Convert Leads Salesforce: How to Boost Your Lead Conversion Rates

Potential customers interested in your company’s products and services are called leads.

Leads can come from many places. Sometimes a sales rep will make cold calls to search out these leads.

Other leads may visit your company website and click a link, fill out a contact form, or send an email to get more information about what you are selling.

A crucial step in the sales process is lead conversion, the process by which a potential buyer joins the list of qualified prospective customers.

That means they are not only interested in buying but also have the means to do so and the likelihood to do so.

Sales departments need to constantly track the lead status of all potential customers so that none get lost in the shuffle. This could lead to a valuable lead needing the service they deserve and looking elsewhere to make a purchase.

A customer relationship management (CRM) software package is a common means to record and house all customer data and notes about interactions.

Salesforce is a leading CRM software package in use by many sales teams. Let’s use it as a model to describe the lead conversion process.

Remember that many concepts described here can be applied across various CRMs to convert prospects into verified leads.

What is the Lead Conversion Process?

As we mentioned, lead conversion is the step we take to update the status of a lead from prospective to qualified.

What happens in Salesforce when you take this action? The lead record in the system is updated and split into discrete records for further follow-up.

If the prospect is a business-to-business account, the lead record will create a new account, opportunity, and contact record.

If the prospective customer is a business-to-consumer account, the lead record will convert to a new account and opportunity.

Let’s see what this means by reviewing the process in Salesforce for converting a lead.

How to Convert a Lead

Salesforce makes converting lead records into new contact, opportunity, and account records easy.

That makes sense because, hopefully, it’s a process you’ll be doing regularly.

A bit of data entry is involved, but overall the entire process should take a few minutes.

Create Lead Record

If you still need to get a lead record, create one. Go to the Leads tab and click on New.

Fill out the form. The required fields will have a red asterisk symbol next to them.

If you have extra information for the optional fields, consider entering it here, as it can be used to populate fields later.

When finished, click Save. Congratulations, you now have a lead! Next, let’s convert it.

Convert Lead

Converting the lead is accomplished by clicking the Convert button in the upper right portion of the screen.

The next window will let you create a new account, contact, and opportunity.

Alternatively, you can use an existing account, opportunity, or contact record.

This may be useful if the company or individual has done business with your company before and you need to tie a new contact to a previously entered business.

If the company or contact name you enter is the same as a matching entity, you can select the Choose Existing option for the record.

Select the appropriate option under Converted status. When everything is entered, click Convert. You just converted a lead in Salesforce!

Best Practices in Salesforce Lead Conversion

Here are some tips for using a CRM like Salesforce most efficiently.

Each Datum in Its Place

Use the fields correctly. Lead Source lets you track which channels are working and which aren’t. Lead status lets you and your team know where you are in the sales process.

Don’t Fumble the Ball

Develop a defined handoff process. It should be a streamlined flow from Sales Development Rep to Account Executive to Customer Success Manager.

Failing to have a defined flowchart mapping out the buyer’s journey down the sales pipeline could lead to delays or the client going elsewhere to make a purchase.

Are You Ready to Convert?

Have conversion criteria or set up a lead evaluation rubric. This may take the form of a series of questions that can be asked each time you need to decide if a lead is qualified and ready to move down the sales funnel.

Track It, Improve It

Determine key performance indicators (KPIs) and analytics to examine your conversion rates. This may be tracked by individual sales reps or the sales team as a whole.

Having this data gives you a window into the effectiveness of your sales process and could indicate when new methods need to be tested.

Use productivity tools to reduce paper processes and administrative tasks that take up valuable time. Work to keep the CRM data clean.


Converting leads is an important step in the sales process, and it puts a sales rep closer to a closed deal, but only if done properly.

Have standard practices in place that define when to convert a lead so that all team members are doing things the same way.

Use the simple steps in Salesforce or your favorite CRM to update converted leads and automatically create an account, contact, and opportunity for use further in your sales process.