Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Basics for Sales Pros: Working with Activity Records, part 2

This is part 3 in a a series of blogs designed to help Sales Professionals with fundamental concepts in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015. In my last blog we introduced CRM Activity records, what they are and how to use them to help organize and manage your sales-related activities. This blog extends that discussion to include how you’ll use Activity records to communicate with and collaborate with your fellow CRM users.

So what are CRM Activities? Think of them as all the things we do throughout our day to move customers through the buying process. Things like phone calls, emails, letters, and appointments. CRM Activity records help you schedule and document the results of these various activities. Use Activity records to schedule, organize and track your sales-related activities, as well as those of your colleagues.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 makes it easy for team members to communicate, collaborate, and document the content and results of their individual customer interactions. Dynamics CRM 2015 provides you with all the tools you need to easily manage the roles and responsibilities each staff member has in turning potential customers into paying customers.

Let’s look at a common business scenario in which multiple staff members work together to close a sale. We’ll look at how CRM Activity records synchronize and manage this process so everyone is on the same page in respect to their role in the sales process.

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In this scenario our Call Center Manager Jamie (pictured in the middle box) is passing a Lead to a Sales Representative named Veronica. The Lead is a woman named Cat Francis. Cat Francis works for a company called Coho Winery. Jamie lets Veronica know that Cat Francis and her colleagues are ready to get serious about evaluating Contoso’s new line of products. Veronica asks Jamie to schedule a hand-off call and provide a warm introduction to Cat Francis.

Jamie clicks on the Appointment button in Cat’s Lead record.

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An appointment form opens and Jamie creates the appointment for herself, Veronica and Cat to make the introductory call.

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The appointment for the introductory call is now save in Cat’s Lead record. The appointment is visible to Jamie, Veronica, other team members, and sales management.

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Veronica syncs her CRM tasks and appointments with her Microsoft Outlook account, so she’ll also find the appointment there too. Veronica likes the fact that the native integration of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Outlook provides her with multiple reminders of her appointment, ensuring she doesn’t forget and disappoint her customers.

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During the warm introduction call, Veronica schedules the onsite visit with Cat and her colleagues at Coho Winery. At this point, Veronica needs a technician to perform some preliminary research and accompany her to the customer site. The technician needs to review Cat’s lead record and analyze everything that has been documented regarding Cat’s company – Coho Winery.

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Veronica has a technician on her team named Sanjay. Veronica creates a task for Sanjay to review the preliminary information they have regarding Cat’s facility and business need.

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Sanjay lets his team members know that he’s aware of the new task he’s been assigned and ready to do his part to close the sale.

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After completing the initial research, Sanjay marks the task complete and provides the preliminary research to Veronica. Two of the three Activities displayed are shaded, one is not. The shading indicates that those particular Activities are completed. The unshaded Activity – in this case the onsite visit is not yet completed. This color coding helps you quickly identify whether Activities are open or closed.

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As you can see, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Activity Records provide a very effective tool for managing your own day-to-day activities as well as those of your fellow staff members. Your team stays in sync and working together toward their common goal – closing sales.

By Mark Abes/Vice President Sales & Marketing of xRM3, a Microsoft Partner specializing in Microsoft Dynamics CRM consulting, implementation, integration, and administrative services. Based in San Diego County Southern California.