In our last blog post, we showed you how to Import Trade Show Leads into Salesforce Without Creating Duplicate Records.
In this blog post, we’ll educate you on what Salesforce Leads are and how and when to use them.
Why start with Salesforce Leads? What is a Salesforce Lead? How are Salesforce Leads different from Accounts and Contacts in Salesforce?
We get these questions quite often so I thought I should clear up the mystery about the Salesforce Lead object.
Salesforce Account records hold the data for the different companies you work with or sell to. Salesforce Contact records hold the data for the people that work at those Accounts (these can be combined into Person Accounts if you are using a Business to Consumer model). Salesforce Opportunities hold the data on individual sales you have closed or are working on closing.
With Salesforce Accounts, Contacts, and Opportunities, you have a 360 degree view of your customers.
Salesforce Leads are the start of that picture. The single Lead page allows you to store minimal Account and Contact information in one place, reducing the time spent creating records.
So, what constitutes a Salesforce Lead? A Salesforce Lead is generally someone you would like to do business with. They can include any of, but are not limited to, the following examples:
- Potential sales opportunities like people you meet at a trade show that express an interest in your goods or services.
- Purchased lists of people you need to cold contact to see if an interest exists.
- People who submit a form on your website to sign up for a webinar or to request more information.
- People that respond to your marketing campaigns (this can be tied into your web forms as well)
- Anyone you need to gather more information on before you can judge interest in your goods or services.
Why would you want to start with Salesforce Leads? By starting with Salesforce leads, you have the ability to pre-qualify them before your sales team gets them to weed out the ones that are not viable.
This allows your sales team to be more productive by only working on opportunities that have a good chance of turning into closed/win sales in Salesforce.
Also, by starting with Salesforce Leads, you get to utilize the following built in Salesforce functionality:
- Assignment rules to assign Leads to users or queues based upon your criteria (like product interest or their billing state).
- The “Find Duplicates” button searches for Leads, Accounts, Contacts, and Opportunities matching your record’s name, company, email, email domain, and phone fields so you can ensure you are not creating Salesforce duplicate records.
- The “Find Duplicates” button also allows you to convert the lead into an existing Account or Contact and update those records with the newer information or merge existing duplicate leads to eliminate Salesforce duplicate records.
- When the Lead is qualified, the “Convert” button automatically creates the Account, Contact, and optionally, the Opportunity record, saving you the steps of creating them individually.
- Salesforce Reports or list views can be created to:
- Track Salesforce Leads unread by owner. This field should be added to all Lead list views so your reps can easily see leads they have not viewed.
- Track last activity or last modified dates to ensure your Salesforce Leads do not go stale.
- Track the effectiveness of your Salesforce Lead Sources or Salesforce Campaigns.
- Track which Lead Sources or Campaigns in Salesforce are generating the most leads vs. converted leads. This is especially handy for purchased lists.
As you can see, starting with Salesforce Leads increases productivity, allows for reporting on your marketing effectiveness, and can help reduce duplicate records in Salesforce. If someone new calls in and makes a purchase right then, would you rather create an Account, Contact, and Opportunity, or create the Lead and convert it, letting Salesforce create the other records for you?