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Whenever I go to conferences and get info from people. Then I have to add them as a contact, but I have to make sure the contact doesn't already exist and I have to make sure an account already exists because they are related. Then I have to add an opportunity for most of them and then those with opportunities need a custom object that is linked to the contact and the opportunity and we have a few more connections across various custom objects, with a lot of master-detail relationships.

Is this normal, and is there an easy way to do this that doesn't involve uploading into 6 different objects?

As I'm writing this I wonder if I could just put all of the relevant information in as a new object (lead?) and then create a flow or something that will create all of the relevant objects and linkages when I convert the lead to a contact. Is that doable? And could I make that just run on upload from a dataloader?

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There is an out of the box Lead object that will do some, but not all, of this for you. There is out of the box functionality called "Lead Conversion" which will convert a single lead into Account, Contact, and Opportunity records for you.

From the documentation: "When you convert a lead, Salesforce creates a new account, contact, and, optionally, an opportunity using the information from the lead. Any campaign members are moved to the new contact and the lead becomes read only. If an existing account and contact have the same names as those specified on the lead, you can choose to update the existing account and contact. Information from the lead is inserted only into blank fields; Salesforce does not overwrite existing account and contact data."

Talk to your Salesforce Admin about the feature.

https://help.salesforce.com/apex/HTViewHelpDoc?id=leads_notes.htm&language=en_US

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  • Thanks, I'll look into Lead Conversion. Sadly, I am the Salesforce Admin. Nov 19 '14 at 20:04
  • No problem. So this feature has pros/cons associated with it. If you read through the documentation I attached it should help you solve the problem if this will work for your business. Based on your description it will solve some but not all of your pain points. Nov 19 '14 at 20:05
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What you describe is called a Flow Trigger and will be part of the Winter 15 release. You can indeed create flows to do what you describe. The flow would need to be capable of handling the logic on its own when an existing account is encountered (including determining if closely named accounts with similar addresses are the same) without the need for human intervention.

See The Power of Flow webinar series page for more on these capabilities. Outstanding series of webinars.

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