Lead vs Contact

Neil Schneider_38553
Neil Schneider_38553 Member Posts: 2
edited July 2023 in Sales CRM #1

I have been a small business owner for a while. I do not understand the difference between "lead" and "contact" as it pertains to Pipedrive CRM. I have looked for help articles and cannot find information. Most importantly, how does the differentiation:

  1. Affect the way I use Pipedrive?
  2. The way I enter or upload my contacts.
  3. The way I use customize fields.
  4. Other functionality I am not thinking of.

Thank you very much. 


  • Amit Sarda (AmitSarda.xyz)
    Amit Sarda (AmitSarda.xyz) Member Posts: 1,483 CONSULTANT
    First Answer 5 Insightfuls 5 Up Votes First Anniversary
    edited February 2022 #2

    @Neil Schneider - At this point, if the volume of leads is manageable I would advise staying away from Leads.

    You can mimic the Leads functionality by creating a 'Leads' Pipeline under Deal.

  • Boris Tsibelman
    Boris Tsibelman Member Posts: 851 PIPEDRIVE TEAM
    5 Likes Premier Solution Provider First Anniversary First Answer
    edited January 2022 #3

    @Neil Schneider - At this point, if the volume of leads is manageable I would advise staying away from Leads.

    You can mimic the Leads functionality by creating a 'Leads' Pipeline under Deal.

    +1 on managing it in Deals 

  • Neil Schneider_39117
    Neil Schneider_39117 Member Posts: 1
    First Comment
    edited February 2022 #4

    I appreciate the comments. But what is the difference? Can you elaborate on why to stay away from leads?

  • Inês Batata
    Inês Batata Posts: 2,091 PIPEDRIVE TEAM
    5 Likes First Anniversary First Answer Name Dropper
    edited April 2021 #5

    I appreciate the comments. But what is the difference? Can you elaborate on why to stay away from leads?

    Hi @Neil Schneider ! I this this article from our Knowledge Base will help you: Leads vs Deals.

    Learn all about any of Pipedrive’s features from our Knowledge Base tutorials in your preferred language and our Academy video courses. Simply search for your topic.


  • Denny Reinert_12110
    Denny Reinert_12110 Member Posts: 8
    First Comment
    edited June 2022 #6

    @Neil Schneider IMO, unless you are using other Leadbooster functionality, I wouldn't bother with the Leads Inbox and just enter any new leads under a new Person. That way you can create your own filters to keep lists of where leads are coming from. The thing I find confusing is why the leads inbox doesn't allow custom filtering.  Any leads in Leads Inbox are also a Person in PD, so they are basically duplicated. Seems to me they should be separate and you should be able to convert that lead to a Person instead of just a deal. Unless I'm missing something here.....

  • Ayesha_87310
    Ayesha_87310 Member Posts: 2
    edited July 2022 #7

    But I am also not clear on this topic . I added contacts in pipedrive now should I do the same for the leads . I know leads convert deals . Plz elaborate 

  • Philip Willems
    Philip Willems Member Posts: 7
    Name Dropper First Comment Photogenic
    edited November 2022 #8

    @Neil Schneider_39117 @Amit Sarda - Pipedrive Consultant - AmitSarda.xyz

    Has this ever lead to a proper ah-ah or ow-moment?

    So, my business is b2b.Simplifying: When I go to contacts, there is always this 'next need to do date'. When I go to leads & deals: there are both 'need to do dates' for both the organisation and the person. So I have actually three follow-up moments and two are related to the deal + person and one has to do with the contact? That double the amount of contacts towards the original person, if that one is also the deal person. It would be rather nice if I only have one or two 'next need to dates' in the leads section, and then just keep my contacts page to be nurtured as it is (without having all these need to fields). The question that I have (and that I think was asked before since 2021): can the contact page 'need to dates' be switched off?

    Thank you so much for answering or providing a solution!

