A lead is an expression of interest in a product or service made within s specific marketing context. The lead life cycle is the journey that a lead takes from creation, through nurturing, and on to opportunity and eventual sale.

Lead generation:

There are two ways to create a lead: manual and automatic:

  • To view, create, or edit a lead manually, go to Marketing > Customers > Leads. This opens a standard list view, which you can be used to search, sort, filter, create, and delete leads. Open any lead to view its details. Select New to create a new one.
  • To generate leads automatically, create a marketing page that is configured to generate leads (and possibly contacts too). When a contact submits a landing page, Dynamics 365 matches incoming form data against existing contacts and leads. It creates new contacts and leads as needed, and links them together. Auto-generated leads store information about the context where they were created, including the marketing page, marketing form, customer journey, and email message associated with it.

Lead scoring:

After a lead exists, Dynamics 365 can start scoring it based on demographic data, firmographic data, and contact interactions. Scoring occurs automatically according to rules that are established as lead-scoring models.

Create, view, and manage your lead-scoring models:

Lead-scoring models provide rules for how a lead’s score will automatically increase or decrease based on specific activities and interactions, demographic information, and over time. The model also establishes a schedule of grades that characterize ranges of scores in plain language (such as hot, warm, and cold), and sets a specific score threshold as “sales ready”, which means that the lead can now be forwarded to a salesperson.

A typical lead-scoring model would increase a lead’s score slightly in response to a single email open or website visit, moderately in response to an email click or landing-page submission, and significantly in response to an event registration or attendance. The model could also stop counting interactions that happened some time ago, effectively reducing a lead’s score as it ages. It might also increase or decrease a lead score based on information about the associated contact or company, such as location, purchase history, company size, industry, job title, and more.

Users can create as many scoring models as you want. If user has more than one model, all leads will be scored according to each model and user will be able to see the score and grade for each of them.

To view, edit, and create lead-scoring models, go to Marketing > Lead Management > Lead Scoring Models. This opens a standard list view, where user can create, delete, search, sort, or filter items in the list. Select any item in the list to open it, or select New to create a new one.

The scoring-model canvas is similar to the customer-journey canvas. Add tiles by dragging from the Toolbox tab. Select a tile and open the Properties tab to make settings for that tile.

Set up a condition:

The condition tile is a compound tile, which includes both parent and child tiles. When you add a condition, both the parent and one child are created. Use the expand/collapse button at the lower-right corner of the tile to show or hide the child tiles.

The parent condition tile just gives the condition group a name. Select the parent and open the Properties tab to assign the name. Users can assign as many child conditions as needed by dragging additional condition tiles onto the parent.

The logic for the condition is contained in the child tile(s). Choose a child condition tile and open the Properties tab to establish the logic.

Set up the logic for a condition tile by making the following settings:

  • Display Name: Shows the name for the tile, as shown on the canvas.
  • Entity: Choose a Dynamics 365 entity to monitor or check for the condition.
  • Frequency: Choose how often the condition should be triggered. Choose Each to score on each occurrence (such as to increase the score on each email click). Choose At least to score just once (such as to increase the score on the first email click, but ignore subsequent ones).
  • Date Range: Enter a date before which scorable events won’t be counted.
  • New Expression: Select this button to add a new expression to the condition. The additional expression further tests the condition based on stored data. Users can add as many extra expressions as they like to create complex conditions.

There are two categories of conditions:

  1. Fixed rules are based on fixed demographic or firmographic data found in lead or contact records.
  2. Behavior rules are based on interactions like email clicked, event registered, or website visited.

Set up an action:

The action tile that comes after a condition tile controls how a lead’s score will be modified when the condition is met. To set the action, select (or add) an action tile after a condition tile, then open the Properties tab, where users can set the score to either increase or decrease by any integer value.

View all conditions at once as text:

The canvas provides an easy, graphical way to assemble your scoring rules, but it leaves most settings hidden until you open a tile’s Properties. To get a quick overview of all your logic, set the View drop-down list (above the canvas) to Text. This shows a compact, text-based view of rules, expressed in a way that’s similar to an actual database query.

Establish grades and the sales-ready score:

The main reason for scoring leads is to provide a way to identify user’s best leads and to decide when a lead should be forwarded to a salesperson for more attention. Therefore, users nearly always set a sales-ready threshold for each lead-scoring model. Users can also set up a schedule of grades as a way to offer an interpretation of the score (such as cold, warm, or hot) as it progresses toward sales-ready.

When a score reaches the sales-ready threshold, a plug-in automatically sets the sales-ready flag on the lead to *True. If a lead is scored by multiple models, the flag is set as soon as any model reaches the threshold. This triggers a workflow that automatically moves the lead to the sales-acceptance stage of the lead lifecycle. You can customize this workflow as needed.

The grades and sales-ready score apply to the entire model, regardless of how many conditions it contains. To set them, open the Grades tab next to the canvas.

Enter an integer in the Sales Ready Score field to set the sales-ready score.

To add an additional grade, select New, which adds a new section to the tab, where user can enter a grade name and the score range where it applies. Grade ranges must be continuous and non-overlapping.


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