A few weeks ago I was at the User Group Focus event in Houston, TX. I attended Monday and Tuesday for the D365/CRM portion of the event. I presented several sessions, attended others and also went to the Rodeo! It was a great trip!
I participated in three sessions. Michael Ochs, Phyllis Eriksen and I presented an introduction to XrmToolBox which taught participants how to use it and we shared our favorite tools (be on the lookout for an encore webinar coming in June). I also presented on “Wrangling your Processes” (an introduction to Workflows in D365) and you can catch the encore webinar on May 22. Finally I participated in a panel about Upgrades. This was a good discussion on many tips for planning, upgrade methods, and preparing your users.
I also got to attend a few sessions and wanted to share some takeaways from those as well. For attendees, you can download all session materials from the User Group Focus Community.
Planning, Developing, and Surfacing Metrics for Sales and Service
The goal of this session was to discuss ways to maximize time for sales people by reducing clicks and effectively using screen real estate. Lots of great recommendations were discussed:
- Don’t forget about Goals
- Utilize the Apps feature to minimize the number of unnecessary items users see
- Remove unused fields
- Use customization to drive user adoption by providing more information
- Calculated fields to give important stats, ex. time to qualification
- SLAs, shorten the SLA based on the customer’s interest
- Business Process Flows to drive behavior (be careful not to overwhelm). Now you can have multiple BPFs per record so multiple users can be following separate flows at the same time.
- Editable grids can be helpful but ensure these are not used for continuous, mass data clean up (fix the actual problem!)
- Check out email feature to follow email and get insights and reminders related to it
- Reporting can be used to drive excitement and show the users what their data is powering.
- OOB charts still have value. These are real-time when PowerBI is not.
- Start with the PowerBI Templates and see what you can get value from quickly
- Embed your PowerBI dashboards in Dynamics
- For service, Flow allows you to listen to Twitter and create cases as needed
This session walked through an example of building a vacation request/approval tool using CDS, Flow, PowerApps, and PowerBI. D365 is an application that is only part of the Power Platform so we have so many other tools to explore! CDS (Common Data Service) was formerly thought of as the XRM Platform. Now everything is stripped away into apps and core entities such as Contacts, Accounts, Activities, etc. form the backbone of CDS.
PowerApps are broken down into Canvas and Model Driven. Canvas Apps are the type of app we are used to using on mobile devices. Model Driven Apps are part of Dynamics to only show what users need.
The objection of this session was to use all of these components to build line of business applications. This was a shortened version of the App in a Day session.
Better Activity Management
One of the most important features of a CRM system is activity tracking but you need to get the users to actually follow through. Start by working with the business to determine why they even want to track activities. We need to find the end motivation and then find ways to make it easy, fast and fun. The goal is to find ways to move from just reactive work to proactive work. This may also include watching users work through the current process to look for where efficiencies can be gained.
All of this boils down to the LUCK Principle. Listen Understand Connect Know.
So, what are some practical ideas to explore?
- Compare the Outlook App with the Legacy Outlook Client to determine what is best. The app is recommended if there is nothing in the client that is needed. App is being recommended for new users. The App allows you to view dynamics data in Outlook without tracking the message.
- Relationship assistant provides reminders on the home screen to direct users. Activities are not automatically created but users are encouraged to take specific follow up actions. There are settings to control these reminders that are set by administrators. These are configured for the full organization.
- Neglected records monitoring. OOB neglected records reports may be beneficial. Additionally, calculated fields can be used to build fields to track Date of Last Contact so custom neglected rules can be developed.
- Workflows can also be used to automatically create follow up tasks. Create fields on Activities to indicate if a follow up is needed. Then automatically create when that activity is closed.