I know I know…I can hear the voices – “Why would you stop using leads”? “How would you manage prospects?”

Over the past 10 years, I’ve deployed Dynamics 365 for hundreds of organizations worldwide (some of them have been in the comfort of my home in Toronto, one of them in not-as-comfortable Papua New Guinea, and lots of places between). In all my deployments, the biggest obstacle is user adoption.

While the lack of user adoption can be the result of different factors, a common one is the amount of change is too overwhelming for people to accept. Instead of accepting the challenge, people will shy away and revert to what they are used to.

Everyone (organizations, Dynamics 365 consultants) can ease the breadth of change on sales teams by simplifying as many processes. We want to excite sales teams to use Dynamics 365; there are too many robust features that enhance sales performance and increase customer satisfaction, some of which are:

  • Interactive dashboards
  • Automated process flows
  • Integration with Outlook

…but the excitement comes with continued use of Dynamics 365. We need to motivate user adoption right from the beginning when users are open to the idea of change. If we simplify what we ask of users, it results in higher adoption and empowerment of sales teams.

With that being said, let me talk about a process that we can simplify – no upgrade, no configuration required…

Ditch Leads!

Leads can serve a purpose; I believe your prospect management can just as easily be handled using Accounts, Contacts, and Opportunities.

It’s an over-simplification, but essentially Leads are to be used to capture prospects or companies you haven’t done business within the past. For your existing customers, we use opportunities.

The problem with this process is that sales teams need to have multiple processes to handle sales of new (prospective) clients and existing clients…

  • “If it’s a new client, enter it as a lead.”
  • “If the lead is interested in proceeding with the deal, qualify it as an opportunity…an account and contact will be created.”
  • “Disqualify non-interested leads.”
  • For existing clients, use opportunities.”

This is where we can lose new users of Dynamics 365. Not only may they be using a new software tool, but now the way clients are handled differs based on whether they are new, existing, etc.

Here’s what I suggest you do:

  1. Use Accounts to capture all your clients, whether they be customers or prospects The “Relationship Type” field can be used to differentiate between customers and prospects (not to mention other relationships like vendors, distributors, etc.)
  2. Once you create an account, you can add contacts – At the outset of an interaction with a client, you may have one contact, but you can continue to add personnel as you get to know the company better
  3. You have an account and a contact record in Dynamics 365 – start using it to capture your appointments, e-mails, other documents
  4. When it’s time to start the sales process, create an opportunity!

These steps can be followed to manage ALL sales, whether it be with a new customer or an existing one. If we make use of the Account and Contact tables, sales reps need to follow only one process of how to manage their customers…and then when the time is right, create an opportunity to capture the (hopefully successful) deal.

Just a small tweak to your sales process (you can do this right away!) will make it easy for your sales teams to enter customer and sales information into Dynamics 365.

May all your opportunities be “Close as Won”!

Drive Business Success with Dynamics 365 for Sales_VOX ISM
Zeshan Raja_Vox ISM

Zeshan Raja

Dynamics 365 Consultant

Zeshan Raja brings ten years of experience in the telecommunications industry, implementing Dynamics CRM and other billing/charging platforms. His extensive knowledge of Dynamics CRM was gained from the execution of large-scale data migrations, deployment of custom features/solutions, and delivering in-depth training and consultation for clients worldwide. Zeshan has successfully led several billing platform conversions where he handled real-time customer data with no impacts, including critical items such as credit card and other monetary information. Zeshan is a graduate of the University of Waterloo and will use his immense knowledge and functional experience of Dynamics CRM to provide VOX ISM clients with exceptional results.

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