Lead and Opportunity management in AX 2012

A lead is someone who may be interested in doing business with you and is sometimes referred to as a Suspect. Leads in AX 2012 are part of the Sales and Marketing module. An abstract on the Lead management in AX 2012 and the details of the Form elements are on Microsoft TechNet. In this blog I shall discuss the functionality available in AX 2012 R3 CU9 in detail. 

Lead Creation

Below are the different ways to create leads in AX. We will only discuss the options provided OOB (Out Of the Box) in the AX rich client.

  1. Manual: The step-by-step instructions are provided in technet.
  2. Import: There is an option to import Leads in Sales and Marketing –> Periodic –> Import –> Leads. However, I haven’t been able to get it to work due to the lack of formats. Haven’t been able to get help from Microsoft too. So, if you know how to get this to work, let me know! Another way to import leads is using DIXF (Data Import eXport Framework.. it works! Smile ).
  3. Generate Leads from Campaign: A Campaign Response can be converted to a Lead as shown below. The Campaign will be set as the Source on the Lead so the relationship detail is available for Campaign performance analysis.

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Qualify Process

Qualify Process is essentially the series of steps/activities that the sales rep has to follow to help nurture the lead. There is no default process that comes OOB. However, it can be configured easily using a Click-to-configure utility available in Sales and Marketing –> Setup –> Leads –> Qualify Process.

Once the required actions are performed on the lead according to the qualify process, then the lead can be qualified or disqualified, if it doesn’t meet the required criteria. Here is how to qualify/disqualify a lead. Once qualified / disqualified, the status of the lead is updated. However, the record is not deactivated.

A setting in Sales and Marketing parameters helps configure if an opportunity or customer has to be created on lead qualification.

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Background Process
  1. When a Lead is created for a new Party (When you type in a new Name instead of selecting from the dropdown) then AX auto creates Prospect and Party records.
  2. When an existing Party record is used to create the Lead then a new Prospect is not created until the Lead is qualified. Note that Prospect is an individual/organization with potential business.
  3. When an existing Customer is used to create Lead then Prospect is not created. Ideally, for an existing Customer, an Opportunity has to be created instead of a Lead.
 
What are Party and Prospect?
Party

A party is a person or organization that is either internal or external to your organization. Some examples are Worker, Customer, Vendor etc. Party records are maintained in the global address book (GAB) and can be created in the following ways:

  • Create a party record when you do not know the entity type – When you create a party record and you do not know the entity type, for example you do not know if the entity is a customer or an opportunity, you create the record in the GAB. You can select the entity type later.

  • Create a party record when you know the entity type – If you know the entity type for the party, you can create a record in the applicable form for that type. For example, for a customer, you create a record in the Customer form. When you create and save a record by using the applicable form, the record is automatically created in the GAB.

Prospect

Prospects are the organizations and individuals with whom you will potentially interact for business purposes. They are most likely to be external to your organization. Prospects records can be used to store details like sales demographics, delivery defaults, financial dimensions, credit & tax etc. All the details that the sales reps gather as part of the sales process have to be captured in the opportunity and prospect records

I would suggest not to create Party records from the GAB directly but to instead use a Prospect or Lead when you know that it is a potential sale.

 

Opportunity Creation

An opportunity is a lead who is now almost ready to buy —in other words, it’s a deal that you’re ready to win and have details like budget, timeline, requirement etc. Summary of Opportunity management and the form level details are on Microsoft TechNet. Opportunity can be auto created when a lead is qualified or can be created manually. Step-by-step procedure to create opportunity is also detailed on TechNet.  When an Opportunity is created for a new Party then AX auto creates Prospect and Party records. Oddly, the owner of the Opportunity/Lead is not set by default and is commonly desired to be the current user. So, remember to customize it as part of the initial setup.

There is no pre-defined sales process that comes with AX installation. It could be because the process varies by industry. Configuring a sales process is easy and can be done using a click-to-configure utility available in Sales and Marketing Setup.

Sales Process

There is no pre-defined sales process that comes with AX installation. It could be because the process varies by industry. Configuring a sales process is easy and can be done using a click-to-configure utility available in Sales and Marketing –> Setup –> Opportunities –> Sales Process.

By default, the product of interest cannot be associated with an opportunity. Customization is required to relate a product family/category with an opportunity. There are a few settings that can help create an opportunity or update its status based on the quotation. When you create a quotation from the opportunity, you would be able to associate the product, price list etc.,

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Once an opportunity is Won (status is changed to won), the opportunity details are made inactive and are not editable. However, when an opportunity is lost, the record is still editable and can also be reactivated.

 

Hope this helps!

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