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A Deeper Look at a Lead

After a Lead is imported, the details can be fine-tuned and changed. Figure 6.17 shows the General tab of the Lead. Before any configuration, the Lead form is made up of four tabs: General, Detail, Administration, and Notes. Configuration also allows you to add more tabs, remove tabs, or add more data fields to existing or new tabs.

Figure 6.17

Figure 6.17 General tab of the lead.

Let's discuss four fields on the Lead General tab. The first is Topic. If you are looking at a long list of many, many Leads, the Topic field helps distinguish two Leads with exactly the same information. For instance, you might have two Leads with different Contacts, but perhaps they work in the same company. The Topic field can be renamed through system customization; however, it cannot be removed. Given that the Topic field is a required system field, some consideration is needed to decide how your company wants to use Topic. Some examples for Topic include where the Lead came from, how the Lead is categorized, and to what division the Lead is assigned.

The next field worthy of discussion is the Currency field. In Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you can assign different currency to different Leads. This enables a global corporation to track local Leads in the currency of the country where the Lead is being worked. Currency also impacts other entities (record types) in the system that has associated money, such as Opportunity, Quotes, Orders, and Invoices. When setting up system configuration within Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you can also enter a currency-conversion rate table. The currency rate table does not automatically update, but it can be manually changed as needed.

We also see a Rating field on the Lead General tab with a drop-down list of Hot, Warm, and Cold. The value on this field maps to the Opportunity during the convert process. This rating helps a salesperson prioritize the Leads when making decisions regarding which Lead to call first to qualify and flows through as an indicator on the Opportunity to offset the core sales funnel analysis fields, such as estimated close date, sales stage, and percent probability. If a Lead or Opportunity is cold and the estimated close date is within a couple of weeks or days, the sales manager might want to have an offline discussion with his salesperson.

Finally, there's the Description field. It is tempting to use the Description field for Notes; however, the field is limited in size. The best use of the Description field is for a brief profile of the company with which the Lead is associated. This profile might be a cut and paste from the company's website or it might just be local knowledge. Figure 6.18 offers an example of the Detail tab of a Lead.

Figure 6.18

Figure 6.18 Details tab of the Lead.

Notice that, on the Details tab, the last field displayed is the Source field. This is one of the most critical fields within the Lead, and if you have not already considered it, you might want to change this to a required field and perhaps move it to the General tab. The next tab we are going to look at is the Administration Tab as seen in Figure 6.19.

Figure 6.19

Figure 6.19 Administration tab of the Lead.

The fields on the Lead Administrative tab control some of your business process compliance when in the To Qualify stage (items such as whether the Lead has requested that you do not call them, but you are allowed to send them information via email). Should the Lead be flagged for a certain marketing campaign to heat them up a bit, or perhaps marketing materials have been sent to them and you want to flag and show the last campaign this Lead was included in. In addition, if this Lead was acquired through a new marketing campaign, the Lead Administration tab displays what source campaign generated the Lead.

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