Real-World Relationships Between Companies, Contacts, and Locations

Core Premise
In a theoretically ideal/perfect CRM, the data that the CRM contains would be a perfect mirror of the relationships/events that exist/take place in the real world. That is to say, the CRM's data/structure would be abstracted from the real world as little as possible or, in the case of an idyllic CRM, would not be abstracted at all.

 

Of course, No CRM is ever going to be perfect for every use case (as every business's use case is going to be at least slightly different) but there is one major abstraction present that, if removed, would enable HubSpot CRM to serve the vast majority of use cases much better than it currently does or, in some cases, serve those use cases at all.

 

Feature Request 

IMHO, HubSpot CRM needs to treat companies, contacts, and locations as three completely independent top-level objects that all have many-to-many relationships.

  • A company should represent an incorporated entity in the real world.  In HubSpot, any company should be able to have any number of child companies and any child company should be able to have any number of parent companies. A company should be able to define any number of contacts as POCs for that company.
  • A contact should represent a human being in the real world.  In HubSpot, any contact should be able to have any number of companies for which he is listed as a point of contact and (independently of who he is a contact for) have any number of companies defined as employing him (every contact doesn't actually work for the company/companies he reps!).
  • A location should represent a real-world physical place.  Any location should exist as a top-level object (as opposed to being an attribute of a company). Any location should be able to define any contact(s) as POCs for that location (and any number of contacts.  Any location should also be able to define any number of companies as its owners/controllers.

This would be reasonably trivial to implement from scratch (make ALL the junction tables!) but, I imagine, it will be significantly harder to modify the existing code. That said, the existing structure should map to the new structure perfectly, so it should be entirely possible to migrate existing accounts to the new structure without user input.

 

My Use Case

Like many other others, my business manufactures products that we wholesale to retailers. Our relationships with these retailers varies from simple (single incorporated entity/single location/single contact) to complex (multiple incorporated entities/multiple locations/multiple contacts) and, right now, there is no practical way to implement my business's sales operations in HubSpot CRM.
(I am aware of the Parent Company/Child Company "workaround". That workaround does not provide the functionality my business needs.)

 

As an example, my business sells product to an LLC that has four retail locations around Texas. We have a single point of contact (the LLC's owner) that we go through to get product into three of those stores. Each of those three stores also have a store manager that we talk to for setting up in-store events. For the fourth store, we go through the store manager for sales and in-store events. If I was going to try to implement that in HubSpot CRM, my sales people would have to check all five of those companies for communication history every time we want to interact with this one LLC and there's no way for me to make crystal clear what person they should be contacting. That's bonkers and, more importantly, far too messy for day to day use. We just aren't going to do that. My sales guys are fantastic...but that workflow is not reliable enough for me to use it for my business. This isn't even an uncommon use case for my business. Off the top of my head, I have at least ten companies that are set up like this.

 

Bonus Value-Add

Simpler use cases don't really even need "companies".  A lot of small business really only deal in locations and contacts, like a residential landscaping company or an independent residential snow removal service might, this new structure would work fantastically for that use case, as well.

 

Bonus suggestion
When implementing this new structure, please consider that any of these top-level objects could have their own unique properties.  Companies, Contacts, and Locations could ALL have their own websites, phone numbers, etcetera regardless of their relationships.

34 Replies
Occasional Contributor

Any updates on this - I actually need this for a company onboarding form - so I have 2 issues I cant add multiple company locations and cant currently add company fields to a form

Advisor

Upvote again - another customer-related need has come up

New Contributor

It's a must

Visitor

Hello? No update from Hubspot?

 

Occasional Contributor

Definitely agree - our system is getting confusing and different staff members are ringing the same company (different location), which causes our clients to get frustrated... please implement this!!!

Visitor

Yes agree, definitely would make it less complicated!

New Member

Yes, please do, this is urgent and important!  The time saving will set the whole system apart for customer record traceability, I'm sure!

New Contributor

This is an absolute must. Lots of companies have more than one address and a quote would often need to be prepared to go to a different address than the general head office... something can't be done right now frustratingly! 

 

 

HubSpot Moderator
HubSpot Moderator
updated to: In Planning

Hello HubSpot Community, 


Thank you as always for your continued feedback, it helps us build a great product.  This post is an interesting one, I'm very happy I found it. We're working on a few things on the HubSpot product team what will likely (indirectly) solve some of the problems you all are running into here!  Mostly, we're hoping to increase the flexibility of our CRM in many ways. As a result, I'm going to move this idea, at its core, to "In Planning". 

I'm loooking forward to following back up in the near future with some updates! 


Dylan

New Contributor

Hubspot

 

I am surprised no one has thought of this.  It is a very basic concept.  I love the feature to type in the domain name and have the basics of the parent company there.  However, there needs to be a option of entering in multple addresses for a company

When I visit engineers or plants, they are not sitting in HQ with the executives.  I need to define the contact and where they sit so that we can visit them in the right place

Occasional Contributor

A use case that is super common is having multiple franchises of a company. We have a lot of restaurant chains and I cannot import them properly because they all have the same domain and I get an error. I was told my only options are, eliminate the domain or make up fake domains for each one. 

Visitor

This is a must have for real business - especially global companies.
For example, in the hotel and restaurant world, Marriott.com is the parent company, but each hotel is an independent entity operating in that country with different tax IDs, etc. They may be a franchise or wholly owned, but they are under a contract to operate for Marriott with a Marriott brand. Furthermore, each hotel has a website that is a URL/<path>, so although Hubspot's URL lookup/create feature is wonderful, it fails for individual hotels since they are identified by the <path>. Marriott has 6000+ hotels and the parent-child work arounds that have been suggested just wont work.
Please correct asap!  Thanks!

Esteemed Contributor

We would greatly benefit from this feature. We work with global companies that have multiple locations and function as completely separate entities. Yes, they have the same domain name but they are vastly different from one another. The other complexity factor is that different Account Managers represent different locations, so the current setup of HubSpot is not helping us one bit.

 

I would suggest to add a 'location' field that is directly tied to the Company record and based on that field, you can select which location you'd like to associate your email/deal/contact/ticket with and that would make the world of a difference for us.

 

Please move this from "in planning" to development!

Visitor

I hope I'm not reviving a dead thread here, but this is exactly what my company needs.

We deal with site by site contacts, as well as their head office/managers and potentially also the owners of a property which would all be great to link to a 'location'