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Sometimes when my users are converting leads, after they click "Convert", it will bring up another screen asking if we want to merge the lead with an existing contact. This is not consistent and sometimes it doesn't show that screen so it will create a duplicate contact. Is there a reason why it wouldn't be asking and skipping that screen to merge with an existing contact?

The already existing contact had the same first name, last name, email and same account association as the lead we were trying to convert....is there anything we are doing wrong? it seems like this is a weird backend flaw where it might not be looking at the contacts correctly.

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Lead conversion depends on more than just the name. It also depends on the sharing model, the user's permissions, and the configuration of Duplicate Management. See Convert Qualified Leads for the permissions you need to give your users.

Generally speaking, if the system won't let you select an account or contact, it's because there were no matching records, as determined by account name and last name (not email, phone, or address, just name fields) that the user can edit.

There's some leeway in what the system allows for name matches. For example, if the company name is Acme, and the account name is Acme, Inc, then Salesforce presents an option to convert into the existing account. Likewise, if the contact is Robert Smith, and the lead is Bob Smith, and they have the same account, Bob Smith can be converted to Robert Smith.

Generally speaking, if duplicates are a concern, consider enabling Duplicate Management. It will actually warn the user if they're about to create a duplicate, based on standard or custom matching rules to suit your organization's purposes.

If, after checking all your settings, you still feel like it's a system glitch, consider contacting support with some concrete examples. I've never seen the system not offer the correct records to convert to as an administrator, and for my users, I've always been able to trace it down to a sharing problem or a typo.

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    So I actually have an update to this! The reason the functionality went away was because of enabling the Duplicate Management. Weird huh? Funny to think that the tools that are put in place to help you actually help you create more duplicates. We created the duplicate rule on the contact object and because of that it took away the merge functionality during the conversion process on the lead side. I actually tried bringing this to SF's attention and the person helping me had no idea or understanding that this was going on. I think this is really serious in terms of duplicate management ! – Olivia Salvatore-King Dec 5 '16 at 22:15
  • Can confirm @OliviaSalvatore-King's comment above: enabling contact deduplication disables Contact merge on Lead convert. I've seen a lot of wonky behavior from Salesforce over the years but this one might take the cake. – Bob Hatcher Aug 28 at 21:50

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