3 Ways Duplicate Data Can Hurt Sales and Marketing

Written by Lindsay McGuire on January 21, 2020

Posted in IT + Security

If you are in a sales or marketing role, data is probably an important piece of your day-to-day work. Understanding your leads, prospects, and customers is crucial to expanding business. Data helps us craft the right messages, connect with the right accounts, and deploy campaigns at the right moment.


Yet, no matter how well you plan and prepare, there’s one thing that can bring down even the greatest marketing or sales initiative: duplicate data.


There are numerous reasons why duplicate data is bad. It can wreak havoc on your systems, processes, and projects. Here’s three specific ways duplicate data may be hurting your sales and marketing teams.


1. Sales team lead assignments go awry.

If you don’t have a system that can de-duplicate records out of the box, then you risk assigning the same record to more than one sales rep as a lead to work. You don’t want the same lead getting a qualifying call from more than one sales rep at your company.

sales duplicate data

This is especially risky if you have automated lead assignment rules, though in this case if the duplicate records are identical, then they should make it to the same rep. If they are different in any way, they could be assigned separately and you may be blind to this.


2. Communications are thrown off.

There’s a reason many email marketing systems don’t allow duplicate email addresses. If you have one record with multiple email addresses, or one email address tied to multiple records, you’ll run into trouble. You may be sending the same message to one person multiple times, or even sending different messages to the same person!

This type of situation can lead to low open rates, poor data insights, and high unsubscribe rates. It can also deter quality leads from engaging further with your brand.

Keeping your data free from duplicates will ensure that your marketing activities stay clean and aid your company’s customer conversion efforts. Eliminating duplicates ensures your marketing, product, and sales messages are being sent at the right time and to the right people, without any conflicting messages.


3. Integrations incorrectly merge data.

When systems don’t integrate appropriately, it can take a big toll on the quality of your data. If you’re integrating two systems together, such as your marketing automation and CRM, you need to be very weary of duplicate data. If your systems are not set up correctly, duplicate data can ruin your data integrity.

If the data integration is only one way, the duplicate merge may be updating new data with old data. Depending on the integration’s settings, you may also see files merging together that shouldn’t. If your integration doesn’t provide much control over integrating like records and de-duping, you may see duplicate data transfer from one system to another.

Related: How to Launch Data Integration Software in 5 Easy Steps


How to eliminate data duplicates.

Don’t allow duplicate data to sabotage your hard work! There are ways to avoid this data mishap.

duplicate data audit

Manual Data De-duping
This takes time, but can be incredibly worthwhile if you’ve noticed data-duplicates throughout a system. Take the time to dig into your system and identify any data duplicates. Once identified, delete dupes or merge them with their like records to ensure your data is clean.

Identify Processes Causing Duplicates
Noticing a lot of duplicate data? Audit your processes to get an understanding of why duplicates are being created. Is there a misstep in your sales process? Are your marketing automation system and CRM out of alignment? Is manual data entry causing record errors?

Identify the issue, improve the process, and be sure to educate fellow employees on why data duplicates need to be avoided at all costs.

Invest in Data De-duping Tools
To avoid duplicate data in the future, consider investing in software and tools that help you avoid duplicate data. You may want to invest in a CRM dupe blocker or look for a new system that has a duplicate blocker built in natively. A bi-directional integration software may also help minimize or even eliminate duplicate data in your most-used business systems.

long form tipsPro Tip: When evaluating software, the most important thing to keep in mind is your company’s particular needs. Here’s a list of 7 things to consider before buying software.

With the right tools, processes, and knowledge, you can keep data duplicates at bay. When you have access to clean data, your sales and marketing teams can work more effectively, convert a higher percentage of leads into customers, and close more sales.


Keeping data clean is a crucial component to business success. Discover more articles on data management, integrations, and data security now.