How to Deduplicate Leads, Accounts, and Contacts in Zoho CRM

May 31, 2024

Are you using Zoho CRM? Then you might have noticed the same information popping up twice in your CRM. It happens a lot! Let’s tidy things up and make managing your CRM a breeze. One common challenge we may face from time to time is the occurrence of duplicate records in Zoho CRM. This can clutter your database, create confusion, and lead to inefficiencies. These duplicates can arise from multiple sources, such as different team members entering the same information, importing data from various platforms, or simply not checking for existing records before creating new ones. We can deduplicate records in Zoho CRM to merge these records and avoid any confusions

Imagine reaching out to a potential client multiple times, unaware that they have already been contacted by another team member, or generating a sales report that overestimates performance due to duplicated accounts. These scenarios highlight the importance of maintaining a clean CRM system.

This blog article aims to guide you through the process of deduplicating records from your leads, accounts, contacts or any other module in Zoho CRM. We will explore why deduplication is essential, how to identify and merge duplicates effectively, and what best practices to implement to prevent duplicates from occurring in the future.

Understanding Duplicate Records in Zoho CRM

Duplicate records in Zoho CRM are instances where the same information is entered into the system more than once, resulting in multiple entries for the same lead, account, contact or so. These records can cause a lot of obstacles and confusion for your business.
The common types of duplicate records can be found in the Leads, Contacts, and Accounts module.

The presence of duplicate records leads to inefficiencies. The team members waste time managing redundant data, resulting in negative impacts on the customer experience due to overlapping communications. It also affects the reporting accuracy of your Zoho CRM, leading to misleading insights. 

Deduplicate Records in Zoho CRM is the tool that can identify and merge these duplicates, helping maintain a clean and efficient CRM system that supports effective customer relationship management.

Effects of Duplicate Records in Zoho CRM

  1. Reduced Efficiency: Team members spend extra time navigating and managing redundant data, slowing down workflows and reducing productivity.
  1. Damage Customer Relationship: Multiple communications to the same contact can irritate customers and prospects, harming relationships and damaging your brand’s reputation.
  1. Inaccurate Reporting: Duplicate records skew analytics and reports, leading to misleading insights and poor business decisions based on faulty data.
  1. Occupying Storage: Managing duplicate records incurs additional storage costs in Zoho CRM, unnecessarily increasing operational expenses.
  1. Data Integrity: Duplicate records create inconsistencies, affecting the reliability of your CRM data and complicating decision-making processes.
  1. Marketing Inefficiencies: Duplicate contacts can result in redundant marketing efforts, wasting budget, and reducing the overall effectiveness of campaigns.
  1. Customer Segmentation Errors: Inaccurate data impacts customer segmentation and targeting, diminishing the success of marketing initiatives.

How to Deduplicate Records in Zoho CRM

Deduplication in Zoho CRM is how we identify, merge, and eliminate duplicate records. This way we can ensure that each lead, account, and contact has a single, unique entry, maintaining a clean and efficient database. The process helps prevent data cluttering, enhances data accuracy, and improves your CRM’s overall performance.

Here’s how we can deduplicate records in a few easy steps:

Step 1: Navigate to the Module

Select the Leads, Accounts, Contacts, Deals, or respective modules where you want to deduplicate records.

Select module in zoho crm

Step 2: Click on Actions to Deduplicate Leads

Step 3: Set Criteria for Deduplicate

On the Deduplicate page, select the fields you want to use to search for duplicate records by clicking on them.

Then click on the button to Find and Merge Duplicate

Important Note

  1. Here we can select up to three fields and your CRM will search for duplicates based on those fields.
  2. Fields you’ve marked as unique will be shown. If none are marked, Zoho CRM will use a default set of unique fields for the module

Step 4: Proceed to Merge Duplicates

Click Yes, Proceed to merge the duplicate records.

A popup window appears, as a conformation about the de-duplicate function. Click OK

Important Note: 

  1. If the CRM identifies duplicates as exact copies, it will automatically merge them, requiring no further action from you.
  2. In an auto-merge, the record with the most recent Last Activity Time will be designated as the master record.
  3. If no duplicate records are found in the system you will get a pop-up for No duplicates found.

Resolving Conflicts in De-duplication

A conflict in dedulicate records in Zoho CRM arises when duplicate records have differing field values. For example, two records for Stella Gomes might have different phone numbers, making it unclear which to keep. You can resolve these conflicts in two ways. 

  1. Resolve Immediately: You can address the conflict right away when a popup notification appears by clicking “Resolve Now.”
  2. Resolve Later: If you’re occupied, click “Do it later.” You’ll receive an email with a link to resolve the conflict, valid for three days.

Here you can see all the duplicate records found in the system for the Contacts Module. You can switch between tabs to view duplicates for each selected field.

Merging Duplicate Records

In the Deduplicate Contacts page, duplicate records are displayed as columns as shown below.

To resolve conflicts:

  • Select a Master Record: Click “Select All” to use all values from one record, or use the radio buttons to choose specific field values from different records.
  • Finalize Values: The selected values will appear under the Master Record column.
  • Merge Records: Click “Merge” and review the warning message. Confirm to complete the merge. 

The duplicates will be successfully merged into one single record.

Points to remember:
  1. Only one user can initiate de-duplication per module at a time.
  2. You can merge up to three records at once.
  3. If there are more than three duplicates, the system will prompt you to select three to merge from the list.
  4. Once a master record is specified, all related child records are transferred to it.
  5. Merged records are permanently deleted, and the action cannot be undone.

Preventing Duplicate Records in Zoho CRM

As your business grows, managing duplicate records in CRM becomes challenging. Zoho CRM helps prevent duplicates by allowing you to mark fields as unique, such as Email addresses or Contact Numbers. When a duplicate is detected, CRM alerts you. Administrators or users with customization permissions can set these unique fields across modules, helping to prevent duplicates during manual entry, imports, and integrations. If duplicates still occur, you can use CRM’s de-duplication tools to resolve them.

Users with customization permission can enable unique fields, with administrators receiving email notifications when this feature is enabled or disabled. It must be separately enabled for the Leads and Contacts modules. Once enabled, all users will be notified if they try to add a lead or contact with an email address that already exists in the CRM.


In conclusion, maintaining a clean and efficient CRM system is crucial for businesses to ensure accurate data management and effective customer relationship management. Duplicate records pose various challenges, including reduced efficiency, damaged customer relationships, and inaccurate reporting. 

However, with Zoho CRM’s deduplication capability, users can easily identify, merge, and eliminate duplicate records, enhancing data integrity and operational efficiency. By following the deduplication process and utilizing unique field settings, businesses can mitigate the risks associated with duplicate records and optimize their CRM system for better performance and customer satisfaction.

Maximize the capabilities of your Zoho CRM with the help of our expert guidance. Schedule a no-obligation consultation to discover how we can help you unleash its full potential.

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