Add Accounts to Contacts in Salesforce

By Tom Wong, Liz Kao, Matt Kaufman

When deciding whether to add names of companies or businesspeople as leads or as accounts with contacts, remember that the leads module of Salesforce is nonrelational from lead to lead. If you’re serious about going after a particular company, and the inter-relationships of business contacts will be important, try adding the target as an account, rather than as a lead.

To convert a lead to an opportunity, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Convert button on a lead record that you want to convert.

    The Convert button is located at the top and bottom of the lead record. A Convert Lead page appears; see the figure.

  2. Complete the required fields.

    Required fields are highlighted in red. Here’s a summary:

    • Record Owner: If the lead owner remains the record owner, don’t change the selection. If the owner changes, click the Lookup icon and choose from the list of users. Select the Send Email to the Owner check box, if needed.

    • Account Name: If Salesforce doesn’t find an account that closely matches the Company field from your lead, it creates a new account record. In the event that it does find a match, select an option from the drop-down list, depending on whether you want to create a new account or associate the lead to the existing account.

      Converting a lead.

      Converting a lead.
    • Opportunity Name: If you want to create an opportunity, complete this field by giving the opportunity a name. (Make the name of an opportunity be the account name followed by a hyphen and then a summary of the product interest. For example: Amazon – New Hardware.)

      You don’t have to always create an opportunity record when you convert a lead. Sometimes, the lead that you’re converting is associated with an existing opportunity. In these situations, select the Do Not Create a New Opportunity upon Conversion check box to avoid creating a new opportunity.

    • Converted Status: Salesforce prefills this field with the default value that your company has chosen for a qualified lead. Don’t change this field unless your company has multiple selections for a qualified lead.

    • Task Information: You can create a follow-up task right in these fields, but you don’t have to. Complete these fields only if it saves you a step.

  3. When you’re done, click the Convert button.

    If Salesforce finds a contact record that matches your lead, you can then decide to associate it with the existing contact record. Otherwise, a contact record appears for your former lead. That contact is linked to an account corresponding to the lead’s Company field, and all associated records from related lists are carried over.

    If you chose to create an opportunity in Step 2, you can see the opportunity on both the account and contact record’s Opportunity related lists.