Leads, accounts, contacts, and opportunities

The relationship between leads, accounts, contacts, and opportunities can be a bit complicated.

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM, opportunities represent potential sales to people who are already tracked in your database as either accounts or contacts. Therefore, opportunities cannot be converted to accounts or contacts. You may be trying to use opportunities in the way that leads were designed to be used.

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM, lead records represent a potential customer who still needs to be qualified or disqualified through your sales process. In other words, they are intended to represent a particular person who does not yet have a contact or account record in your Microsoft Dynamics CRM database. Opportunity records represent a potential sale for someone who does already have a record. Although both leads and opportunities represent a potential sale, leads also represent a person, whereas opportunities do not (they are only linked to an account or contact record).

In the sales process that Microsoft Dynamics CRM assumes, leads were designed to be converted to new accounts, to new contacts, or to opportunities associated with existing accounts or contacts. Because opportunities are linked or associated with accounts or contacts, they do not include the detailed contact information necessary in an account or contact. Therefore, it is not possible to convert an opportunity to an account or contact.

In your organization, you may be using the terms “lead” and “opportunity” differently. If so, we are very interested in learning more about what you think when you see these terms, how your sales process works, and whether there’s anything we can do to further clarify Microsoft Dynamics CRM Help for people whose processes are not a 100% match with what we assumed when we designed the software. If you would like to let us know about some additional details regarding your unique sales process, please leave a comment on this post.

Andrew Becraft

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