Workflow – Phone Call Conversion of Lead to Opportunity

In every version of CRM I have had a favorite feature that I tend to obsess slightly over. 🙂 In Version 3.0, it was Client Side Scripting. In 4.0, it is Workflow. The Workflow engine in CRM has so much possibility to help transform businesses and is heads and shoulders over every other CRM application I have used. While some other packages have limited workflow capabilities, the ones in 4.0 have blown away every other application I have used. (If the words “Contact Processes” or “Automated Processes”, you know exactly where I am coming from.)

In a previous blog post, I outlined a quick way to be able to create Phone Call Activities from a notes field in a case.

In this post, we are going to show you how to streamline the lead qualification process.  For this post, we want to streamline the sales rep’s workflow so that they only update an appointment and based upon the outcome of that appointment, the lead is either disqualified or an account, contact and opportunity are created automatically.

Step One: Let’s go ahead and add a field on the Phone Call to Track if we want to promote the lead based upon this appointment.

In my case I created a Bit Field that allows the sales rep to create an opportunity.  So when the phone call is made, the rep simply checks the create opportunity box.


Step Two: Build the Workflows

Our First Workflow will be creating the phone call from the Lead. In our example we called this Create Phone Call. I left the fields blank, but you could get much more granular here if you wanted.

Our Second Workflow is the one that will monitor the Phone Call. It is called Create Opportunity from Lead. I set the Workflow to fire based upon Record Attribute Changes and Selected the Create Opportunity field as the “trigger” field.

We now go through and create new Contacts, Accounts and Opportunities.

Here is the sample Account


Here is the sample Contact. One of the cool things in the Workflow, you can call from one Entity to another created entity.  So I could create the new account and use that account name as my Parent Account.



Now we created the Opportunity from the Lead’s Data.


Now that that is all done, we will be closing out the Lead.

For that we change the record status to closed and qualified.


Now I publish both workflows. So I am going to go from a Lead to an Opportunity, Contact and Account based upon the checking of the box in the phone call Record. Let’s see this in motion. 

First I create a Lead.


It now creates the phone call for me automatically:


You see it now created my opportunity


Here it is from the workflow monitor:


And as you can see the Lead was automatically closed.


So with NO CODE and just a little bit of thinking things out, you can put Microsoft CRM to work in your business. This example was done using Microsoft CRM Online, so this works in both a S+S and a On Premise Solution.

This example was meant for inspiration, not to be used in production. How have you used Workflow in a unique way in your business?

Ben Vollmer


Comments (10)

  1. Jim Glass was nice enough to pester the whole world with a post on Workflow this morning. Thanks Jim. 

  2. Priscilla says:

    Can you extend the use of workflows to make it automatically open the newly created Contact or Opportunity as soon as it is created?

    Currently workflows run in the background and the records are created as requested, then the user has to go and find them to verify.

    I want it to automatically open as it is created.

    Thank you.

  3. Ben Vollmer says:

    Priscilla –

    You could email them a URL with a link to open it. 🙂

    Since Workflow happens on the Server, what you describe isn’t possible, unless you pass somethign to the end user.


  4. James E. Matteson says:

    Great article! I will refer to it in a new article I’m writing for the Marketing Launch page in the Resource Center. The new article introduces new marketers to the basics of CRM marketing using Leads, Contacts, and Accounts to create marketing lists for most marketing purposes.

  5. Lou Putnam says:

    I am trying to create this but am having trouble – I can’t seem to get to "regarding lead" in the Look for drop down. All I have is Lead. What am I missing?

  6. Louputnam says:

    I am trying to create this workflow and am having trouble getting "regarding" lead in the Look For box. All I have is Lead or Master ID (Lead) in the drop down box. Any suggestions?

    Lou Putnam

  7. Danpeay says:

    This is a great workflow scenario.  I hesitated to comment on Prisilla’s question above, because I work for the company that produces the third-party tool that addresses this issue pretty nicely.  The tool is called SHO Guide.  It allows you to click through the user interface for a specific task or scenario, then publish that scenario where others could be guided through the same process.  You can automate the steps as well.  We are working towards Dynamics cert.

    info @

  8. Hun Makinski says:

    It would improve viewing for everyone,

  9. Jim Glass was nice enough to post a Workflow Post on the CRM Team Blog. Thanks Jim!   In case you

  10. kong says:

    I would like to create account by using workflow

    like the example but I would like to pass a preferred value (any,email,phone,fax,mail) from tab administration from lead

    but I cannot assign value to preferred combobox(drop down list) in workflow.

    I have the same problem with custom attribute also.

    Can anyone tell me how to do assign value to drop down list in workflow?

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