Tools for Next-level Salesforce Duplicate Management

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For businesses of all sizes, duplicate records are an inevitable part of CRM ownership. Duplicates are often positioned as the central threat to the goal of CRM because they dismantle the single customer view, but that just doesn’t illustrate how destructive they are. The effects of duplicates not only impact Salesforce orgs, but employee and customer relations, sales report accuracy, lead management, and ultimately, revenue. Duplicates are a multifaceted threat worthy of the time and resources required to manage them. Given the world situation, it’s more important than ever to audit your systems so you can trust them again.

No need to worry! With a little planning and the proper tools, duplicates will just be added to the growing list of things you’ve conquered – here’s how.

This article aims to discuss possibilities beyond Salesforce standard features. You can find information on standard Salesforce Matching Rules and Duplicate Rules here. 

Deduplicating Orgs for 20 Years

DemandTools has been a leader in Salesforce duplicate management and data quality for 20 years. Its ingenuity and unique three-prong solution to duplicate management offers layers of customizable features to meet business needs and save you time.
Addressing the two key components of Salesforce duplicate management, maintenance and prevention, DemandTools is unrivalled in its approach to identifying and processing dupes. Leveraging all applications in the suite – DemandTools, PeopleImport, and DupeBlocker – Admins, sales operations and marketing operations professionals can finally work together to combat duplicates.

DemandTools Suite Deduplication Overview

Most users begin with duplicate maintenance using Single Table Dedupe or Lead Conversion so they can quickly improve their Salesforce data. But there is no right place to begin. The important part is that you have the right tools to rely on, whether you are cleaning existing dupes or preventing new ones.

ModuleCategoryWhat it does:
DemandTools Single Table DedupeDuplicate Maintenance
Finds and merges existing dupes in standard and custom objects.
DemandTools Lead ConversionDuplicate Maintenance
Compares Leads to Contacts and Accounts for cross object deduplication.
Find/Report IDs
Duplicate Prevention
Compares external spreadsheet data, prior to import, against any object to uncover which records truly need to be created as new and which already exist in Salesforce.
PeopleImportDuplicate Prevention
Cleanly imports Lead and Contact data by first deduplicating the incoming data against existing Salesforce Leads, Contacts, and Accounts.
DupeBlockerDuplicate Prevention
Blocks, auto-merges, or reports duplicates as they are created to stop them at the source.

! Pro Tip: Start your deduplication journey by surfacing your business needs – define how you identify a duplicate and what you want to happen to the field data when it’s merged. These definitions will be used on both the maintenance and preventive side of the solution. Since DemandTools, PeopleImport, and DupeBlocker use the same dedupe features, implementing the methodology across the entire suite is seamless.

If you haven’t seen this powerhouse in action, take it for a test drive with a free, 30-day DemandTools trial.

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DemandTools: Take Control Over Deduplication

System admins typically own the dedupe process and DemandTools due to its power and extensive capabilities. Along with deduplication functions, DemandTools has modules for import/export management, data standardization, record reassignments, Salesforce report management, backing up data, and more.

Below are some features included in each module – Single Table Dedupe, Lead Conversion, and Find/Report IDs – and how they deliver the kind of deduplication experience you need to keep dupes from disrupting your business.


If you’re just getting started with deduping, talking about automation feels a little too forward-thinking. But, one of the best things you can do for your duplicate management is to automate it. DemandTools can be set up to automatically merge dupes as often as you want.

Out-of-the-box Scenarios:

Across the three modules, there are 30 pre-built scenarios giving users a springboard to begin managing duplicates even if they are still creating their business rules for how duplicates are handled.

Compare All or a Subset of Records:

Useful for organizations that have admins managing different sets of data.

Example: If Jane only manages the Salesforce data in EMEA but has access to view all data, she can use this feature to ensure she only dedupes data in her assigned region.

Custom Field Matching:

Every organization defines duplicates differently. Customizable matching allows users to decide which fields to match on based on what meets their needs for each process.

Example: ABC Company requires that the billing address fields match for records to be considered dupes, while XYZ company only matches on the Account Name and internal Account Number to locate matches.

Custom Master Rules:

This is where the granular control of record handling begins in merging. Users get to specify the attributes of the record to retain as the master. The logic can be applied across thousands of duplicate groups to select master records in bulk.

Example: In each set of duplicates, select the record that has the most associated Contacts and Opportunities to be the master.

