Salesforce: Finding and Merging Duplicate Lead Records

By Tom Wong, Liz Kao, Matt Kaufman

Before following up on a new lead in Salesforce, click the Find Duplicates button on the specific lead record to see whether a record already exists. You probably know that duplicates frequently occur with leads.

For example, if you capture leads from your website, the same visitor might fill in your web form multiple times, even with the best of intentions. Instead of wasting your time or upsetting the existing lead, check first for duplicates.

By checking for duplicates, you might increase your chances of a qualified lead. When you merge duplicate records, the remaining record inherits not only the information you select but also linked records on related lists.

To merge lead records, you must be the lead owner of the records, the lead owner’s manager (that is, the lead owner must be subordinate to you in the role hierarchy), or a system administrator.

To find and merge duplicate leads, follow these steps:

  1. Go to a lead record that you suspect or know has duplicates.

  2. Click the Find Duplicates button at the top of the lead record.

    A Search for Duplicates page appears, in five sections. The first section determines how you want to search Salesforce for duplicates. By default, Salesforce looks for a duplicate with a matching name, company, e-mail address, or phone number. The remaining four sections show any matching lead, contact, account, or opportunity records, based on the default matching criteria.

  3. Select or deselect search criteria boxes to narrow or expand your search. Click the Search button to return updated results.

    Records matching any of the selected search criteria appear in their appropriate sections.

  4. Review the duplicate lead records and select a maximum of three records to merge.

    In Salesforce, you can merge only three records at a time.

    Merging duplicate lead records.
    Merging duplicate lead records.
  5. Click the Merge Leads button in the Matching Leads related list.

    A Merge Leads page appears, displaying, side by side, the selected records and any fields that have been completed, as shown in the figure.

  6. Compare the information and select the radio buttons to choose the values that you want to retain.

    At the top of each column, you can also choose to keep all the values from one record by clicking the Select All link.

  7. When you finish reviewing, click the Merge button.

    A pop-up window appears, prompting you to validate that you want to perform the merge. After you click OK, the merged lead reappears. Any records from related lists are kept.