What is Lead Generation | Microsoft Dynamics 365 (2023)

What is Lead Generation | Microsoft Dynamics 365 (1)

An effective lead generation strategy helps set your sales team up for success. Build a sales pipeline of the right prospects with this deep dive into what lead generation is, why you need it, and how it works.

What is lead generation?

Lead generation is the process of identifying potential customers for your business or service and guiding them into your sales pipeline. The goal of lead generation is to pre-qualify interested buyers, filling your sales pipeline to help close deals more quickly.

Generating leads can occur across a variety of channels, including both online and in person. The more you expand your reach, the more potential customers you can identify, increasing the number of leads in your sales pipeline. Lead generation saves a tremendous amount of time for the sales team, allowing them to focus on the most high-value contacts.

Although every business has their own process, lead generation often follows these stages:

Discovery

Identifying potentially interested individuals and laying the foundation for lead nurture.

Lead nurture

Beginning to build a trusted connection, helping the lead feel comfortable with your company and what you offer.

Lead qualification

Determining whether or not this lead is ready to move forward, often the point at which the lead is handed to the sales team.

Why do you need lead generation?

Lead generation paves the way toward gaining new customers, and offers the following benefits:

  • Identify the right prospects. Your lead generation efforts help you reach your audience, engaging the prospects most likely to become customers.
  • Build relationships with potential customers. Nurturing leads helps pave the way toward building trust—and ideally, toward leads feeling ready to take the next step.
  • Speed the sales process. Instead of starting from the beginning every time you need to find customers, lead generation feeds your sales team a list of interested individuals.
  • Keep your sales pipeline full. Lead generation helps continually replenish your pipeline with pre-qualified leads, helping you more accurately forecast sales.

Lead generation vs. demand generation

You may be curious about how lead generation relates to demand generation. Although there are similarities, they are different.

Lead generation

Focuses on identifying and qualifying potential customers and adding them to your sales pipeline.

Lead generation aims to capture the contact information of potential customers.

Examples of lead generation:

(Video) Lead Basics in Microsoft Dynamics 365

  • Content upgrades
  • E-books
  • Webinars
  • Lead-capture web pages

Demand generation

Focuses on building awareness and creating demand for your product or service.

Demand generation aims to convey the value of what your business offers, without requiring the audience to provide any information.

Examples of demand generation:

  • Blog posts
  • Social media posts
  • Infographics
  • Videos

Learn more about demand generation.

Categories of lead generation

The goal of lead generation is to identify and pre-qualify potential customers for your sales pipeline. However, not all individuals are ready to purchase immediately. As a result, your lead generation and marketing strategies should fit the needs of the potential customer, regardless of where they fall in the sales process. These categories are often used to help define the different stages a potential customer follows throughout the lead generation process.

  • Top-of-the-funnel (ToFu) marketing - Focuses on identifying net-new prospects, or those who have recently come into contact with your company and have expressed interest. At this early stage in the process, marketers may not easily be able to tell which leads will most likely result in a sale.
  • Middle-of-the-funnel (MoFu) marketing - Focuses on lead nurture, developing an introduction or expressed interest into a relationship. Ideally, this relationship will turn into the trust needed to take the next step and make a purchase.
  • Bottom-of-the-funnel (BoFu) marketing - Focuses on helping interested leads take the next step and make a purchase. BoFu strategies include a clear offer and call-to-action, aiming to turn leads into customers.

Here are some additional terms commonly associated with lead generation.

  • Marketing qualified leads (MQLs) – Often new to your website or company, these leads have expressed interest or responded positively to your marketing—but a distinguishing factor is that they are not yet ready to receive a call from your sales team.
  • Sales qualified leads (SQLs) – Showing a stronger interest to your marketing efforts, these leads demonstrate an increased likelihood of becoming a customer, and the sales team should proactively engage these leads.
  • Product qualified leads (PQLs) – Most commonly used with product trials, these leads have engaged with your free or trial offering and have demonstrated their interest in making a purchase.
  • Service qualified leads – Often specific to customer service, these leads have interacted with your customer service team and have expressed or demonstrated interest in upgrading to the next level of service.

