Color coding Contacts by Status in the Deal view might be useful.
At the very least being able to quickly and easily see (and edit) Lead Status would be helpful.
You want to make it quick and simple for users to identify where their next "close" is coming from. Good practice is to focus on the next "closable" deal before others, so anything you can do to help identify these is good. Avoid sifting through the "longer term" contacts and prioritize the "hot" (final stage) ones.
Color coding is a fairly easy way to do it: light blue, amber, red?