enCloud9 takes on a lot of clients we like to call orphans – these are the companies that tried to implement Dynamics CRM on their own or have engaged with a partner who is not meeting their needs. These clients come to us because they know that their Dynamics CRM system is not helping them out as much as they thought it would. Maybe CRM feels too hard to use or is not collecting the data needed to uncover trends or manage relationships. When we engage with these orphans, our first step is to walk through their CRM. We generally find the same five problems. We are listing these common problems below and some of the fixes and methods we use to give our clients an Amazing CRM Experience.

Optimize your forms

CRM forms are the heart of any CRM system. A well-designed form makes using CRM simple and intuitive. A poorly designed form makes it a slog. Here are five things we do to optimize form layout.

  1. Place any required fields in the first column of data on the left-hand side.
  2. Ensure that the most relevant information on the form is on the first screen of data
  3. Take advantage of all of the available screen functions to simplify navigation – Tabs, Sections, Spacers all allow you to break up data in smaller logical chunks.
  4. Use Sub-grids to display lists of important related records
  5. Use Quick View forms to show details about lookup fields – for example, a contact Quick View form on a case record would display the contacts email address and phone numbers.

Customize your views

If the forms are the heart of CRM, the views would be the brains. a well-designed view of data can allow you to quickly scan hundreds of records at a time and then focus on the most critical dataChange your personal settings to see more than 50 records at a time

  1. Change your personal settings to see more than 50 records at a time. I set mine to 250.
  2. Learn how to use Advanced find to create custom views of data that can be shared with others.
  3. Ask your users what they want to see in System Views – The most important data should be on the left hand columns. Make sure the widths of columns are tied to the data. There is no need for a Yes/No field to be 300 px wide! Shrink that column to 100 Px
  4. Figure out the best way to sort the columns in the view. For example, the standard “Active Accounts” view is sorted alphabetically by Account name. Maybe you want to sort by Last Modified Date? That’s a great way to keep your most active clients at the top of your account list.

Tailor your dashboards

Once you have customized your views and your forms and your users are entering in all of that valuable data you need a way to show it off! Dashboards certainly add color and interest to CRM. But the most important function of a dashboard is to present information to users in an easy to read fashion. Dashboards also add a way to give users the roadmap to their day to day responsibilities.

Talk to your users and find out how they work. Determine how they use tasks, cases, phone calls etc to plan their day. Then build a dashboard with charts or views that show that data.

For managers, try to determine what aggregate data would allow them to perform their job duties – Charts that analyze the velocity of cases and opportunities as they progress through CRM can help managers to ensure that their customer satisfaction stays high.

Integrate your processes into CRM

A good workflow is like having a good personal assistant, Workflows automate the tasks that make you look good. From scheduling follow up calls for hot leads to assigning cases based on an SLA, workflows can They help to take care of the small details so that you look great to your clients – Workflows can create a reminder to contact that hot lead you met last week or to automatically close a case based on certain conditions being met. Explore with your users the repetitive tasks that can be better automated with workflows. In addition to workflows, there are two other ways to automate CRM

Business Rules

Business rules are amazing as they allow us to build custom form experiences based on information provided by the user. We can hide fields or sections, make them required or not, and make other modifications to form appearance based on user entry.

Business Process Flows

Business Process Flows allow you to map out the step by step procedures that your business uses for a process. Examples include sales processes, client on-boarding processes, and customer service case resolution processes. Stages can be used to define sets of actions that need to be completed to move to the next stage, and fields can be made mandatory to move among stages.

Clean up your sitemap

This is the tip that most clients don’t even realize is possible, but in the end, pruning the site map is one of the simplest and most effective changes. Out of the box, the Dynamics CRM site map – which drives CRM’s navigation an be a confusing mess of too may choices. There are several Primary Tiles – Sales, Marketing, Customer Service etc as well as  dozens of choices when you click on those tiles.  Every item on the site map can be edited. I have had a few clients where we have removed every selection except Accounts, Contacts, and Cases. By removing unused menu choices we keep the end users focused on their jobs and not distracting themselves by testing out unused features like goals and quotes.

Simplifying a site map is the only fix that cannot be performed inside of Dynamics CRM.  It used to be a soul-deadening chore involving exporting xml from CRM, manually editing in Notepad++ and then reimporting the code back into CRM. It could take hours to edit a site map – so it was rarely done. Now we use XRMtoolbox to make editing the site map simple and easy.

Wrapping Up

So there you have it – a few of our secrets to happy customers with users who take advantage of a tailored Dynamics CRM system. When it comes to CRM the principle of Keep it Simple Stupid is more than just a slogan, it is a way to keep crm users happy and engaged. If you would like to talk to an enCloud9 professional for help to implement these changes, contact us today.