Implementing Mandatory Fields in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

The hard reality is that unless something is measured or demanded of you, it won’t get done. The same occurs in any control system, whether it’s an ERP system or a CRM system.

One of the beautiful things about Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is how easy it is make an item a required field. Making a field a required field ensures that you’ll in the future be able to report on that item.

So taking one entity in Microsoft Dynamics CRM (such as leads), let’s ask ourselves the question from a sales perspective, what are the fields that you should be making mandatory in the lead entity.

The following are five recommended fields that should be mandatory in any Microsoft Dynamics CRM deployment (or any CRM deployment for that matter.


First Name

The first question that comes up is if first name is mandatory why not last name? Many lead entry forms today only require you to enter your first name. It’s called friction. The more fields you have to fill out the more friction there is and the less chance there is that you’ll fill out the form. Many of those forms can be integrated in Microsoft Dynamics CRM and therefore often only the first name will be filled out in a lead form to start off.

Lead Source         

Lead source should be mandatory to fill out, if you don’t make it mandatory, no one will fill out. The lead source is a list that the marketing department needs to come up with. They will be the ones that will later on be determining which marketing sources are working and whether to continue to pursue them. Make the list to granular and people will be overwhelmed though, make it too broad and it won’t help you any.


It’s helpful to have a “hot / warm / cold” rating system for leads. Salespeople want to run after hot leads, so if they have to sort through all the leads it can become difficult to see what leads are good. There are different ways of measuring this (for example through a lead scoring system) but this is a simple way of starting off.


If you’re bigger than one region (province / territory) you’ll likely want to make a drop down field mandatory as to which region the leads are in. Make it easy to sort and also allows you tu run workflow on the field and to route fields easily in the long run.


Again if you have various products you sell, you’ll likely want to give some kind of indication as what products the lead is interested in. Important for many reasons, but if you want to do any type of nurture marketing down the road you’ll want to be able to segment the leads. You’ll want to know what they were interested in.

There are many other fields to you could consider making mandatory, but the important thing is the principle. From a change management perspective, anything you don’t make mandatory, likely won’t get done. Make the field a required one and you’ll have information to report on, leave it recommended at your own peril.

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