Salesforce Leads vs. Contacts: What's the Difference? To put it simply, here’s the difference between Salesforce leads vs. contacts: A lead is the name of a person or company who may (or may not) be interested in the products or services you sell. A contact is an individual with whom one of your reps has established a relationship and is a potential customer. Leads and contacts may seem similar on the surface, but they serve very different purposes in Salesforce.