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What is the difference between leads and contacts in Microsoft Dynamics 365?

What is the difference between leads and contacts in Microsoft Dynamics 365?

Understanding how to best utilise Microsoft Dynamics from a marketing perspective is essential if you’re looking to use the tool to its full potential.

Dynamics’ powerful CRM system allows us to find all the data we need on leads and contacts with ease - but what’s the difference between the two?

Here’s our guide to understanding the differences between leads and contacts in Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM: leads versus contacts

In Microsoft Dynamics, there’s a differentiation between the concept of a ‘lead’ and a ‘contact’.

This helps us manage the data between both current customers and potential ones, separating the two so we know who to draw in as a new lead, and who to focus on maintaining as a customer.

In Dynamics, a contact is someone who has already engaged in business with your company.

You have their contact details, access to insights on interactions, and have had or are maintaining a transactional relationship with them. If you haven’t done business with them, then they’re a lead - not a contact.

Essentially, a lead is identified as someone you haven’t done business with.

They’ve interacted with you in the sense that they’ve provided contact details or attended an event, but they haven’t yet progressed onto being a customer with your business.

Leads are those with potential to convert into paying customers.

After which, they then become a contact.

How to find leads and contacts in Microsoft Dynamics 365

Once you’ve grasped the difference between what a lead and a contact is in Dynamics, you can effectively manage the marketing data and insights you’ve collected. Here’s how to find your leads and contacts in Dynamics 365.

  • To manage all the information on your contacts, click the Marketing tab.
  • Then select ‘Customers’, and click the ‘Contacts’ button.
  • From here, you can edit contact preferences and details, review subscription lists, and view event information.

Enrich your leads with enhanced marketing attribution data

A key element in considering the differences between contacts and leads is that Microsoft Dynamics doesn’t begin to follow a customer’s journey until they actually convert into a contact. 

So unless a lead has done business with you, Dynamics won’t have any data on their initial touchpoints or journey.

These marketing touchpoints prior to conversion are essential in determining how well your campaigns are working!

Ruler Analytics is a cost-effective marketing attribution tool that gathers data not only once a customer has converted, but beforehand, too. 

Related: Learn everything you can discover in Ruler

Ruler also automatically filters the data you need into the places it works best for you.

From attributing touchpoints to leads and contacts through Microsoft Dynamics, to detailing each interaction with your business in a way that allows you to pinpoint key interactions and conversion techniques - Ruler can highlight which type of campaigns are working for you, and which need some attention.

Understanding your leads and contacts in such a streamlined way provides more time to focus on what matters. Ruler optimises the flow of your marketing data, filling in the gaps between any disconnected data.

Try your free Ruler Analytics demo today

At Ruler Analytics, we’re dedicated to providing the best possible experience with our platform from the very beginning.

If you’re interested in how Ruler works, we’ll guide you through a free, no-obligation demo with one of our knowledgeable Ruler guides. Book your demo with us today to find out how we could transform the way you do business.

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How to create and attribute lead source in Microsoft Dynamics
Connect Microsoft Dynamics with Google Analytics and drive more qualified leads