging fuzzy matching will eliminate typical user entry errors accounting for nicknames and misspellings which the out of the box functionality currently cannot accommodate. Furthermore, as an admin or end user is defining their match fields, they can only configure direct field matches which can miss duplicates if an end user has entered the same data into a different field on a different record (i.e. home phone on record A vs business phone on record B).

AutoMerge takes over where the out of the box Dynamics CRM duplicate detection falls short. Using our intelligent match detection and merge winner logic we can use out of the box, custom fields, custom entities, and any other pieces of data to dynamically match Lead-Contact records along with Lead-Account records. Even though Microsoft Dynamics CRM doesn’t support merging across multiple entities, this is a great first step in helping to construct the best way to clean up these types of duplicates in CRM.

For additional information about how AutoMerge can clean up duplicate records in your Microsoft Dynamics CRM org, check out AutoMerge’s features and ask for a free data quality report to check how many duplicates are in your CRM.

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