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Leads and Opportunities Summary

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In the previous five steps on lead to opportunity, we learnt about the tools available to assist us in our sales process.

We learned that the lead to opportunity sales process has grown to include not only business process flow for converting a lead to an opportunity, but now also includes Embedded Intelligence, Relationship Assistant, Playbooks, and other Integrated Sales tools.

These tools continue to expand what is possible for Dynamics 365 for Sales. From creating to qualifying, we discussed many things about lead management. In Dynamics 365 for Sales, we use leads to keep track of business prospects that haven’t been qualified yet through your sales process.

From creating to qualifying, we discussed many things about lead management. In Dynamics 365 for Sales, we use leads to keep track of business prospects that haven’t been qualified yet through your sales process.

We learned about the ways to create a lead, how to qualify or disqualify a lead, and what happens when you do so.

We also took another look at accounts and contacts. These records are used to manage the primary data for a company, or a person that works within the company.

The data contained in these records may not change often, and they provide the broadest context of the companies and people you are working with.

We looked at how and why to deactivate a lead account or contact record, and why it is considered the best practice to always deactivate a record and instead of deleting it.

In the Hands-On Lab, we practised creating, qualifying, disqualifying, and reactivating leads.

Opportunities are used to manage potential sales. Opportunity management is essential for creating an accurate sales pipeline through which you can better plan for your organisation’s future.

Opportunity management is a many-faceted process that involves tracking related products, activities, competitors, sending sales literature, and regular customer communications.

You can assign and share opportunities moving through a business process flow that is modelled on your company selling process. Understanding the client stakeholders and how they may influence the outcome of the sales, assembling your sales team, and then finally closing the sale as either won or lost.

We discussed opportunity assignment and ownership, and how one of the more common things that are done with sales opportunity is making sure that the right salesperson or team of people are working on the sales opportunity. That process is called assigning opportunities or record ownership.

To sell effectively, salespeople must know what interactions have occurred with the customer. Creating opportunity records allows the sales team to see what touchpoints have taken place, and what must happen next.

For salespeople to have a complete view of the opportunity, they must track the various activities that take place with the customer. Phone calls, emails, faxes, meetings, and even tracking competitors are important interactions.

A key element to opportunity management is opening or closing as won or lost. As you manage sales opportunities, it is important to understand why they should be closed as either lost or won as keeping the opportunity opened does not properly convey nor accurately depict the current sales reality or prospective sales in an organisation’s overall sales pipeline.

When working with an opportunity, you and your salespeople will follow a business process flow. Business process flows help ensure that people enter data consistently, and follow the same steps every time they’re working with the lead, a customer, or an opportunity.

We learnt about which business process flows are installed on your Dynamics 365 for Sales system already, and about how to customise the existing business process flows, or add fully custom additional business process flows in the application to suit your organisation’s sales requirements. When tracking opportunities, knowledge about competition can be the difference between winning and losing.

Gathering and documenting information about your competitors, such as their strengths and weaknesses, is one way to gain a winning edge. We took all of this opportunity management learning and put it to the test in our Hands-On Labs where we created, modified, and tested a business process flow.

We discussed how embedded intelligence is a suite of features which continuously analyse the vast collection of customer interaction data already starting your Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Exchange databases.

These help you better understand your business relationships, evaluate activities in relation to previous successes, and choose the best path forward.

Embedded Intelligence includes several features which all work together to amplify individual strengths. We practised enabling all of these Embedded Intelligence options including enabling our enhanced cards.

Playbooks are a set of rules or suggestions that are considered to be suitable for a particular activity or process. They provide users with guidance on recurring tasks in which consistent actions are expected.

Playbooks can also contain best practices based on those practices in your past that have worked in a similar situation.

In our hands-on practice, we created Playbook categories and templates using the different Playbooks in the Sales Hub application.

Finally, we talked about other integrated sales tools such as Sales Navigator by LinkedIn.

In the next step, we look at an overview of order processing.

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Dynamics 365: Customer Engagement for Sales

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