Dynamics 365 – Leads are like a Box of Chocolates

We were working with one of our larger customers the other day on their Lead Import process. We noticed that many leads were failing to import. The person handling the importing said “Yeah, if I can’t figure out the issue, I just ignore those“.

The Tip of the Spear

For many organizations, Leads are the source of a significant number of future opportunities. Particularly with that most coveted “New Customer”. While we have all heard the statistics that it is way less expensive to keep an existing customer, than to create a new one, we can’t help ourselves. True growth comes from adding new customers. Companies, particularly larger ones with the resources to do so, spend a lot of money generating new Leads.

The Lead Lotto

For companies that spend a lot on lead generation, they never really know which ones will turn into customers. On import, they are all equal. I understand that we have all sorts of tools now, to analyze and slice and dice, and overlay models to help us define which ones are most likely to become customers. But how does that apply to the ones that never made it into the system?

Those damn Cracks

One of the number one reasons that a company deploys Dynamics 365, or any CRM for that matter, is the fear that business opportunities are slipping through the cracks. The executive responsible for sales either knows it, or intuits it is happening. She is almost always right. In many cases, it is still happening, even after Dynamics 365 is deployed.

The Blunted Tip

There are many cracks where business opportunities can fall through, even after Leads are qualified, but for this post, let’s focus on the Leads. Let’s say you imported 100 new leads from one of your external campaigns. 10 of them failed to import for some reason. There are many reasons that this could happen. In fact, I have noticed an odd anomaly, that if anyone can explain, I would love to hear it. Sometimes you can import 100 leads and it shows no errors and indicates that 100 leads imported successfully. But if you actually open the import details, it shows that only 90 new leads were created. What happened to the other 10?

Let’s circle back to the issue of known failures, the ones you can see right there on the import screen. 90 Successes and 10 failures, ugh. What do you do? Well, ignoring them is not a good option. If historically you get one new customer for every 100 leads, you just reduced your odds by 10%. A lot of money was spent to create every one of these, and we are going to ignore 10% of them? What percentage is acceptable to ignore? I am pretty sure the sales executive is thinking zero, and I have to agree with her.

But guess who typically handles importing data like this… an intern, or some other junior team member. You have put one of the most critical factors of your organization’s future growth, in the hands of someone at the bottom of the totem pole. Someone who probably walks around all day in fear of losing their job. How likely are they to raise a flag on failures?

Psst, hey Intern..

Now is the time in your career, to learn that sweeping things under the rug, will not only get you fired, but no letter of recommendation will be forthcoming. If you don’t know how to handle failed imports, figure it out. If you can’t figure it out, you better raise that damned flag.

And you, Ms. Bossy Pants…

I know you are not going to take on such a mundane task as importing leads. And I know you are going to give that task to an intern. But you better make sure that they know how to handle failures, and that raising a flag, if they can’t figure it out, will not get them fired. The future of your business is at stake!

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