In an attempt to learn my way around ETM, I built a toy territory model that looks like this:

  • Corporation (Territory Type: Sector)
  • Pennsylvania (Territory Type: Geographic)
    • Philadelphia (Territory Type: Geographic)

The assignment rule for Corporation looks at the Industry field on the Account.

The assignment rule for Pennsylvania looks for Billing State Code = PA; that for Philadelphia looks for Billing City = Philadelphia.

I'm trying to wrap my head around how "Apply to child territories" works. When I leave that flag turned off, everything works as expected with a Corporation account located in Philadelphia, PA - all three territories get assigned. When I turn the flag on on the assignment rule for Pennsylvania, neither of the geographic territories gets assigned at all.

So my question is, proximately, why does this behavior occur, and ultimately, what's the actual use case for "Apply to child territories"?

  • I have experience with ETM, but with only one Territory Type (Geographic). I use 'Apply to child territories' with countries and states/provinces. So the parent level is country and the child level is state/province. It saves a condition for the child territory rules. In my org, Accounts only get assigned to one territory, which is essential, because only that way, opportunities get automatically assigned to a territory. Maybe the extra territory type is responsible for the strange behavior. Try it without the Sector type, see if it makes sense then. Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 12:15

3 Answers 3


I think the following example from the documentation will explain fairly clearly what's happening and what it is that you're missing:

Example: Rules can work together within territories and child territories. For example, you create a territory called Western States, with child territories Washington, Oregon, and California. From the Western States territory record, you create a rule that assigns accounts in Washington, Oregon, and California to that territory. You apply that rule to child territories and then, from the California territory record, you create a rule that assigns accounts in California to the California territory.

For any child territories for the California territory, you don’t need to specify the state in the criteria if you mark the California territory rule as inheritable to child territories. Instead, you can use more specific criteria, such as ZIP code or industry.

The rule you tried to apply to Philadelphia as "inherited" from PA, simply doesn't apply to help narrow the scope to Philadelphia. BillingState=PA provided no additional filtering to help isolate Accounts that belonged in the Philadelphia Territory. If you'd had a zip code filter to initially sort all of your accounts into PA, I'd expect that same filter could have been used to determine accounts that were located in Philadelphia proper and that kind of filter could have been useful if inherited.

In essence, it's the criteria that gets inherited while the application of the criteria can be adjusted to fit the specifics of each territory.

  • I'm very sorry for being so dense, but I cannot see the distinction between the Western States/California example and the Pennsylvania/Philadelphia example. Is the critical facet that both the Western States and California rules use the State field, with one filtering "more" than the other? If so, applying the rule to the children there seems duplicative - is it a performance improvement only?
    – David Reed
    Commented Jul 11, 2018 at 14:24
  • You got it the 1st time. In applying the rule to a Region of Western States and to to their child divisions that are individual States, they all will use the State Field. The Region of Western States is a "Larger Bucket" that uses the same filter criteria field as the "Smaller Buckets" referred to as States, creating more granularity.
    – crmprogdev
    Commented Jul 11, 2018 at 14:30

Are you sure, account did not get assigned to Philadephia territory?

I created a similar model and here's my understanding how it works.

If territories have inherited rules and locally assigned rules, and if accounts match both the rules, they always get assigned to the lowest matching territory.

In your case, with "Apply to child territories" enabled for PA rule, account gets assigned to the lowest matching territory i.e. to Philadelphia territory.

If you disable the flag, all the rules become locally assigned ones and hence are assigned to all the matching territories in the hierarchy. Hope that clarifies.


So far, my understanding is, if rule which assigns accounts to the territory should not be defined into the child territories if Apply to Child territories checkbox is selected at Parent level.

For example, if you are assigning the accounts in the Pennsylvania territory as Billing State Code = PA then this Billing State Code = PA should not be defined in any of the child territories if you mark Apply to Child territories. Because which that rule will automatically be applied into child level.

If you are marking this checkbox, when mark that in all the parent levels in the territory hierarchy otherwise, accounts will not get assigned at lowest level.

For disjoint don't mark apply to child territories checkbox because matching rule will not get propagated to the child level. The accounts will get assigned based on individual territory assignment rule without inheriting parents rule condition.

  • Santanu, let me see if I am understanding you - the use case would be essentially if the record sets for the parent and child territories were completely disjoint? That is, the records matching the child territory's match rules would not match the parent's rules, absent the "Apply to Child" flag?
    – David Reed
    Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 20:08
  • Yes, correct. For disjoint dont mark apply to child territories checkbox because matching rule will not get propagated to the child level Commented Jul 3, 2018 at 3:25
  • I have updated my answer Commented Jul 3, 2018 at 3:35
  • I must be more confused, as I thought I was saying the opposite. Sorry, I am having trouble following.
    – David Reed
    Commented Jul 3, 2018 at 11:06

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