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CTA for Activities not related to an Account

Userlevel 5
Currently, a CTA must be linked to an account. However, there are certain use cases where it would be nice to have a CTA for CSMs that are not account specific - e.g. internal activities. A sample use case is a CTA/Playbook for New Hires.

Current workaround is to create an "Internal Account" where these types of CTAs can be assigned to, but it would be nice to have another more fluid option.

17 replies

Userlevel 6
I understand that it is awkward to use a stand-in account for this use case.  Fact is, the assumption of an Account is really central to the current object model that moving away from it would be quite challenging.  I am curious: besides the poor aesthetics of having a default account sitting there, are there functional limitations that you find in the current setup?
Userlevel 5
Is it possible to assign a CTA to all of the CSM's (or all in a certain category) using the dummy/default account? This was previously raised in this post; and it didn't seem like that could be done.
Userlevel 7
Badge +2
We can only assign a single resource to an the CTA would get assigned to an individual CSM using the dummy account method.
Userlevel 6
You are right, Jeff, that it is not possible to have duplicate CTAs on the same account.  However, there is a way to make this work by tokenizing the CTA name. In this way, each CTA is different and so you can have one for each CSM.  

Here is one approach. 
1. Add a lookup from Customer Info to your default account
2. Build the rule on Customer Info bringing in (at least) CSM, CSM Name and the Default Account reference from above
3. Add any filters that you want -- e.g. if you only want to assign the CTA to CSMs who manage large customers you can add a filter on ARR.  Or whatever.
4. In the Account Lookup selector (at the bottom of the Setup Rule screen) select the Default Account reference.  This is where the CTA will show up. 
5. In the Action screen, you (of course) select Call to Action.  
6. Now here is the key point: in the Name field type the generic name and the that AT symbol, @.  Then select CSM Name or CSM Email (or something else unique per CSM).  This field value will then be appended to the CTA name, thus making the uniqueness criteria per CSM.  


7. Be sure to assign the CTA to the CSM from your Show fields.

To review what is going on here: we selected all customers (with an optional filter) and extracted the CSM information.  We also told the system to take the action on the Default Account based on the lookup field that we added.  Naively, this should create one CTA on the default account for every Customer -- but that doesn't happen because the system says 'ah, ha! you are creating duplicates (same name and reason) here so I will throw them all out but one.'   But by adding in the CSM name (or other unique thing about the CSM) into the Name, then the system will create one CTA for each CSM.  What is cool here is that even though a given CSM will manage many customers, you will still get just one CTA for each CSM. 

Userlevel 6
The ability to create CTAs that are not associated to customer accounts would be really beneficial to our team as well.  I can understand that adding the ability to leave the account blank could really be a challenge with your current model.  Another thought I had would be for Gainsight to instead have a built in 'default account' for every user. The default account could function similarly to customer accounts but have some sort of 'internal only' flag that does not include it in certain reports or analytics.  Every CSM would then have an account called "Melissa Personal" or something they could assign CTAs and tasks to.  Obviously, still not an easy or quick fix, but something to think about!
Userlevel 6
Interesting approach.  Thanks for the input Melissa!
I also agree with Melissa's comment! I personally would like to use Gainsight as a one source of truth for anything I need to do Account Management related. Having the option to not assign a CTA to a specific account will allow me to do things like "Update Health Status in SalesForce" as a generic reoccurring task. While I understand you can build dashboards to help with this and build CTAs with rules to look for things like Update Health Status, there are instances where this is not the case and having the option to add a basic CTA would be nice.
Userlevel 6
I agree with this approach as well.  Wonderful idea and definitely needed!
I consistently create 'Action Item' lists for my team.  Currently I do this via email, but it would be nice to have the ability to utilize the CTA feature for this to help increase usage of Gainsight and trackability.
Karl, curious to know if there has been any traction made on this feature. Now that we are up and running within our organization, multiple people have been requesting this internally. Do you happen to have an update?

Userlevel 6
Hi Andy.  Would the idea mentioned above of having one account (or relationship) to which you attach general (ie not customer specific) Action Items work for you?  
Userlevel 6
Hi Jordan.  The typical pattern for doing this is still the suggestion in this thread of having a default account that you use to assign non Customer specific action items.  (Noting the need to be careful about uniqueness.)  I would love to hear more about  how this does and doesn't meet the needs.   

The idea of free floating CTAs (not tied to an Account or Relationship) is not something we have made progress on as it would be a huge change and can't realistically be undertaken until we do a major refactoring.  

To Melissa's idea of having a pseudo-account per user to use for the generic CTAs, I believe that this could be done using Relationships.  Define a Relationship Type called "CSM" (or something) and on some default account create one Relationship of that type for each of your CSMs.  You could include in the R360 definition things relevant to the CSM like charts of their activities and even (if you wanted to) a scorecard that measures the CSM's performance.  This would also a natural place to assign CTAs with action items not specific to a particular customer.   This is obviously not the usual use case for Relationships but if it appeals, I would be happy to discuss the idea further. 
Userlevel 3
Having just gone live with GS, this is a request that has already been raised.  I like the idea of a 'personal account' per user to attach non-account related activities (CTA or TAsk) to.  The workarounds mentioned seem to have their downfalls so was wondering if any progress has been made on this front.  Not having this functionality means using another system to track non-account specific tasks which goes against using GS as our one-stop-shop. 
Userlevel 2

Has there been any update on this request?  We went live with Gainsight last September and having CSMs manage their tasks in two different systems does impact adoption. It would be helpful to have a clean way to assign CTAs and Tasks that are not associated to a particular customer/client.

Userlevel 6
Badge +1

My CS team has been on Gainsight approximately 3 months, and they are leaning in well on making it “home base” for their work. Thus, they quickly asked for this “not associated to a Company” CTA functionality.

I was impressed with the early ask here, signaling that they find Gainsight valuable, and they want to expand its use without having to keep a separate list / tool in a neighboring window.

We’re facing the same issue here. We need a personal workspace/“account” for all CSMs/Solutions Engineer where we can trigger CTAs.Like reminders to update data, special requests etc. 


We tried having this triggered from a default account but this was not helpful as a lot of people miss these CTAs when they go look at a cockpit view for their accounts  so a lot of these CTAs are never completed.

It make it challenging for CSMs to adopt Gainsight if they still need to maintain another to do list outside of Gainsight. People just don’t want to maintain two to-do list.


It would also be much better for leadership reporting purposes also to easily see if tasks assigned to that personal workspace have been completed or not.