How #AwesomeAdmins Help Salesblazers Sell as a Team


Selling has become a team sport, with 81% of reps saying team selling helps them close deals. For Salesforce Admins, enabling a team selling approach can create both opportunity and some complexity. Team selling weaves in many of the core responsibilities admins practice each and every day, such as permission sets, security, and data management. And because selling is a team sport, we know how closely our admin Trailblazers work with Salesblazers!

Which type of sharing model should you set up for your client? How can you ensure the right individuals and groups have visibility into the right records?

This post lays out some key considerations for two team-based sharing models: Account Teams and Enterprise Territory Management (ETM). Read on to learn how these options compare and determine which one will best meet your client’s needs.

If you need a primer on each of these Sales Cloud features, head over to Trailhead to learn more about Account Teams and ETM. Now let’s dive in!

Account Teams support simple or manual use cases

Account Teams functionality is a great fit for situations where teams are set on an ad hoc basis or don’t require frequent changes, especially if the accounts themselves don’t change frequently. This makes it a strong option for small sales organizations–and for larger organizations whose teams are managed by hand, such as teams covering strategic or named accounts.

Account Teams is a straightforward feature for simple or manually managed use cases. Though it has limited functionality, it’s easy to implement (unless you want to add bells and whistles yourself).

Record sharing

  • Account Teams is a sharing mechanism that works with a manually defined or default team out of the box. This means that the primary users of Account Teams–that is, those people in charge of setting or updating the team–may be the sellers themselves. Out of the box, Account Teams has a streamlined rep experience in mind in terms of user interface and access, though you can customize and automate if needed.
  • If a salesperson needs to add a collaborator to help manage an account, they can do so straight from the account page and determine the role and level of access for the new user.


  • Account Teams does not have a hierarchy, which means that you either need to leverage the role hierarchy, add managers to the team, or use customization to grant access outside of this standard use case. Due to the nature of the role hierarchy, a user can have only one role, and adding managers to the team can be tricky for the user to manage if you’re constantly changing records.
  • It’s easy for a salesperson to add new members to the specific accounts they’re working on, but if you have changes in your organization such as attrition or onboarding new members, you’ll need to revisit these records to ensure that the new teams have access.


  • You can set a default team for each user you want using Account Teams. This team will be added to each account the user owns, and you can update previously set Account Teams when modifying a user’s default team. The default team can also be automatically added when the user becomes the owner of a new account.
  • Default teams are great, but remember that every user gets only one. This can be limiting if a user has different teams depending on the selling situation–for example, backfilling a role or partnering with separate sales specialists per region.


  • Default teams rely on the Account Owner to be set, which means that once you determine the owner you can set the team.
  • Note that Account Teams does not provide an out-of-the-box means to set the owner based on account criteria like postal codes, industry, or segment. If you use another product to set the Account Owner based on rules, it’s easy to set the default team as that process runs.

ETM supports systematic and data-intensive use cases

ETM shines in team selling use cases that follow a standard approach, support high volumes of data, or both. With ETM, you can define a territory and associate your accounts and users to it–which gives you a central place to manage your teams and the records they need access to. This makes it an appealing, scalable option for organizations that want to easily enforce a systematic approach to assigning accounts to territories.

ETM offers more out-of-the-box features, including the ability to create multiple sales hierarchies–but more functionality means a longer implementation time and more admin support needed.

Record sharing

  • ETM is a sharing mechanism centered around a territory model (aka, your sales organization) and territories (aka, your teams and their accounts). Salesforce Admins or elevated planning users are needed to maintain teams through the Territories tab under Setup.


  • ETM’s territory model allows you to create multiple hierarchies for your organization beyond the standard role hierarchy. Let’s say you have two sales teams: one that sells hardware and another that sells software. You can create a hardware branch and a software branch in a single territory model, and assign a given account to both branches. This makes it easy for corresponding hardware and software reps to work together and surface account whitespace.
  • Whereas a user can have only one role in a role hierarchy, a user can be assigned to multiple territories in ETM. Maybe in the U.S., you have different managers for your hardware and software teams, but in Europe, the teams are aligned under a single manager. With ETM, that’s no problem. The territory model integrates with Collaborative Forecasting, which means your Europe manager can maintain a hardware and software forecast independently of each other–so it’s simple to track and manage the business.


  • ETM has built-in standardization. Zero customization necessary! Each territory can have multiple users and you can associate multiple territories to one account, which makes it a breeze to grant access to the same group of users to an account, lead, or opportunity. If you need to reconfigure your teams (such as moving users on and off territories), this is easily managed from Setup by editing the territory. ETM will handle the sharing recalculations for you, so you don’t need to make updates on an account by account basis.


  • A great feature of ETM is the ability to manage account assignments via rules on a particular territory. You can create routing rules based on account criteria to ensure that when a new account is created, the correct team handles it. A common example is postal codes. If an account has the postal code 12345, then the sales rep in Schenectady should automatically hande it.
  • You can also write rules throughout the hierarchy, which means you can manage the types of accounts a team may handle from one location. Let’s revisit our hardware/software example. Now, we’re adding a new sales team to our organization that’s focused on selling services, but only to our large hardware customers. We could create a rule on the services branch to target only accounts with hardware sales greater than $1 million, which would mean that only accounts that meet that criteria would be shared automatically with the services sales team.
  • You can always create rule exceptions by manually assigning accounts to a territory.

What about both?

Thinking of leveraging both Account Teams and ETM in a single org? For example, you may want to use Account Teams for your strategic sellers and ETM for more geographical assigned sellers. You can–with an important catch. You should always keep users in either Account Teams or ETM, not both. We repeat: Be sure not to replicate teams across these tools!

It’s critical to use only one sharing mechanism per team because:

  • It ensures clarity and correct assignments for your end users. There’s no risk of users being assigned by multiple tools, which creates confusion.
  • It prevents any performance issues stemming from sharing with the same users more than once through different means.
  • It keeps your reporting accurate, since otherwise it may not be clear which objects and reports to use.


You should use Account Teams if you:

  • Are new to team selling without structured rules for assignment.
  • Leave the handling of who is on each team to your users.
  • Can effectively use the role hierarchy for rollup reporting and sharing.

You should use ETM if you:

  • Have highly structured teams and rules for assigning accounts to reps.
  • Want to have control over the structure of each territory team.
  • Need multiple hierarchies for rollup reporting, sharing, and forecasting.

To recap, Account Teams and ETM are both great options. Which one you choose depends on your client’s needs. Consider the trade-offs of functionality versus implementation time and assess whether your client’s approach is more manual or systematic.

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