Marketing with Microsoft Dynamics CRM – Part 2

Our objective was to see if we could manage our sales effort and use Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 as a stand alone, out-of-the-box marketing solution.  Our goal was to use built in email and phone campaign functionality.  We wanted to see if we could use Dynamics CRM without third party add-ins or services like Constant Contact, or Mail Chimp.  Another important criteria is that we wanted to avoid solutions that required customization, .Net Programming or database modification code. There is no technical revelation to what we did, just simple data manipulation using Dynamics CRM features and common tools.

In our prior post on using Microsoft Dynamics CRM we identified some technical “nits” that we encountered during our adoption.  These “nits”, for us, were one time issues that required a single workaround as opposed to an ongoing process.

We stated populating our CRM database by performing Contact data Imports from multiple sources.  After some re-thinking of how to do business, we re-defined what a “Contact” really was vs. a “Lead”.  We then realized there is not built in way to downgrade a Contact to a Lead.

To address this process we followed these simple steps:

1) For the Contacts we wanted to downgrade to leads, we set an existing Contact Field to a unique value.  In our case, it was the birthday.  I would say just pick a field you don’t use.

CRMBirthday - Dynamics CRM

2) Create a view on Contacts that will select records based on this field.

CRMView - Dynamics CRM

3) Export the Contact records in the View to Excel.

CRMExport - Dynamics CRM

4) Format the Excel file containing the exported Contacts using the CRM Leads Template.  You can download the Leads Template from CRM.

CRMImport - Dynamics CRM

5) Import the Leads spreadsheet into CRM.

CRMImport2 - Dynamics CRM

6) Delete the Contact records in the View from CRM.

These steps complete the bulk downgrade conversion of Contacts to Leads.


Chris Tsouris founded Strategic Computing over 20 years ago to deliver business empowering solutions through a superior commitment to technical excellence and customer service.  He is a seasoned speaker on Information Technology subjects including: Strategic Planning, Estimating Software Costs, Cloud Computing, Electronic Records, Regulatory Compliance and Master Data Management.

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