A business process is a set of best practices: standardized, organized, and documented. Microsoft Dynamics CRM includes a sales process, service process, and other processes, all of which can be customized by your company. Whether you work in Sales or Service, the process' stages and corresponding activities provide a roadmap for your work.
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- [Instructor] A process is a manner of doing something. For example, I have a garden out back, and we therefore have a garden process. When we're going to take a new section of land and turn it into garden rather than soil or weeds, we begin by preparing the soil, this is often done in the fall of the year. We will then plant seeds the next spring, we will water and weed, and eventually, towards late summer or fall, we will harvest the plants that we planted seeds for back in the spring.
Each of these is a stage, and they need to be done in this order; you can't harvest before you plant seeds, there's no point in weeding before you prepare the soil. And in each of these individual stages, there are specific activities that are necessary to that stage. So before we plant the seeds, we need to complete all the activities under prepare soil, including removing any vegetation that is already there, tilling the soil, testing the soil and based on the results of the test amending the soil perhaps by adding some compost or other organic matter or maybe some minerals.
And under each of the stages there is a corresponding list of activities. This isn't that different from a business process, as a matter of fact, it really is a business process. Business processes, like my garden process, allow us to capture best practices, and to standardize those processes so that we're doing them the same way year after year. This is an organized set of stages and activities. And it's not an ad hoc set of information that we glean by asking someone else who's doing it, hey, how do you do your job? These are actually documented business processes.
Once we have our best practices standardized, organized, and documented, we can then automate them with a tool like Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Nothing I say here should make you assume that business processes are carved in stone, static for all time. But when best practices change, it's important then to organize them and document them and provide automation for them. In this course, we're going to focus on two of the business processes in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
The first is the sales process, we'll spend the majority of our time there, and then we will spend some time with the customer service process. I believe that there may be as many different diagrams of sales processes as there are sales organizations. For example, here's a sales process that has five stages, each of which would, of course, have activities. Identify opportunities, qualify needs, develop, propose, and close. This one has five as well; begin, submit, review, approve, and close.
This one, only four; prospect, qualify, quote, and close. If any of these look like your organization's sales process, then that will probably be what Microsoft Dynamics CRM will look like for you because it's customizable. Any of the organizations that have these specific processes can customize Dynamics CRM to work for them. If you use Dynamics CRM as it comes out of the box with its default process, then that sales process, which is focused specifically on leads, looks like this.
We will qualify a lead, we will develop, we will propose, and then we will close. And as with my garden process, in each of these four stages, there are specific activities that need to be done before we can go to the next stage. Let's take a look now at the Dynamics CRM service process which is focused on cases. Folks who are working with Dynamics CRM's service work area begin with identifying a case, qualifying the case, doing the necessary research then to be able to resolve the case.
So resolving a case in Dynamics CRM service is similar to closing a sale in Dynamics CRM sales work area. The majority of the organizations that use Dynamics CRM customize the service and the sales processes to match their own best practices, the way they do things. So it's almost certain that you will see different terms, or you may see different activities. However, the process itself is the same whether you're in service or sales, whether you're working with the default settings or you're working with a customized set of stages and activities.
Working the process means that you are going to enter data about activities so that you can complete a stage, and then move the lead, or the case, to the next stage. If you open a case or a lead, the business process is right in front of you all the time. Here we are looking at a case. Identify, qualify, research, and resolve. Right now the research stage is active, you can tell, there's a flag, it's also a different color, and notice that the identify and qualify stages have been completed because you must complete a stage before you can move on to the next stage.
That doesn't necessarily mean you have to fill in every piece of information; some are required, some are not. But we're moving from one stage to the next, moving the customer's concern or the customer's question from one stage to the next, from identification all the way to resolution. And at any point, you can click a future stage. While it won't allow me to edit this stage, it will allow me to view the activities that are necessary to complete the stage. If we skip over to sales, and look at leads, we'll also see a business process, and here is the sales business process.
I'm going to click on an open lead, one of mine, and notice that we are at the beginning of this lead. Stage one, qualify, and so I have activities that I will need to complete, when those are done I'll be able to move to the develop stage where I will work on these activities. With the develop stage done, I can move to propose with it's set of activities, and finally close. Regardless of your work area with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you'll have a combination of data and specific record types, and some type of business process to help guide your activities with that data and those customers.
- Viewing personal and team dashboards
- Creating and qualifying leads
- Converting activities to opportunities
- Working with customer service cases
- Managing case queues
- Researching solutions
- Running and exporting reports