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Lead Status mistakes to avoid

Lead and Opportunity statuses are customizable to your sales process so you can track a lead’s progress through your sales funnel. However, we often see customers creating statuses to organize information that would be better accomplished with another tool. Here are the top mistakes we see customers make and tips for how to correct them.

Mistake #1: Creating lead statuses for call or email activities.

Example:  “Not Called”, "Email 1", "Email 2", “Call 3”, No Answer”, “Outbound Prospecting”, “Reached”

Think of Lead Statuses as buckets or stages your leads go through. There’s no need to create a status to keep track of whom you have called or emailed or whom you plan on calling or emailing because there’s been no meaningful shift in the lead’s stage. 

Instead,’s powerful search tool can do this for you. Use the search filters on the right hand side of the page to create a Smart View to accomplish the same thing. The advantage in using Smart Views is that leads flow automatically from one SV to another, eliminating data entry in updating every lead.

Pro Tip: Instead of using the examples above, create a lead status for Cold or Potential leads and try these search queries in the search box at the top of the page:

lead_status:Potential calls:0 —This can replace the status: not called. 
lead_status:Potential calls<5 — This can show people you have called less than 5 times, but they are still cold.
lead_status:Potential duration < “3 minutes” — You called but have yet to have a meaningful discussion, i.e. you haven’t really moved them to the next bucket or status.
duration > “3 minutes” — Can replace status: Reached

For more sample searches that will help you find contacted leads, check out this article.  

Mistake #2: Creating a lead or opportunity status to assign leads to particular reps. 

Example: lead_status: Liz,  “Kevin’s leads”, “ECT Lead List”

We want to track the meaningful movement of leads through your sales funnel. Using a status to assign leads to reps causes inaccuracies in tracking what stage your leads are in and diminishes your ability to report on pipeline. 

Instead, choose one of the two ways that allows lead assignment

1. Traditional static assignment using custom fields 
2. Dynamic assignment based on lead metadata. 

Pro Tip: Using dynamic assignment, we can create a Smart View based on certain lead criteria, name it after your salesperson, and share the Smart View with them. The benefit here is as new leads enter containing the lead criteria you outlined, the leads are automatically assigned to your rep, with no additional work. 

Example: Amy’s territory is the state of California. Search leads using lead_status:Potential state:CA created:"this week" and create a Smart View for Amy. 

Mistake #3:  Creating a status to define a category of lead.

Example: “CES 2017”, "E3 2016", “Real Estate Company”, “Accountant”, “Food & Hospitality”

Use Custom Fields to track categories instead of creating lead statuses. Typically, you don’t want to include a category as a lead status unless that category is permanent. Otherwise, you lose the ability to track that lead’s progress through your funnel, as you can only have one status at a time. 

Pro Tip: Create a custom field for “Lead Type” or “Lead Source” by clicking on your name in the upper right > choose Settings > Customizations > Custom Fields > Add a New Custom Field. 

For this example, select “Choices” as the type, and indicate with “Real Estate” or "Food & Hospitality" appropriately. Use search to filter by custom fields and return a list of all Real Estate accounts: "custom.Lead Type": "Real Estate".