Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM Navigation and Dashboard Insights for Manufacturers

Now that we’ve started building our business case for CRM, let’s spend a few minutes getting familiar with general navigation and dashboards in Dynamics 365 CRM for manufacturers.

Navigating Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM for Manufacturers

So first and foremost, if you look at the top in the banner bar, you’ll see a little magnifying glass, and that gives you the ability to search across multiple areas of the application. If you search a person’s name, for example, you’ll see if they’re associated to a lead, their contact record, maybe some opportunities that they’re associated with it. This allows you to get information more quickly without actually having to go to a list and doing a search or a filtered search from there.

Automation through task flows

You can build out task flows that allow you to create some repetitive component to an individual task that you may have in the system. Task flows allow you to take things that your sales organization does on a regular basis and streamline it in a little mini application. The task flow will walk them through a couple of quick questions to update information that you would need to have updated as part of your management process.


There is an assistant feature, which is really a great tool that allows you to stay on top of all of the notifications that are inside the system. For instance, the notifications can keep track of new leads assigned to you and remind you if you haven’t responded to an opportunity in a few days. Think of it as a personal assistant if you will, for your sales organization, that’s going to serve us up information and insights that’s important to them and allow them to be more productive in their job.

Quick create for contacts, accounts and opportunities

We also have this concept for Quick Create, so you can quickly create a contact record. You can quickly create an opportunity if you wanted to on the fly, without having to fill out all of the information you normally would when creating a new contact or opportunity. What Quick Create does is it creates a very small, lightweight form on the right-hand side of the page that allows you to fill in information to create a record quickly and easily.

Search with advanced find

The Advanced Find is really where you’re going to create views of information that will help drive dashboards and help drive list views inside the system. This is really the ad hoc querying tool that will consist of 99% of the reporting and visibility that you’re looking to get. It’s very user-friendly, very easy to use. In addition, end users will have access to this information, eliminating the need to actually have an individual report writer.

Account management

I can see a list of accounts that are inside the system, and you can actually filter between multiple types of use. So if I want to just look at my active accounts, I can see that specific list. Multiple list views are also available inside an entity for users to examine and analyze.

Opportunity management

The Opportunities feature includes a Kanban view, which allows users to see everything in a graphical representation based off of the sales processes. You also have the ability to drag and drop them and move them from area to area to update the pipeline. It’s also just as easy to switch between the Kanban and grid view.

Check out this demo video for a quick tour of D365 basic navigation and dashboards.

D365 Sales Analytics through CRM Dashboards

With Dynamics 365 CRM, you can create multiple dashboards in the environment, and it’s easy to switch between them. So you can look at a sales pipeline dashboard and quickly find out who the top customers are, where the leads are coming from, and what revenue looks like on a monthly basis. You can also easily drill into the finer details of the dashboard records without leaving the dashboard.

We can even export all of this dashboard information into Excel, either in a static worksheet, a dynamic worksheet, or even a dynamic pivot table. On the flipside, we can import information into the dashboards. For example, if you have a list of leads or opportunities from a trade show, it’s possible to import all of that information.

The goal here with Dynamics 365 CRM is to provide your sales team with a tool that gives them the ability to access information, dashboards, and data quickly at your fingertips in order to keep management up-to-date. And ideally here, from a management perspective, you’re eliminating the need to ask for spreadsheet updates from your sales team or updates over the phone or via a meeting.

Let’s talk about how Dynamics 365 CRM can be revolutionary for manufacturers. Please contact us at any time!

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