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Object Design

We have a client who supplies construction material to architects, interior designer. They need a way to track projects that their customers(architects, interior designers) are running and then how much much they have made on each of their client projects. 

Each month they collate information from 3rd party sources about construction projects approved by the givernment in their area and input all those projects as leads. The problem is some of the contacts may aleady exist in the system and therefore there should be a way to indicate that the contact already exists. Would you suggest we don't create a lead in this case and just use accounts and contacts?

Looking for suggestions and inputs on how to design the applictaion.