Friday, May 27, 2011

Parent & Child Accounts

AddressTwo is account centric, allowing multiple contacts per one "account" or what we often call a "buying center." But what if there are multiple buying centers within a company. This is the case in large businesses that have multiple divisions or departments, each making their own buying decisions. It's also quite prevalent in franchise or multi-location businesses.

One account doesn't work because they are indeed two separate "buying centers." However, you want to maintain the relationship from one to the other. So how do you do that? Child accounts.

When viewing the contacts under an Account, you will see a small option in the lower-right called "Clone this account." Cloning is the way that a parent births a child in AddressTwo. The clone will begin with the same data as the original, but you can then edit the contact info as appropriate to the newly forming (and fully separate) Account. However, when you're finished creating this new Account, you'll notice a small link below the Company Name field to the Parent Account. From the Parent Account, you can now use the "view child accounts" link (in the Contacts box) to see those childs?

What if you already have the child and need to create a parent relationship after the fact? It's possible, just follow these steps:

First, create the new Account that will be the parent eventually. This is the corporate office, or the headquarters for the many-faceted account.

Next, query for all of the soon-to-be child accounts. This could be a simple company name search, but be sure to exclude the one just created. Perhaps add a parameter to set zip code or city "IS NOT" the location of the recently added parent. This will ensure that all other accounts in that company except the parent you just created are found in the results of the query.

Finally, use the "Global Update" option under the "Use This List" drop-down to assign a parent account to all matching results. That's it, you're done.

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