Tag Archives: CRM Dedupe

CRM’s are not built to keep your data clean

Why can’t my CRM vendor keep my data clean?

Nearly every CRM company and internal corporate IT department has taken a stab at solving the problem of keeping your data clean. You may have heard of it referred to as CRM Deduping, CRM Dedupe, CRM Deduplication as well as Data normalization.

Unfortunately, no one has done it right! Not Oracle, not Salesforce.com, not Microsoft and not SAP. Why?

Think about it: Who decides the standard? Do you want saleforce.com or Microsoft dicatating the format for data storage that you use? Of coarse not, every business model has unique needs. While one business may prefer storing “The Container Company” another may prefer “Container Company, The”. It would be suicide for a vendor to enforce a single set of rules on all their clients. So the problem is not necessarily ignored, but it is accepted as status quo.

Why didn’t my CRM sales rep tell me this?

Since the issue is accepted as status quo for the industry, it is simply not addressed. Sales reps are not in the habit of pointing out a problem that they do not have a solution for. If the issue is addressed, typically it is periodical crm deduplication process.

CRM Dedupe only treats the symptom

If you think of CRM duplicates as the symptom of a disease, how do you cure the disease vs. treating the symptom? The answer is to never allow duplicates into your CRM system in the first place. The first start in that process is developing a CRM Data Plan.

CRM Deduplication services are a profit center

Your dirty data is another company’s profit center. Many of the major CRM providers have professional services that you can pay to periodically clean your CRM. While these services typically do a great job, they do not solve the issues with inefficiency and lost revenue *between* the data cleansing cycles. Basically, every time you fix your CRM, the cure is short-lived.

Why didn’t I see this coming?

Don’t be hard on yourself. Think about it. When you buy a CRM, it is usually empty. If you import dirty data from an old CRM, the new CRM will be dirty. The problem is not the result of you forgetting to turn on a feature in the new CRM. Massive duplicates and miskeyed data does not become a problem until after you start to use the CRM. When a CRM is implemented, it is typically at that time the buyer realizes there is a huge problem with the information.


Without a systematic way to start with and keep information clean, duplicates will be introduced into your CRM. Good for professional service firms; Bad for you and your CRM. The best solution is not treating a symptom, but curing the disease. The first step to curing the disease is creating a CRM Data Plan… which will be the next blog post.

Next post:What is a CRM Data Plan

An Intro to Cleaning your CRM

Realization.  It does not happen in the first 6 months of having a new CRM.  Your CRM sales rep did not tell you about it.  It was not something that was on your mind.  Your CRM is dirty and it is costing you revenue.  CRM Deduplication is starting to become a probem.

If you approach your CRM vendor six months after you started, they will point you into two possible chasms.  (1) Professional services to clean your data (2) Data deduplication tools that will clean your data.  I am here to tell you that both are sink-holes for your cash.  Unless they provide you a solution that will stop the dirty data, you will be coming back to the pay the piper on a regular basis.  Think about it:  Data deduplication vendors want to fix your data, but they also know it will get dirty again.  Reoccurring revenue trumps solving problems?  They want you forever.

Is there a better way?

Next post: CRM’s are not built to keep your data clean