Lead generation approaches

There are a variety of ways to connect with potential customers and begin generating leads. Inbound marketing and outbound marketing offer a variety of approaches—so it’s helpful to understand these terms and how different lead generation approaches fit within them.

Inbound marketing

Inbound marketing focuses on attracting customers prior to the point at which they require your product or service. The goal of inbound marketing is to help the customer learn more about the value your company provides.

Learn more about inbound marketing.

Examples of inbound marketing include:

Content marketing. Creating blog posts, infographics, videos, and eBooks, content marketing aims to provide useful and valuable information that helps your audience. Doing so conveys the value your company provides and helps build trust with your audience.

Social media. On Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any other social media platform where your audience stays active, regular social media posts are a great way to keep your audience engaged

Outbound marketing

Outbound marketing proactively reaches out to the customer to create awareness. Highly targeted and using a clear call-to-action, outbound marketing is often associated with advertising.

Examples of outbound marketing include:

Advertising. On the web, in print, on TV, or on the radio, advertising is a classic approach to help promote awareness and drive responses to the call-to-action.

Telemarketing. Although no longer as common as it was in the past, telemarketing goes to a list of individuals and aims to engage and inspire them to take the next step.

Examples of lead generation that are both inbound and outbound marketing:

Email marketing. Current email marketing providers require opt-ins, which means subscribers have given permission to receive messages. However, email marketing pushes communications out to recipients, which can be categorized as outbound marketing. Email marketing is a great way to send targeted messages to help drive responses on the call-to-action.

(Video) Dynamics 365 Marketing Capture Leads with LinkedIn

Events. Most know that face-to-face events are a tried-and-true formula to help your company get more visibility and drive awareness amongst event attendees. But digital, or virtual, events can help you reach more people and generate leads more cost effectively—while still building the trusted relationships that fuel your sales pipeline.

How to generate leads

As you begin building your lead generation strategy, consider these steps—and how to customize them for your business, budget, and goals.

Step 1: Build a lead-capture form.

As you roll out your lead generation strategy, you will need to have the infrastructure in place to capture contact information for your new leads. A lead-capture form can be embedded on a webpage, letting you link to it from any communication you have with your audience. You can also create a series of lead-capture forms, helping you target and segment lead lists however fits your company best.

Step 2: Create high-value offerings that will engage your audience.

What type of information does your ideal customer often look for? Offering useful and informative resources helps build trust with potential new leads. Here are some ideas that could help you generate leads:

  • Product trials
  • Contests
  • E-books
  • Webinars

Step 3: Run a lead generation campaign.

Now that you have a lead-capture form and high-value resources you can use to engage your audience, it’s time to run a lead-generation campaign. Build out a lead generation strategy and select the media or sources you will use to help reach your audience.

  • Outline your objective.
  • Select the media outlets you will use.
  • Clarify your call-to-action.
  • Build a plan for how your sales team will follow up with the new leads.

Accelerate lead generation with lead generation software

Lead generation software and marketing automation help streamline the many tasks associated with marketing your business. Automation helps keep everyone organized with a single place to find contacts, see sales progress, run and manage campaigns, and build trusted relationships with potential and current customers.

Lead generation software is a perfect tool to drive your lead generation efforts, letting you create and manage campaigns with convenience. Lead generation software helps you:

  • Expand your reach. Connect with prospects through email, on the web, or through online events. Easily scale your lead generation efforts with add-ons like LinkedIn integration, SMS integration, and other custom channel integrations.
  • Find the right leads. Lead generation software helps you target more effectively, maximizing results by focusing your efforts and resources in the right places.
  • Create a personal touch. Begin building trust with new leads by creating custom, personalized experiences and customer journeys based upon behavior, engagement, or interest.
  • Manage leads through the lifecycle. Get real-time visibility across campaigns, and track and score sales readiness across all leads in your funnel.
  • Gain valuable insight. Lead generation software brings customer intelligence and AI-driven insights, helping predict which leads have the highest likelihood for conversion.
  • Streamline across campaigns. Share campaign content across multiple audiences or segments, helping you stay efficient while building leads for all divisions of your business.

