Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast we’re speaking with Cari Aves, the Director of Product Management for Accounts at Salesforce.
Join us to hear about Account Teams, Person Accounts, Account Hierarchies, and Contacts to multiple Accounts.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Cari Aves.
When You Should Use Personal Accounts
Traditionally, Salesforce is setup to track customers as companies, but if you work with individuals, you can use Person Accounts to track the way they interact with individuals across your organization. The first example most think of is retail, but you can also use Person Accounts to understand other relationships with people who work with your company, like accountants or doctors or lawyers, who tend to cross different companies and locations.
If your business does any kind of selling to individuals, it’s worth it to consider Person Accounts. Cari runs across DIY solutions all the time: “We have customers who want to model these relationships and they do backbends to create their own version of a Person Account.” These solutions don’t really let you take advantage of everything that Salesforce has to offer, but Person Accounts let you model this relationship and leverage everything the platform has to offer.
Multiple Accounts and Account Hierarchies
If you think about the standard Salesforce model, you have an account record and you have contacts who are related to that account. “But in the real world,” as Cari puts it, “you are dealing with contacts who often have relationships to multiple accounts.” This could be someone who owns multiple franchises of a restaurant, or a physician who has a private practice, a relationship to a hospital, and a relationship to a clinic. Contacts for Multiple Accounts builds on the Salesforce data model and allows you to create these relationships so you don’t have to duplicate the contact.
Relationships between Accounts are another key area that Cari’s team works on: “I think the challenge with Account Hierarchies in Salesforce is that we have a very basic representation of what that is.” We often think about it as just a parent-child relationship, but from a customer perspective they need to be able to have multiple Hierarchies, so “right now we’ve been very focused on improving the visualization around the Hierarchy,” with new additions like tree view and hovers. “I really want to hear from customers and learn more about what Hierarchies you want to maintain,” Cari says, “I want the Hierarchy to be a place of action and not just visualization.”
Going on the Road with the Lightning Now Tour
Cari was in Austin for this recording as part of the Lightning Now tour— so what is her view on the move to Lightning? “It’s been a great experience from my perspective as a Product Manager to see how people are approaching this project of moving into Lightning,” Cari says, “some are taking it as an opportunity to reimagine their implementation and I think that that’s awesome.” She sees a lot of people taking a moment to step back and rethink what they’ve been doing with their page layouts, customizations, and more.
For Cari, the Lightning Now tour has been valuable for that face-to-face time with customers, getting to share the new features that are coming and see how they’re thinking of applying it to their projects. Things like tabbed layouts, or individual related lists on different parts of the page. People are using these features to drive adoption with their salespeople to get folks using the application more extensively. “Oftentimes we get to interact with customers at Dreamforce on a call or webinar here and there, but it’s nice to be in-person talking through a very specific topic like moving to Lightning.”
For more insights, make sure to follow Cari on Twitter (@CFAves)
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