Did you just import a lot of fluff in Contact database?

I am sure one of the first things you do when you have finished setting up Saleswah CRM (sometimes even before that!), is to click on one of the four buttons for importing the contact database.

A few months back, we made it possible for you to link to LinkedIn, Google (Gmail.com as well as Google apps email), Yahoo and Microsoft and import your own Contact Database into CRM. Since no one really likes the process of creating a Contact List in their CRM (often a duplicated effort), this was an instant hit. Then the complaints started. )-:

Let me summarize the issues and what we have done and we suggest you do for cleaning up Contacts Database information- especially as a result of downloading from your linked accounts. One click contact import from your social accounts

Issue 1: “Dummy Accounts”

You see your Accounts List is peppered with “Dummy Account#” immediately after an import. Let’s understand why.

Saleswah is a B2B oriented CRM. So, it does not create contact records UNLESS they are part of an organization/ company or “Account” in CRM speak. Now, most of contact database in your address book in Gmail or Yahoo or MS will be stored without this information. So, when Saleswah tries to import these contacts, it encounters an empty Account record.

We could of course ask Saleswah not to import those contacts; but we did something else. We import these contacts without Account Records and store them in the CRM. But, to ensure you know the ones without proper Accounts, we call those Accounts Dummy Account.

How to clean them up? Simple. Open the Dummy Account Record, go to the Contact Tab to figure out which Contact Record it relates to. Almost always, you will know which one is the right account name from the Contact details. Go back to the Account Details tab, edit the Account Name and any other details you know. Save. Repeat this process for all dummy accounts.

Issue 2: Duplicate Accounts

You and I understand that Anwesha CRM Pvt Ltd is the same as Anwesha CRM. But, the Contact Database maintained by Saleswah CRM does not- it has to be told. Because of this, we created this feature called Account merge. Select the Duplicate account records in the Account List, and click on Merge.

It not only merges the duplicate accounts into one new account record, but also pulls in all the Contacts, Deals, Tasks, Proposals, Quotes etc – anything and everything with those previous Accounts- into this new account record.

Issue 3: Duplicate Contacts

Duplicate contacts can creep in into the contact database in various ways; by contacts moving from one company to another, by same contact being logged in duplicate account records etc. Removing duplicate contacts is tricky. While everyone has his favourite method, let me outline what I use and that works particularly well with Saleswah.

First, you should clean up your Account Records using the methods outlines above. Then, and this is not a fun process, sort the Contact list on email address. Delete the duplicate contact records. In rare cases, you may have transactions in both- retain the most current one. After that, still on the contact list, sort on Account Name, and scan for duplicate sounding names. Confirm they are duplicates and then delete all but the one you want to retain. After that, sort on Contact Name, find duplicates, confirm and delete.

If you / or your team do this once a quarter, you will have a great clean contact database.

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