4 Replies Latest reply on Aug 26, 2013 12:39 AM by Cécile Maindron

    Do you standardize company names?

    Cécile Maindron
      Hi,

      we are looking at automatically standardize company names. Does anyone have try this?
      Should we replace existing company names with the clean version or should we create a new field with standardized name? (e.g. Nokia US and Nokia UK can be found either under their "real name" or their standardized name "Nokia")
      The goal is to be able to easily tag leads that belong to same company (e.g. is Customer), to do proper segmentations or run reports.

      Cécile @ Talend
        • Re: Do you standardize company names?
          Hey Cecile!

          This isn't really a solution, though I would imagine there are a few ways to go about this. If you use Salesforce, once a lead becomes a Contact, it gets assigned to an Account name, basically making all Contacts have a standard name (whatever you name the Account). However, the trickier part is with leads, as they can enter your system from any number of inputs, and until they're converted to a Contact at an Account, their version of "company name" is almost always different... so you might have 10 different versions of the same company name in your system.

          In theory, you could create a smart campaign that said "any time a lead is created with x-qualities (versions of company name, or has xxx in their email address), then update the "Company" field with whatever your Accuont Name value is (Or, don't use the "Company" field, and develop a new Custom field that would apply just to your preferred naming convention.)

          Your note caught my eye because we're playing with a field called "Friendly Account Name" that we can assign through single flow steps to all leads and contacts associated with a company (based on variations of a company name, email address, etc.). In short, we wanted to use this field as a token, to help personalize emails from time to time... just using "Company Name" wasn't going to work for us, as many of our formal Account Names (that fill the "Company" field in Marketo) feature a more formal version of the Company name (eg.: "Marketo, LLC") - and that wouldn't work in an email with a conversational tone. So, we've created "Friendly Account Name" to help standardize less formal versions of company names... the trick to this will be to develop smart campaigns to help auto-police/clean the field and to always review the field data prior to using it as a token, to ensure its accuracy.

          • Re: Do you standardize company names?
            If you are a SFDC user, you might also consider their Data.com service.  It offers you an automated method for matching Company Name (as well as key fields such as Industry, Address, URL, etc.) with their business database. It still takes a lot of regular monitoring and maintenence to keep Leads records in sync with Accounts/Contacts, but half the battle is having a reference -- a single point of truth -- to rely upon. I have found it to be the best available resource, especially if you are using Account data for related workflows such as billing, contract management, file naming, etc.
            • Re: Do you standardize company names?
              As Gary indicated the company names in Data.com are generally those used by D&B and provides a consistent standard, but trying to get your Account to match to Data.com can be incredibly painful if you don't have the right combination of a name, website, phone and/or location.  Frequently, we find that the annual revenue is well below what we would have anticipated only to discover that the Account is matched to a branch location and not the HQ location (and sometimes they share the same address!).

              Another option we are considering is ReachForce, which allows leads that fill out forms to select from a standard list of company names that closesly match the name that they type in.
              • Re: Do you standardize company names?
                Cécile Maindron
                thanks Jen O. Gary F & Elliott Lowe  for your answers.

                @
                Gary F we are not a SFDC user but we have already used data.com for US lead database. we have used their services to populate some fields but not really to do standardization.

                @
                Jen O. I like the friendly company name idea.