Salesforce Leads vs. Contacts: 2024 Comparison

What Are Salesforce Leads?

Leads are potential customers or contacts who have shown some interest in your product or service but have not yet been qualified as opportunities or converted into customers.

Leads are used to track and manage early-stage interactions with potential customers. They often represent individuals or entities that have expressed interest in your offerings but have not yet progressed to a more advanced stage in the sales cycle.

Leads typically include information such as name, company, contact details, and details about the lead's interest or source.

What Are Salesforce Contacts?

Contacts, on the other hand, are individuals or entities that have moved beyond the initial stage of interest and are now considered established relationships or customers.

Contacts in Salesforce represent individuals or business entities with whom you have an ongoing relationship or have conducted business. They are more advanced in the sales cycle compared to leads.

Contacts contain information such as name, title, contact details, account information, and other relevant details. Contacts are often associated with an Account, which represents the company or organization to which the contact belongs.

3 Key Differences Between Salesforce Leads & Contacts

  1. Stage in Sales Process 

Leads are typically used in the early stages of the sales process to track potential opportunities, while contacts represent more established relationships with customers.

  1. Information Captured

Leads may capture information about a potential customer's interest or source, while contacts often contain more comprehensive details about the individual or organization with whom you have an ongoing relationship.

  1. Conversion

Leads can be converted into contacts when they are qualified as potential customers. During conversion, information from the lead record is transferred to the new contact and, if applicable, an associated account and opportunity.

Why Differentiating Between Leads vs Contacts Matters

Getting your sales team to correctly decipher and log leads and contacts in Salesforce is really a symptom of a bigger challenge which is getting your sales reps to perform top-notch pipeline management across the board. 

Sales reps are concerned with closing their deals first and the quality of the data in their CRM second. The accuracy of the company’s forecast is too far removed from their day to day to understand or see the ramifications of inaccurate pipelines and out of date deals in Salesforce.

However, the health of your sales pipeline and the accuracy of it reflected in each sales reps’ CRM is critical for the health of the overall sales organization. 

Without it, leaders are flying blind when they forecast and aren’t able to proactively identify risks, coach reps, or improve the efficiency of their sales cycle and customer journey because they have no data to base their decisions off of.

The problem is, it’s easy for data in Salesforce to go bad. Most reps and sales leaders resort to tracking deals outside of the CRM and in spreadsheets, docs, and other apps disconnected from Salesforce because there’s less friction and it’s easier to make changes and updates.

Fortunately, there’s a solution.

Scratchpad: A Better Way to Manage Salesforce Data

Scratchpad is a simple Salesforce Chrome extension that gives sales leaders the visibility and confidence to forecast accurately, coach effectively, and evaluate the health of their pipeline knowing that the information in Salesforce is accurate.

How? Here are a few reasons why Scratchpad ensures your sales team is maintaining healthy data in Salesforce:

  1. Deal Spotlights

Scratchpad Deal Spotlights show you warnings and gaps in your open pipeline, helping you to take action and make updates before receiving that gentle reminder from your manager or ops.

  1. Workflow tiles

Scratchpad's Workflow Tiles enable you to create shortcuts to your Salesforce fields and data. Whether you're an AE optimizing your workflow, a Manager inspecting deals, or RevOps driving process compliance, Workflow Tiles are the fastest experience to view opportunities, manage pipeline, follow processes.

  1. No-Code Automations

Design, build, and manage your sales processes with Slack notifications or have them arrive right in your Scratchpad Sales Inbox. Celebrate wins, notify reps of opportunities missing next steps, alert managers of deals not progressing stages, and identify missing MEDDIC fields or lack of activity.


While understanding the distinctions between Salesforce leads and contacts is crucial, it is just one facet of the broader imperative—the overall health of your Salesforce data. 

Compromised data integrity can lead to inaccurate forecasts and the risk of revenue loss over time, underscoring the greater importance of vigilantly managing the entirety of your Salesforce data.

In navigating this broader landscape, Salesforce add-ons like Scratchpad emerge as essential tools. While they facilitate the nuanced management of leads and contacts, their true value lies in contributing to the overall cleanliness and accuracy of your Salesforce data. 

By prioritizing the comprehensive health of your CRM, businesses can effectively address the intricacies of the sales process like leads and contacts, fostering a robust foundation for successful sales organization.

Request a demo to learn more about Scratchpad or try it for free today.