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Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

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New features that improve process management and performance

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 for your Organisation?

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 has been significantly enhanced for the management of an organisations processes and performance. In the screenshots below, we show how these enhancements are delivered within Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and explain how they can be customised, and therefore designed, to your organisational needs.

Process Automation in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 - Dialogs

One of the key enhancements delivered in 'CRM 2011', is the new 'Dialogs' functionality. Using simple workflow tools within the solution, a trained user can create guided processes or scripts for end users to follow when accessing CRM records. This 'scripting' ability has only previously been available through 3rd party add-on products, so it is significant that this can now be achieved within the core solution. So how can the 'Dialogs' feature be used by organisations to improve process management and maximise interactions with their customers? Some dialog examples to consider are:

  • Using a dialog to qualify a lead or opportunity e.g. does the potential customer have budget, authority, need and are their timescales realistic?
  • Using a dialog to guide a customer service agent through a case e.g. the steps to fix an incident
  • Using a dialog to upsell or cross sell featured products whilst the customer is on the line
  • Using a dialog to take security details from a customer
  • Using a dialog to get instant customer feedback

In all these examples, a dialog can be started by the end user, or automatically. The 'Start Dialog' button showed below is the manual means of instigating a guided process.

Once the dialog has been started, a new window appears which takes the end user through the process step-by-step. Throughout the dialog, relevant CRM 2011 data can be pulled into the process, and new information taken from the customer can be added to the CRM record through the dialog as shown below for a compliance check.

The end of the dialog may be a sale closure, a confirmation email to the customer or the automatic closure of a case because dialogs can further be enhanced with Microsoft Dynamics CRM workflow processes. A dialog branches as the end user records responses, enabling them to deal with a customer situation in a productive and knowledgeable manner.

Goal Management in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

New to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is the ability to define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) or a Balanced Scorecard within the solution - these are known as Goals. Not only can this information be easily displayed within a dashboard report, but your goals can be viewed at an individual, team or organisational level. Goals are defined within Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 using queries and calculations against an organisations CRM records, some examples may be:

  • Sales forecast vs actual revenue sales
  • 1st line resolution statistics for customer service agents
  • Percentage of membership renewals against quarter targets
  • Sales performance against marketing activity by campaign

Goals can be calculated and tracked over time. The underpinning record queries identify the records to be reported on. Using the new in-line charts, goals can be instantly assessed, and users can visualise their impact on organisational targets.

Real-time dashboards in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

As we've already shown in our end user information, the real-time dashboards in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 give fast and easy visualisation of an organisations CRM data. In this section, we are going to look at how end users can develop their own dashboards on the fly using Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 dashboard templates.

The view above shows the dashboard design tool which allows the end user to create a Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 dashboard from a range of templates. In each section of the template, you can define the information you want to see and the format in which you want it displayed; charts, lists of records, and iframes. Below, we have added a simple opportunity chart to our dashboard.

We can also add the Gap Consulting website, a list of Opportunities and Activities to the template to enhance the dashboard as shown below.

The dashboard functionality in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 makes visualisation of vital business data very easy. Dashboards can be created and shared between CRM users quickly, and without specialist development skills and experience.

What could you do with your CRM 2011 dashboards? Contact us to find out more.