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I was recently preparing to train a new client that has a recently provisioned instance of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Online through 365.  I created some test leads.  When I was qualifying a Lead to an Opportunity, I saw that the Account, Contact and Opportunity was being automatically created.  The dialog box that allowed you to choose which entities are created is no longer part of the system. (See Figure 1.)

CRM 2011 Lead Qualification Dialog no longer there
Figure 1


Instead, the new version shown below includes the Qualify and Disqualify buttons in the ribbon.  (See Figure 2.)

Lead Qualification Dialog without Dialog
Figure 2


I found the following Microsoft Support site – where it was confirmed that there is no longer a Lead Qualification dialog.  Instead an Opportunity, Account (if Company data is filled in), and Contact is created automatically.  Duplicate Accounts and Contacts can be created as a result of this process.  Microsoft has not yet fixed this issue of creating duplicates.  Initially, I thought that the fact that duplicate Accounts and Contacts could be created was a real issue.  But after thinking about it, I realized that this should not happen very often.  The Leads module should only be used for those Accounts and Contacts that are not already part of your existing customer base and your database.  It would be a best practice to always check if the account and contact you are adding as a Lead is already part of your database.  If, in fact, they are already Accounts and Contacts in your database then a new piece of business with them should be recorded as an Opportunity and not a Lead.  The lead qualification process in Microsoft Dynamics CRM will continue to evolve and promises to change again in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, slated to be released in the Fall.

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