Salesforce Leads or No Leads, That is the Question.

Should your sales team be leveraging Salesforce Leads, or not? Many organizations struggle with this, and we’ve seen lots of cases where using the Leads Object would be a vast improvement to what they’re doing now.

What is a Salesforce Lead Anyway?

So just what is a Salesforce Lead, and how was it intended to be used. First and foremost, a Lead must be a person, not a company. People are leads, not businesses.

The best way to think of a Lead is to think of it as a business card. You’ve got the name of a person, their company and contact information.  Nothing else. You don’t know their budget, their decision-making process, their timeline, or even their needs or interests. And you assume that reaching out via phone or email is probably worth your while.  Why is that? Well, perhaps Marketing secured a list of possible prospects or a new Lead came in through your website, or they dropped by your booth at a trade show. Ultimately a Lead is the name of a person that you, or your organization, believe is worth contacting.

What Happens with Leads?

 So, what happens with Leads? There are basically three possible outcomes when you attempt to connect with a Lead:

  1. First – The Lead either doesn’t respond to numerous calls or email attempts. Or the Lead does respond and states unequivocally that they’re not interested in pursuing anything.
  2. Second – The Lead is open to your call, but at the present time, isn’t necessarily interested in pursuing anything further. They are, however, open to continued attempts from you and/or agree to be kept up to date with updates from your marketing team.
  3. Third (every salesperson’s favorite scenario) The Lead responds favorably and is interested in learning more about your solutions at some point in the not too distant future.

Lead Conversion in Salesforce

How do you treat the three different scenarios in Salesforce?

Well, in option 1, you can select the Lead Status option called Unqualified, or if your Admin has customized your system perhaps you have an option like, Send to Marketing, Dormant, or Dead.

In the second option, you would Convert the Lead with the Convert action, and create both an Account and a Contact, without creating an Opportunity. Make sure to put a New Task on the Account and Contact records to follow up with the Contact in an appropriate time frame.

And finally, our favorite scenario – the Lead is interested in learning more! In this case, you’ll convert the Lead and create three new records – an Account, a Contact and an Opportunity. You’ll start the Opportunity at one of the early stages, set an estimated Close Date, an Amount and a probability of closing – all educated guesses at the point. The Lead record is then deleted from the system.

So, Should We be Using Leads?

The simple answer – probably. If your lead sources are vast, and your sales reps are networking and speaking to a lot of people, then yes, Leads will definitely help you sort out all of the clutter of Leads from Accounts, Contacts and Opportunities.

If your prospect pool is finite, however, and you have a determined amount of businesses that you would possibly sell to, then Leads may not have as much relevance for your organization. It all depends.

If you’re interested in getting guidance on whether to use Leads or not, and how to get your teams to use them properly, we’re just a phone call away.

by   Mark Christie