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Ever felt you’re seeing double when you look at Leads and Accounts in salesforce?

Or treble? Or even quadruple?

Like unwelcome guests at a party, duplicate records have probably sneaked into your salesforce system.

Or they arrived in droves and marched through the front door.

Like unwelcome guests, duplicates are there because nothing was done to stop them getting through in the first place.

But here’s a secret. You can prevent duplicate records from being created. Nip them in the bud.

And best of all you can do it for free. That’s right, you can prevent duplicates at no cost.

How? By deploying a must-have application from the AppExchange. It’s called DupeCatcher.

The Duplicate Problem Explained

Duplicate Accounts, Contacts and Leads in salesforce can be a big problem.

Imagine calling a Lead only for them to tell you that they were called earlier by your colleague. Or worse still, that they’re already a customer. It’s not the best way to make them feel valued.

Thinking about targeting your second-tier Accounts this month? Good idea. It’s been a while since Acme, Acme Ltd and Acme Limited all had a call.

So let’s break the problem into two separate challenges.

First, you need to prevent duplicate accounts and leads from being created in the first place. We recommend the free DupeCatcher app to do this. This blog explains why and the steps you should take to get the best out of DupeCatcher.

The second challenge is to merge existing duplicate records. Depending on the scale of the problem there are different ways to do this. We’ll explain all in separate blog post. (Tip: you can install DupeCatcher today which at least will stop the problem from getting any worse).

Here’s how duplicate records get created in salesforce

Duplicate records find their way into salesforce from a variety of sources.

  • Imported external databases.
  • Migrated data.
  • Web-to-Lead entries.
  • Manually entered by Users.

We often find it’s the last one that causes the most duplicates.

When a new Account, Contact or Lead is created there’s no standard feature that forces the User to search for existing records. So often, people don’t search.

And ownership can be a contentious thing. Sometimes duplicates get created because someone else already owns the Account, Contact or Lead.

These include obvious sources such as purchased databases but one of the common and discreet sources is data manually entered by users of salesforce.

Prevent duplicate Accounts, Contacts and Leads being created

DupeCatcher might only do one thing. But it does it very well.

It prevents duplicate records from being created.

DupeCatcher is a free app available on the AppExchange that prevents users from creating duplicate Leads, Accounts and Contacts at the point of entry.

It’s provided by Symphonic Source. They also sell a cracking paid-for application called Cloudingo which is great for merging existing duplicate records.

DupeCatcher is easy to configure and can prevent duplicate Leads, Accounts and Contacts each time a user attempts to create or edit these records. It also identifies possible duplicates from Leads to Accounts and from Leads to Contacts.

Prevent web-to-lead duplicates

DupeCatcher can also be set up to prevent duplicates from being created via your website web-to-lead forms.

This can be crucial to prevent the same person or company being duplicated in your database at different stages of your sales cycle.

But hang on. Can’t sales and marketing people just use the Find Duplicates button on Leads?

The short answer is yes, they can. The realistic answer is that they often don’t. The smart answer is why clean your dishes when there’s a perfectly good dishwasher to do it for you? Especially if that dishwasher is free to use!

Here’s how DupeCatcher prevents duplicate accounts

DupeCatcher allows you to create a set of Filters to detect potential duplicates when manually creating or editing records.

To get you started, DupeCatcher even has several pre-built filters to cover several simple ways to detect duplicates. These include checking if any new Accounts match the Account Name of existing Accounts and if any new Leads match the email address of existing Leads.

Account filters in Dupecatcher define duplication types and actions.

Fundamentally this is how DupeCatcher works.

Each Filter checks for duplicate Accounts, Contacts or Leads (Filter Type) and performs an Action depending on whether the record is being created (Insert Action) or edited (Update Action).

Filters operate on an ‘OR’ basis, which allows us to have more than one way to detect duplicate Accounts, Contacts, or Leads.

Prevent Account duplication with filter names in Dupecatcher

Each Filter then contains a set of Rules. Rules are the next level of granularity and state what fields are being matched and how they are matched (Matching Approach).

Rules operate on an ‘AND’ basis which means that all Rules must be true before the Filter will say it’s a duplicate.

Prevent Account duplicates with Name Rules in Dupecatcher

The best part is that Filters and Rules can be customized so you control how possible duplicates are detected and say what should happen depending on whether you are creating or editing a record.

Let’s take the example of Dave Apthorp who’s eager to set up an Account for GenePoint so he can start working on his latest deal. The trouble is that Dave never checks if the Account is already in salesforce and always tries to create a new one. Not only is GenePoint already an Account, but it’s owned by his colleague Shaun Yates.

Genepoint Account duplicated.

Here’s where DupeCatcher comes to the fore.

When Dave attempts to create the Account he is receives the following message.

Error message when preventing duplicate accounts using Dupecatcher.

In this scenario DupeCatcher stops the Account from being created and provides a list (and links) of the potential duplicates identified. From here Dave can go directly to our existing GenePoint Account and confirm if he is creating a duplicate or not.

If Dave thinks he’s creating a duplicate then should stop creating the Account and go have a friendly chat with Shaun about sharing his Account.

If after checking the GenePoint Account Dave decides that he’s not creating a duplicate, then we have given him the ability to ‘Override DupeCatcher’ and create the Account by clicking New Account.

As with the Filter Actions, the Override DupeCatcher feature is optional and can be turned on or off in the ‘Dupcatcher Application Settings’.

This is power of the DupeCatcher. Choose the type of Filter. Define how duplicates are detected. Adapt the available set of subsequent actions to the scenario.

There’s also a nice set of options including whether you wish to bypass record visibility (see the example below). This provides a great level of flexibility and control throughout the entire process.

Here’s how to get started with DupeCatcher

Don’t hold off and let the issue of duplicates snowball. Every day that duplicates are allowed to enter your salesforce will only add to the data clean up job later on.

Head over to the salesforce AppExchange and install DupeCatcher today. If you’re not 100% sure if it’s right for your business, then install it into a Sandbox first and test it more rigorously.

DupeCatcher can be downloaded from here:

https://appexchange.salesforce.com/listingDetail?listingId=a0N30000003IYLlEAO

On the details page you’ll also find handy links to DupeCatcher’s Info Sheet and FAQ’s.

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