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CRM Best Practice #15 - Caution with Multi-Layered Dropdown Lists

As with most things, I suggest moderation when it comes to the dropdown lists which permit a virtually unlimited number of levels (parent-child hierarchies) and values. Our Vice President of Sales went a bit crazy in the Sales Force Automation (SFA) module and used the Categories field to go 8 levels deep and configured the Regions field to go 7 levels deep. This presented two inherent problems. First, it took our SFA users way too long to find the category and territory values they were looking for. Sometimes, they didn't see it and then they either left out a field value or selected an incorrect field value. Second, the Query Designer has to do more processing to roll up these values when processing queries. This resulted in slower queries and display results. After reviewing our VP of Sales intent, we discovered we could remove almost all of the Region values and simply use the STATE and POSTAL codes values to get him the geographically driven data he was looking for.


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Aplicor is a web-based, online, on-demand, hosted, software as a service (SaaS) Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software application. This user forum is an independent member organization designed to help system administrators, designers, developers and everyday business users maximize their technology investment by sharing information, resources and support.

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