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Convert Contacts to Leads

I love the new leads management feature, however its missing something important. You can only import new leads or create them manually. What about all our pre-existing contacts that we and I am sure many others were treating as prospects/'leads' in Insightly? Can they not be converted into leads? It would be extremely useful if one could add existing contacts to their leads management tab. And going one further, for managing purposes, it would be valuable if one could group/designate leads into various campaigns or categories.

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Comments

67 comments
  • Official comment

    Hello everyone, I am happy to report that we have shipped the ability to convert a contact to a lead as part of our CEO's (Anthony) personal commitment to this community. Our product development team takes your feedback very seriously, so please keep up voting on features you need!

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  • Anthony,

    I'm stunned at this.  So, this decision will force multiple people in my company to take over 8,000 combined contacts in multiple Google Apps accounts, siphon through them to download, then upload them to create Leads?  And then, when we must actually USE them as a Contact (you know, to call them next year because they turned out to not be a Lead after all), we then get to manually re-input that Lead data and make them a Contact?  I'm staggered at the disconnect here.

    Mr. Ashley, with all due respect, you must be brand new in the business, and as a previous comment indicated, only have a few hundred "Contacts".  I'm happy for you, as it won't take much effort to work around this (by the way, I wish you the greatest success as a nonprofit!).

    Unfortunately, we're in the sales business, not database manipulation business.  I wouldn't insult my sales team by asking them to cull through their 1,000's and 1,000's of contacts to potentially narrow them down to a list of "Leads".  That's just simply not reasonable.

    I'll go back and study this, as I'm obviously missing something.  I honestly want to help Insightly get better and don't mean to present any resemblance of a "flame war".  I just want to understand why companies that have been in business for more than 1 month (I'm being slightly facetious here) and work with a Contact list of 1,000's over 32 years is being penalized in this fashion.  

    Please feel free to wake me up...

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  • What I think JEKelly is that most people deal with different types of leads: 

    Cold

    Warm 

    Hot 

    Also we have difference marketing efforts that we receive leads from: 

    Social Media Marketing

    Print ads

    Network meetings

    Referrals

    ...etc. 

    It's a great option to not confuse them with "Opportunities" and have them as leads and be able to go through the lead process. Because I see this as all leads are not opportunities until they show interest. At that point you can move them into a "Opportunity" send them a proposal, quote...etc. Set up a pipeline for that process. 

    Don't get me wrong the "Leads" options still need a lot of work. Insightly launched a features that is not fully complete and leaves a lot out. 

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  • Existing Customers/contacts can become leads again over and over for different campaigns, new products, services or any other marketing/sales effort 

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  • Hello Anthony,

    Before the flame wars begin, let me say that while we are disappointed we have a whole bunch of contacts that actually should just really be leads, as a data architect and organization dedicated to generating archival data, I think this is the right move.

    We love Insightly. We are a small business with four staff members that do the perceived work of hundreds (I believe they made a movie about this), and Insightly is part of the reason for our grand illusion.

    As CEO of the company, but also as our primary salesperson (we are a nonprofit startup) I have been digging into Insightly and all of its depths and I just wanted to write to encourage you to continue to make good business decisions, like this one, despite the pressure you probably will feel for not pleasing everyone.

    One of the key features that I absolutely love is a fact that you can relate contacts and organizations and emails and tasks and opportunities in an organic way that isn't defined by Insightly, but is defined by our business practice. If you have come to the conclusion that a conversion of a contact to a lead would "break" this core feature, then you have made the right decision to make it not possible to do that.

    We plan to do exactly as you have described, I was simply waiting for you to say it… We will make a filtered selection of contacts, export them, reimport them through CSV as leads, and delete them from the contacts so that our contacts are our "friends and family", as you have designed it.

    Thank you again for supporting nonprofits and for all the work you are doing.

    We plan to make a video tutorial on how to make all of this magic happen in the coming days… We will be sure to share it back on this channel, feel free to share broadly.

    And thank you once again for the Gmail sidebar, it's a lifesaver.

    Many thanks,

     

    Michael Ashley

    Chief Executive Officer

    Center for Digital Archaeology

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  • 2nd Jerry's comment about access to leads outside the office.  I actually never use the App simply because there's no way for the people I'm in touch with (ahem, "leads") to show up or to add notes unless they are already a client or contact.

    Also a vote for moving a contact to a Lead and vice versa.  It's needlessly complicated internally to separate out an existing client from Leads simply because in some capacity they work with us already or may have in the past.

    Love the Leads option but it could definitely be more cooperative to the user.  

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  • Please add the ability to "Convert Contact to Lead"...

