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Lead Management — Working with Leads
Lead Management — Working with Leads

Working with Leads using Processes and Lead Forms to effectively manage them to Qualification

Updated over a week ago



Leads are the precursors to Opportunities in Pipeliner. You’ll create Leads when you do not know whether there is genuine interest in your products or services - or if you’re talking to the right person - and so, for example, couldn’t yet estimate when a deal may close (one of the prerequisites for creating an Opportunity).

If you go to an event or trade show, Leads is the perfect area to import your data into so that your Business Development Team (BDRs) can follow up and sort the genuine prospects from the consultants or competitors who visited your stand! Equally, Leads is the ideal repository for enquiries that come in via web forms (ideally, your Admins may have created an integration to your website) or emails to ‘sales@’ as you have no way of knowing whether these are real enquiries until they are followed up!

The aim is to work on the Lead - filling in more and more information as you:

  • profile the company (create an Account record, add company details and link the Account to the Lead)

  • reach - or find out about - the right person or people (create Contacts and link them to the Lead)

  • update Lead fields to capture source, need or budget (for example)

  • complete Activities linked to the Lead - Calls, Tasks or Appointments prompted by a pre-defined Lead Activities Checklist that you’ll see on each Lead or those that you create yourself

  • move the Lead from step-to-step through the Lead process

  • Qualify the Lead to become an Opportunity!!!

  • or Archive the Lead as Lost if it will not result in an Opportunity (possibly completing the Lost Lead details if set by your Admins)

There is often a whole process behind qualifying a lead. In fact, if yours is the type of company that can get Leads from different sources - Inbound enquiries, Outbound calling or Partner Referrals, as examples - there is often more than one lead process to follow to effectively manage each of those different types of Lead.

Your Admins may have created multiple Lead Processes, each with different steps and associated Activities Checklist made up of text prompts, field prompts or activity prompts, each of which can be made “required” in order for you to move your Lead from step-to-step.

Different types of Lead may need different information to be captured - an incoming enquiry from your website might be pretty different from a referral from a distributor. These requirements can be captured using Lead Forms. You may need to select the right form to use for each Lead when you create it.

You can see Leads from the main Leads menu as well as in a column in the Opportunity Pipeline view and from the Leads tab of an Account or Contact as well as in Reports and Insights.

We’ve added a new Board View, similar to the Pipeline View for Opportunities, so that you get the same powerful visualization of where all your Leads are in the process and, by adding the Qualification step as the final state for all processes, allowing clear visibility of your wins!

Make sure you’ve activated your Office 365 (or Gmail) email integration so you can send emails directly to your Lead’s Contacts (or include them as part of Email Sequences or Automatizer process emails).

Creating new Leads

When you create a new Lead, it will be added to the process that you’re currently working in. If more than one Lead form has been associated with that process, you’ll be able to select which form to use when creating your new Lead ↴

NOTE: selecting a different form may change the fields that you need to fill in for that Lead but won’t change the process that the Lead belongs to

You can create Leads from the Leads menu using the “Create New” button; from the main menu + button or by adding directly to an Account or Contact that you’re working on.

If you’re working on an Account or Contact using the Compact View, you can add Leads from the “Add” button or from the +Lead icon above the Feeds panel ↴

Or if the record is already open, from the Leads tab ↴

Regardless of where you begin the Lead, you’ll need to fill in what you know right now (and will then add to the information as you work on it).

You may need to choose the Lead Form that is relevant to this Lead from the options at the top of the screen. The fields you need to fill in may vary depending on the Form you choose.

Any mandatory fields - which will always include Lead Name - will be highlighted in red.

NOTE: name the Lead whatever makes most sense to you (or follow the pattern specified by your Admins!). Lots of our customers name their Leads after the related company or person or, perhaps, a combination of company name and product interest ….

One thing you’ll notice is that you don’t enter company or person information directly onto the Lead Form - instead you link your Lead to a company (Account record) and person (Contact record). First, search to see if the Account or Contact already exists in your Pipeliner database. If not, you can create “on-the-fly” ↴

More information on creating Accounts and Contacts can be found here:

Once you’ve added everything you know right now, click on “Create” to save (and close) the Lead or “Create & Open” to carry on working with it - for example, to log a follow up call …

Working with existing Leads

Once your Lead is created, you’ll work with it, adding information and moving it through the process until you can either Qualify it to become an Opportunity or discover that it will not progress to an Opportunity and therefore Archive it as Lost.

Lead Tabs

The main view of your Lead is the Detail tab which is the default when you open a Lead.

