Tracking Why a Lead or Opportunity is Unqualified or Lost

Sharing is Caring

One of the key advantages of CRM is that it gives insights for management into the Sales process and provide feedback what is going right and what is going wrong with the Sales Process and with their Sales Team.

It would be absolutely crazy not to track why an Opportunity is being lost or why a lead is being marked as unqualified. Funny enough, Salesforce actually doesn’t have standard fields to track why a lead is unqualified or an opportunity is being marked as closed lost. All is not lost though, because a custom field can easily be added and validation rules can be easily created. By adding adding additional fields, to Salesforce we are able to help management, marketing, and sales determine why deals aren’t being closed and determine where the pain points are in the sales process.

There’s a few different ways companies can handle their unqualified or lost reasons. Some companies will mark a lead as disqualified and allow their marketing automation system to continue to nurture the lead until it’s ready to be contacted again. Since Pardot doesn’t normally charge per contact/lead/ email sent, there‚Äôs very minimal cost. In a well designed process, the sales team shouldn’t need to intervene.

Common Options for Lead

  • Unable to Contact
  • Inaccurate data
  • No Authority

Common Options for Opportunity

  • Not Qualified
  • Lost to Competitor
  • Unable to Contact

Additional Fields I recommend adding:

  • Lost By – this field should be automatically set by a workflow or trigger when an Opportunity has been marked Closed/Lost or when a Lead has been marked as disqualified.
  • Stage Before loss – this field should be automatically set by a workflow or trigger and be the previous value of the Opportunity.Stage. This allows management and marketing to better understand where deals are being lost and provide solutions.

Some companies I have done work for in Salesforce also add Industry related fields such as a dropdown of Competitors that deals have been lost to, Desired Features that aren’t present, or a Integrations that aren’t supported. In a lot of cases this can make a lot of sense as it can help a company to drive increased revenue by doing targeted emails on leads or opportunities that have been previously lost.

What are some additional fields that your organization has added to the Opportunity or Lead?

Sharing is Caring

Brian is a software architect and technology leader living in Niagara Falls with 13+ years of development experience. He is passionate about automation, business process re-engineering, and building a better tomorrow.

Brian is a proud father of four: two boys, and two girls and has been happily married to Crystal for more than ten years. From time to time, Brian may post about his faith, his family, and definitely about technology.


  1. Ian

    Good article, and yes, I always add ‘Lost reason’ as another picklist value.

    Incidentally, I believe you have a typo: “It would be absolutely crazy *now* to track why an Opportunity is being lost or why a lead is being marked as unqualified.”
    Is it meant to be ‘not’?

Comments are closed.