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Pipedrive Leads vs. Deals: What Is the Difference?

Separating your leads and deals in Pipedrive helps remove friction from your sales experience. These ubiquitous marketing terms might sound interchangeable to a fledgling marketer, but they differ. At their core, they help you better manage and qualify your prospective customers so that you can better focus on closing more sales.

This article breaks down the differences between leads and deals in Pipedrive and explains when it is best to hand leads off to deals, and vice-versa.

Difference between Pipedrive leads and deals 

The main difference between leads and deals in Pipedrive is that leads cannot move along the sales pipeline.

As such, there is not much information to track the progress of each lead. Conversely, Pipedrive allows you to track the progress of a deal. As a deal progresses through the pipeline, it moves from left to right, passing all defined stages until they are either won or lost. In both cases, they disappear from the pipeline.

What are Pipedrive leads?

Leads are typically prequalified contacts that you have not yet communicated with.

A lead is a contact that has not worked with your business previously but could become a potential deal when the right time comes. It might also be a former deal that for some reason deferred the prospect of buying your product or service and was thus degraded to a lead. 

In Pipedrive, leads are the first port of call for organizing your prospective customers once they express interest in a product or service you are offering. The most common type of lead is someone who has visited your website and then filled out your web form, signed up for your newsletter, or left some contact information. These leads can be classified in Pipedrive Leads Inbox as warm or hot

There is also another type of potential customer – cold leads. Such a label can be assigned to people or organizations that might have not yet reached out to you yet. However, you have already contacted them through cold calling or email marketing. They could also be lukewarm leads who might be familiar with your business or products. At the same time, they have not yet shown any significant engagement other than clicking on your Facebook ad, for example. But until you find out more about them, they remain unqualified. Even worse, cold leads could have been warm ones that showed promise but gradually became unresponsive.

What are Pipedrive deals?

Deals are typically qualified contacts or prospective customers that require your immediate attention.

Deals in Pipedrive are qualified sales leads. This means that a lead has met certain criteria that indicate a high potential that they will buy and will bring value to your business. The ongoing transaction you are pursuing with the interested party is tracked and processed through the stages of your pipeline until it is either won or lost.

Deals contain all Pipedrive activities planned and taken to drive sales, such as scheduling a meeting, sending a proposal, getting a contract approved, recorded calls, emails sent, notes taken after a meeting, etc.

When should you add leads or deals in Pipedrive? 

Now, you might ask yourself when it is better to add a prospective customer as a lead or as a deal. In addition, you might need to determine the threshold that leads have to surpass in order to move them into your sales workflow. 

When it’s better to use deals

Deals have a higher chance of becoming customers than leads. There are probably fewer deals than prequalified/unqualified leads, but they represent actual sales opportunities. Two-way communication between them and your sales team has already been established. Furthermore, they may have already moved beyond that initial contact stage, and have requested demos, proposals, or quotes. At its core, the deals pipeline helps you filter out the most sales-ready, high-value leads, preventing you from being dismissed from contacts that may not push the needle for your business.

When it’s better to use leads

People who have engaged with your business in some way, but have never warranted an initial phone call, should be better classified as leads. These leads might have visited your website and left some information or might have been contacted by you through cold calling or email marketing. However, you have never heard back from them. They might be unsure of their need and might not really see the value of your product or service. Another possible scenario is that what you offer is not close to their budget.

You can also classify as leads those people with whom you haven’t found the time to establish communication with yet.

Pipedrive also enables you to add potential customers right away as deals in your sales pipeline. This could prove challenging, especially if you have a large number of potential deals sitting in the early stages of your pipeline. These deals have not shown any signs of moving the process forward after follow-up emails or additional phone calls from your sales team. Such deals may not be ready to move through the next stages of your pipeline, but may also not be ready to be marked as lost. Converting them into leads should help avoid any mess or confusion with those contacts that have a higher sales opportunity. Once you have established some sort of solid communication with them and determined that they are a good fit for your business, you can then convert them into deals.

Do I still need to keep leads if there are not many of them?

Generally, once you see a tangible chance that certain leads could generate a sale, you can easily convert them into deals and add them directly into your pipeline. But what happens when the number of leads sitting in the Leads Inbox is not that high? Do you still have to keep prospective customers in this place?

1.pipedrive leads 1

When you are not dealing with hundreds or thousands of leads, you do not run the risk of your sales pipeline getting cluttered. You could move your new leads directly into the deals pipeline, without using the qualification process at all. It all depends on your type of business. For example, if you run a software company that provides support for a platform, you are more likely to receive warm leads, as people typically reach out to you in search of answers to bugs or customized solutions. 

But if you run a larger company, where you receive a large number of leads for a solution you are offering that your sales team does not have the capacity to engage, then you can use the Leads Inbox to keep new leads separate from your sales pipeline. In this case, leads can be either warm or cold: it is up to you to understand their motivations and begin qualifying them. Certain functions in Pipedrive can also help you figure out how to classify them.

How do you use leads and deals in Pipedrive? 

How to create leads and deals

You can manually add leads in the Leads Inbox or import them from a spreadsheet or another software. You can also convert existing deals to leads if you believe that those deals are neither won nor lost. 

Similarly, you can manually create deals or import them from a spreadsheet or other CRM tools. If you have a lead that is ready to become a deal, you can complete the conversion and select the matching pipeline stage.

How to export deals and leads

Pipedrive allows you to manually export both leads and deals as a CSV or Excel file. You can either export all records or a filtered set of leads or deals.

Alternatively, lets you automate the export of this data from Pipedrive to Excel, Google Sheets, or BigQuery. For example, you can set up a Pipedrive integration to pull leads or deals every hour from Monday to Friday. This can be done with a few clicks and no coding! Read our tutorial to learn more about exporting data from Pipedrive.

Pipedrive leads vs deals – summary 

Leads can become deals and deals can become leads. 

Leads and deals are two data entities in Pipedrive that are very closely and distantly related, at the same time. Deals track all events and movements that take place throughout your sales process. They offer you a clear overview of where each prospective customer is in the sales journey and what needs to be done to close the deal and eventually earn revenue.

Leads represent your potential customers that are not ready yet to be sent to your sales pipeline. Once these customers are qualified by your business, you can convert them into deals and move further. The reverse conversion is also possible if some of your deals are stuck at a certain stage of the pipeline between won and lost status. You can convert deals to leads to get back to this customer in the future.

  • Julia Ryzhkova

    Product Manager at Railsware. I consider myself a 4 P's manager, focusing on Product, Process, Project, and People. In any of those fields, the main driver for me is the ability to make people's lives easier. That's also why I like to share my experience via blog. I have worked in consultancy, R&D, support, marketing, and PMO, which helps me look at any question from diverse points of view. Besides work, I really enjoy traveling and playing board games🎲

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