Users who need to use CRM but do not have specific ownership or roles related to the entities may have difficulty syncing them in a useful way. When the choice is only their personally owned records, a filtered list based on attributes, or all records, it may not provide them what they need in their views, syncs, and offline clients.
As a sales engineer and consultant at Meritide, Inc., I do not specifically own any contacts in
After working to try to filter my way through this, I came up short and went looking for an alternative. What we implemented was a new relationship called Followers.
This followers relationship is a many to many relationship between the entity and systems users. For instance, I can add myself as a “Follower” to any contact and so can others in the company that may not be owners or have a role with the contact. This follower capability lets me adjust my local data group for that entity to only include things where I have this relationship so only those contacts I am “following” will be synced. I have created a view for “Contacts I am Following” and I’m looking for ways that this follower relationship could be used in workflows as a way to communicate information to users what have started following the entities they are related to.
I can always get to other contacts when I’m connected but this following capability has allowed me to keep a neat, tidy, and small list of contacts available within Outlook and on my phone. Even though I don’t own the records, I only take with me the specific records I want for quick reference and can easily move contacts off and on the list by adding and removing myself from the follower relationship.
The only two drawbacks I have run into so far are:
1) The lack of ability to set this role in workflows. I would like to be able to have a workflow that is simply “Follow this contact” that would assign me as a follower in selected contacts from a find or list. Right now I have to add this relationship one at a time.
2) The lack of ability to group filter criteria across entities. I would like to have my local data group or views include contacts I’m following and any contacts that I may own but I have not been able to do an ‘or’ grouping relationship to pull in records where owner is the current user ‘or’ owner is in the followers relationship.
As we move this ad-hoc following relationship to other entities it is our hope that we can provide it as an option for our own users and our CRM clients to address the use of CRM data by users who may not be directly involved in the process or ownership of Accounts, Contacts, or Opportunities.