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What's the difference between custom contact and pipeline fields?

Here at LACRM we understand that customization is important, after all, every business is unique, so shouldn’t your CRM be unique too? But customization can also be challenging to set up -- with different options and locations of custom fields it can be hard to determine which fields should be where. There are a few key differences that can help you decide if you should use a custom contact field or a custom pipeline field to keep track of things.

Custom Contact and Company Fields

Custom fields appear as an option on a contact or company record. These fields are meant to track information related to the contact or company specifically, like an Account ID or Spouse Name. And those are just two examples of custom fields on contacts or companies! You can include any number of other custom fields for data you almost always collect about contacts like Height, Gender, or a Child’s Name.

The custom fields will show up when you add, edit, or view your contacts. When you search the system will also check these fields for results, or you can search based on a custom field entry specifically. If you go to the
Contacts page, you can use the “Add a filter” option to search based on a custom field.

Creating a new custom field on contacts or companies is easy! Simply go to the Custom Fields page, which is also available under the Settings tab. First decide if you want the field to be for contacts or for companies. Once you've selected one, click on the “Create a new Custom Field” button, enter the name of the field and select the appropriate type, and then hit enter! You can add as many custom fields as you’d like; however, these fields are designed to handle information that you collect for most or all of your records only. You don’t need to clutter up the contact with fields you only use sometimes, you can instead stick those details in the “Background Info” field.

Custom Pipeline Fields

Custom pipeline fields, on the other hand, appear only within a specific pipeline. Pipelines are a process tracking tool, and you can learn more about pipelines generally here.

The custom pipeline fields are meant to track information specifically related to the process, like an estimated value, which product/service someone is interested in, lead source, or estimated closing date. And those are just a few examples of custom pipeline fields -- you can also create pipeline fields for any other information you need to track as part of your process!

You can also filter by the custom pipeline fields within your pipeline report. If you go to the Pipeline Reports page, you can use the “Add a filter” option to filter by a custom pipeline field.

Creating a custom pipeline field is simple! Just go to the Pipeline Settings Page, and click “Edit” beneath the desired pipeline name. Below the statuses section, you'll find a custom fields section with a button that says “Create a new custom pipeline field.” Then you can enter a field name, choose the field type, and be sure to hit save! Once you’ve saved the custom pipeline field it will appear as an option on all existing and new pipeline items.

The Big Differences

It can be challenging to keep track of the differences between custom contact and custom pipeline fields. This table shows some of the big differences between the two types of custom fields:

Note: The best place to create a custom field depends on the field, and it can be tricky to decide which option is best. If you're confused about the difference between custom contact and custom pipeline fields, let us know! We can help you decide which one to use.

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