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Almost all sales organizations share the challenge of managing a large number of leads, often coming from multiple sources. Most sales teams struggle to attend to so many leads, and would be better served by prioritizing the leads most likely to convert to opportunities, and ultimately, wins. Microsoft Dynamics 365’s predictive lead scoring capabilities address these needs and help sales teams make better use of their time.

Behind the scenes, predictive lead scoring (PLS) leverages advanced machine learning on lead data in Dynamics 365, including tried-and-true methods that Microsoft’s own sales team uses for lead scoring. While lead scoring uses machine learning capabilities, anyone in the sales organization can benefit from the resulting scores, not just a data scientist or IT pro. With Dynamics 365 Sales Insights, lead scoring is now automated and powered by AI, providing the results in an easy and intuitive way.

How does machine learning help to score leads?

Predictive lead scoring in Dynamics 365 starts with analyzing the performance of historical leads in your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) using machine learning algorithms to identify patterns that are statistically associated with the outcome of a lead. These patterns are unique to each business, as they’re learned from your data. This step is called model training.

The next step is called scoring. Each open lead is correlated with the patterns learned from your historical data and given a score. The higher the score, the more likely the lead is to convert, based on past performance.

Consider this simple example of how machine learning can help score leads across campaign types. If one campaign type performs better than another, such as a social network campaign, the algorithm will learn that leads that came from the campaign tend to qualify into opportunities and so will give a higher score for those. The machine learning model in Dynamics 365 Sales Insights will easily detect important features such as campaign type and will learn from it to improve future scoring. A variety of models can be applied, depending on the complexity of the data.

Example flow chart of Sales Insights scoring leads across campaign types using machine learning to detect important features.

Special attention is given to the pace of business, and how quickly leads progress through the pipeline. This aspect of the business is also being automatically learned through various algorithms and gets proper representation in the scoring.

For example, a business that sells printing services will consider leads relevant if they were added to the CRM in the last 2-3 days, while the time frame for leads relevant to a realtor working to sell residentials real estate might be 7-8 days. An algorithm that is based on statistical past behavior allows the estimation of typical parameters for a unique business. The screenshot below shows the results of applying lead scoring to open leads.

Predictive lead scoring open leads scored dashboard.

To get started with predictive lead scoring, visit our feature documentation.

Retraining a model

As we’re living in an ever-evolving world, customer behavior frequently changes. To keep up with those trends—or when your prediction accuracy score doesn’t meet your organization’s standards—you can retrain the model, which in turn increases the prediction accuracy score. Dynamics 365 Sales Insights uses the very latest data from leads to train the model so that it can provide better accuracy of the lead score for your users.

What to expect soon

We will soon add additional features to predictive lead scoring as well as predictive opportunity scoring, which also accounts for your custom fields, the Lead, or opportunity. In addition, you will also be able to edit the fields to be accounted for, to tweak the model for your needs.

We’d love to hear from you

Take predictive lead scoring for a test drive! We encourage you to explore the predictive lead scoring capabilities in Dynamics 365 Sales Insights to understand how it helps your sales team prioritize leads, achieve higher lead qualification rates, and reduce the time that it takes to qualify a lead. Sign up for a free trial to get started and review the full capabilities of Dynamics 365 Sales Insights.

Our applied science team loves to hear from customers. If you are already using predictive lead scoring and have questions or new needs, we’d love to hear from you at D365AISales@microsoft.com.

To understand the full capabilities of Dynamics 365 Sales Insights and the value they bring to Dynamics 365 customers, visit Dynamics 365 Sales Insights.

We're always looking for feedback and would like to hear from you. Please head to the Dynamics 365 Community to start a discussion, ask questions, and tell us what you think!

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