Bulk Convert Leads to Contacts in Salesforce

How to Convert Salesforce Leads to Contacts 

Both leads and contacts are used to organize your engagement with individuals in Salesforce, but there are functional differences between the record types. For instance, leads can not be natively linked with accounts and opportunities in Salesforce.

For this reason, companies often need to convert Salesforce leads to contacts, but this cannot be handled in bulk automatically through Salesforce's base features.

Insycle's Bulk Operations module allows you to convert leads to contacts in bulk and automatically. These conversions are made using the accounts linked to the leads. 

Process Summary

  1. Verify you have the needed prerequisites.
  2. Filter your data down to the leads that you would like to convert.
  3. Tell Insycle who should become the new contact owner.
  4. Preview the changes and make conversions in Salesforce.

 

Pre-Requisites

Lead Records are Linked to Account Records

Before you can bulk convert leads to contacts and accounts in Salesforce, the leads must be linked to the correct accounts. This is because Salesforce looks for that relationship before converting the lead. If the link is not in place, Salesforce will not be able to identify the correct account record, and the conversion will not occur.

Follow the steps in the Lead to Account Matching In Salesforce article to link Salesforce leads to accounts in bulk.

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See the Salesforce help article, Converting Leads for more detail.

The Insycle Salesforce AppExchange Package is Installed

In order to bulk convert leads to contacts and accounts, you must first install the Insycle AppExchange app in your Salesforce org. To make the conversions, Insycle uses APEX code. Without the app installed, Insycle cannot use APEX code.

Install the Insycle package from the AppExchange page.

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Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Set Up Filter to Find Leads for Conversion

In Insycle, navigate to Data Management > Bulk Operations.

Select your Salesforce database and the Leads record type in the top menu. Then explore the templates for an existing solution that may be close to what you need. 

Under Step 1, select Fields you want to look at and Conditions you want the values to meet. With this filter, you're telling Insycle what records you would like to update. You could leave the filter blank if you want to convert all available leads to contacts.

Filter Lead records

When you click Search, Insycle will list matching records in the Record Viewer at the bottom of the page.

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Step 2: Choose Owner for Converted Lead 

When you have selected the Leads record type in the top menu, a fourth tab—Convert—appears under Step 2. This option is only available for converting leads to contacts.

Under Step 2, click the Convert tab.

Here you can control the owner of the converted lead. A lead may have an owner but depending on your organization's workflow it may be more appropriate for the contact to be assigned the same owner as the account. 

Select the Rule telling Insycle where to take the Contact Owner value from.

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Step 3: Preview and Apply Changes to Salesforce

Preview Changes in a CSV Report

Now with the filters and linking actions in place, you can preview the changes you are making to your data. That way, you can check to ensure the relationships are being created as expected before those changes are made in Salesforce.

First, under Step 3, click the Review button.

In the Bulk Convert popup, select Preview and click Next.

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On the Notify tab, add any additional recipients who should receive the CSV (and make sure to hit Enter after each address). You can add colleagues and additional context here.

On the When tab, click the Run Now tab and select which records to apply the change to (in most cases, this will be All), then click the Run Now button.

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Open the CSV file from your email in a spreadsheet application and review the columns. 

For each lead, Insycle converts the record to a contact, maintaining the link to the account. If in Step 2 you chose to use the owner from the account, that will appear in the Salesforce record, not in the CSV. In the Result column, a "Converted" value indicates the lead will be converted to a contact record when the update is applied to your CRM. 

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Apply Changes to Salesforce

If everything in your CSV preview looks correct, return to Insycle and move forward with applying the changes to the live Salesforce data.

Under Step 3, click the Review button, this time select Update mode. 

On the When tab, click Run Now and select which records to apply the change to (in most cases this will be All), then click the Run Now button.

Save Templates and Setup Automation to Maintain Formatting

After you've seen the results in Salesforce and you are satisfied with how the operation runs, you can save all of the configurations as a template and set up automation so this linking operation runs on a set schedule. If you have several templates you'd like to run together automatically, you can create a Recipe.

Automating with a template saves time and ensures that your fields are consistently linked continuously.

Under Step 3, click the Review button, and select Update mode.

On the When tab, select Automate, and configure the frequency you'd like the template to run. When finished, click Schedule.

Advanced How-Tos

Understanding How Lead Conversion Works with Existing Contacts

When Insycle converts a Salesforce lead to a contact, it automatically checks if a contact with the same email is already associated with the same account as the lead. If such a contact exists, the lead will convert into that existing contact. However, if a contact with the same email exists but is not associated with the same account as the lead, then the lead will be converted into a new contact.

In Salesforce, when a lead is converted into an existing contact, the owner info from the lead cannot overwrite the contact owner. However, with Insycle, you have the ability to override the default Salesforce behavior. When converting leads into contacts, you can choose to copy the lead owner to the contact, even on existing contacts where there is already an owner value.

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Merge Duplicates across Leads and Contacts, Then Automatically Convert

Your company may encounter issues where a single person exists in Salesforce as both a lead and a contact. Unfortunately, looking for duplicates in the combined pool of leads and contacts can't be done using native Salesforce features. With Insycle's Merge Duplicates module, you can easily deduplicate across Salesforce leads and contacts by simply clicking a checkbox.

Once the records are consolidated, you can use the Bulk Operations module to convert the leads to contacts.

Learn more about resolving duplicates across Salesforce leads and contacts.

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Adding Additional Fields to the Record Viewer

If you'd like to see additional fields in the Record Viewer, under Step 1 click the Layout tab, find the desired field in the right column, and drag it left to the Visible Fields column. Drag-and-drop fields to reorder them in the Visible Fields column.

These fields will also be included in any CSV exports from this module.

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Troubleshooting

Failed Results in the CSV

If the Result column of your CSV report includes any values, "Failed - Error Lead is not linked to an Account using AccountId__c field," this indicates the lead record is not linked to an account, which is a prerequisite for converting leads to contacts.

Result column of CSV showing error

You'll need to go back and follow the steps in the Lead to Account Matching In Salesforce article to link Salesforce leads to accounts, then return to the Bulk Operations module and do the convert steps again.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to go through Salesforce's manual conversion process to convert leads to contacts and accounts?

No, Insycle handles this for you, allowing you to bypass the complicated manual process. Insycle can convert leads to contacts and accounts in bulk.

What happens to the lead record?

After converting, the old converted lead record may not appear in search results, depending on your permissions and the version of Salesforce you're using. See Salesforce's Convert Qualified Leads article for details.

Additional Resources

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