10 Salesforce Account Hierarchy Best Practices

Salesforce account hierarchy best practices to help you get the most out of your data.

Salesforce account hierarchy is a powerful tool that can help you organize and manage your customer data. However, it’s important to use this tool in the right way in order to get the most out of it. In this article, we’ll share 10 best practices for using Salesforce account hierarchy. By following these best practices, you can ensure that your data is organized in the most effective way possible and that you’re getting the most out of this powerful tool.

1. Use the right hierarchy type

The two most common types of hierarchies are position-based and reporting. Position-based hierarchies are typically used in organizations where there’s a clear chain of command, such as the military or a corporation. In contrast, reporting hierarchies are more flat, and they’re often used in organizations where there isn’t a clear chain of command, such as a non-profit or a school district.

So, which type of hierarchy should you use? It depends on your organization. If you’re not sure which type of hierarchy would be best for your organization, ask yourself these questions:

– Is there a clear chain of command?
– Do people report to multiple people?
– Are there a lot of people at different levels in the organization?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, a reporting hierarchy might be a better fit for your organization.

2. Create a clear account structure

When you have a clear account structure, it’s much easier to see which accounts are related to each other. This is important for two reasons.

First, it helps you avoid duplicate data. For example, if you have two accounts that are actually the same company but with different names, you can easily merge them together.

Second, it helps you understand the relationships between different companies. For example, if you know that Company A is a subsidiary of Company B, you can easily create a report that shows all the contacts and opportunities for both companies.

To create a clear account structure, start by creating a custom field for each level of the hierarchy. For example, you might have fields for “Parent Company” and “Subsidiary Company.” Then, populate these fields for each account.

Once you have your fields set up, you can create a report that shows all the accounts at each level of the hierarchy. This will help you quickly see which accounts are related to each other and make sure there are no duplicates.

3. Keep hierarchies up to date

If an account hierarchy is outdated, it can cause problems with data accuracy and reporting. For example, if a parent company is acquired by another company, the account hierarchy will need to be updated to reflect the new ownership structure. Otherwise, the data in Salesforce will be inaccurate, and reports that rely on that data will be incorrect.

Outdated hierarchies can also lead to confusion and frustration for users. If they don’t understand the hierarchy, they may not know how to find the information they’re looking for. Or, they may try to create duplicate records because they think the existing record is in the wrong place.

To avoid these problems, it’s important to keep Salesforce account hierarchies up to date. This means making changes to the hierarchy as needed, such as when a company is acquired or when a new subsidiary is created. It’s also important to keep the hierarchy clean by deleting old records that are no longer needed.

4. Manage your data quality

Your data is the foundation of your account hierarchy. If it’s inaccurate, incomplete, or duplicated, your entire structure will be compromised. Not only will this make it difficult to get accurate insights, but it can also lead to problems with automation and reporting.

To avoid these issues, it’s important to regularly review your data and take steps to improve its quality. This includes deduplicating records, ensuring that all required fields are filled out, and maintaining a consistent format.

It’s also a good idea to put processes in place to prevent bad data from being entered in the first place. For example, you could require users to complete a certain number of fields before saving a record or use data validation rules to check for errors.

5. Ensure you have enough licenses

If you have a large number of users in your organization, it’s important to make sure that you have enough Salesforce licenses to cover them all. Otherwise, you may find yourself in a situation where some users are unable to access Salesforce, or certain features are disabled for them.

It’s also important to ensure that you have the right mix of licenses, so that you’re not paying for more than you need. For example, if you have a lot of users who only need basic Salesforce functionality, then you don’t need to buy a bunch of expensive Enterprise licenses.

Finally, it’s worth considering buying extra licenses, even if you don’t think you’ll need them right away. Salesforce often runs promotions where you can get a discount for buying additional licenses, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for these.

6. Leverage Account Hierarchy in reports and dashboards

If you have a report or dashboard that’s based on data from multiple child accounts, it can be difficult to get an accurate picture of your data if you’re not using account hierarchy. This is because the data from the child accounts will be rolled up into the parent account, which can skew your results.

However, if you use account hierarchy in your reports and dashboards, you can drill down into the data from each child account to get a more accurate picture of your data. This is a valuable best practice for Salesforce account hierarchy because it allows you to get a more complete picture of your data, which can help you make better decisions about your business.

7. Build custom roll-up summary fields

Roll-up summary fields are a great way to surface information from child records up to the parent record. For example, you could create a roll-up summary field on an account that counts the number of contacts associated with that account.

The problem is that Salesforce’s out-of-the-box roll-up summary fields are limited. They can only count or sum certain types of data, and they don’t work with custom objects.

Building custom roll-up summary fields gives you much more flexibility. You can use them to count or sum any type of data, including data from custom objects. Plus, you can build them using Apex code, so you’re not limited by Salesforce’s point-and-click interface.

If you’re not familiar with Apex code, don’t worry. There are plenty of resources available to help you get started, including the Salesforce Developer Network ( and the Trailhead learning platform (

8. Enable sharing rules for accounts

When an account is created, it’s automatically assigned a owner. By default, the owner is the only person who can see or edit the account. However, there may be times when you need to give other users access to the account.

For example, let’s say you have a sales team and you want everyone on the team to be able to see all of the accounts that are owned by members of the team. In this case, you would need to create a sharing rule.

A sharing rule is a Salesforce feature that allows you to give other users access to records that they wouldn’t normally have access to. For example, you can use sharing rules to give members of a team access to all of the accounts that are owned by members of the team.

Enabling sharing rules for accounts is a best practice because it allows you to control who has access to what data. Without sharing rules, anyone with access to Salesforce would be able to see all of the data in your org, regardless of whether or not they should have access to it.

Sharing rules also make it easy to give users access to data that they need. For example, if you have a new employee who needs access to certain data, you can simply add them to the sharing rule and they will automatically have access to the data they need.

To enable sharing rules for accounts, go to Setup, then click Accounts, then Sharing Settings. Then, check the box next to “Enable Account Sharing Rules.”

9. Consider using Apex code

Apex code is a powerful tool that can automate the process of creating and maintaining an account hierarchy. For example, you can use Apex code to automatically add new accounts to the correct parent account based on certain criteria, such as location or industry.

Apex code can also be used to automatically update the account hierarchy when changes are made to account data, such as when an account is renamed or merged with another account.

Using Apex code to manage your Salesforce account hierarchy can save you a lot of time and effort, and it can help ensure that your account hierarchy is always up-to-date and accurate.

10. Use automation tools to manage your account hierarchy

As your business grows, so does the number of accounts in your Salesforce org. Managing all these accounts manually can be time-consuming and error-prone. Automation tools can help you manage your account hierarchy more efficiently by automatically creating and updating accounts based on data from your CRM system.

For example, you can use an automation tool to create a new account whenever a new customer is added to your CRM system. The tool can also update existing accounts when data in your CRM system changes. This way, you can be sure that your account hierarchy is always up-to-date.

Automation tools can also help you keep track of your account hierarchy. For example, you can use an automation tool to generate reports that show you which accounts are new, which have been updated, and which have been deleted. This information can be valuable for troubleshooting and for auditing purposes.

There are many different automation tools available, so it’s important to choose one that meets your specific needs. Be sure to consider factors such as price, features, ease of use, and support before making your decision.


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