Qualify Lead Microsoft CRM 2016 A lot of sales teams are frustrated with how lead conversion works in Microsoft Dynamics 365.  Starting with CRM 2013, whenever a user clicks the “Qualify” button, an Opportunity is always created.  We were hoping to see a fix in later versions but, sadly, the process still works the same.



Microsoft has recently made updates that provide the above mentioned solution! If you are on a recent version of Dynamics 365 for Sales, check out this document from Microsoft to see if you can use this recently re-introduced feature: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/sales-enterprise/define-lead-qualification-experience

If the linked solution doesn't work for you, then read-on for more information.


How can an organization reconfigure Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales to allow sales to qualify a lead without creating an opportunity?  This article offers 6 options.

The qualify process built into Microsoft Dynamics 365 assumes that the lead conversion process always ends either in disqualification, or in the creation of an opportunity.  But most businesses have lead conversion scenarios that don’t end in the creation of an opportunity.  Consider the following:

  • A new contact from an existing account visits the website and completes a contact us form (perhaps requesting a downloadable resource, without any intent to purchase anything at this time).  Sales wants this lead to be visible on the account, so they would like to convert the lead and create a contact, but without creating an opportunity.
  • Inside Sales qualifies incoming leads, and then passes them along to Field Sales for ongoing contact.  Oftentimes a lead is qualified, but is not yet in the market to make a purchase.  Field Sales still wants to be able to work this prospect, but they don’t work with leads  (only accounts and contacts). They need to convert a lead into an account and contact, but without creating an opportunity.

There are many more scenarios like the two above. 

How can the sales department fix CRM to work the way that they do, instead of being forced to work the way CRM does?  Here are a number of options ranging from simple to sophisticated.

1. Change Your Process

I get the feeling that this is the option that Microsoft wants businesses to take.  But after numerous conversations with clients, I’ve seen this work about 0% of the time.  With that said, here are some thoughts:

  • Change the first phase of your opportunity process into something like “Sales Qualification” and assume that every converted lead should be qualified by sales and can then either be set to lost, or moved to the next stage.  If you do this, you probably wouldn’t include stage 1 opportunities in your pipeline reports at all.
  • Don’t convert leads until/unless there is a bonafide opportunity.  This means you may have leads that are for an existing account – or that even duplicate an existing contact – and remain active for long periods of time.  My inner OCD freak really hates this option.
  • Disqualify duplicate leads.  If they’re duplicates and there is no opportunity with them, just set the “Existing Account” and “Existing Contact” fields and then set them to disqualified.  Again, my inner OCD can’t stand the idea of doing lead analysis and seeing a bunch of disqualified leads that are really qualified (even if I create a disqualified reason code of “existing contact”).

2. Train Dynamics 365 Users to Delete Opportunities

You can tell users to delete opportunities if they aren’t needed.  Not a great option either.  Dynamics 365 for Sales is supposed to work for users – not create more work for users to clean up the messes created by CRM.  And, if you create/convert a lot of leads, this could be painful. 

3. Create a “Set to Qualified” Workflow

This is the first viable option, in my opinion.  You can give users the ability to set a lead to qualified without creating an opportunity.  Here’s a glimpse of a workflow to do that.

Dynamics CRM Workflow - Qualify Lead

Train your users to set the Existing Account and Existing Contact field and then run the workflow when they have a lead that is a duplicate account or contact and they don’t want to create an opportunity.  It will set the record to qualified and be done with it.

This approach is helpful, but has limitations.  It only works if the account and contact are both duplicates (you can get around this by training users to go to the Existing Account/Contact fields, click the lookup, then click the new button – which opens the Quick Create form and maps relevant data from the lead).  And it requires a different process on the part of the user depending on the disposition of the lead, which they have to remember and can easily forget and end up creating duplicate records. 

More to remember, more to do … not ideal, but it’s a reasonable no code, no cost solution (particularly if you have a pretty tech savvy group of users).

Let’s see if we can build on that to do a little better…

4. Make Existing Account/Contact Required

To remove some of the room for error in the above suggestion, you can move the Existing Account/Contact fields to the last stage of the lead business process flow, and make them required.  Before CRM will allow the user to qualify the record, these two fields will now need to be filled in.  This forces the user to either link it to the existing records, or create those records, before they qualify the lead..

Couple this with #3, above, and you have a somewhat more fool-proof process.  Still with no code.

The downside is that you’re forcing the user to take a few extra steps to always create those two records (even if they already exist).  Versus the built-in qualification process that will create the account and contact for the user automatically.  And the user still has to remember to either use the native qualify button (if they want to create an opportunity) or your workflow (if they just want to set the lead to qualified).

Getting closer…

5. Add a Custom Button for the Workflow

You can make it a bit more intuitive by adding your workflow to a custom ribbon button.  An example picture is below.  This drop-down has an option for the classical qualify (I’ve called it “Qualify and Create”) and for your workflow (“Qualify Only”).


You’ll need to call your workflow from a JavaScript web resource, and then you can use the Dynamics 365 Ribbon Editor – Ribbon Workbench to make these updates to the menu and call the CRM workflow from JavaScript.

6. Use the Dynamics 365 Lead Conversion Solution

Or you can use the solution developed by C5 Insight for just this purpose.  When the user clicks the “Qualify” button, they are always presented with a dialog box that includes the option to create and name an opportunity as in the image below. 

Convert Lead Dialog Box to Create Opportunity in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 2016

It’s a step that Microsoft was trying to eliminate, but most businesses want to have it back.  Contact C5 Insight if you need assistance developing a solution that meets the above requriements.

Other Options

Other solutions are possible.  You could create a custom dialog for lead conversion (and call that from a custom button).  And here is a clever solution for cases where you may want to associate a Microsoft 365 CRM lead with an already existing opportunity.

In any event, avoid changing your business model to fit your CRM solution.  Instead, focus on making your sales team more productive – even if it does require a few extra hours of your time.

For more information about C5 Insight or this blog entry, please Contact Us