Dynamics CRM 2013 Frequently Asked Questions Update #3 (User Interface and Communication Tools)

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If you’ve been following my blog series on the new features coming to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and Microsoft Dynamics Online Fall ’13, you may remember that I promised to follow up my last post with one that covers the redesigned user interface and included communication tools.  Well, since I’m a woman of my word, I’d like to spend a few minutes now answering some questions we’ve gotten on those topics.


User Interface FAQs

Q: I’m not a fan of the pop up windows that are heavily utilized in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. Are they a part of CRM 2013’s new user experience?

A:  You will be glad to know that the pop ups have been completely removed from the upcoming release of Dynamics CRM.  The new user experience is designed to be much faster and more fluid, giving you access to all the important information you need—all in one place.  


Q: What does the new Microsoft Dynamics CRM user interface look like?

A:  The screenshot below illustrates the new user experience and the variety of valuable information it puts at your fingertips.


Screenshot depicting Dynamics CRM 2013's newly redesigned user interface


Q: When I look at the screenshot above, I don’t see the ribbon that I’ve grown accustomed to seeing in Microsoft software.  Am I missing something?

A:  No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. The familiar ribbon has been removed in Dynamics CRM 2013’s redesigned user interface.   Instead, at the top of each page in CRM 2013, you’ll see a navy blue bar that when tapped or clicked opens up the new navigation pane shown below.  The main reasons for this change were to free up additional real estate on the screen and allow users to view more of their data at once.


Screenshot of new navigation pane in Dynamics CRM 2013


Q: I’m in sales and meet with new people on an almost daily basis. So, it would be really helpful if I could associate images with CRM records.  Is there any way to do this?

A: Yes. Whether it’s a headshot, so that you can refresh your memory on what a contact looks like before you meet him/her for that important lunch meeting, or a map to help you find your newest prospect’s office; you can associate images with records in Dynamics CRM 2013.


Q: Sometimes, because so many people work on a CRM record throughout the various stages of the sales cycle, it’s hard to know what’s already been done and what’s yet to be completed. Does Dynamics CRM offer any way to track this?

A: Yes. Near the top of the screen you’ll see a guided process ribbon similar to the screenshot below.


Screenshot showing new process par in Dynamics CRM 2013

This makes it easy to see exactly at what stage in the process a CRM record is, and what needs to be done next.  Better yet, using a simple point and click designer, these process bars can easily be customized to fit your organization’s unique needs.


Communication FAQs    

Q: My company already uses Lync and/or Skype for internal communications.  Do either of these integrate with Microsoft Dynamics CRM?

A: Yes.  When you have either of these communication tools installed on your device, you can simply click on a phone number from within a CRM web form to initiate a phone call.  And, the system also automatically creates a new phone activity record, so that users can easily capture all the pertinent details of their conversations.


Q: Is it possible to send emails from within Dynamics CRM?

A: Yes.  Clicking on an email address in a CRM record opens up your default email program with a new message, already addressed to your contact.


Hopefully, this post has helped to answer a few more of your questions about Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013.  If you’d like more information, please contact us, download the preview guide, or take a look at the previous blogs in this series.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog series! As always, if important new information about Dynamics CRM 2013 comes to my attention before the system's October release, I’ll add additional updates.  So, be sure to bookmark Intelligent Technologies, Inc.’s blog page.


By: Laura Heinbockel, Intelligent Technologies, Inc., a NC Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner



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