Learn more about marketing automation.

Discover how lead generation can help your business

See if lead generation software is right for your business—Dynamics 365 Marketing helps you find and nurture leads, score lead readiness, create marketing content, and personalize the customer journey.

Learn more about Dynamics 365 Marketing

What is Lead Generation | Microsoft Dynamics 365 (2)

(Video) Inbound Lead Generation With Microsoft Forms and Dynamics 365 CRM

What is Lead Generation | Microsoft Dynamics 365 (3)

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  • See a live demo.

  • Set up a free trial.

  • Get expert guidance on transforming business processes.

  • Learn which capabilities are available for preview in select regions (see release plan).

  • Learn about purchase options, implementation and deployment.

This service is available only to organizations based in the United States.

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Orchestrate your customer journeys to strengthen relationships and earn customer loyalty faster. In this trial, you’ll learn how to:

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FAQs

What is lead generation in CRM? ›

Lead generation is the process of reaching out to your audience, building awareness about your business and identifying potential customers for your products and services.

What does lead generation do? ›

Lead generation is the process of gaining the interest of potential customers in order to increase future sales. It is a crucial part of the sales process of many companies. A lead is anyone who has shown interest in a company's products or services but may not yet be qualified to buy.

What is lead in MS Dynamics 365? ›

In Dynamics 365 Sales, you use leads to keep track of business prospects that you haven't yet qualified through your sales process. A lead can be an existing client or someone you've never done business with before. You might get leads from different sources, such as advertising, networking, or email campaigns.

What does lead generation stand for? ›

What is lead generation? Lead generation is the process of generating consumer interest for a product or service with the goal of turning that interest into a sale. In online marketing this typically involves collecting a visitor's contact information (called a “lead”) via a web form.

What is an example of lead generation? ›

What is lead generation? Lead generation is the process of attracting prospects to your business and increasing their interest through nurturing, all with the end goal of converting them into a customer. Some ways to generate leads are through job applications, blog posts, coupons, live events, and online content.

What is lead generation and its types? ›

Lead generation is any marketing activity your business uses to find and convert new customer relationships. There are a variety of ways to approach generating leads, including methods like: Organic search engine optimization, or SEO (as in getting found on Google) Paid social media advertising or boosted posts.

What are the 3 approaches of lead generation? ›

So, there we go, the three best lead generation methods: search engines, content marketing, and of course, social media.

How many types of lead generation are there? ›

The lead generation typically falls into two main categories: Outbound lead generation which generally include direct mail, advertising, cold calling and email marketing. Outbound lead generation includes blogging,SEO, social media, PPC.

What is the difference between lead and opportunity in Dynamics CRM? ›

Leads are potential or prospective customers. Opportunities are not a specific customer, such as a lead, contact, or account, and therefore require a customer record to be added to the opportunity. Customers can be accounts, contacts, or leads.

What happens when you qualify a lead in Dynamics 365? ›

After you qualify the lead, your lead will enter the “Develop” stage of the process. Details like products, services, estimated revenue, and timelines are added to the opportunity. Microsoft Dynamics 365 supports the entire sales cycle, including opportunities and more.

What is an opportunity in d365? ›

What is an Opportunity in Dynamics 365? Opportunities in Microsoft Dynamics 365 provide insight into potential upcoming sales and, when used in conjunction with the Sales Pipeline report can be used to forecast revenue by date, probability, and potential revenue.