Custom Field Rules:

Field rules take granular control to another level and build on the power of master rules. Each field can have its own custom settings for how to choose the value that is kept.

Example: Keep the email address from the record with the most recent activity data and keep the account number from the record that has the customer record type.

Fuzzy Matching:

Fuzzy matching logic uses phonetics to match words based on how they sound when pronounced, making it excellent at matching words with spelling mistakes.

Example: The account name Pitnay Bowes will still match to Pitney Bowes and Pitny Bowes.

Advanced Matching Algorithms:

With 20 matching algorithms, including 6 customizable, locating duplicates has never been easier. The ability to customize matching capabilities ensures that data is matched based on the unique nuances and parameters of each business so only true duplicates are found and merged.

Example: IBM can be matched to International Business Machines, Inc.

Merge Duplicates Reported by Salesforce Duplicate Management:

Some organizations rely on the duplicate management feature in Salesforce to alert them that a duplicate was created. But there isn’t a way to merge them in Salesforce. An integration with Duplicate Management allows DemandTools to provide a mass merge utility for duplicates reported by Salesforce. And, the merge can leverage the same advanced data handling options available in DemandTools.

PeopleImport: Cleaner Data Imports

PeopleImport was made for marketers. Its primary focus is enabling and simplifying a clean (dupe free) import of Contacts and Leads from tradeshow and event lists into Salesforce.

It does not require that the Lead object be used as it can deduplicate against just Leads, just Contacts or both Leads and Contacts simultaneously. In addition to importing, PeopleImport is loved by marketers because during the import process it can also add the Leads and Contacts to Campaigns and assign Tasks for proper follow-up and customer engagement – a big win.

These are some of the features that make PeopleImport a marketer’s best friend.

Field Data Management:

Whether a record from the incoming data is new or existing in Salesforce will often dictate how to handle the field value. Each field has settings for what data to accept during the update of an existing or creation of a new record.

Compare All or a Subset of Records:

Events and tradeshows are often regional and don’t need to be compared against every Lead or Contact. Peopelmport lets the user specify if all or just a subset of records should be used in the process, allowing for different filters to be placed on each object.

Custom Comparisons:

One of the best features of PeopleImport is the multi-step deduplication. It compares the incoming data against each object using multiple match steps per object. Each step can use different fields and/or different matching techniques to address the many ways duplicates can be found.

Example: When comparing the incoming data against Salesforce Leads, use two different methods to evaluate the data. The first step will match on email address, first and last name. The records that don’t find a match in this step will be compared in the next step that only matches on the email address.

Advanced Matching Algorithms:

PeopleImport uses the same advanced matching techniques as DemandTools. This makes it easy to create consistent duplicate handling across each application.

DupeBlocker: Real-time Prevention

Depending on the organization, many sales operations teams manage DupeBlocker in conjunction with their system admin, assuming they are not one and the same.

Sales ops takes an interest here because leads are negatively impacted by duplicates and their goal is to keep the lead list unique and identify when a “new” lead is actually a new contact at an existing customer or prospect account.

Real-time Duplicate Prevention:

As new records are created and existing records are modified, DupeBlocker runs in the background ready to capture duplicates the moment they occur. This is great for preventing duplicates from end-user entry, web-to-lead processes, and other integrations.

Auto-merge, Block, or Report Duplicates:

Some duplicate prevention tools only offer the ability to report the duplicate or block it. That is too limited for proper data handling. Along with blocking and reporting duplicates, DupeBlocker can be configured to allow a duplicate into the system and within seconds, auto-merge it based on your pre-defined settings. It also has options to take the user to the record they were about to duplicate so they know exactly where to find the information they need to work with.

Custom Blocking Scenarios:

Each duplicate detecting scenario can be customized to match on specific fields, set to impact only certain users and evaluate specific record sets. And, the action (blocking, reporting, auto-merging) can be defined per scenario based on the end user experience you want to provide.

Advanced Matching Algorithms:

DupeBlocker uses the same advanced matching techniques as DemandTools and PeopleImport, making it easy to create consistent duplicate handling across your business.


The DemandTools suite offers a comprehensive deduplication solution that any organization can adopt. The features and functionality highlighted here are only a part of what this solution can do for your business. From deduplication to Salesforce report management, this really is the “Swiss Army knife” of data quality tools.

See for yourself! Start your free, 30-day trial today.

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