In my previous post on households, I described how individuals, contacts or consumers can be grouped in households in order to understand the value of the relationships between the household members. But what about account relationships?
Within Oracle Sales Cloud, accounts can be related to each other in multiple ways, of which account hierarchies and account relationships are the best known. But there is a third, much more powerful way to related accounts. It is not an unofficial feature, but a create way of using standard household functionality. I will call it Networks.
First and for all, accounts can be linked into a hierarchy. These account hierarchies are parent-child type of relationships that typically represent the accounts internal structure. Holding structures are a great example of such hierarchies.
Account hierarchies in Sales Cloud are supported by some great reporting capabilities to better understand them.
Besides that, we can use normal account relationships to define relations between accounts and contacts to understand the ecosystem in which the account is operating, the contacts they see as influencers and the partners they like to work with.
Another way to visualize relationships in Oracle Sales Cloud is through Households as discussed in my previous post.
Households are groups or people that can be dealt with individually but for which the group, typically seen as households in a Telco or Financial context, is also important to understand. Households are like networks or people. Should you approach a consumer in a standard way, or give him an extra discount if you would know his entire family is also a potential customer of yours?
When households form networks of contacts, and contacts are in B2C what accounts are to B2B, guess what happens when you try to use the household functionality to map relationships between account: you get networks of accounts!
Account Networks could be used to group accounts that share a common interest, where the relationship between multiple accounts provides more insight that the relationships between just 2 accounts. A good example of this would be how accounts operate using a common purchasing organization, how competitors approach accounts or which management consulting firms influence accounts.
Once networks are defined, there is all kinds of supported functionality that allows us to get the most out of these ‘networks’
- The above visualization is the default household – now network – visualization that adds to the understanding of the network.
- These networks or groups act as accounts themselves, so opportunities, leads, activities and contacts can be created against them as they were created against the group of the network members.
- Reports can be generated against the network to better understand the value of the network and the connected members.
Do not forget that each account can be part of multiple networks also. The possibilities to map accounts and take action upon the gathered insight seem to be endless! Let me know your creative way of using ‘Networks’!