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Big decision - your advice please

Hi there,


I'm putting Salesforce into my company - first time have done this and all is going well.  However, I now need to design the next stage (stage 3) of my process - and I'm not sure which bit of Salesforce is most appropriate to use.  Obviously, it's important I make a good choice, as the decision I make will have implications for years to come.


So far, the system I have created is structured as below:


Stage 1. LEADS.  A lot of new business comes in this way.  I have essentially made this like an old fashioned salesperson's T card system.  When we have a new lead, including one from an existing customer for a new area of business, it goes into leads, the sales team make the call, and then either kick it into the long grass for a while (i.e. are told to call back later, where a combination of lead status and and workflow rules mean it comes back to the sales team on an appropriate day) or they set up a meeting with the potential client - at which point the Lead is converted to an Opportunity.


Stage 2. OPPORTUNITIES. In our company, opportunities are where a potential client with a project (new or existing) has agreed to meet us to hear our pitch for their business.  Again, it's a T-card type system - with workflow rules and Opportunity status creating team meetings to prepare for a pitch, a pitch, and then the necessary follow-up to hopefuly win the business at the end of the process.


Stage 3.  This is the bit I need help with.  This is where we want Salesforce to help us create a process for dealing with customers who have allowed us to win their business in stage 2.  These are the most important people in our business.  Obviously, when the lead was converted into an opportunitiy, the customer became registered as an Account.  The people we talk to are registered as Contacts.  But in what part of Salesforce do we create the process that handles the current projects that we have won?  Ideally, there would also be a "convert" button in Opportunities that would take the opportunitiy and turn it into something else which retains all the information about the customer that was recorded earlier in the process.  I've looked at Contracts, but they don't seem like a good place, as there is no way to automatically transfer informaton from an Opportunity which has been won to a Contract.


Your thoughts very gratefully considered.  I'm a newbie - this is only my second post - so please be gentle.


Best regards,




Hi Alex, I understand your concern on getting this next stage right. One question I always ask myself is do I need to build this from scratch? Is there something else already in place I can use or build on? Along those lines I would recommend looking at Appexchange first to see what offering are available for managing projects and converting won opportunities to projects. Depending on your requirements, it might not be too hard to create this yourself on our platform but why reinvent the wheel if you don't have to. Look to our rich and vibrant partner ecosystem on the Appexchange.

Thank you very much for taking the time to write back. This certainly sounds like a potential way forward. I'll take a look and see what I can find, however any Appexchange recommendations from other readers who have been in a similar place gratefully considered.

Ideally, I'l like to use a Standard Salesforce system, rather than an external app, if one exists, but would consider this if there is no way to achieve this functionality using the standard components.
I've had a good look in the AppExchange, and there's nothing immediately obvious that's going to help. Any further advice very gratefully considered.