1 2 Previous Next 24 Replies Latest reply on Dec 19, 2015 11:51 AM by Shaul.Bel

    Creating New Contact Records - when to use additional contacts tab


      Our customers are often large companies with many employees.  When we started with GM almost 20 years ago, our contact record strategy was to create a new record based on the company's physical address and add all contacts who worked there to the additional contacts tab.    While this has the advantage of keeping all pending/historical activities for the company in one contact record, it makes things difficult on many levels, such as importing & matching contacts, tracking an individual's source code,  and various mass email and reporting issues. 


      With the move to the new web-based system, I am curious if there is now a "best practice" or recommended strategy, or even a "pro's and con's" list, for contact record creation?   This is a big decision that I wish we would have had more input and direction on when starting out.


      Thank you,


        • 1. Re: Creating New Contact Records - when to use additional contacts tab
          TPorte Apprentice

          I'm sure someone will come along and tell you the best practice is one record per contact.  I think you have outlined the pros and cons pretty well.


          One record per contact won't work for our B2B business, we have one record per location.  So if a company has a billing address and three shipping addresses, then they have 4 Goldmine records.  And we utilize a lot of additional contacts.

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Creating New Contact Records - when to use additional contacts tab
            Doug Castell Expert

            The thing is, GoldMine can be used in a number of different ways to track companies and the associated contacts.  How you use it is going to primarily be governed by how you need to use it. 


            There are additional contacts, there is the relationship tree, there are referrals, etc. -- many ways you might track contacts and their relationships to one-another. 


            There's no one right answer.  I have some customers who even use the contact field (primary contact) to hold 'Bill and Mary Johnson' type data.  While it might sound like an outright WRONG way to do things, it works for their business needs and I have to admit that the downsides are far outweighed by the advantages for them


            So, I guess what I'm saying is that you probably should have discussed this internally (and/or with your GoldMine partner) when you installed GoldMine and started using it. 


            All is not, however, lost.  Since all the data is in your database, you have options.  There are built-in tools that can convert additional contacts to primary contacts, create relationship trees, replicate data amongst contacts and so on.  Beyond the built-in stuff, the sky is the limit with regards to custom data manipulation. 


            The key thing is that the data is in the system.  If your needs with regards to relating and tracking the contacts/companies have changed over the years and you need to shift gears, it is entirely achievable, you'll just need to talk it out to figure out the best approach, moving forward. 

            5 of 6 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Creating New Contact Records - when to use additional contacts tab
              barryirageller Rookie

              Laurie I have been working with Goldmine 20 years just like you. Everything has been so damned logical concerning almost all of GM's features & is the main qualitative reason I use it still. Everything that is except the exact issue you mention here! Over the years I still have little fits over Just How certain contacts are treated -- a record for every person in a company -- done that. Full use of associated contacts, staff, everyone, recorded as tabs of that company (with 50 email addresses sometimes for a single record) -- done that. An entire list on a single record but the Major contacts on individual records, so I don't have to wade through dozens -- done that, too. In fact if there are more ways under the Sun to apply different ways of the Contact record structure, from the very complex to the simple. I think I have done them all. And if not, why not? :-)  With GM I have always been my own client, lol. My favorites go from recalling a conversation from 10 years ago in seconds, to easily mailmerging a single email to hundreds or thousands.


              In truth, everything Doug Castell says is 100% true :-) Probably the main work ahead of you is sorting out all the "not-needed" complexities of past usage, which may not have been the best call at the time. But you can change all of that now, make a newer future for your company with the latest technology.

              2 of 2 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Creating New Contact Records - when to use additional contacts tab

                I agree with Doug that often the business need dictates the approach. In my experience, I have seen companies who are B2C benefit from separate contact records to very specific details and dates about a person. For those in the B2B world, the single contact record with additional contacts helps them get a 360 degree view of their customer with everything they are doing all in one place. As Doug mentioned, there is no one right answer and in some ways that is what is nice about GoldMine is that it provides you flexibility to use it in whatever way fits the business need.

                3 of 3 people found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Creating New Contact Records - when to use additional contacts tab
                  DSt-On Rookie

                  I agree with Doug as well, however in the new Web interface you cannot schedule and complete activities for additional contacts. There are no plans to include this feature in the near future  unless there is a heavy demand for it. This is certainly an issue if you're planning to use GoldMine Web in a B2B environment.

                  2 of 2 people found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Creating New Contact Records - when to use additional contacts tab

                    Thanks everyone for sharing your insight and experience.    As a primarily B2B company, our inside & outside sales staff still prefer that everything(all contacts, pending & history activities) be kept in one record, but for marketing purposes, I have some gripes... 


                    If Goldmine itself had a better data import tool, one that could reach into the additional contacts tab, and evaluate potential duplicates based on more than just a single data point, many of our headaches would be eased.  (I know: you're all going to say "use Goldbox", but this is not very user friendly ).   When you have 350 tradeshow leads that you want to import, but you want to avoid creating duplicate records - additional contacts are a problem.


                    If GM allowed additional field data (such as source code) in the additional contacts tab - that'd be nice too.   


                    I am really surprised to hear that the new web version won't allow you to schedule/complete activities for additional contacts?  That will be a big problem for our regional managers.

                    2 of 2 people found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Creating New Contact Records - when to use additional contacts tab
                      TPorte Apprentice

                      No scheduling and completing for additional contacts in Goldmine Web?  Seriously?  That is a huge drawback for us.

