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One scenario that we face is that we have a lead on an Account, which has been created via API for example by an external app. One other app will write the same person on our CRM as a contact. What are the best practices and the tool to avoid such duplication, if there are any?

Obviously a Apex Trigger could work, but would probably be hard to mantain and it would not always behave as expected. One other solution would be to convert automatically all leads in contacts as soon as one opportunity arise.

What's the experience and tooling you have used so far?

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This is a common misconception. A Lead isn't a Contact. It's a potential sales Opportunity. While it might be useful to, say, link the existing contact by email if you find one, unconverted Lead records should be a short-lived type of record anyways (think, days to weeks, not months to years).

My general advice is that once a Sales Associate makes contact with a Lead (e.g. a response by email or phone that suggests interest or opportunity, and Qualified as a potential sale), the Lead should be converted to an Opportunity/Contact/Account for further sales steps.

You can also get marketing data (e.g. which Campaign they responded to, which sales channel initiated contact, etc) to gauge marketing effectiveness and sales strategies. It's perfectly acceptable to have "duplicate" Lead and Contact records, as they represent two different types of information.

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  • Thanks. Our use case is not of a traditional sale driven organization with sales reps so we always had hard time in interpreting lead and contacts. We are an online financial service company and some people will simply check our website out, enrolling in a newsletter, becoming lead. Other people will create an account in our platform and they enter our pipeline, where we can also reject them because they are too risky. We do B2B services so having a Contact + an Account makes a lot of sense from that point of view Feb 24 '20 at 19:47
  • @Edmondo1984 If it's just a "enrolling in newsletter", that may well be a cause for "convert without opportunity", which you could do in a trigger or manually, whilst still getting that valuable marketing data. The same is true for people entering your pipeline... they should ideally start out as leads first, and possibly rejected before becoming an account/contact (or, converted automatically while having their Opportunity marked Closed/Lost because of risk).
    – sfdcfox
    Feb 24 '20 at 19:54
  • Any guidelines you could share on how to correctly design the process? Feb 24 '20 at 21:51

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