    Ideally with all of the Contact Info intact, as-is in the new Lead Record. I hate having to re-do stupid stuff over and over.

    Love the product though!

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  • I get what you're saying Anthony. But many of us started to use contacts before leads were introduced. Now we have to spend a lot of time sorting through, labeling them, exporting them to an xls file, delete the contacts, import the xls file as a lead, redefine any fields that insightly can't identify. 

    While I might have a few hundred at the moment, there might be others with a few thousand. 

    This is a major frustration since we're supposed to be busy working ON our leads rather than spending a lot of time organizing them in a system.

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  • Anthony, I never planned to mass convert Contacts to Leads...we sell to one at a time. And correct me if I'm wrong, but do Leads now sync to Google Apps?  Now, I just sent an email to a Contact (in Gmail) that I met a year ago. He wants to meet next week. Great.  But now I get to manually input all his contact information into the next logical progression, which is a Lead.  Quite infuriating if I'm being completely honest.  Oh, and then when I search, I get duplicate responses with the same data.

    Look, you've made your decision for whatever reason.  Read my most recent post...I will look at options before moving away. I like Insightly, it just doesn't appear to get a sales cycle in this light.

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  • 100% agree with Dario. We shouldn't adapt to use insightly. It's far more difficult to create new processes in organization (change management) than to develop a new feature for the tool.

    I don't even see a big problem here. My opinion - all you have to do is to create a checkbox in a contact page labeled "convert into lead" and once I check this box I should see this contact in my Leads list.

    Otherwise i don't really see the point... People don't call me to buy services, I call them. The service is really expensive and one contact can come and go during a year or two. So one month I would lead him, other month - I won't if he lost an interest or has no budget. But next year he comes back and says that his top management dedicated money for the service. So now he is lead again. 

    To me leading a person is a process of paying more attention to someone from the contact list. 

    And I don't really see the point in using oppotrunity tool - this could be just a field in lead page.

     

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  • As a relatively new customer, the inability to convert a "contact" in to a "lead" is too large of a gap to ignore. Anyone who's been in the sales industry for an extended period of time will identify with the steps of: (1) Contact (2) Lead (3) Opportunity (4) Sale/Contract, and then (5) Follow-up. The contact information should be readily available to the general database. Really wish this would have been made more clear during the discovery and decision-making process.

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  • Yes. I may have a relationship with a client but it isn't necessarily one that is always active (it could be dormant) and or one that applies to others in my company who may want to approach that contact. Existing contacts can be a lead if I or another colleague of mine need it to be one for whatever initiative. It's very possible for an existing contact to be involved in a project with me and at the same time be a lead for my colleague's new sales campaign.  It would then move onto an opportunity should the lead materialise. Each campaign we run needs leads...sometimes it's based on only new contacts, at other times it's only for existing contacts/clients, often It can be a mix of both types. Hope this helps

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  • Our contacts and organizations database is filled with people we have no relationship with due to the nature of our business (workplace interior design). The Leads feature is great for separating unqualified opportunities (which we previously tagged as such) from our tracking, (useful since unqualified opportunities don't have a value associated with them). By total separating the Leads function from the rest of Insightly, it limits the ability to track conversations and company-wide intel. 

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  • Nora D

    ”We are hoping to implement this right after our sidebar release”
    As i understand the sidebar is already released

    ”Contact to Lead is coming soon!”
    When is soon?

    When is the next Insightly release, and is this feature included then?

    I also want to mention that Insightly is a fantastic program

    /Fredrik

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  • Hi Jerry - 

    thanks for the good wishes!

    Nope, not new to the business. And yes, we only have a few hundred in Insightly, because we're new to the tool. We took our time to decide to go with Insightly, and I'm not regretting the decision. We have 1000's of leads/prospects.

    A few months ago, Insightly didn't have a 'lead' option. Yet, you managed, right? You made a business decision, as I did, to use Insightly over Salesforce (our former CRM for 5 years). Now, Insightly had added a Leads feature, which keeps our contact and opportunity lists clean and actually useful. It's an adjustment, but even for 8,000 contacts, it's just not that big a deal.

    If your people aren't looking at their 'prospects' and figuring out whether they are leads, contacts, or not worth following up with, software won't help.

    Leads, in the 'new' Insightly, are a special category, as far as I understand it. So take all 8,000 of your contacts, export them, then import them as Leads. They won't magically become Contacts until you convert them...It's safe to think of them as separate until the leads are qualified.

    https://www.evernote.com/l/AE1ZX0agW_1EAI7VhSVYq2Oc_lXmxquOfGc

    THEN, when you convert them, they become both an Opportunity and a Contact, which can be merged with your existing data. Contact list is vibrant and real, Opportunities are qualified and measurable...

