Designing an Account – Examples

Suppose you are the database manager for a brick wholesaler. Your firm sells to construction companies and contractors of various sizes. Because your clientele is diverse, each account you create is different. Example #1 gives an instance where a single-level account works best. By contrast, two-level and three-levels accounts are used in Examples #2 and #3.

Example #1 – One-Level Account

The customer is Burly Bricklayer Brothers, a small independent bricklayer company with seven employees. Two brothers run the business and make all buying decisions together. They also employ an accountant and a sales assistant.

This scenario calls for a single-level Account. Once the account is created, each brother would be entered as a Contact.

Suppose that later in the relationship you need to consult with the accountant on a financial matter. The accountant is entered as a contact, listed under the organization. There’s no reason to add a new department, such as “Finance”, to store the accountant’s information. Doing so would needlessly complicate the account.

Example #2 – Two-Level Account

The customer is Trent University. Although there are many departments and faculties in the university, you deal only with the Physical Plant, who are responsible for building maintenance and construction.

Rather than lumping Contact, Opportunity, and Interaction information underneath the Account alone, it’s a good idea to create a separate “level” for each part of the Account you do business with. In this case both an Account record and Sub-Account record (Physical Plant) would be created. You’ll be glad you structured the account in this way if other sites and/or departments are added later. Keeping information tidy and organized makes it easier to find later.

Example #3 – Three-Level Account

The customer is Building Giants Corporation, a large international developer with offices in the United States, Canada, and Australia. Building Giants has a head office in the United States. The head office is the only one with separate divisions for housing, school, and office building construction. Building Giants has over 5000 employees worldwide.

When creating this Account, you would enter the Account, Sub-Accounts for each location, and another level of Sub-Accounts for each Site. Contacts would be added later for the lowest levels. Only Sub-Accounts that are relevant to your sales activities should be entered. Since your firm does not sell bricks for skyscraper buildings, the office building division of Building Giants will not be entered into the database.