Salesforce Leads: Why It Comes Before Accounts, Contacts, and Opportunities

When it comes to an efficient marketing strategy, leads are what should come first to your mind. Assigning your leads, accounts, contacts, and opportunities properly is the basis of your future success. To make sure a company tracks its prospects the right way and converts as many leads as possible into real business opportunities, we’ve decided to provide you with detailed information on these Salesforce categories and explain why leads always come first.

What Leads in Salesforce Means

Salesforce Leads is a category of people that have no purchase history but who have an interest in your company’s products or services. Leads have contact information allowing sales representatives to reach them out and see whether your organization can cover these potential clients’ needs. This process is called lead qualification. At some point, some leads can be converted into Contacts for discussing your offer while those who don’t qualify will be removed from the Salesforce Current Leads list.


There are numerous lead generation techniques that can bring potential customers. Leads can be:


  • People you’ve met during exhibitions, sales trades, business meetings, etc.
  • Cold contacts you need to reach out to see whether they are interested in your company’s services/products. 
  • Your company’s website visitors who filled out an online contact form. 
  • People who saw your marketing campaign and got in contact with your company and many others. 

If your marketing team works well, there will be many leads generated every day. Salesforce helps to sort them out and focus only on those people who will bring profit to your company. No matter what lead generation technique you use, every new person that goes in contact with your company’s representative but is not working with or purchasing from your company should be assigned to Salesforce as a lead.

Salesforce Opportunity, Contact, and Account:  What’s the Difference?

What about other categories in Salesforce? Let’s cover them one by one.



Salesforce Accounts are usually companies that you do business with. However, depending on the type of the account, Business vs Person, accounts records can store information either about organizations or individual customers. Salesforce Contact only refers to an individual customer that your company works with. Salesforce Opportunity is a potential deal with a customer that is currently in progress and is not closed by the sales manager yet.


The difference between opportunity and lead in Salesforce is clear: a Lead has not made any purchase from your company yet, while Opportunities cover the information on the actual deal that you’ve had with a customer. This is what the sales process looks like in the case with Salesforce:



As soon as you convert your lead to contact in Salesforce, this person becomes your customer and you can make your offer to cover his/her needs. Once you agree on the deal, you store the information on your potential sales in Opportunity until the deal is closed.

Salesforce Functionality Used to Manage Leads

Salesforce offers numerous features and functionality to help you manage your lead the right way and take maximum advantage of their qualification. For instance, Salesforce allows assigning different leads to different managers depending on their initial interest in products or services, region, and other criteria. Salesforce also makes sure there are no duplicate leads in the system which can happen sometimes when leads are generated by several different managers at the same time. Duplicate contacts can be merged while existing ones can be easily updated with new information. 


The automated feature allows converting a lead into contact without any manual data entry which decreases the risk of human errors. You can also generate the Leads and Contacts report in Salesforce to analyze the given data and see whether your marketing team performs well.

A Set of Basic Rules to Work With Leads in Salesforce

Set time limits. Freshly generated leads need to be contacted ASAP.  The best practice is to contact a lead within 5 minutes of the initial inquiry. If this is not possible use automated email responses defining when someone will contact the lead and follow up on the timeline defined.  Salesforce offers a simple web to lead HTML form that can be used to capture and assign leads by priority to the sales team. All Leads should be prioritized and contacted the same day as a general rule of thumb.  Leverage Salesforce lead queue assignments to ensure all leads are assigned to the right representative and never sit in limbo. 


Assign your leads to three main categories. Each lead can be assigned to only one of these categories: Contacted, Qualified, and Not Qualified. Sales representatives are the ones who reach out to potential clients and decide to which category a lead will be assigned. 


Don’t forget about follow-ups. Reminding your customers about your company is important. Make sure you use Salesforce to assign a follow-up task to speak with your potential client later. Maybe the next time you call you’ll agree on a deal. 


Set our Opportunity standards. The goal of every sales manager is to convert leads into real sales as soon as possible. Salesforce allows converting Leads into Opportunities skipping the “convert to Contact” stage. However, it’s important for a company to set certain rules and standards when a sales rep can and should create an Opportunity.

Taking Maximum Advantage of Salesforce Leads

Salesforce is a powerful tool that helps to take your company’s existing processes to the next level. If you are looking for an opportunity to introduce Salesforce to your business infrastructure, reach out to OMI specialists. With over 20 years of Salesforce experience, our team knows exactly how it’s best to implement and customize CRM software in accordance with the specific business needs and goals.