Monday, May 22, 2017

Options for Reviewing Sales Opportunities in Dynamics 365 (CRM)

Using a customer relationship management (CRM) system is a great way to get a better handle on your sales efforts.  If have have a CRM, one of the best ways to drive adoption among your sales force is to use it as the basis of sales pipeline meetings.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers several options for how you can use it to review sales opportunities. At my company InfoStrat, we prefer to log into Dynamics 365 and examine the sales pipeline rather than generate static reports.  That way we can update information on the fly as we discuss each opportunity.

My favorite is to start with the sales funnel graph in the standard Sales Activity dashboard:

The sales funnel shows the estimated dollar value of each opportunity, segmented by the sales stage.

Next, click the center icon in the upper righthand corner of the chart:

Now you can see the chart alongside the underlying opportunity records.

By default, the chart shows all opportunities, but if you click on a segment of the funnel, the records will be filtered so only those from the selected segment are shown:

In our typical sales meeting, we use the funnel starting at the bottom and working our way up to unqualified opportunities.

Some of our clients prefer other approaches.  The most common are to run the Sales Pipeline report or a custom report that is similar.  This report may be exported to PDF and emailed to people who do not use Dynamics 365. You can also change your report criteria at runtime as shown below.

You can also export opportunities to Excel.  One way is to click the Export to Excel option in the funnel graph page:

The other approach is to use Excel templates.  These may be as simple or complex as you would like to make them, and may include graphs.

The resulting Excel workbook will contain your opportunity records:

Finally, some client prefer to use PowerPoint to discuss opportunities at sales meetings or for pipeline reviews.  Although Microsoft doesn't provide a direct export to PowerPoint, they provide tools you can use to automate the creation of the presentation. I will cover this in a future blog post or contact me if you would like to learn more.

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