You’ll see the available tabs on the left hand side:

Detail - main view with right hand panel

Activities - all the calls, tasks, appointments, outgoing emails that you log against the Lead as you work on it including all the notes of each conversation or meeting

Feeds - displays all the Activities as well as Incoming and Outgoing Emails (as long as you have activated one of the email integrations)

Buying Center - who’s who with respect to the Lead and what role they play

Documents - any files linked to the Lead

Notes - text notes used only for background information

The Detail tab shows the Lead fields that you will complete in the middle panel and the right hand panel shows system information such as when the Lead was created and how many days it has been open (“Age in Days”) as well as Lead Fitness, a number of widgets including Automatizer (which will show if the Lead has any attached processes) and Email Sequences.

It also displays where the Lead is in your process and the checklist as described in the section “Sales Activity Checklist” section further down in this article.

The Lead Owner and any colleagues who have been added to the Team for this Lead are also shown. Ownership and Team membership govern who is able to see and update this Lead.

NOTE: if you own a Lead, you will always be able to see it and update it - including adding Documents and working with the Buying Center. You will also be able to change ownership to give your Lead to another user - but will then generally not be able to take it back! Your user role (set up by your Admins) determines if you are able to update other users’ Leads.

If you’re hovering over the Lead from the Board View or from an Account, you can work directly with the Lead from the options shown on the toolbar within the Quick View that will pop up ↴

The Quick View toolbar allows you to open the Lead, add Activities, attach files, Feed messages or Notes, Copy (clone) the Lead or Archive it.

You can also use the options on the toolbar buttons on the Lead Detail tab to add Activities, Move or Copy the Lead, View Changes, Qualify or Archive the Lead ↴

Changing a Lead’s Form Type

You can change the Form Type used for the Lead, if necessary - as long as your Admins have assigned more than one Lead Form to the process you’re working in.

If this is the case, and you’re the Owner of the Lead, you’ll see a “Change” button next to the current Form Type. Click to change the Form Type - this will also usually change (some of) the fields that display in the middle panel for you to fill in ↴

Moving a Lead from one Process to another

If you’re working inside an open Lead, you can change the Lead Process from the right hand panel ↴

NOTE: if you change to a different Lead Process, you may “lose” information that you have entered into fields on the current Lead Form Type if the same fields are not on the Lead Form used in the process you change to. Equally, you may find that additional fields are required on the form in the new process so you’ll need to fill those in before you can continue.

You can also change Lead Process from the List View if you’ve added the “Lead Process” field to your grid ↴

Whenever you change the Lead Process, you’ll need to select the new process, which step the Lead should be in, which Form Type to apply (if there is more than one associated with the process), the new sales unit and the new owner of the Lead ↴

You can remain as an Editor on the Lead (if you’re changing Owner) by keeping the tick in “Keep the original owner as editor”. This allows you to keep updating the Lead Details.

If you’re handing over responsibility for the Lead, you may want to tick “Transfer linked records to the new Owner” - this will also change the Owner on any Open Activities or Notes that are linked to the Lead.

Click on “Save” to apply your changes and move the Lead into the new process.

Sales Activity Checklist

Depending on how your Admins have set up your Lead Processes, you may see a checklist in the right hand panel. This is the Sales Activity Checklist which can include Activities (prompts to plan Calls, Tasks, Appointments as indicated by the calendar icon shown below), Fields (prompts to fill in values in specified fields) and Checkboxes (Text prompts which act as reminders) that together define your company’s best practice for managing Leads through the process.

Each Step can have its own independent checklist making it easy and clear for you to know what your next action should be when you are responsible for managing a Lead.

Each checklist item can have been set up as:

  • Not Required” - an informal prompt for you to follow

  • Required” - must be done/ticked/filled in in order for you to move the Lead into another Step

  • Activity Completed” - in the case of an Activity, the Activity must be marked as “Completed” in order to move the Lead into another Step

In this example, the Activity “First Time Call” must be completed before the Lead can be moved into the following step ↴

Moving a Lead from one Step to another

From the Board View, drag and drop the Lead into the next most appropriate Step ↴

You can also select a different step from the right hand panel when the Lead is open and then click on “Move into this step” or click on the “Move” button from the menu at the top of the Lead Detail ↴

From the List View, if you’ve included the field “Lead Step” in your grid, you can click on the pencil icon to edit and can change Step when prompted ↴

NOTE: you’ll need to have completed (or complete now!) any required checklist items in order to move the Lead

If you’ve already completed all the checklist items, the circle will be fully completed - and shown as ticked - and the button below it will automatically change to “Move into next step

Qualifying a Lead

After all your work on the Lead, hopefully the end result is that you can Qualify it to convert it into an Opportunity.

