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Do you know what a lead is and should your business be using them in Dynamics 365/CRM?

If you are using Dynamics 365/CRM in your business, you will know that leads represent an opportunity for new business. Put simply, a lead is a potential new client (whether it be a contact/account or both) who either need to be qualified in or qualified out in order for this part of the process to progress to a sales opportunity. 

Leads can be generated from a variety of different sources such as marketing campaigns, website contact forms, click to chat or inbound phone calls. 

It goes without saying but what constitutes a lead can be different when it comes to business-to-business transactions so some of the standard fields might not be appropriate for all different situations. Therefore, some customisations to the fields may be needed to further improve the overall process. 

When you look to add a lead to the CRM, there are a number of compulsory fields that need to be completed. However, other useful bits of information such as the lead source, product interests or even email addresses which can be useful for reporting purposes are not needed. 

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Do I need to be using leads? 

This can be different from business to business, in the fact that if you have potential businesses contacting you about your services then you should be using them. 

The main reasoning behind this is the fact that they may wish to do business with you but that doesn’t mean that you will want to do business with them. 

Therefore, in this case the best thing to do is to setup an account record that includes the more in-depth details such as company name, address, marketing preferences and follow this up by setting up a contact record that links with this Account which includes the more basic information such as first and last name, email, contact number etc just setup a lead that includes only the most basic of information. 

By doing this, you can achieve some of the following advantages: 

  • It could help you to save time, as if the lead is qualified out following a phone call around the original enquiry, you haven’t wasted your time adding comprehensive information in your CRM that won't be used again. 
  • It states why you either qualified in or qualified out the lead for whoever reviews the leads. 
  • You don’t have thousands of contacts or accounts in your CRM that are taking up valuable storage which aren’t really required to. 
  • You will find that when a lead is qualified, it will automatically setup an account or contact as well as a new opportunity so there is no need for you to build anything yourself. 

When don’t I need to use leads? 

It is important to note that examples of this in practice are different from business to business, however, we’ve put together some occasions where these would get added as an opportunity: 

  • They are an existing customer. 
  • You have an established relationship with them. 

Despite the fact that you could technically add them as another lead, it seems pointless overcomplicating this process which can be time consuming and adding unnecessary data to your Dynamics 365/CRM system. 

When you add a lead, you have the ability to link to a preexisting contact or account. After you have completed this action, the lead is qualified and a new opportunity created it is then linked to the existing contact and/or account. 

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After you add a lead, you have the ability to add a new contact and account record simply by completing the ‘Last Name’ and ‘Company’ fields. 

This means that after a lead has been qualified, you will find that a new opportunity is added which links to the newly created contact. 

So, that’s it from us but as you can see from the above, leads aren’t required for all businesses. However, they can prove useful for being able to manage ‘disposable’ records for your sales engagement process. 

Next Steps? 

If you are a business that is looking to learn more on how to add a contact/account when qualifying a lead or are looking for more information about our Dynamics 365/CRM solutionneed specific Dynamics 365 consultancy or require dedicated Dynamics CRM support then please get in touch with our team of Dynamics 365 experts today to discuss this. 

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