CRM Reports; The Most Important Aspect of CRM Implementation

The three most important factors in being able to insure revenue maximization through proper management of your sales processes are:

  1. Visibility
  2. Visibility
  3. Visibility

You may ask visibility to what? Visibility to the measurement patterns that are created by the data collected through your Microsoft CRM Sales Automation modules.

Patterns that show:

  • What is the average # of days it takes for your deals to close?
  • What is the average Close Ratio?
  • How is every single sales person doing compared to these averages?
  • Who your star sales rep is based on their average CloseRatio?
  • Which sales reps need to be let go? Without this information you might let go of a good sales rep who is just hitting a slump. Hiring and training new sales reps are costly.

Without these kinds of metrics:

  • How would you be able to determine who is doing well and who is not? Furthermore, how would you define what does doing well means at your organization?
  • How would you be able to discover inefficiencies with you sales processes?
  • Let’s say that you do find inefficiencies and correct them, how would you be able to tell if they worked and by what degree? Even if you find ways to tell, how long would it take you to get this information?

Your Microsoft CRM system is a gold mine of business data and as with any gold mine you have to dig for the gold and then process it before you can really have something of value.

Reports are the gold mining tools for your CRM gold mine. Reports are such vital part of any Microsoft CRM implementation that I would venture to say that it should be the first thing you start with when planning for your implementation. First thing is to know what types of report you would want to get out of the system. Keep in mind that even though Microsoft CRM collects lots of data, it does not collect all of the data that you might need to provide you the ultimate visibility that you would like to have. So by deciding what kind of reports you need a head of time, you will be able to insure that all the data needed for the report is collected.

We are going to have a free 3 hour Microsoft CRM Reporting live web clinic in the next couple of months. If you are interested in participating please contact us.

Microsoft CRM Consultant
Unitek Microsoft CRM Services

Using Hidden Fields In Workflow

There are times that we need to access and use data in CRM that we don’t want the users to see. For example we might want to make sure a Contact entity item enters a particular Workflow only once. This can be a tricky proposition when you have Contacts that need to be in Workflow both from the Create action and the Assign action. Utilizing a hidden field in CRM will be our method.

First off, let’s understand the concept of hidden fields. We can add an attribute to an entity and never add that attribute to the form. That in essence is a hidden field. Depending on our usage, we might also make the field Unsearchable. If we don’t then the field appears in the Advanced Find view and we may not want our users to see the data in this hidden field.

Let’s assume our custom, hidden attribute is named “InWorkflow”.

We now have a field that will hold the info we require. In this example we’re discussing how to utilize this field for Workflow. Since our Contact entity has the same rule set for Contacts that are created and assigned, we’ll set up 3 Workflow rules:

  1. On Create – Call the Manual Rule
  2. On Assign – Call the Manual Rule
  3. The Manual Rule – The rule that holds all our logic

It’s possible that a Contact might enter this Workflow more than once and that’s what we’re trying to avoid. In the Manual Rule we’ll use the Check Entity Condition & we’ll check the status of “InWorkflow”.

  • If the status is Yes, then we choose the action Stop. We do this because we know the Contact is already in this Workflow rule.
  • If the status is No or Null, then we Update the Entity to set “InWorkflow” to Yes.

Now we continue about the Workflow, adding our conditions and actions. If at any point we need the Contact to leave Workflow, make sure you Update the Entity to mark the “InWorkflow” to No.

As Microsoft CRM consultants, we are usually called upon to come up with a solution to a tricky problem. Our customers love it when we come up with creative solutions to what first seemed an impossible task.

Convenient Reports In The Navigation Bar

Reporting is a vital portion of CRM that is often overlooked. Many reports are needed on a regular basis by CRM users and if we stick with the pre-defined methods, users must go to the Reports section of CRM.

We’ve implemented a more user friendly method that you too may like. We design and deploy our SRS reports in Visual Studio.

Once deployed we modify the Site Map, adding links to the reports on the CRM main navigation bar. Since we’re using Site Map, we can put the same link in multiple sub-sections like Workplace and Sales. With a single click, the report opens in CRM’s main window.

Our customers love this easy method for reporting!

Read more