After an sales executive or other responsible party has determined the viability of a lead, the lead will either be qualified or disqualified. We qualify a lead to indicate that they're considered viable potential sales and are ready to move to the next phase of the sales process. We disqualify leads that we won't be pursuing as customers any longer.
It is important to remember that although a disqualified lead might not be a good fit now, there may still be potential to do business with that customer in the future. Disqualified leads can be reactivated and qualified later.
Leads can be disqualified for any number of reasons. Some examples include:
- The sales representative was not able to connect with the lead within a reasonable time-period.
- The lead isn't interested in the company's products or services at all or at this time.
- The company requires products or services we do not provide.
A lead is disqualified directly from within the lead record. On the command bar, select Disqualify, and then make a selection from the menu that appears. Four default reasons are defined:
- Cannot Contact
- No Longer Interested
Even when a lead is disqualified, the record remains in Microsoft Dynamics 365, but in an inactive state. Records that are inactive cannot be edited. The information can, however, be viewed. There are two reasons why records are inactivated instead of deleted:
- Keeps a historical record of the lead.
- Keeps the lead available if it should be necessary to reactivate it later (lead becomes interested in our products or services).
For example, a lead may not have budget at a particular point in time, or, they may not have the necessary management support, however, they may have the necessary elements in place at a later point in time. By disqualifying the leads instead of deleting their record completely, they are retained for future reactivation.
Reactivating a lead
Occasionally, a lead that was not interested in your organizations products and services previously may be at another point in time. The Closed Leads view in the Sales Hub app will allow you to view any leads that have been disqualified. Open the lead record, and select Reactivate Lead to reactivate it. The lead is reopened and appears in the My Open Leads view of the original owner of the lead. The owner of the lead then can work the lead just as if it's a new lead that was assigned to him or her.
Qualifying a lead
After a lead meets the criteria set by your organization to advance to the next phase of the sales process, it's ready to be qualified as an opportunity. To qualify a lead, select Qualify on the command bar in the lead record. When done, the lead will be closed, and a corresponding opportunity record will be created. The opportunity record will be linked to the lead record. Details of the opportunity are automatically filled in based on the values that were captured in the lead.
Opportunity records, unlike lead records in Dynamics 365 must be associated with a customer record. A customer can either be an individual or an organization.
- Individuals are stored in Dynamics 365 as contact records.
- Organizations are stored in Dynamics 365 as account records.
A contact record can be a standalone record, or it can be associated with an organization. For example, an organization that sells primarily to businesses might create a contact record for Robin, who is a purchasing agent for an organization. In this case, Robin's contact record will also be associated with her organization's account record. An organization that sells primarily to individuals might use just contacts in Dynamics 365 to represent the individuals that they sell to. In this case, Robin might have only a standalone contact record.
To support both scenarios, the Potential customer field in the opportunity record can be set to either an account record or a contact record. If the lead is associated with an existing customer, the existing customer that's defined for the lead will be used as the customer for the opportunity. If the lead is a brand-new customer, an account and/or contact record must exist for the lead before an opportunity can be created. To help with this process, Dynamics 365 can create additional records that can be associated with an opportunity.
A new account record is created only if the Company field in the lead record is set.
The following values on the Lead page control the outcome of the qualification process:
- Title: This value becomes the title of the opportunity that's created.
- Name: If this value is entered, it becomes the full name of the new contact.
- Company: This value becomes the name of the newly created account using the company name.
Additional data, like the customer's budget from the lead, is mapped to the new opportunity.
When an opportunity record is created from a lead, a relationship with the lead record is established and remains with the opportunity.
Because qualified leads remain in the application and are associated with the new opportunities, they can be accessed at any time by selecting the Qualify phase in the opportunity's business process flow (BPF). The record for the qualified lead is opened and shows all the relevant information.
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