Getting rid of nameless Contacts when Leads are qualified in Dynamics CRM

Some would wonder why such a question is asked… but in my Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 environment, we do not require a First Name or Last Name on a Lead. When a Lead is qualified, users often click the buttons to create an Account and a Contact, even when they haven’t specified any contact-specific information (such as first and last name). What results is often a Contact with no name, and that contact is the Primary Contact for the Account. Ouch!

To fix this, we created a workflow on the Contact entity, which would deactivate the Contact if it had a Qualifying Lead, and had a blank First Name or Last Name. This took care of the Contact, but there was still a problem: the Account’s Primary Contact pointed still pointed to the nameless Contact we just deactivated!

Looking at the Audit History on the Account, we were able to figure out that, when qualifying a lead, CRM creates and updates records as follows:

  1. A new Account record is created. The Primary Contact field is left blank.
  2. A new Contact record is created. The Contact’s Account is set to the Account created in step #1.
  3. The Account record created in step #1 is updated. The Primary Contact field is set to the Contact created in step #2.

To solve the deactivated Primary Contact problem, we created a workflow on the Account entity, which would clear the Primary Contact field if the Primary Contact was set to a deactivated Contact.

Problem solved! Users can continue trying to create Contacts with no names, and we’ll make sure they never see them.

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