SFDC Sync: Multiple Account Associations via "Shared Contacts"

SFDC Sync: Multiple Account Associations via "Shared Contacts"

Salesforce has had default support for multiple Account associations for several years (via AccountContactRoles), but visibility into multiple Account associations (especially from MA platforms like Marketo) is generally lacking.

This month, Salesforce rolled out their Summer '16 release, which includes general availability of the new (poorly-named) "Shared Contacts" feature (https://success.salesforce.com/ideaview?id=08730000000BrBSAA0). This is an opt-in feature which unifies the existing "Contact: AccountId" and "AccountContactRole" relationships, replacing the "AccountContactRole" with a new "AccountContactRelation" object. This new feature supports both "direct" and "indirect" relationships, automatically setting the "Contact: AccountId" for direct relationships but using the junction object for indirect.

Currently, we have the ability in Marketo to sync the "AccountContactRole" junction object via Salesforce Objects Sync. This has the potential to be useful, but suffers from two major limitations:

1. Account entities are ignored in the Salesforce Objects Sync, so we cannot access fields on Accounts which are related via "AccountContactRoles". We want to specify a filter something like "Has AccountContactRole >> Account" or "Has AccountContactRole: With Account" with Account-level field constraints, such as "Revenue >= 1mil" or "State == NY".

2. The "AccountContactRole" entity does not permit the creation of custom fields, so we cannot work around #1 by mirroring Account information directly into the junction object.

The major difference between the old "Role" and new "Relation" is the ability to create custom fields on the junction object, which would resolve #2 and provide us a path to leverage many-to-many Contact-to-Account relationships from inside Marketo... so I was very excited to see if this new feature would help address some of the difficulties with handling multiple Account associations in Marketo.

When I enabled this new feature and synced the SFDC schema, I was crestfallen to discover the "AccountContactRelation" object was not available in "Salesforce Objects Sync". I'd like to see the "AccountContactRelation" exposed to "Salesforce Objects Sync", because it would be a short path to building segments from multiple Account relationships.

25 Comments

Hi Mark and Wyatt

We looked into it with Salesforce and not even Pardot can do this, despite being part of Salesforce. How does it work with Exact Target?

Thanks

Andrew

Level 4

ExactTarget doesn't natively support the related relationship but you can query SFDC through its API and build a data extension of that relationship. We ended up still going with Marketo with a custom object being fed by a SFDC query. It works quite well but has some tech debt (e.g. SOQL, scheduled API upsert, Email Scripting).

Thanks a lot Wyatt. Doesn't sound like a quick fix, but will have to speak to our SFDC admin about this soon.

I believe we're overcoming the segmentation problem by using RollUp Helper to bring attributes from the ACR to the Contact record. I presume that when we implement the Account Contact Relationship Marketo will recognize some new fields on contact and a that few thousand contacts being deleted when we eliminate the duplicates.

Community Manager
Status changed to: Open Ideas