How to Define Contact Roles in Salesforce

By Liz Kao, Jon Paz

Defining contact roles in Salesforce can help drives sales. Many sales reps do a great job of collecting business cards for contacts within an account, but this action alone doesn’t get them closer to a sale. Contacts and their titles often don’t tell the whole story about decision makers and the chain of command within an account. To use contact roles in Salesforce, your administrator must proactively reveal this related list on the account record.

To better define the buying influences on an account, go to an account record and follow these steps:

  1. Review your records in the Contact related list. If important contacts are missing, add them first.
  2. Click the New button on the Contact Roles related list. The Account Contact Role Edit page appears.
  3. Type the name of a contact in the Contact field and then click the Lookup icon. A pop-up window with your search results appears.
  4. Find the correct contact. If the contact is part of the search results, click the link for that contact’s name. If your search doesn’t find the contact. Refine your search, or click the New button to create the contact record and then select the contact you find or create. This is only true if “Quick Create” is enabled for your organization. After you select the contact, the pop-up window disappears, and the Contact field is filled in.
  5. Select the Correct Role from the Role drop-down list. The default roles are strategic, rather than mere job titles. If the right role for your contact doesn’t appear, advise your system administrator to edit the roles. Many companies match these roles with their particular sales methodology identifiers.
  6. Select the Primary Contact check box if the contact is your primary contact; then click the Save button or the Save & New button:
  • Save: The Account detail page reappears, and your contact appears on the Contact Roles related list for that account’s record.
  • Save & New: A new Account Contact Role Edit page appears, and you can associate another contact to a role immediately.