    I actually think that's pretty cool.

    My comments were geared toward getting us all as a community to not overreact to this decision... and to work together as a community to help each other make Insightly more awesome. That's it.

    We make software, too. Community driven software development is really hard. I'm just happy to have found a company that actually listens (and sometimes ignores for good reason), our input.

    I'm fully interested in continuing conversation on this. I don't normally get involved in forums (we're all busy right?) but Insightly is part of our lifeblood now, so here we are.

    Hope this helps,

    Michael

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  • Good technology adapts to your working practices; not the other way around... We should each to a reasonable degree be able to build our own workflow/sales processes within Insightly not be forced to accept one single rigid framework imposed upon us. Yes, there are "work arounds" but that's not the way it should be. To say I am dissapoined in the evolutionary direction Insightly has decided to take is an understatement. We left other CRMs beacuse they were inflexible, implemented features that constrained you and didn't listen to their customer needs/base. The way you have structed Leads Management now will be fine for some but irrelevant and useless for many others. Why would you go on to develop a system that operates and splits your customers like this? I dont believe you can't come up with a solution to make it all work.  Sadly I suspect it's simply a matter that it was too costly for you as business to to make the system changes required and have chosen the easy way out.

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  • I think it's pretty clear that this needs to be resolved by the enormous amount of posts on this thread. I get that Insightly is supposed to simplify CRM but at the same time, some basic level functions are require to help make this a viable competitor to Salesforce.

    Let's get this Leads / Contacts challenge fleshed out. So far the partners in my business have been impressed with the ease of Insightly and I would like to continue to use it because the Insightly team understands the needs of their user base.

    Thanks everyone!

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  • Hi Dario,

    Thanks for your comment and your feedback. We have also heard this from other users that they would like this feature, so we are going to plan to implement it in an upcoming release.

    Thanks for being a customer.

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  • I'm glad this is getting implemented. I also contacted insightly with the same request when the leads were released. For our organization, we need to be able to convert contacts into leads on an ongoing basis (not a one time migration) .

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  • I'm curious as well. Our team would really like to have this feature. Thanks!

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  • Converting a contact a lead is a must have. A usecase for this is what Dario said. Also, some of us had to use other ways to create a 'lead' environment before it was implemented on Insightly. I'd like to be able to now put some of my Contacts back as leads. 

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  • Yes, please let us know when this is released. Literally my asst is typing info twice to do this. Why do we need contacts that are also leads? mailing because of the intergration with mailchimp, the ONLY way to send info the mailchimp is through the contract field. I can't send leads to mailchimp (which would make more sense) bc the function doesn't exist. I need to leads in my email drip campaign, but can only get them there if they are a contact first. 

    It is also the default way that emails and such are linked - they do not auto link to a lead or opportunity. this makes it a little harder. 

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  • Lyla,

    Thanks for your answers.

    So going back to the original point of this support thread, why is there not a way to copy contacts to leads? Why would I ever use the new Lead feature when I have spent countless hours creating notes, file attachments, emails, etc. in the Contacts feature?

    Follow-up question: When a lead is converted to a contact, is that person's emails, notes, etc. copied to their new "contact?"

    Thanks.

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  • Why would we put a contact into a lead? Am i misunderstanding this?

    If this is primarily due to the fact that many of us created contacts in Insightly prior to leads existing, then I can understand a one-time migration of lead-contacts to actual leads... 

    but, once a lead is a customer i.e. contact, there is no need to make them a lead again. You simply create an opportunity, or they fall into the "follow up" category. 

    someone correct me if I am missing the boat here. :-)

     

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  • I agree, the problem is I was using "Opportunities" as my lead tracking and now I can't migrate them over. I have notes, e-mails...etc all under the "Opportunities" which should be able to be migrated over. 

     

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  • We are hoping to implement this right after our sidebar release. :) Unfortunately, we do not have a release date for it quite yet. I'll make sure to follow up once available!

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  • upvote

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  • Upvote as well.  I'm having to duplicate the information as I get leads from my calling service...unless I'm totally missing something!  I get the lead via email which is a form containing contact/lead data.

    I obviously create a Lead, but that contact information will not load to my iPhone (via My Contacts, which syncs with Insightly).  So, if I want to have that "Contact" information, I have to import it once into Leads and again into Contacts.  I understand this is coming out or in development, which is great.

    Again, if I'm missing something, I take no offense in being corrected.

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  • @Jerry- I'm creating a support ticket for you to gather additional information. :)

     

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  • @Paul- great to hear your support. Contact to Lead is coming soon!

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