A Divergent Solution to Salesforce Duplicates

This post is the result of a question I received at the end of the year Chicago Suburban User Group breakfast held last year.

As a co-leader, I often receive questions from other members regarding a sticky situation they are facing regarding their work with Salesforce. The following question was asked:

“What tool do you recommend when it comes to duplicates and I am in a time bind, so what would be my first steps?”

I have run into my fair share of duplicates throughout my career and each time there was a time crunch or deadline. I also have a bias when it comes to tools used on duplicates, so I tend to give an intro disclaimer when it comes to Salesforce duplicate tool software.

That being said, I immediately offered my disclaimer at the same time recommending my software tool of choice: CRMFusion DemandTools.

It is a very powerful ETL (extract-transfer-load) data software application and one I rely on when it comes to mass data manipulation as well as deduplication and data extracts.

As to my divergent solution for dealing with Salesforce Duplicates: hide them.

Once I tell people to hide them, they look at me funny and I smile encouragingly.

Before you can hide your duplicates, you have to identify them. This can easily be done without any software for free, but it is tedious.

Build a Salesforce report that contains all of the records within the dirty data table commonly known as an Object amongst administrators. So if you have duplicate contacts you would like to clean, download a Contact report that includes at least two of the following:

  • SF ID
  • Unique Identifier

Usually, I have found the unique identifier to be an email address when it comes to Leads and Contacts.

Accounts have multiple variables involved (Different name variations i.e. account name vs. accounts named, address variations street vs. st, etc). I have created a multi-step filtration process to sweep through accounts when it comes to cleaning data. Needless to say it is very tedious, but it must be done.

Next, is the most important step and it will require you to have Salesforce Administrator access to your instance of Salesforce. Create a new Record Type for the object you are cleaning (Account, Contact or whatever object). Hide the Record Type from all profiles accept Salesforce Administrator.

Now with the report list of records you would like to remove (but for whatever reason you can’t) just change the record type for all of those records using your favorite import tool software (data loader, DemandTools, Jitterbit, etc). This will hide the records from all of your users accept those with Salesforce Administrator access, but give you time to figure out your next steps.

I hope this idea helps you in your time of need.


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