Salesforce Contact Roles Overview

Those less familiar with the advanced modern CRM systems may be baffled by some features and constructs that’re discussed and tossed around in the community now. Some may find themselves reticent to ask about them, for fear of looking ignorant. But, even for old business professionals used to traditional databases and business logistics wouldn’t have heard of these little tweaks and finesses that make the modern systems so diverse. One such thing is Salesforce contact roles.

Now, they don’t do anything revolutionary. In fact, while various automatic functions in Salesforce can indeed query by these, and analyze these in making decisions, they’re first and foremost just a good extra classification field for contacts, to aid users.

Various people are part of any business deal, not just one liaison from each side. This means that a number of people perform different functions in the joint ventures. While most people tend to know what they need to of who does what, it’s a bad idea to rely on this.

Just as most employee databases track roles of employees in extra columns, it’s just as helpful here.

Are Salesforce Contact Roles Complex:

They’re ridiculously simple to work with actually. There are limitations in place for these, such as an inability to add custom fields to them, or show them in case entries.

But, entering them into the fields is very easy to do.

Workarounds:

There are a couple workarounds for those limitations, if that’s a major inconvenience to your organization, such as using custom objects in place of contact roles, or building custom links or buttons that can call the information up at will.

Those are a little extra work, and chances are that won’t ever really be an issue, so I wouldn’t worry too much about that.

Additional Use:

As I said, they can be used for additional things if you’re using additional procedural logic. You can use them as search refinement criteria, information for smart decisions for contact automation, other such things.

Looking Ahead:

In the future, advanced automation for targeting and for information distribution will probably take advantage of these added fields, though it’ll be at the cost of some regulation to what roles are available.

Beyond that, really all this does is help further refine who’s relevant at any given time, and to find people who serve a specific purpose more easily as well. There’s honestly not much more to say about this.

Do I Need Them:

You should probably go ahead and get into the habit, because it does breed efficiency and saved time in the long run. So, while it’s not an absolute must, it’s a convenient extra feature of Salesforce that can make your life easier.

With that in mind, it’d be silly not to take advantage of it if it’s there, right? But, if people are going to take Salesforce contact roles more seriously as something worth looking into, I think they’ll need to better overcome the limitations in place with these right now. Forcing custom objects for added versatility is kind of the long way around things, though that is in and of itself getting easier and easier to do. Read more related information about the way of creating custom objects in salesforce.

Amanda McDonnald
Amanda is the Lead Author & Editor of Rainforce Blog. Amanda established the Rainforce blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Salesforce usage.
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