Here’s a question: what is the difference between a lead and an opportunity?

This question will receive a different response depending on who it is you ask. It’s likely each organisation will use different definitions for both leads and opportunities.

The definitions we will be discussing in this blog are only applicable to D365 Life Without Code.

What is a lead?

There are many different ways that leads can be identified. One of the ways that we acquire leads is through the contact forms on our website.

We classify any information that comes through on our website as an unqualified lead. This is because we don’t know if the information is genuine or not. By using the contact forms, potential leads steadily come through before a member of the sales team looks at each one to ascertain the sales potential. Once we have confirmed there is sales potential, and have ensured the contact details are correct, we would then convert this into an opportunity.

A contact form on the web is just one way to get a lead, however. There are other ways your company can generate them!

  • Industry specific lead generation sites
    • Some companies have their own databases where people are able to subscribe and, therefore, see leads.
    • This is one of the methods that can be potentially integrated with your Dynamics environment.
  • Trade shows and exhibitions
    • Leads can be accumulated in person, for example, at trade shows or events.
    • In the online world, there have still been shows and exhibitions but the way you can collect leads would be different.
  • Partners and existing customers
    • By providing referrals to their customers, information can be exchanged.
    • If you’re exchanging information over email, you’ll then be able to convert these into leads or opportunities with a couple of clicks using the Outlook plugin in Dynamics.
  • Purchased data lists
    • There are many marketing companies who sell lists of data.
    • If you decide to buy a list, there are ways that this can be imported to Dynamics to for you to manage.

How should you define / generate a lead?

Ultimately, the way that your company generates leads is something very personal to the running of your organisation. Though you should use whatever feels right for your company, (and you all agree) you do need to ensure that your customer journey is developed so that all of your sales team know what a lead is and when they should convert it to an opportunity.

The Sales Funnel

What is an opportunity?

As was with leads, different organisations will define what makes an opportunity differently. As an organisation, we tend to define an opportunity only after we have confirmed an account, person and service, know who they are and what they want. By converting leads into opportunities as soon as possible, from the point of view of sales metrics, we have all our analytical data in one location. This enables us to review our wins, analyse our losses and turn these into future wins.

The sales funnel

In Dynamics, there is a ‘funnel’ for opportunities but not for leads. This is why we, as an organisation, tend to adopt the process where we qualify leads into opportunities as early as possible. This enables us to see our sales funnel.

If you don’t understand how a sales funnel could work within Dynamics, please get in touch as we are happy to run courses on this!

Here at D365 Life Without Code, we work to equip you with the relevant skills that will make your system work for you.

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