Sales professionals often use the word Prospect as part of their sales cycle and others use the term Deal for the same. Getting this right for your business, understanding how Microsoft CRM views these record types as Leads and Opportunity, and connecting the two is an important part of setting up your Sales CRM correctly.
Many companies classify a lead as a potential business. They relate it someone they have not had any previous business dealings. For example, a Home insurance business could purchase a list of new homeowners in the local area and this would be a list of leads. In most organizations the sales cycle or process followed would mandate that the one would market to the business and thereafter qualify or disqualify the lead.
How does a lead become an opportunity?
In Dynamics CRM 365 qualified lead becomes an opportunity, which in turn can be won or lost. This is usually based on qualificatiSales professionals often use the word Prospect as part of their sales cycle and others use the term Deal for the same. Getting this right for your business, understanding how Microsoft CRM views these record types as Leads and Opportunity, and connecting the two is an important part of setting up your Sales CRM correctly.
In most organizations the sales cycle or process foon. It is generally accepted to be the stage at which there is some chance however small it may be, of winning the business.
Also a lead is usually disqualified when there is absolutely no chance of closing a deal or doing a business. Yet if there is a longer-term possibility, example 12 months or more, should the lead be disqualified at all? Also in the interest of tracking the lead should a follow up be setup. Also can a long term opportunity be tracked in the CRM system? There are advantages and disadvantages of these scenarios, relating to reporting.
There is always a possibility that a long term potential is forgotten, with staff getting engaged in day-to-day activities. Using “lead nurturing” can also be quite helpful, where long term leads or opportunities are separately maintained and the system will comes up with alerts and reminders in 3 or 6 months whatever time its likely to mature into an opportunity.
When a lead is converted to an opportunity in the CRM, it also carries this data of the originating lead and therefore the source campaign. Over time, one will be able to view the value of these customers based on the source campaign.
Also in case you don’t set up a lead and start the sales process at opportunity stage, you can potentially lose some of the reporting metrics related to the lead and campaigns.
The term prospect is also used by many organizations. If this is the case, it is possible to modify the naming conventions in your new Dynamics CRM system to reflect this, just as one could change customer to client if this is the terminology you use.
How to Classify existing customers in the CRM?
Marketing wisdom says that “it is easier and less expensive to sell to existing customers than generate new ones.” An important question: what about potential to sell new products to existing customers? So if you sell office, and introduce a new range of Chairs, should you be creating leads or opportunities for each of your existing customers? The moment you split this up you are also more than likely going to be looking at two sets of reporting metrics across your new range.
Can an existing customer also be a lead?
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales is set up to accommodate this capability, the question is more, and does this actually meet your business requirements? The lead functionality in CRM is very powerful, however, and if you elect to use this, when you create a lead for an existing customer, and then qualify this lead, the opportunity inherits the “originating lead” field and this will allow for deep analysis on campaigns and the leads created.
You need to decide on a process and stick to it. If your rule is leads are only ever companies that you never deal with, then during configuration the Existing Customer and Existing Contact fields should be removed from the sales process so that users do not link these to existing customers. There is no right or wrong way to do this, and in Microsoft Dynamics CRM both options are available.
There have been instances where Dynamics implementations have changed the term opportunity to deal for a few customers, where they felt they were chasing a deal and not an opportunity. There is no right or wrong, but take a minute, pause for a while and consider what is best for your organization, and whether, if you change, will this change be easily accepted across the business.
If you have been calling something “Prospects and Suspects” for many years and this in inculcated into the corporate culture, then making modifications to your CRM may well be a small price to pay to keep it this way.