The Benefits of Dialogs in CRM 2011

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There is a lot of new functionality in CRM 2011 around the sales pipeline. In the next couple of months we will dive into how to use the new goal tracking and dashboarding functionality to better manage sales. For this month, we’re going to talk about Dialogs.

Dialogs are the new counterpart to Workflows. Instead of running automatically in the background like Workflows, Dialogs now give you the ability to build guided forms for your CRM users to follow. For Sales, this means that when you have a call script for your cold callers, you can build that script into CRM and have CRM capture the relevant information from the notes of the caller. You can also use this to make sure that when your sales people move to a new sales pipeline phase they have a guided list of questions to ensure that they capture the information needed to close the deal.   To create a new Dialog for an opportunity, simply open an opportunity, click the “Start Dialog” in the Ribbon, and when the Dialog list appears click “New” at the bottom. Here CRM is going to give you the opportunity to create a process. You will need to name it, tell it what it is going to run on, and confirm that it is going to be a Dialog.

Once you have named your Dialog, click “Okay”. For our first Dialog, we can ignore the process properties area at the top and look directly at the bottom area where we can add “Input Arguments” “Variables” and “Steps”. Input Arguments and Variables are how you can capture dynamic information in a process. Steps, where we’ll focus, are the actual lines that will tell a user what they need to do to complete the Dialog. Dialogs are broken up by “Pages”. The Page is the first thing you will add to a Step. From there, to have a user interact with the Dialog, create a “Prompt” and “Response” underneath the Page. Once you have the Prompt and Response created, click “Set Properties”. Here is where you will enter “Prompt Text” for what the user should be asking, “Tip Text” to give the question relevance to the user, and then the “Response Details”.

Response Details can be text entry or you can build options for sales people from which to choose. In my example, I am giving my sales people a Pick List for selections. Once you have captured your Prompt and Response and finished up the page of questions for your salesperson, you can then update your opportunity with this information.

All of the fields you captured from the Dialog can now be used as actionable items in CRM and in your opportunity. This is a very simple example of the power of Dialogs but they can do much, much more for your business.

by Arke Systems, Georgia Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner

1 thought on “The Benefits of Dialogs in CRM 2011”

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