  • Dom_79187
    Dom_79187 Member Posts: 6
    First Comment

    Recently introduced a workflow where newly created inbound contacts also automatically create a new lead. Our sales team can then assess these before converting to deal enabling us to track in insights the conversion % of MQL to SQL. It's a new process but seems to work ok thus far.

    Insights doesn't offer any tracking for persons converted to lead/deal, hence why we introduced this method. This is the main benefit I can see for leads in terms of reporting, plus the additional features under lead inbox.

    Recognize the duplication factor mentioned in the thread here, plus the lead source tracking is very limited. Though we can run separate reports for this on the person level for tracking.

    Curious though as why people say to avoid leads? And open to hearing other people's approach in case there is a better method to adopt.

  • Jase
    Jase Member Posts: 4
    Photogenic First Comment

    Hello, I know this is a little old but I'm new to pipedrive and have the same question. I have hundreds of potential (cold/uncontacted) prospects from ZoomInfo that I need to manage in Pipedrive without clogging the deal funnel. I'm not an admin so I don't handle the import, but I need to know if the prospects should be imported as Leads or Contacts. There is an apparent difference in Pipedrive - if I "create a new lead" v. "create a new contact", different fields are available to fill out on each. If I create a Lead first, does converting the Lead automatically turn it into a Contact on the deal (like it does in Salesforce CRM where leads are the precursor to contacts)?

    Thank you!

  • Amit Sarda (AmitSarda.xyz)
    Amit Sarda (AmitSarda.xyz) Member Posts: 1,483 CONSULTANT
    First Answer 5 Insightfuls 5 Up Votes First Anniversary

    A lead still requires an attached contact in Pipedrive.

  • Josh Buesking
    Josh Buesking Member Posts: 170
    5 Insightfuls First Anniversary First Comment First Answer

    I treat the lead inbox like a spam filter, anything I'm interested in gets moved to a deal.

  • MGardner
    MGardner Member Posts: 3
    First Comment

    I'm fairly new to pipedrive and am still trying to figure it out. This is a great topic for me because I've been wondering how to use the Leads Inbox but none of my imported leads show up in there. Leads Inbox is empty. I've imported hundreds of leads but I put them in Contacts. Is there a way to move from Contacts to Leads? Or can I leave them in Contacts and work them as leads in there?

  • Jase
    Jase Member Posts: 4
    Photogenic First Comment

    I think you can work contacts like leads, but there's a benefit to using the Leads record itself, which is that you can manage unconverted prospects separately (whereas Contacts can be connected with existing Deals, too).

    My understanding is that the Leads records is a layer on top of the Contact record. So if you were to import a list of names as Leads, it would create both a lead + contact + organization, and there would be some additional fields in the lead portion that lets you manage the person in the unconverted or prospecting stage. Then, you can either archive bad leads or convert good ones to Deals based on response. If you import them as Contacts only, it creates a Contact and Organization (but not a Lead), and you'll have fewer options for segmenting the contacts as you try to turn them into Deals. That's my understanding, but I'm also new so I could be missing something.

  • MGardner
    MGardner Member Posts: 3
    First Comment

    Thank you, Jase, for the follow-up and information. I'm still trying to figure out why when I've imported 2 different sets of leads via spreadsheets in the Leads section, why none of them show up in Leads Inbox. It is empty. They all show up in Contacts, even though I imported them in the Leads area. Any thoughts on this?

  • Hi Bruce here (sales manager for TSE)

    The simplest explanation and how I stay organized:

    CONTACTS are raw data

    LEADS are qualified data

    If you have a business development rep (BDR) I would have them initiate conversation with CONTACTS

    If you have an Account Executive they should follow up and attempt to close leads.

    Which contacts should be leads? Have the BDR screen/qualify/vet the contacts and move promising contacts to leads

    Let me know if you need help with sales strategy.

  • JD2
    JD2 Member Posts: 1
    Photogenic First Comment
    edited January 18 #17

    Hey @TwentySixEntertainment / Bruce, When do you move Lead to Deal? I'd be interested in chatting if you want to DM me on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasonpdoran/