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How to Convert Salesforce Leads in Different Stages

In Salesforce, lead conversion moves leads through the sales cycle by creating new Accounts, Contacts and Opportunities from their lead records. A lead record stores the personal and company data of people interested in your business.

The lead conversion process occurs when an actively engaged prospect shows qualification signals, like urgency or readiness to buy, indicating their entry into your sales process. As your sales team continues to identify and qualify potential customers, lead conversion can become a tedious, manual task. So, how can you automate this process and save your sales reps a good chunk of time spent on non-selling tasks?

In this article, you’ll learn how to leverage Cirrus Insight to automate Salesforce lead conversion at different stages and best practices for measuring and increasing lead conversion.

Understanding Salesforce Leads

A lead is a potential customer who has expressed a degree of interest in what your company offers. You collect their data by referral, through website form fills, phone calls, campaigns, information exchanges or from booth scans at events.

Not all leads are the same 一 they’re either qualified or unqualified. Your business may have unique qualification criteria but generally, a lead is qualified when your sales team has confirmed their readiness to convert to an opportunity and close a deal. Otherwise, if the lead is uncertain and without any clear agreements or financial commitments, they are classified as unqualified.

Adding a lead to Salesforce involves filling a form with personal and company details and assigning a lead status (open, working, closed, or converted), with conversion marking entry into your sales process.


Let’s now look at how to convert a lead in Salesforce.

The Lead Conversion Process in Salesforce

When converting a B2B lead in Salesforce, their details are transformed into an Account for company information, a Contact for personal details, and an Opportunity for deal-specific information.

lead-conversion-salesforce Person accounts focus on individual customers (B2C) while business accounts store company-level information (B2B).

Manual Lead Conversion Steps

To convert a lead in Salesforce:

Step 1: Navigate to Apps >> Sales >> Leads

Step 2: Select the lead you want to convert.

Step 3: On the lead record dashboard, click Convert.


A screen with the option to search for existing or create new Account, Contact, and Opportunity records will pop up. For business accounts, both Account and Contact fields are required, while for person accounts, only the Account field is required.

The Account and Contact fields are auto-populated from the lead record and Salesforce will attempt to suggest the best matching records, if any, and allow you to make adjustments. For instance, if your lead is Amari Woods from Aurora Holdings LLC, Aurora Holdings LLC becomes your Account and Amari Woods becomes your Contact


Opportunity stages vary by company but typically outline information about prospecting deals. If Amari shows interest in buying 10 pieces of your product, that becomes your Opportunity. You also can choose to convert a lead without creating an Opportunity.

Step 4: Verify the Record Owner and Conversion Status before you click Convert

At this stage, Salesforce will then make the converted lead record read-only and new updates will be tracked on the created Account or Contact. Further modifications will require necessary user permissions. 

Automate Lead Conversion with Cirrus Insight

On average, it takes 65% of sales rep time to perform non-selling tasks like manually converting lead records in Salesforce. Cirrus Insight, one of the top 10 Salesforce tools for sales professionals, saves this time by automating information syncs from your inbox, without you having to open Salesforce to make manual data entries.

To seamlessly convert leads in the Cirrus Insight sidebar:

Step 1: Ensure the Convert Lead setting is enabled under Salesforce Integration >> Creating Records.


Step 2: Save your settings.

Step 3: Check the sidebar to see that the Convert Lead button is visible.


You can now convert leads right from your inbox with a single click, without opening Salesforce.

Measure and Increase Lead Conversion

Let’s now take a look at some key metrics to measure lead conversion success as well as the best practices to measure and increase your lead conversion.

Essential Lead Conversion Metrics

Lead conversion metrics measure how successful your business is in converting leads into paying customers and provide important information for your sales team to prospect and close more deals.

These metrics estimate the costs of executing campaigns for lead acquisition, the time invested and the revenue generated from closed deals through a specific channel or strategy.

Here are ten important lead conversion metrics and how to calculate them.

  1. Lead Conversion Rate: Divide the number of converted leads by the total number of leads in the same category and multiply the result by 100. 
  2. Potential Lead Conversion Rate: Divide the converted leads by the total potential leads and multiply by 100.
  3. Cost Per Acquisition: Divide the total cost by the number of leads generated.
  4. Cost Per Lead: Divide the total cost by the number of leads generated.
  5. Average Revenue Per Customer: Divide the total revenue by the number of customers.
  6. Time to Conversion: Subtract the lead generation date from the conversion date.
  7. Average Length of a Sales Cycle: Find the average time from initial lead contact to deal closure across all closed deals.
  8. Average Time Spent per Lead: Sum the time spent on each lead interaction and divide by the total number of leads.
  9. Average Deal Size: Divide the sum of closed deal values by the total number of closed deals.
  10. Deals Won or Lost: Divide the number of won (or lost) deals by the total number of deals (won and lost) and multiply by 100.

Tips to Improve Conversion Rates

Improving lead conversion helps you focus on the methods that work best and most efficiently. 

Here are three best practices to improve your lead conversion rates.

1. Track your lead sources

Lead source tracking pinpoints high-yield channels and campaigns for your sales team to double down with proven prospecting, nurturing and closing tactics. 

The information also helps you refine different elements of your campaign including email subject lines, CTAs and even landing page designs so you allocate your resources effectively. 

Ensure your Lead Conversion field mapping pushes your source tracking fields onto the newly created records so you can track the source through to the end.


2. Set up Lead Scoring

Lead scoring is a point-based system that identifies and prioritizes leads that are more likely to convert based on predetermined criteria like budget, authority, need or timeline. You can also allocate actions your prospect may take 一 clicking a link or visiting your website 一 as factors in your lead scoring.

Points are assigned based on criteria relevance. For instance, Amari Woods, a decision-maker ready to convert in a week, may be assigned a 10 for decision-maker status and a 10 for urgency. Another lead, also a decision-maker but still in the nurturing stage, might receive a lower total lead score than Amari.

3. Standardize information collection

In Salesforce, gathering detailed lead information allows for personalized communication that improves the impact of outreaches. Apart from the lead’s contact and company information, note their specific needs, activities, and interests to make it seamless for your sales reps to maintain sales momentum.

From your inbox, you can monitor and contribute to a sales team Chatter or add important notes to a lead record right in your Cirrus Insight Sidebar. 


Salesforce lead conversion challenges can easily be overcome if your sales team is armed with the right tools and know-how that help them focus more on selling.

See a demo to learn more about how Cirrus Insight can save your sales team valuable time by automating your Salesforce lead conversion tasks.

Kristi Campbell
Kristi Campbell

Kristi met Salesforce in 2007 and it didn’t take long for her to ask process improvement questions and become an Accidental Admin poking around the Setup menu. A frequent User Group attendee, she started the Charlotte Women In Tech chapter and Salesforce Saturday meetup mainly because enjoys meeting new people and hearing how they do Salesforce. You may have seen her on stage at Dreamforce, with the Southeast Dreamin Planning Team or at other Dreamin events cuz she just can’t get enough. She is a Hall of Fame Salesforce MVP, a swagaholic, a voracious reader and addicted to dog snuggles.

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