                      2 of 2 people found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Creating New Contact Records - when to use additional contacts tab
                        JErste Specialist

                        I prefer Inaport over GoldBox.  It is much more user-friendly and can accomplish what you need.

                        1 of 1 people found this helpful
                        • 9. Re: Creating New Contact Records - when to use additional contacts tab
                          Meredith.Herzog Rookie

                          That's a huge issue for us B2B uses that need to updates activities to keep all uses aware of what is happening. From quotes to appointments. I was looking into the cloud version but see that as a major issue and will have to stop and figure out what I need to do.

                          • 10. Re: Creating New Contact Records - when to use additional contacts tab

                            Hi Lauri,


                            I'd like to add to all the comments above by saying that a lot of companies don't use the additional contacts anymore.

                            This also because of e-mail marketing.

                            As you may know every e-mail address (person) need an opt-in or the option to opt-out when sending commercial e-mails.
                            And you want to collect useful data (extra fields) based on your mass mailings too. So I would recommend a separate record for each contact just to be able to collect and store all the useful info you might get.


                            Now you say you want to see all activities and such on one record.
                            I think it's easy to see it per person, and use the Roll-up function (relationship tab) to see all activities and such of all contacts in the same company.

                            If you will use marketing more and collect data in GoldMine, I recommend keeping it separate.

                            1 of 2 people found this helpful
                            • 11. Re: Creating New Contact Records - when to use additional contacts tab
                              CDohme Apprentice

                              This is why other CRMs allow you to have Contact Records linked to Account Records.  It's a structural problem that can't be solved effectively & efficiently with the Relationship, Additional Contacts or Referrals tabs.  The web interface is still using the same underlying database structure as the full client so Doug's advice carries the day IMO until they make structure changes.

                              1 of 1 people found this helpful
                              • 12. Re: Creating New Contact Records - when to use additional contacts tab

                                I agree with Davey.  Having an MBA in finance (that I never used), I was taught to capture data at the lowest possible level (separate contact records) so that you can later roll that data up in ways you never imagined when you started.  I have rarely used "Additional Contacts" except for an admin to a primary contact, and then use the "Relationship" tab (org chart) to link all the people in same department and same company.  Mostly, I do it to send emails to groups of people, but sometimes I use the "Rollup" button, which effectively merges a group of contacts into one record on a temporary basis.  Then, when done, undo the rollup.  Seems like this might be your best solution to satisfy both marketing and sales needs.

                                • 13. Re: Creating New Contact Records - when to use additional contacts tab

                                  Laurie, one of GoldMine's great strengths is it's flexibility.  However, you're right, it can sometimes be a challenge to know which of several possible solutions is optimal.  In this particular case, I don't think there is an approach that I would describe as "best practice".  However, I do think there is a rule of thumb that can be helpful when trying to decide which of two approaches to use in a particular situation.


                                  The goal here is to consolidate all of the information about a contact in GoldMine in such as way that it can be accessed consistently, easily and quickly.  So when the situation allows, you use a single contact record and the Additional Contacts tab.  The primary advantage of this approach is that all pending activity for the contact is right there in the contact record's Pending tab and likewise all past activity is in the History tab.  When an organization's information is fragmented across multiple contact records, it takes time to piece together a chronology of (for example) past activity that has spanned multiple people/departments/locations...


                                  Unfortunately, the situation doesn't always allow this approach.  The problem arises when you need to track a specific item of information for multiple people/departments/locations/etc.  I'll use date of birth as an example, but it could just as easily be credit card numbers, departmental sales figures or location-specific product interests.  You can create a custom field in a contact record to accommodate a person's date of birth.  Or if you're dealing with a household, you can create custom fields to accommodate the birth dates of each family member (since you can reasonably cap the number of family members).  But how do you track the birthdays of every person that you deal with in an organization within a single contact record?  You can't create an unlimited number of custom fields.  And if you use Details records, you introduce complexity when trying to leverage that data (filtering/reporting/exporting...).  In this situation, you are forced to use multiple contact records (one per person/department/location... as dictated by your tracking needs).  And then you link these contact records via a Relationship Diagram.  Your Pending and History are unfortunately fragmented, but at least you are capturing all of the information you need.


                                  And please note that some GoldMine clients will need to use both approaches and that isn't a bad thing.  We deal extensively with financial advisors.  They use GoldMine to track information about their investors, one contact record per household.  Our customizations allow these advisors to track (for example) the birth dates of every member of the household.  But when a child grows up and becomes a potential investor, then more detailing information about them must be captured, forcing the advisor to create a new contact record for the young adult and to link that contact record to their parents' contact record via a Relationship Diagram.


                                  Yes, it would be nice if GoldMine added support for a consolidated view of multiple contact records some day.  But in the meantime, the above "blended" approach, while falling short of being perfect, is still far superior to what can be done in other competing CRM products.

                                  • 14. Re: Creating New Contact Records - when to use additional contacts tab
                                    vicki.walline SupportEmployee

                                    Thanks LCesar for starting a great discussion!  Thanks also to those that have replied with interesting and varied information to assist Laurie.  DSt-On is correct that the current GoldMine Web does not allow for scheduling activities for additional contacts.  DSt-On, LCesar, TPorte, and mherzog, if this is functionality that is important to you for GoldMine Web, please send an email to [email protected] to be added to the existing feature request.  Our GoldMine Product Review Committee meets twice weekly and reviews new requests.  Your input is valuable when we discuss each request!

                                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                    1 2 Previous Next