User Accounts vs. Contacts
It can be helpful to understand the distinction between user accounts and contacts in Vendorful. In short, contacts are simply records of the names and emails of people that are known at a vendor. You can think of it like an address book. There is nothing the people in your address book need to do to be listed in there.
However, to respond to Vendorful events such as Requests, Auctions, or filling out Vendor Data, contacts must also have user accounts. This can be done by inviting that contact to participate in an event. If they don't already have a user account, they will automatically be invited to create one.
Contacts are viewable by clicking on the contacts tab of a vendor. There, we can see our list of contacts at that vendor as well as whether or not there is a corresponding user account. This list can also be viewed and updated by that vendor so that they may keep their contact information up to date.
More information about viewing and editing contact lists can be found here: Managing Vendor Contacts
The above image shows what a buyer viewing a vendor's contact list might see OR what a vendor would see when viewing their contact list for a customer. The list is the same for each as this list represents all of the contacts that the buyer knows at the vendor. A buyer can add more contacts to this list as they engage more points of contact at the vendor. Similarly, a vendor might add more contacts to this list if they would like to provide additional contacts that the buyer can then invite to Vendorful events.
The icons next to each contact show the status of that contacts user account.
This icon indicates that the contact has a user account and that they have used that account to log into Vendorful.
This icon indicates that the contact has a user account but they have not yet logged into Vendorful.
This icon indicates that the contact does not currently have a Vendorful account.
Creating Accounts for Contacts
As mentioned earlier, the only way for buyers to create accounts for their vendor contacts is to invite those contacts to participate in a Vendorful event. A contact without an account that is invited to an event will then automatically receive an email, prompting the user to request an account. Once the request is approved by the Vendorful team, the account will be created and they will receive an email to set up their password and log in.
The other way a user can set up an account is by being invited by one of their colleagues. Let's say a buyer sends out an extraordinarily large RFP and responses are due in a week. An invite to the RFP was sent to Bill at Acme Inc. Bill knows he'll need help and so invites colleagues to Vendorful to help him complete it on time. By default, these users are not added as contacts as Bill wishes to remain the only point of contact. However, if he wishes for the buyer to have more points of contact at Acme, he can then add those users to the contact list so that the buyer can invite them to future Vendorful events.