Contact to Lead relationship RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,


    I'm new to CRM; We have a list of company's, sometimes with, sometimes without contact persons. I would like to have a lead record for the companies and where possible put the contact persons info on a contact card. This implies i would need to make a relation between the lead and the contact. It seems i only have the possibility to relate a contact to an account or a contact. Leads can't even be related to anything, there is no action...


    What am I missing here?




    Dennis Decoene

    Thursday, July 29, 2010 7:36 AM


  • Hi Dennis,

    Leads are an optional record in CRM. The usual scenario is that accounts and contacts are reserved for your current (and former!) customers and current prospects (a prospect is any potential customer actively engaged in a sales opportunity). Anyone who hasn't yet been qualified as a prospect is a lead. A lead is someone you hope to do business with, but they are not currently engaged in a sales opportunity. It's up to your business to determine what the lead/prospect qualification criteria are, and this determines when users should convert a lead into a prospect.

    A lead record combines information about a company and a contact into a single record. One challenge that this provides for B2B organisations is that they may have several leads at the same company, and there is no way of linking these leads together to get an overall picture.

    So, the usual workaround in this scenario is to use accounts and contacts not just for customers and prospects, but also for potential customers. This means you can still use leads, but you convert them into accounts and contacts before there is an opportunity. You can use the Relationship Type field on the account form to distinguish these companies from customers and prospects, perhaps by calling them 'suspects' or something similar. Now you can have many contacts associated with your suspect accounts, and you can market to them and develop a relationship until they become actively engaged in an opportunity.

    When it comes to leads, accounts and contacts, Microsoft Dynamics CRM is very flexible so that it can be used by all sorts of organisations: B2B, B2C, non-profit, government, etc. It's just a matter of working out your business process and tweaking CRM to fit (although sometimes it can make sense to tweak your process a little to fit CRM).

    Hope this helps.

    Neil Benson, CRM Addict and MVP at Customery Ltd.You can reach me on LinkedIn or Twitter.

    • Marked as answer by Jim Glass Jr Thursday, July 29, 2010 7:09 PM
    Thursday, July 29, 2010 10:21 AM