What is lead generation Interview Questions? ›

Lead Generation Interview Questions and Answers
  • What skills do you have that make you a lead generation expert? ...
  • State some of your significant accomplishments in lead generation? ...
  • How do you motivate your lead generation team? ...
  • What lead generation tools do you use or are you familiar with?
22 Jun 2020

What is a lead generation strategy? ›

Accordingly, lead generation—often shortened to “lead gen”—is simply the process of filling your sales funnel with people who are interested in your business. Anything that gets someone to give you permission to contact them or remarket to them is a lead generation tactic.

What comes after lead generation? ›

Sales qualified leads will move onto the next stage, while marketing qualified leads will continue to be nurtured until they are sales-ready. Once a lead is determined to be sales-ready it will be passed onto the sales team where the transaction will take place.

What is lead generation tool? ›

What Is Lead Generation Software or Lead Generation Platform? Lead generation software is a tool that automates lead generation. Such tools can be used to generate leads from multiple sources like landing pages, social media, etc. These leads can further be used for lead nurturing and converting them into customers.

What is the best source of lead generation? ›

Top 7 Sales Lead Sources
  1. Referrals. Referrals from your best clients are your best source of quality leads. ...
  2. Former Clients. ...
  3. Competitors. ...
  4. Business & Sales Intelligence Tools. ...
  5. Google Resources. ...
  6. LinkedIn. ...
  7. Relationship Marketing.
27 Jul 2022

What is lead generating software? ›

What is a lead generation system? Lead generation software is a time-saving marketing and sales app that lets you automatically generate more leads and route them to the proper team. It helps you increase brand awareness, attract more qualified leads, and close more sales deals.

What is the first step in lead generation? ›

The 7 Steps of Lead Generation
  1. 1) Research Your Target Market. ...
  2. 2) Create Engaging Content. ...
  3. 3) Promote Content Across Your Business Channels. ...
  4. 4) Nurture Existing Leads. ...
  5. 5) Score Leads. ...
  6. 6) Pass Leads to Your Sales Team. ...
  7. 7) Evaluate Your Lead Generation Process.
8 Aug 2022

Is lead generation easy? ›

While lead gen may seem pretty straightforward, it encompasses a wide array of strategies. There are so many different ways to attract consumers and to qualify potential leads, that a simple idea like lead generation can quickly become overwhelming.

What are the types of leads? ›

Different Types of Leads
  • Summary Lead. A summary lead is the most common and traditional lead in journalism. ...
  • Single-Item Lead. This lead focuses on just one or two elements of a summary lead. ...
  • Delayed Identification Lead. ...
  • Creative Lead. ...
  • Short Sentence Lead. ...
  • Analogy Lead.

Is lead generation B2B? ›

B2B lead generation is a method B2B marketers use to drive prospective customers to its organization organically. This consists of various inbound marketing tactics that build visibility, awareness, and interest from prospects within a specific target audience.

Is lead generation sales or marketing? ›

Lead generation is part of marketing with sales being in charge of closing the leads so it makes sense that these departments are aligned when it comes to lead generation.

How do you forecast lead generation? ›

In the simple approach, look at lead consumption per sales rep (the rep responsible for closing deals) in comparable periods in the past. Then look at the number of sales reps in the forecasting period and multiply by the average lead consumption amount and voila! – You have your lead forecast!

Which activities will not help with lead generation? ›

Answer: Activities like advertisement, marketing, and sales promotion initiates the customer to buy the product or service from a company and thus leads to to increase in sales. Production is a process of manufacturing readymade product which is to be sold in the market and thus will not help with lead generation.

What is lead generation website? ›

A lead generation website helps site visitors while gathering information about them for your company. It's more than just a digital brochure; it's an experience that educates and nurtures prospects.

What is lead module in Zoho CRM? ›

Leads can be defined as unqualified contacts or sales opportunities for your business. Leads in Zoho CRM are raw details of individuals or organization representatives that are gathered from social media platforms, marketing campaigns, seminars, trade shows, advertisements, etc.

