A story about two small features with BIG impact: Reference Joins and Set Values

A story about two small features with BIG impact: Reference Joins and Set Values 

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In this week’s product update, we’ve added two new features that dramatically increase the integrity and reliability in your data, while eliminating manual entry and clean-up.

We take enhancements like this very seriously at FreeAgent… almost as seriously as the ongoing taco hot-sauce debate!

In fact, every update to the product is the result of real use cases and stories – true stories about FreeAgents like you. We get pretty passionate about making sure they’re all success stories.

For this week’s update, here’s a use case from our Head of Product Strategy presenting our two latest features, live in the product this week:

 Reference Joins
 Set Values


Scene… the FreeAgent CRM Platform provides teams with a wide variety of options when creating a new field. There are the basics of number, currency, choice lists, tags, and so on.

Earlier this year, things started to get interesting with the arrival of ‘Reference’ fields, which empower users to create a relationship between 2 Tabs in FreeAgent. For example, adding a link to the Account directly on the Contact Tab. We went further by enabling users to also reference multiple records in one field. For instance, referencing a Parent company to its Subsidiaries.

Creating relationships with Reference fields helped users eliminate a LOT of clicking around. These links take you right to the related data, because connectivity and immediacy power business growth in real-time.

The plot thickens…

Additionally, through Preview Cards on Related Lists, users now always have a quick preview into the related record, in case they don’t really need to drill into that record right then (I mean, it’s almost lunchtime. This is a true story, remember?)


Reference Joins enters the scene
Traditional CRM applications can get messy for a lot of reasons but one of the worst villians…? Duplicated fields.

Innocent administrators often add the same field in multiple places across a CRM. By “places”, I mean areas within a suite of applications that you might call Tabs, Tables, Modules, or Apps. We usually call them by their stage name: Tabs.

In case you’re wondering…

This duplication is no accident. Admins do this because the CRM system forces them to. The data in that particular field is relevant in many areas – used for Filtering, Sorting, and Reporting within the Tab/Table/Module/App.

Let’s consider the Industry field, a common data point used for Segmenting…
Industry is useful in your Contact, Account, Opportunity, and Ticket tabs. Unfortunately, most CRM platforms force Administrators to create 4 separateIndustry fields within each table! Yikes.

So, you may have the Inside Sales Rep editing Industry on the Contact and forgetting to update the Account (no way – has that ever happened?!)

Then, the Account Executive creates a Deal and accidentally selects the wrong Industry (names have been omitted to protect those involved in the use case).

And on and on… it’s a mess! 

There must be a better way…?



Welcome to Modern CRM…
Today, we’re introducing a new field type to address this issue and rescue workdays! It’s called Reference Joins and it’s a real hero of a feature.

Now, when adding a field to a Form, Admins are empowered to reference a field value from a related record on a separate Tab.

Yes.. the same data in two places. The technology may or may not be built on wormholes. Don’t tell NASA.

Back to our story…
Industry, by definition, is directly tied to the Account or Company. It should be the master record that other Tabs can reference. In other words, the actual industry field (a Choice List field in FreeAgent) would exist on the Account tab and other Tabs would reference that the value on that field using the new Reference Join field type. 
This is ONE of MANY use cases. Think about Headquarter location fields (Address, City, State, Zip). So how about we just enter this data once and refer to it everywhere else…?  Yes, please!


Setting Related Values
As mentioned, entering data twice is annoying and manually entering data is error prone. Common scenarios include Creating a Deal, Creating an Account, Creating a Ticket, etc). When doing so, users have to re-enter certain data points that already exist in the CRM. What if your Customer Success Agent types in ‘American Broadcasting Company’ vs. ‘ABC’ when creating a Ticket from a Contact? Uh oh, a duplicate Account has been created! Users run into these situations upon the creation of a record in any CRM…

until now.
[cue music]

That’s why we’ve introduced the concept of Setting Values in FreeAgent. 


When a relationship is created between 2 Tabs in FreeAgent, users now have the ability to create a record in a related Tab from within the Tab they’re currently working in. Let’s consider the use case of creating a new Deal from a Contact record in FreeAgent. Both the Contact record and the Deal record have been configured to include Account and Contact/Deal Owner. With this new feature, Administrators can configure the Deal Creation modal to Set the Value of Account and Owner on the Deal automatically using the existing data on the Contact record. Wahala! 

FreeAgents don’t waste time on frustrating re-entry of data AND the CRM maintains data integrity… empowering great forecast meetings today and big business growth tomorrow.

Sounds like a happy ending to us!


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