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Contacts vs. leads

Learn more about the difference between contacts and leads.

Contacts are the base record in your CRM to save information about a person or company.
  • Contacts and companies are the only records types in the CRM. You can take additional actions on contacts, such as adding an event, setting a task, or attaching a lead.
  • Contacts will have name, email, phone number, and additional general details saved. Contacts will also have notes, email logs, and a history of other interactions. Learn more about contacts generally here.
  • On the Contact list you can filter by contact details to narrow the list of records.
Leads are a type of pipeline, and are used to track a sales process.
  • Leads will have a status to represent the stage of the process, and may have additional custom fields to track other relevant details like value or product. Learn more about pipelines generally here.
  • Leads are attached to a contact or company to track that record’s movement through the process. Once a lead is attached, that record will appear in the pipeline report.
  • On the pipeline report you can filter by lead details or contact details. Learn more about using the pipeline report here.
  • Please note: pipelines are customizable and the exact options and terminology may vary depending on your account structure. Leads are typically used for a sales process, but many other processes can be tracked via pipelines.
Important distinctions to keep in mind:
  • Structurally, a lead must be attached to a contact. You cannot have a lead without a contact, but you can have a contact without a lead.
  • Contacts are good for general details that tend to remain static over time, like a physical address or phone number.
  • Leads are good for details related to the process specifically, like an estimated close date or product of interest.
  • Saving a note to a contact will appear differently than saving a note to a lead. Learn more about the difference between contact notes and pipeline notes here.
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