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In Dynamics CRM, the Lead entity is designed for potential clients that are qualified by a salesperson prior to becoming Accounts, Contacts, and Opportunities. Once qualified, CRM creates Accounts, Contacts, or Opportunities. After the salesperson speaks with the potential client, if there is no interest, the lead is “disqualified,” which deactivates the lead record.
When used in this manner, the lead entity can be useful. However, it can cause some issues if it is not used properly.
For these reasons, many companies elect to not use the lead entity for prospect management. One common alternative is to use accounts and contacts for prospects and leads. Using the “relationship type” field you can define a type of “suspect” and “prospect,” and flag prospective customers appropriately. Once this is in place, views can be configured so that leads are excluded from the customer views. The benefits of this approach:
Based on the points above you may think that I am anti-lead. I do see several types of deployments where leads are favorable.
The introduction of cross entity process flow in CRM 2013 does potentially alleviate some of the potential risk of using leads. This allows a user to see the qualified lead and the opportunity in the same process flow, making it more of a unified process. However, this does not take away the issues with leads and other data not converting, it just makes it easier for users to navigate between the qualified lead and the opportunity. http://canada.hitachi-solutions.com/blog/dynamics-crm-cross-entity-business-process-flow/
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