One Good Practice: Find duplicates in Salesforce

Here is this week’s “One Good Practice”…

Teach your reps to Find Duplicates in Salesforce!

THE CHALLENGE

You get a lead. In a lot of organizations, leads come with very little context – meaning that you don’t really know much about them. In organizations where there are a lot of leads and a few years of sales records, having duplicates can be a real challenge. Also, sales reps are looking to be more effective (hopefully) and have better success with leads they do get.

THE CAUSE

Many businesses don’t have sophisticated lead management systems and really only provide a name and phone number and email, etc. Also, a lot of companies also have very little, if any duplicate management system in place. Lastly, companies often haven’t trained, enforced, or cared enough to build into their sales habits to check for duplicates.

THE RESULT

If your reps call a particular client, it could be that someone has already talked to them – if not recently, at least at some time in the past.  Not knowing this can create awkwardness in a call to the prospect. No rep likes the feeling of being set up for failure and calling someone that either someone else is already calling or has already called without knowing, can be quite awkward and might just end the sales opportunity right there.

ONE GOOD PRACTICE

So, the one simple good practice that I can recommend to help solve this issue and to win with your sales reps is this: Teach every one of your reps to FIND DUPLICATES in Salesforce using the “Find Duplicates” button.

DESCRIPTION

When reps open a lead in Salesforce, there is a standard button at the top of the record called, “Find Duplicates”. Teach every one of your people to click on this button for EVERY lead they get. Not only will it help actually find duplicates, but here is the real awesome, secret benefit from doing this…

The system searches the entire database for not just other leads that might match, it also searches opportunities, contacts, accounts, etc for possible related objects. The real advantage of this is that it provides context! For instance, even if there is no actual duplicate, what if you would see that there was an opportunity from the company they were part of? This would provide you context that could be key to getting in the door. Perhaps it was a closed lost opportunity and now there is a new contact or division looking at your product. Knowing the past history could not only help you know what potential issues exist, it could give you a way into a conversation by having a name of a contact at their company, some shared history, etc.

The fact is, you can’t remember what you don’t remember. But the system does! Taking the time and effort to check for duplicates with every lead will help you show your prospects that you care. I always say that memory is not the sure proof of sincerity – effort is. When you call a lead that someone else has already called, then it doesn’t show a lot of effort to coordinate. It says you are lazy or unorganized. Knowing the history of an old deal could help you take a different and better approach this time and help you land the deal.

So, even if you use systems to manage duplicates, etc, have your reps develop the discipline and habit to check for duplicates every time. It will help them think better about their deals and be more effective.

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