07-12-2010 03:02 PM
In many cases we have new prospect companies versus contacts. Therefore; we know the company name, address, etc. but don't have a contact person at the company yet. We would want to input these records to our database and do some marketing campaigns to try to move us to the next step and get a contact name. In an instance like this what is the best practice? Set up a contact record with no contact name, just company name and info; or set up a company record with no contacts attached? I tend to lean to the company record but ACT is structured in such a way that a lot of it's functionality is driven from the contact record and without a contact record, you simply can't use some of this functionality (adding members to a group for example).
1-Company names/info without contact...set up company record with no contacts or set up contact record with no contact name?
2-Are there any issues in setting up a contact record without a contact first and last name, just company name and info?
Thanks for any input you can provide.
07-14-2010 02:12 AM
I'm having the same problem. It's hard to imagine we're the only two with this dilemma. I hate using time-consuming workarounds for such an apparently simple problem. Why hasn't anyone responded yet?
What could be more common that having a company name without a contact?
07-14-2010 06:36 AM
I'm hesitant to label any method as a 'best practice' as much of how you set up act is dependent upon your business practices and what will work best for you and your company.
In general I suggest to keep companies as companies and contacts as contacts, but I've seen a wide variety of setups including folks who simply put company names in place of the data that would normally reside in the contact field to retain the same functionality but still geared more towards companies than contacts. Albeit this does present its own set of short comings.
Some issues I can forsee with setting up blank contact records with only company info would be that you'd have a high number of 'duplicate contacts' and reports having blank data. I don't see any harm in creating the company, and also creating a blank contact record with the known info and then linking the two, this would allow you to add other contacts to this company in the future as well as populating the contact info as it's known. As I said previously, how you choose to customize Act is first and foremost dependant upon your usage of the product.
Hope this helps.
07-16-2010 04:03 PM
Thank you very much for the response. I do realize that everyone probably does something a little differently based on their needs. Maybe versus saying "best practice" I should have just polled the audience, lol. So, are there any other users/admins out there that ran up against this question, made a decision to handle one way or the other, and would be willing to provide feedback on what you chose; why you chose it and short comings if any?
07-16-2010 11:35 PM
I think most people dont really know how to deal with this issue either and like me their method has developed over time, to illustrate how i deal with it.
I have a company i deal with called Macquarie Group (which i have as a company record) but there are over 12 different sections of macquarie that i deal with including 5 call centers and with in that about 20 staff.
So, i ended up doing this
Macquarie Group (Company record)
---->Macquarie Life (contact record)
---->Macquarie Margin Lending (contact record)
---->Macquarie Mortgages (contact record)
---->Macquarie Investments (contact record)
---->Macquarie Asset Management (contact record)
----> you get the picture
----> each staff member then has its own contact record
The reason i did this is the call center for each department is basically a contact point like an individual and i needed to keep emails and contact details with each. And each BDM (real person) i have a record for each as well as i frequently deal with them directly and needed to keep the record clean...ish
I tried setting it up as divisions etc but gave up on that idea and instead set up like above and it works well for me, so basically i have a combo approach
Hope that helps some
07-17-2010 06:27 PM
I think in all of this discussion the primary point of contact is a name not just a company so I would always create a contact record and then populate as you find new contacts. It is then easy as you add more contacts within the same company to duplicate the record and add the new contacts.
07-18-2010 12:08 PM
Not always, take my primary provider its set up as a company but its 3 call centers are contacts, the ladies in the call center dont have personal emais, and no direct lines yet i deal with them over 50 times a week with over a 100 emails a week.
As a result its cleaner to put them in as a group under the call center name, other wise emails for example will be added to over 35 people so each week that would be 3500 + emails added, and dont forget the others, i deal with over 30 call centers
I think it really depends on your business type