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Many times a CSR does not acquire the prospect's Last Name when creating a new Lead record. For this reason I need a way to pre-populate the Lead's Last Name field with a value like "Customer" so the new record can be saved, as Last Name is a required field. The CSR can always overwrite the Last Name field value either before or after saving the initial record. I tried to create a workflow that adds the text "Customer" to the Lead's Last Name field if the value in the Last Name field was just the letter "a", but it is firing and overwriting any value entered into the Last Name field upon saving the record. The workflow was set to fire only when a new record was created. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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You can use URL hack to do that /lightning/o/Lead/new?defaultFieldValues=LastName='Customer'. You can also achieve that with custom component https://developer.salesforce.com/docs/atlas.en-us.lightning.meta/lightning/components_navigation_dfv.htm

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