How To: Improve Campaign Analytics using Contact Roles


I’m going to start this post by saying something controversial. Although I love being part of the Salesforce user community, and although I think that we are on the whole an intelligent, informed and helpful bunch, we are sometimes wrong. You cannot always trust what the community says. The wisdom of crowds isn’t always that wise.

I say that because, looking at the image at the top of this post, you may well be thinking ‘Why is Chris trying to convince us that an app with a low number of reviews and a mediocre rating is worth installing?’. But Opportunity Contact Roles Validation by Pactera is an app that I think the community has under-publicised and under-rated. And I want to tell you why.

First, let me explain what the app does. Once installed, the package gives you access to some simple fields (and some behind-the-scenes code to update those fields) which track the number of contact roles on an opportunity and whether or not any of those contact roles have been marked as primary.

And why is this information worth tracking? Well, you sell to individuals rather than an organisation, and it is real human beings who will be reviewing your quote, making a buying decision and signing your contract, so it makes sense to record who you’re dealing with on each opportunity. The native Contact Roles function allows us to do this.

Not only do Contact Roles make it easier to follow up on open opportunities without navigating back out to account and contact records, it also means that Salesforce will automatically create a link between the opportunity and any campaigns the contact has previously been added to, helping your business calculate the ROI of those campaigns. This will keep your marketing team very happy as their campaigns will be getting credit they deserve. And giving campaigns the right credit improves your campaign analytics, which leads to better spending decisions, which leads to higher-quality leads and better sales figures!

So that explains why this app satisfies a genuine, widespread use case, but now it’s time to tackle that elephant in the room – what’s up with that three-star community rating?

Well, firstly, the app hasn’t had all that many reviews. It has been under-publicised (one of the reasons for writing this piece) and the low volume of reviews means that the few negative reviews have more impact than normal, dragging the average rating down. But why are there negative reviews at all? Primarily for two reasons:

Either the reviewer feels the enforcement of roles should work even without the opportunity being edited – which is nearly impossible and doesn’t work in terms of human process: how can one correct the error by adding a contact role if one is not working on the opportunity? – or they want the validation to fire on creation of the opportunity, which is a classic chicken/egg scenario because you can’t add contact roles until the opportunity exists and you can’t create the opportunity if a validation rule is stopping you. The best way to overcome this is to tweak the default validation rule that comes with the app to only trigger when the opportunity already exists and is modified: for example, validate that the deal can’t have its Stage, Amount or Close Date edited without having at least one contact role listed, like so:

Number_of_Contacts_Roles_Assigned__c = 0,

Not only can this package help you ensure that contacts are listed on opportunities (making life better for Sales), and that the contacts’ associated campaigns get the credit they deserve (making life better for Marketing), and that all of this gives you better reporting (making life better for you and for the CEO), but it is FREE. And that’s why I think this is one scenario where you should look past the app’s middling rating and join me in saying ‘I love this community, but on this occasion we got it wrong!’.

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