What is the difference between leads and contacts in Zoho CRM? ›

Leads are raw details about individuals or representatives of organizations collected from trade shows, seminars, advertisements, purchasing and such external sources and marketing campaigns. Contacts normally mean person(s) with whom a communication is established to pursue a relationship or a business opportunity.

What is CRM full form? ›

What does a CRM director do? ›

A CRM Director identifies new opportunities as well as proactively addresses the concerns of existing customers and hence builds a customer-oriented company. A CRM Director ultimately helps a company in achieving its business goals and increasing its revenue.

What are the 5 major steps of lead management? ›

A successful and efficient lead management process includes the following five steps.
  • Step 1: Lead capturing. ...
  • Step 2: Lead enrichment & tracking. ...
  • Step 3: Lead qualification. ...
  • Step 4: Lead distribution. ...
  • Step 5: Lead nurturing. ...
  • 6 Benefits of using a lead management system.

What is lead system? ›

A lead distribution system allows you to track, route and sell all of your incoming leads to your network of buyers in real-time. Sophisticated lead distribution software even comes with features such as phone routing, a form builder and even affiliate management tools.

Why Lead management is important? ›

Lead management is an important tool for preventing your sales team from wasting time on unqualified leads. With the right lead management system and sales process in place, you can ensure your team is aiming their efforts at prospects who truly need your solution and are in the best position to purchase it.

What is the difference between a lead and contact? ›

contacts: A lead is the name of a person or company who may (or may not) be interested in the products or services you sell. A contact is an individual with whom one of your reps has established a relationship and is a potential customer.

What is difference between lead and deal? ›

Leads can become deals and deals can become leads. Leads and deals are two data entities in Pipedrive that are very closely and distantly related, at the same time. Deals track all events and movements that take place throughout your sales process.

What are contacts in CRM? ›

In most CRM systems, the term contact designates an individual who has purchased your product or service or a company representative responsible for purchasing. The difference between a contact and a lead is that leads are POTENTIAL clients, whereas contacts are usually existing ones.

What are the 3 types of CRM? ›

The three types of CRM systems are operational, analytical and collaborative.

How many types of CRM are there? ›

There are three main types of CRM systems: collaborative, analytical, and operational. Here's how to choose the best one for creating better conversational customer experiences for your customers. Building and maintaining great customer relationships is at the core of any good business model.

Which is the best CRM software? ›

The best CRM software
  • Zoho CRM for scaling a business.
  • Salesforce Sales Cloud for customizability.
  • Bitrix24 for multi-channel communication.
  • Pipedrive for being easy-to-use.
  • Ontraport for automating online transactions.
  • Nimble for customer prospecting.
  • Nutshell for managing a sales team.
  • Apptivo for business management.

How do I create a CRM roadmap? ›

  1. step 1: Gain Senior Level Sponsorship. ...
  2. step 2: Gather Information. ...
  3. step 3: Assess Current state and Define Future state Gaps. ...
  4. step 4: Identify Value Opportunities. ...
  5. step 5: Link Value Opportunities to strategic CRM Capabilities. ...
  6. step 6: Define CRM Projects and Requirements. ...
  7. step 7: Develop Business Case.
23 May 2001

Is CRM a good job? ›

These CRMs have consistently generated a demand for skilled workers who can use them. The CRM software industry is expanding extremely fast and is expected to double in size to USD 114.4 billion by 2027.
...
April 8, 2021.
Job TitleJobs Available
CRM Developer268,557
CRM Technical Architect181,077
2 more rows
8 Apr 2021

What are CRM tools used for? ›

A CRM tool lets you store customer and prospect contact information, identify sales opportunities, record service issues, and manage marketing campaigns, all in one central location — and make information about every customer interaction available to anyone at your company who might need it.

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