Salesforce workflow - customization

This is our current salesforce workflow / implementation:
 All signups are "contacts".
These are automatically created
I think they are created as leads first and then converted to contacts - not sure about this part.

And "leads" are created manually. The problem is that our salespeople don't manually update the fields for leads. And when someone from leads signups using the same email ID ( in contacts and leads), then that lead is automatically converted to a contact. And we are not able to account for it.

We don't want to mix leads and contacts. But we need better accountability for leads and also want to differentiate between them.

What is the best way to do this?
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Amy WallerMarketing Operations ManagerCommented:
Have you tried creating a validation rule so that your salespeople need to fill in certain fields before the lead can be converted into a contact or even saved/created as a lead?

What workflow rules do you have set up that automatically converts from a lead to a contact? Does this workflow also create or attach the contact to an account?

I would check to see how new signups are becoming contacts. Depending on how they populate into the system, I could see you having a potential duplicate problem (if they already exist as a lead or contact)

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