The title says it all. This blog post is a high level overview of the Dynamics 365 Sales product. We will run through the most frequently utilized concepts that users interact with on a regular basis. Let’s get the journey started …
There are three main options the data can be visualized in the system:
- Standard Dashboard
- Interactive Dashboard
- Power Bi Integrated
Standard Dashboards can be a combination of system Views, Charts, Web Resources, iFrames, Relationship Assistant, Organization Insight, or Timeline. When it comes to charts the system offers Column, Bar, Area, Line, Pie, or Funnel. There are 7 different layouts ranging from 2 to 3 to 4 columns. Admin can either create System Dashboards so that they are visible to everyone in the organization or Users can create their own dashboards that are only available to other users if shared.
Interactive Dashboards only work within the Unified User Interface (not available in the “classic” interface). What makes it different is the ability to associate a specific entity to the dashboard. There are two types of interactive dashboard: Single Stream and Multi Stream.
Single Stream dashboards display real-time data over one stream based on an entity view or queue. The tiles are positioned on the right side of the dashboards and are always shown. Charts are commonly found in the center and the main data stream is on the left side of the screen.
There are no limitations on the number of streams that can be configured on a Multi Stream dashboard. The data in a stream can only be based on one entity yet each stream can be based on a different entity. Multi Streams have the flexibility to show and hide visualizations.
Interactive Dashboard Filtering
Custom filters can be applied by selecting Show Global Filters on the ribbon. The global filter works at field level. Data can also be filtered by clicking on the Charts. This option will adjust the output of the entity related tiles and streams as well.
Dynamics 365 Activities capture a specific action like emails, phone calls, meetings, tasks, service activity, letter, etc… as well as the subject, time and details of that activity. Activities should be used by every user that communicates with a customer. It takes time to develop the activities habit but doing so ensures that all communications with customers can be found later. Appointment can also be synced with Outlook Calendar.
Accounts can contain multiple types of records including prospects, vendors, business partners, and other organizations that interact with your organization. For non-business organizations, such as government, healthcare, and education, the account is also where any organization would likely be stored.
Contacts are the individuals that make up an organization/account. In a B2B environment the contacts are typically related to an account. However in a B2C setup the contacts will not usually roll up under an account. The relationship between an account and contact is a parent-child relationship. The contact fields are mapped from the account thus if a contact is created from an account the address, phone, etc. map to the contact.
A lead is commonly the first step in the sales process.
It can be qualified (and the system will auto generate an Opportunity, Account, and Contact), OR disqualified (the system stores the record and it it can be re-activated at a later time).
An opportunity is a potential sale. Leads become opportunities once Qualified. The users typically track potential revenue, close date, and detailed information about products or services associated with an Opportunity.
Opportunities are commonly used to forecast revenue. As it is entered in Dynamics 365, the future value of their potential sales is estimated to provide a sales pipeline forecast. Opportunities commonly use Business Process Flows to guide users through a defined sales process. Working on an opportunity might involve several customer interactions, like meetings, phone calls, or tasks.
Quotes can be created in one of three ways: (1) from an Opportunity which will auto add the details from an Opportunity to a Quote, (2) from a Multi-Entity Business Process or (3) manually. When a Quote is first created it is automatically in a draft state. While in draft the Quote can be edited. Once a Quote is ready to be presented to the customer it must be activated.
A quote can be revised multiple times.
Orders can be created by clicking Create Order on an active quote. The use of Orders is optional and this is commonly the integration point with an ERP system. Orders can also be created from quotes or by navigating to the Order section. Additionally, an Order can also be generated from a Multi-Entity Business Process Flow.
Invoices are the final stage of the sales cycle. Invoices are typically created after an order has been fulfilled.
Just like Quotes and Orders, Invoices can be created in three ways.