Microsoft Dynamics CRM Best Practices for Contacts Who Change Companies

People frequently change companies, bouncing from one employer to another within the same or similar industries. If you work within a particularly close-knit industry, you will undoubtedly have Contacts who change from one company with which you do business to another with which you do business. We at xRM (www.xrm.com) answer that question frequently in our Introduction to Microsoft Dynamics CRM webinar.

As a Microsoft Dynamics CRM administrator, you will have to decide how your organization will handle this scenario. In Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you essentially have two options:

  1. Reassign the Contact to another Account.
  2. Deactivate the Contact record and recreate it under the new Account.

Both options work, but you will have to decide which is better for your organization.
Reassign the Contact to another Account

Your first option is to reassign the Contact to another Account. This process is very easy and only requires that you change the Company Name field on the Contact record.
As you probably know, Contacts in Microsoft Dynamics CRM are typically related to Accounts in the database, although they can also exist on their own. Relating Contacts to Accounts allows all of the Activities, such as Emails, Tasks, Phone Calls, and Appointments, to roll up to the Account level.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Contact Management

If you reassign the Contact to another Account, all of the Activities that are related to that Contact will now roll up to the new Account. Watch what happens when Benedict Arnold moves from Uncle Sam Enterprises to His Majesty’s Royal Army.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Activity Rollup

By reassigning Benedict Arnold from Uncle Sam all Activities related to Mr. Arnold now roll up to the His Majesty’s Royal Army Account record.

Deactivate and Recreate Contact

The second option is to deactivate the existing Contact record and recreate it under the new Account. Watch what happens when we deactivate the existing Contact record for Benedict Arnold. Notice that we aren’t deleting it. We are simply deactivating it.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Contact Activity Rollup

All of the Activities remain related to the Uncle Same Enterprises Account record and we can always Activate Benedict Arnold’s existing Contact record later if we need to.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Deactivate Contact

When we recreate the Contact Record for Benedict Arnold under the His Majesty’s Royal Army Account record, none of Benedict Arnold’s previous Activities will follow him. He’ll have a clean slate.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Recreate Contact

Which option is best?

The best practices approach for dealing with Contacts who move from one company to another will depend on your particular business and industry. If your Contacts are the most important entities with whom you do business, and you frequently continue to do business with them as they move from firm to firm, you will want to reassign them. This will allow you to maintain the history of communication with that person on one record. For example, if you are a recruiting firm, people are your most valuable asset and you will want to maintain your communication history with your Contacts as they move from company to company. Similarly, if you deal with consultants who move firms, you will likely want to maintain your communication history with that person.

If however, if your Accounts are the most important entities with whom you do business, you should Deactivate the Contact Record and recreate it under the Account that represents the new company at which they work. This option will likely suit most companies better than moving the Contact because it will allow you to maintain the history of communication, as well as the Case history, that you have with that company.

One thought on “Microsoft Dynamics CRM Best Practices for Contacts Who Change Companies

  1. Option C (only if you have implemented this in the past, or will do so going forward) is using javascript to get/set one of the attendees fields (optional attendees is a natural fit) with the parent account(s) of all contacts involved in the call.

    This works well because the OOB activity party relationships will result in visibility in both accounts for past activities.

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