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I see that you can make an Opportunity without an Account: http://www.screencast.com/t/kjElV8BEf39

What are the implications of creating an Opportunity without an Account? I'm considering it for B2C.

For example, are there reports that won't work? Are there standard features (e.g. sharing) which won't work?

  • Will you be using Person Accounts in your B2C scenario? If so then it will be necessary to link them to the Account part of the Person Account object. – Dave Humm Mar 2 '16 at 16:52
  • But why is it necessary? – Ray Dehler Mar 2 '16 at 16:53
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    I've always found this strange in SFDC - the standard layout for Opportunity has Account as required but the field accountId is not actually required when doing DML. – cropredy Mar 2 '16 at 18:23
  • Per my screencast, you can remove it as required. – Ray Dehler Mar 2 '16 at 19:42
  • Ray, some users are flagging this as "too broad", specifying what you mean by 'implications' may help, example: list of standard features that will not work. That would be a finite list which can't be answered subjectively. – Samuel De Rycke Mar 2 '16 at 22:43
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The point related to your question may be: Why is Account optional at all?

An Opportunity with no Account does not have any significance, and does not affect forecast. it may be an opportunity that you wish to associate with your new customers in future.

A Sales Process always starts with lead generation. And when you convert a Lead, you must associate a new or existing Account to the Opportunities that you may wish to create.

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I'm struggling to come up with a use case but here goes ..

You prebuild a bunch of Opportunities with Products to represent standard opportunities for common business use cases.

You have some automated process that upon creation of an Account (perhaps via Lead Conversion), locates the 'correct' prebuilt Opportunity, clones it, changes the closeDate and attaches the clone to the new Account.

Thus, the Opportunities without Accounts exist as 'template' opportunities and participate in a 'factory' process.

The advantage of course, is you can change the template (or mold as it were) via the UI as business use cases change over time

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I think the question should really be: what do you gain by having an Opportunity related to an Account?

The main (business) answer to that is you get a historical view of your customer that helps you understand them and therefore sell to them within that context.

By having an Account (Person Account or Business Account), you can run reports that show you all your customers that have had more than one Opportunity with you, or when reviewing a customer, you can see what they've attempted to purchase from you in the past. You can also see other interactions with them such as Cases, Activities (emails/meetings/calls), or whatever else may be important.

To me, the implication of not having an Account is that you have no context for your Opportunity. There's no way to see whether you've dealt with this customer in the past, and if you have, what were those dealings like?

Other technical things to think about:

  • Accounts can store the address (along with maps) of the customer.

  • Salesforce1 and most salesforce apps are built assuming your customers are loaded as Accounts/Contacts and therefore those tools won't help you. i.e. You won't be able to show on a map the location of your customers.

  • All comms (such as campaigns and a lot of emails) are usually sent to Leads/Contacts/PersonAccounts, not Opportunities.

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    plus -- Opportunities w/o Accounts require doc hints scattered about as such objects will lead to no end of puzzlement for users and Ray's successor(s) over the lifespan of the org. – cropredy Mar 3 '16 at 0:18

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