In this guide, you'll learn how setting the Lead Status value in Qualified results in either the creation of a Lead record in Salesforce, or the creation and conversion of that Lead record into corresponding Account, Contact and Opportunity records in Salesforce. But first, we'll take a second to explain the often confusing concept of the Salesforce data model and the basics of Salesforce Lead conversion. What we'll cover:
Salesforce is a CRM system that helps sales reps track information about their Contacts (people that you're trying to sell to), Accounts (the companies that they work for), and Opportunities (the deals you're trying to close). These 3 data objects are the foundation of Salesforce and have existed for decades. However, when Salesforce recognized the need to track a prospect that was engaged *before* the beginning of a sales cycle (what most people call a Lead), they chose to create a new Lead object. Leads are typically managed and tracked by the marketing team, and are a convenient way of representing the information you have about a person before they are qualified to engage in a sales cycle.
When a Lead is deemed qualified by your sales or marketing team, the data on the Salesforce Lead record gets "converted" into 3 new records, one for the Contact (person), one for an Account (company), and one for an Opportunity (sales deal). Of course your company can configure Salesforce to convert leads in any custom manner, but the standard lead conversion process looks like this:
It was important to first cover the Salesforce data model and the lead conversion process because it helps to convey how, and why, you might choose to create Leads from Qualified. If one of your sales reps has an initial conversation with an inbound lead, and needs to follow up later to get additional information or further qualify that lead, they can create the Lead record in Salesforce with a Lead Status that indicates that additional qualification is needed. The Lead might have a status value of "Working" to indicate that more work is needed before passing the lead over to the sales team, or before it is appropriate to start working a sales opportunity.
In this guide, you've learned how setting the Lead Status value in Qualified results in either the creation of a Lead record in Salesforce, or the creation and conversion of that Lead record into corresponding Account, Contact and Opportunity records in Salesforce. We've covered the basics of the Salesforce data model and how lead conversion works in Salesforce.
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