Salesforce Leads vs. Opportunities: 2024 Guide

What Are Salesforce Leads?


Leads in Salesforce represent potential customers or contacts who have expressed some level of interest in your product or service, but they have not yet been qualified as opportunities.

Stage in Sales Process

Leads are typically at the early stage of the sales process, where the focus is on identifying and qualifying potential opportunities.


Lead records often include basic information such as name, contact details, company, and details about the lead's interest or source.


Leads can be converted into contacts, accounts, and opportunities once they are qualified. This conversion process helps transition a lead into a more advanced stage of the sales cycle.

What Are Salesforce Opportunities?


Opportunities in Salesforce represent potential revenue-generating events or deals. They are created when a salesperson identifies a qualified lead that has the potential to become a customer.

Stage in Sales Process

Opportunities are typically created after a lead has been qualified and there is a higher likelihood of closing a deal. This stage involves tracking and managing the specific details of potential sales, such as deal amount, expected close date, and sales stage.


Opportunity records include information about the potential sale, including the amount, stage in the sales cycle, close date, and related products or services.

Associated Objects

Opportunities are often associated with an account and a contact. The account represents the company or organization involved in the deal, and the contact is the individual associated with that account.

3 Key Differences Between Salesforce Leads vs Opportunities

Leads represent potential customers in the early stages of the sales process, while opportunities represent qualified sales deals with specific details about potential revenue. 

The transition from leads to opportunities occurs when a potential opportunity is identified within the pool of qualified leads.

Here's a breakdown of their key differences:

  1. Focus

Leads focus on identifying potential customers and qualifying their interest. Opportunities focus on managing the details of potential sales and revenue.

  1. Timing

Leads are used in the early stages of the sales process, while opportunities are created when a lead is qualified and a potential deal is identified.

  1. Information Captured

Leads capture basic information about potential customers, while opportunities capture details specific to potential sales, such as deal amount and close date.

Why Differentiating Between Leads vs Opportunities Matters

Ensuring precise interpretation and logging of leads and opportunities in Salesforce is indicative of a broader challenge: motivating sales reps to excel in comprehensive pipeline management. 

For sales reps, prioritizing deal closures often sidelines the importance of CRM data quality. The accuracy of the company’s forecast may seem distant from their daily activities, hindering their recognition of the impact of inaccurate pipelines and outdated opportunities in Salesforce.

However, the vitality of your sales pipeline and the precision reflected in each sales rep’s CRM are crucial for the overall health of the sales organization. Without this, leaders face uncertainties in forecasting, hindering their ability to proactively identify risks, coach reps, and enhance sales cycle efficiency and customer journeys due to a lack of data foundation.

A prevalent issue is the susceptibility of data in Salesforce to deterioration. Many reps and sales leaders resort to tracking deals outside the CRM, using spreadsheets and other disconnected apps for ease of modification.

Fortunately, there's a remedy…

Scratchpad: A Better Way to Maintain Data in Salesforce

Scratchpad, a straightforward Salesforce Chrome extension, empowers sales leaders with visibility and confidence for accurate forecasting, effective coaching, and pipeline health evaluation, ensuring the reliability of Salesforce data. 

Here are a few ways that Scratchpad enhances your sales organizations pipeline management and accuracy of Salesforce data:

  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 opportunities 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 opportunities, 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 opportunities, fostering a robust foundation for a successful sales organization.

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