Multiple Object Picklists

Salesforce Campaigns

In Salesforce fields are object specific. Standard fields and any custom fields you may create are contained within the object. Sure, you can use formula fields to display the values of those fields on other objects, and you can use lookups to access the data from another object, but when it comes to fields they are the property of the object they were created in, right?

Well, not quite. There are three standard picklist fields on the Lead object that are not just used for Leads. Those fields are Industry, Rating, and Lead Source.

Industry and Rating are standard fields on the Lead object that allow you to capture information about the industry the lead is associated with as well as provide a hot/warm/cold (or custom) lead rating to help you prioritize your marketing efforts. However, if you make updates to these picklists, you may be surprised to find those same changes reflected on the Account object as well. That’s right, the Industry and Rating picklists are shared by the Lead and Account objects. Under Setup, you can edit the field either from Lead or Account, but if you add a new value, it will appear on both objects.

If you run across a use case where you need either the Industry or Rating fields to have different values depending on the object (Lead or Account), you can still use the standard Salesforce functionality of specifying picklist values by record type. Just assign your Lead values to the Lead record types and the Account values to the Account record types.

Lead Source is similar, but with a larger reach.

This single picklist can be found on the following five objects:

  1. Lead
  2. Account (appears as “Account Source”)
  3. Contact
  4. Opportunity
  5. Campaign Member

The last object, Campaign Member, gets overlooked a lot. While it may not appear on your list of record types when adding a new value, the field can be found under Setup | Campaign | Campaign Member, and if you are using a tool to migrate the metadata be aware that the picklist and its values are on the Campaign Member xml as well.

Written by Eirik Ackerman, Business Analyst at Demand Chain Systems

Eirik has over fourteen years of hands on IT experience, and has been working with Salesforce.com since 2008. During this time, he has successfully performed a number of roles including business analysis, development, technical lead, project management, and quality assurance for many successful projects for both large and small companies. For Demand Chain Systems, Eirik works as a business analyst and developer. 

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