You can qualify a Lead from pretty much any place you can see it. If it’s open or you’re in the Compact View, you can click on the “Qualify” button

NOTE: if your Lead is currently in the step before Qualified and you’ve completed all of the checklist items, the button will change from “Move into next Step” to “Qualify

If you’re in the List View, you can click on the dropdown arrow on the right and select “Qualify” ↴

If you’re using the Board View, you can drag and drop your Lead into the Qualified column ↴

You’ll first be prompted to select which pipeline the new Opportunity should be created in as well as which sales step ↴

Click “Save” and then you’ll need to fill in all the fields needed for a new Opportunity on the Lead Qualification form. Mandatory fields will be highlighted in red if you try to click on “Qualify” and they are not completed yet ↴

NOTE: if you have the Leads column open in the Opportunity pipeline view and are dragging and dropping a Lead directly into the pipeline to Qualify it, you will not be prompted to choose a pipeline (the Lead will go directly into the pipeline you’re working in already). You’ll go straight to the new Opportunity fields on the Lead Qualification form.

Once you’ve completed everything correctly, your new Opportunity will be created and will be visible in the Opportunities menu in the selected sales step. It will also show in the “Qualified” step in your Lead process.

NOTE: clicking on a card in the Qualified step will open up the Opportunity.

Archiving Leads

Your main objective, when working with Leads, is to qualify them to become Opportunities as soon as possible. However, it’s inevitable that many Leads will not become Opportunities and, if this is the case, make sure you Archive the Lead as soon as you discover that the enquiry is not going to become an Opportunity at this time.

You can archive a Lead from pretty much anywhere you can see it as long as you’re the Owner (or an Editor). From wherever you are, choose Archive. You may be prompted to fill in a Lost Lead form (depending on how your Admins have set up the process) or to confirm that you want all Activities to be completed (if there are uncompleted Activities linked to the Lead)

Once you have filled out the required details, click on “Archive” and the Lead will disappear from the Leads menu.

You will be able to see it in the Archive (for all except Starter Tier customers)

Click on the Archive menu and then choose Leads

Open up a Lead to see more details. You can still work with Lost Leads - for example, planning a long term follow up Activity. You can also Reactivate the Lead back into the open Leads menu if it comes back to life.

NOTE: make sure you have selected the right process from the dropdown in the top right corner if you don’t see the Archived Leads you are expecting

Deleting Leads

IMPORTANT: Leads can only be deleted once they have been Archived and only if you are the Owner of the Lead.

If Leads need to be deleted, you first need to be based on a User Role (managed by your Admins) that allows you to delete Leads, then you need to make sure you are the Owner of the Lead (this may also require additional user “Manager” rights which are assigned to you by your Admins) if you are not already the Owner, Archive the Lead(s) and then Delete from the Archive ↴

If you don’t see a Delete button (for example, in an opened up Archived Lead) then the most likely reason is that you are not the Owner of the Lead and therefore cannot delete it.

Viewing Leads

Leads can be viewed from many different places within Pipeliner. For example, you can click through to Leads from the Navigator menu ↴

Or from a Report or Insights - for example, the Created Leads Indicator ↴

Also from the Leads tab of an Account or Contact that the Lead is linked to ↴

And, of course, by opening up the Leads column in the Opportunity Pipeline View ↴

If your main focus is working with Leads though, usually you’ll select one of the views available in the main Leads menu.

The Board View

Use the “Board View” to get an “at-a-glance” view of where all Leads are in the process.

NOTE: The Qualified Step (green column) will display for every process and is a visual reminder of successfully qualified Leads. Clicking on a Lead card in the Qualified step will open up the Opportunity that the Lead was converted to. The Qualified Step cannot be removed or changed.

Hover over a Lead Step header to get an overview of conversion rates from that step as well as an indication of the average number of days Lead spend in it and an indication of how many Leads have a fully completed checklist and are “Ready to move”

Accessing Sales Step Documents

Your Admins may have uploaded files that you can access directly from each Lead Step to help you work with the Lead. The number of attached documents will display in the Board View in the Step header. Click on “Documents” to see a list and select the one you want to preview (dependant on file type) or download ↴

The Compact View

The Compact View is your “everything going on with this Lead” view. Select your Lead from the searchable left hand panel. The middle panel shows you an overview of the Lead (this content can be customised by your Admins) and the right hand panel shows the Feeds for the Lead. Use the Toolbar options above the Feeds panel or the “Add”, “Open” or “Qualify” buttons to work with the Lead

The List View

The List View is a fully customizable grid view with actions available from the dropdown arrow on the right hand side and inline editing for the fields you choose to add to your grid.

More details on working with List Views is available here:

The Map View

Whether you have access to the Map View depends on your Admins have chosen to add the Geolocation chargeable add-on to your subscription.

Viewing Leads in a different Lead Process

Just as when working with Opportunities, the current process is indicated in the Profile name in the top right corner ↴

Click on the gears icon to open the “Power Panel” to change your view from one process to another ↴

Additional Resources/Next Steps

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