Microsoft CRM: Should We Use Leads?

Microsoft CRM is certainly a dynamic solution, but with ANY solution that has wealth of options, there must be careful consideration taken to ensure that your company’s implementation is specific to your needs. Everyday, I see companies that rush to implement CRM and don’t take the time to map out their business process or policies. Then, when it’s time to launch CRM, there’s the usual backlash of user adoption, frustration from divisions/departments, and sometimes a blatant distaste for CRM. Why?? CRM didn’t do anything! It’s the lack of forethought and proper planning that causes these headaches. For example, let’s look at Best Practices regarding leads…

Not all organizations will use leads because every organization considers qualified prospects differently. Those that depend on mass demand generation processes – such as advertisements, trade shows, cold calling lists, and so on – will likely use leads. These organizations would benefit from lead management because this process helps sort through the massive amounts of data and helps sales focus their efforts in the best direction.

Those companies that start their sales process from the opportunity stage rather than the lead stage would do better to eliminate the need for leads and focus only on opportunities. If the sales process doesn’t begin with a lack of information or a need to gauge interest, leads might not apply. Companies we’ve seen implement this practice are from a variety of industries like Real Estate, Housing Development, Government, Brick & Mortar Retail Stores, etc…

Ask yourself or your company this…

  1. Do we invest time and money into generating lists of potential customers? Do we have mass mailings, cold calling, etc.
  2. Do we keep lists of people who are target customers, but the lists have limited contact information?
  3. Do we have personnel devoted to sifting through lists of possible customers to identify “good” prospects?
  4. Do we need to manage lists of potential customers separately from the Accounts or Contact lists?

If the answer is “Yes,” then you may want to use leads. If “No,” then don’t! Don’t be afraid to make the necessary customizations to your Microsoft CRM implementation that will benefit your overall needs. This can ONLY be done when you have taken the time to analyze your processes and determine what is best. Don’t forget to keep in mind…”Where will we be in 5 years and will our processes be the same as they are today?” Without these critical steps, you and your implementation will suffer the consequences.

JH
Microsoft CRM Consultant
Unitek Microsoft CRM Services