SalesforceDecember 22, 2022

Managing Distributors in Salesforce

I often get asked how to connect a distributor to a deal so the deal will show both the distributor and the end customer. Since Salesforce doesn’t come with a predefined solution I thought I’d share my solution here.


Accounts are not there just to Represent Customers

If they would, the object would have been called “Customers” and not “Accounts”. Accounts can represent partners, dealers, agents, suppliers and distributors. The “Type” picklist field, which appears under the account object, can be used to distinguish between the different account types.

Connect the Distributor to the Opportunity

Once we’ve created a distributor account, the next step would connect the distributor account to an opportunity record. To do this we’ll add a new lookup field, to the opportunity object and name it “Distributor”. We can also filter the lookup field so users will be able to select only accounts of type “Distributor”.

Now when I create a new opportunity, I’ll use Account to represent the end customer account and Distributor for the distributor account. You can see in the screenshot at the top of the page that I’ve also added a lookup field to Contact and named it “Distributor’s Contact” in case I want to know which salesman of the distributor managed the opportunity.


Tracking the Customer’s Distributor

Over time I might want to measure how many customers the distributor brought. For this, all I need to do is add a lookup field on the account called “Distributor” and fill it in for every customer that came from a distributor.

I would probably create a simple process builder to automatically update the Distributor field on the account whenever the Distributor field on the opportunity changes.



Using these simple customization we can track the total worth of our distributors in terms of the total number of opportunities and the total revenue they bring to our business.

With more than 20 years in the software industry, 15 of them designing and implementing more than 100 CRM systems, Ofir has built himself a reputation as a leader in the CRM industry. He is also one of the very few people in Israel who has deep knowledge of both Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamic CRM, which allows him to feel confident to offer the most suitable solution based on his client’s needs.

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