Best Practice for conact versus person

  • 25 August 2020
  • 4 replies

We are new to GS and just went live last week.  Any recommendations on best practices on synching Contacts/persons between SF/Gainsight.

When a person/contact is missing is it best to just have that contact record created in SF and have it push over to GS or go ahead and create the person in GS and write a rule to write back to SF.  Is there benefit to one way or another?


Best answer by katerina_nemcova 1 September 2020, 13:06

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Userlevel 7
Badge +12

I would always recommend creating the contact record in SFDC and pushing it to Gainsight. 

Think of it like this: 

  • I am currently the Customer Success Operations Manager at Granular
  • I am also consulting for a startup called Sociavore, as their acting Head of Growth
  • At the end of the day, I am just one person, with two company associations

This would result in the following in Gainsight:

  • Person Record: Gunjan Nichani - identified with an email address and Person GSID
  • Company Person Record: Gunjan Nichani at Granular - identified with SFDC Contact ID (1) and a Company Person GSID (1)
  • Company Person Record: Gunjan Nichani at Sociavore - identified with SFDC Contact ID (2) and a Company Person GSID (2)
  • The Company Person Records would both lookup to the Person Record, creating a tree

This would be the following in SFDC:

  • Contact on the Granular account: Gunjan Nichani, CS Ops Manager
  • Contact on the Sociavore account: Gunjan Nichani, Head of Growth

This gets a little complicated when pushing the other way around, and can cause a lot of errors when you start to look at dependencies on the Contact object in SFDC, such as validation rules and, oftentimes, marketing automation. Safe bet is always SFDC first.

Then, if there are additional layers of data that are unnecessary to share on the “contact” in SFDC, you can build those fields in Gainsight (at the appropriate level of Company Person vs Person once you determine whether the information is related to the person or their job role).

Example: we created a “Last Seen in Product” field on the Gainsight end that populates on the Company Person record from Redshift. Nobody needs it in SFDC (for now), so we don’t need to mess with the records there!

Anything you would add, @CurtisValentine or @jean.nairon ?

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

I agree with @gunjanm, but I think it also matters what audience you have in Gainsight and what audience owns upkeep/adding of contacts.  For example, in my previous life, technically, AEs owned the contacts, but were not in Gainsight, so in that case, the contact would also be added in SF.   So, if a CSM wanted to add a person to the account, sometimes we would just add them to Gainsight while we waited on the AE to add in SF.

Userlevel 6
Badge +4

Great answers @gunjanm and @heather_hansen. I fully agree on where to update the contact details depending on who does the work. SFDC is a better tool for creating, updating, and deleting contacts.

Badge +1

Hi @Leanne Monter 

We have a 2-way sync set up between SFDC Contacts and People in Gainsight. All in all we have 6 rules running every 2 hrs which:

  • sync changes made to a contact in either database e.g. telephone, address ...
  • bring new contact created in either database
  • turn contacts inactive 

We set this up in mid 2018 so there may be a better way now ? and if so, I’d recommend moving that direction but if not, then this may work for you too. It’s given us a way to sync two contacts repositories into one, giving people the option to use either of the systems (some of our Sales will only use SFDC and some of our CSMs will only use GS). This solution is not perfect and you need to consider few things like deleting a contact but there are ways around it and so far this has worked well for us