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We are using Salesforce PE with API access.

We'd like to make the Leads section focused on projects instead of account/contact.

Our business and sales model revolves around chasing construction work, where the existence of a potential project is the core focus, and the people/business associated with it are either secondary or not important until the Opportunity phase.

e.g. Qld Government announce they want to build a new public swimming pool. That swimming pool development is the thing we are chasing, and want to identify that as a lead.

We can't create the Lead without a "Company" and "Person" which are mandatory, but we'd rather a) not enter them yet, b) create accounts/contact, and associate them with the lead first.

I realise I'm probably describing an Opportunity, but we're looking to track every little scrap of construction work, even if the job never eventuates, or there's little substance to it. It's logically the same step as a lead should take, just project focused.

My boss has told me to "figure out a way to make company and person not compulsory" within the Leads section.

I think we might need to be more open minded with solutions tho, so I'm asking

a) Can we make company/person not mandatory in the leads section

b) if(a) not possible, any suggestion how we could use salesforce to track projects before the opportunity stage.

  • Are you converting Leads to Opportunities currently ? – Amit Bangad Jul 21 '15 at 8:26
  • Only when the project and customer/account is new. Otherwise we create an opportunity from the existing account, or add the contact again (duplicate) or add dummy data. Each salesperson does their own thing, and it's not helpful. – Scott Jul 21 '15 at 8:51
  • Does my answer bring you closer to resolving your problem? – Amit Bangad Jul 21 '15 at 8:53
  • I am curious, Scott, if you implemented Amit's suggestion and how it is working? I am in the same situation you were in two years ago - building a lead generation system in Salesforce for a company that works in construction - and our lead process centers around building projects rather than individuals or companies. Anything you've learned in the intervening years, if this solution has worked, or what you did instead? – Lizzie Amundsen Aug 24 '17 at 19:48
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I might not 100% understand the life cycle of Project Tracking in your business context but if you say that this is really a lead and not an Opportunity. Then what I would suggest is -

  • Since its impossible to make LastName and Company optional, please fill in predefined place holder values like N/A in FirstName, LastName and Company.
  • Implement a validation rule that ensures that these three fields always have 'N/A' value.
  • Create an Account in your system with Name as "N/A" and create a contact with name as "N/A"
  • Create 2 lookup fields on Lead (Account & Contact). These fields will be non mandatory. you can directly manually create Account/Contact for the project you are chasing and fill in value here if required.
  • On conversion, always ensure that you attach the lead to existing Account/Contact called as "N/A".
  • On coversion page, you can mention Opportunity name as required, but this Opportunity gets attached to "N/A" account. So you might want to implemented a small apex trigger that picks up Account from the lookup field created on Lead or optionally you can manually edit this later.
  • Now this approach will also ensure proper reporting as we already have the lookup fields that can be used to getting Leads by Accounts and Leads by Contacts.
  • optionally you can also create a report on Opportunity attached to "N/A" account. This could serve as your unresolved Opportunities and you can tag them to appropriate accounts.
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