Your customer relationship management (CRM) system is the most important tool in your arsenal for managing potential and current customer relationships. As great as your CRM is, it does present certain obstacles that can make your system less effective. One of these is the risk of having duplicate leads in your CRM system. Let’s take a look at why duplicate records are bad news for your business, how they come about, and what you can do to make sure you have clean and valuable data.

What is a Duplicate Lead or a Lead Deduplication?

A duplicate lead or a lead de-dupe, as its name implies is when the prospect or customer appears more than once in your CRM’s database. Often times, duplication occurs with multiple customers and is detrimental to your business.

Why is Duplicate Leads Detrimental to Your Business?

There are several reasons duplicates are a no-go for your business. These include:

  • Duplicate records take valuable time to sort through.
  • It costs money to host duplicate records.
  • Duplicate leads prevent companies from being able to gain a realistic view of who their customers are and how many your business actually has.
  • Lead Deduplication records inhibit your company from being able to accurately forecast.
  • Your business will experience a reduction in revenue from the existence of duplicate records.
  • Your cost acquisition per customer increases when you have duplicate records in your CRM system.
  • The sales productivity of your team will decrease because the same customer is being contacted unnecessarily multiple times.

Most importantly, you will lose the trust and loyalty of potential and current customers. The reason is that duplicate records mean that the same person is being contacted multiple times with the same pitch. This leads a customer who is annoyed, turned-off by your sales tactics, and skeptical about how well your business is run if your sales team doesn’t even realize that they have already contacted you.

How Can Duplicate Records Occur?

Duplicate records can happen for a number of reasons. Let’s take a look at the most common:

  • Intelligence matching software limitations — Many duplicate detection algorithms may identify one type of duplicate while ignoring others. For example, let’s say Steve signed up with his work email address and then later signed up through Facebook which attached to his personal email account. Email-only matching will only see that the emails are different, even if the name and phone numbers are exactly the same and will not flag it as a duplicate record. The same is true for name and phone number matching.
  • Lack of cross-matching — If your system isn’t integrated with your other programs and checking for duplicate records across different software, duplicates are sure to slip through the cracks.
  • Reckless importing of data — Pulling customer data from various sources can be complicated and lead to duplicates if there isn’t a clear and easy to follow protocol that prevents confusion.
  • Failure to create the appropriate subgroups — Failing to properly categorize and organize leads can lead to duplicate records in the CRM system.
  • Improper setup of your CRM — Failure to follow the developer’s instructions for proper CRM set up could interfere with your duplicate alert settings.

Failing to conduct frequent duplicate checks and setting up the appropriate alerts is the number one reason that causes duplicate records to build-up in your CRM system.

What Can You Do to Prevent Duplicate Leads?

Duplicate leads can be prevented first and foremost by educating your team members on the importance of clean data. Frequent duplicate checks and properly set duplicate alerts will help red flag any duplicate records that enter the system. It is also important to implement clear protocols for importing, classifying, and grouping data.

Duplicate records are one of the most dangerous data quality issues that any CRM can have and should be avoided at all costs. LeadAngel has the experience and know-how to help your business eliminate duplicate leads and prevent future duplicates. Contact us today for information on how we can make sure your CRM is working for you!

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