15 Ideas to Level Up Your Dynamics 365 CRM

minutes reading time

15 Ideas to Level Up Your Dynamics 365 CRM

Whether you’ve just implemented Microsoft Dynamics 365 or if your organisation has used the system for several years, this post shares ideas to help you level up performance.

As a Dynamics and Microsoft Power Platform partner, ServerSys is here to help you make the most of your technology. Contact us today for an initial chat about how we can help you achieve more!

Let’s start with some tips to help you increase efficiency and get more out of your Dynamics system, including features that might not be on your radar.

User Experience Enhancements

Declutter Forms

To improve user experiences and drive better data quality, we recommend keeping forms as clean as possible. If you have legacy fields that are no longer used, these can be removed from the form designer.

You can also create forms relevant to different user groups by including specific fields and sub-grids. This way, each team can see the information they need in a clean interface.

Another approach is to use business rules that dynamically show or hide specific fields based on user inputs. For example, on a lead form, additional fields may be shown depending on the lead type (e.g., new customer vs. existing customer), prompting sellers to capture more information.

Seek User Feedback

Listen to users and understand their issues to drive the most impactful enhancements. Users’ daily experiences can highlight challenges with Dynamics 365. Address these barriers to improve adoption and user experience.

Depending on the type of issue, solutions may include technical support or customisations. Further learning resources, such as videos or lunch-and-learn sessions that help people to increase their Dynamics expertise may also be beneficial.

Use feedback to identify and improve areas in your system. This could include making processes more intuitive, making customisations or creating new dashboards.

Use Copilot with Dynamics 365

Copilot uses Gen-AI assistance to simplify tasks and increase productivity across sales, service and other teams. Early adopters have reported impressive gains in time saved and work quality.

We are excited by the possibilities offered by Copilot, including how it can transform how people interact with CRM data and accomplish more in less time. If you are interested in exploring Copilot, but are unsure how to get started and gain adoption, we can help you embark on this journey.

Copilot for Sales AI assisted email example screenshot

Simplify Data Entry

To improve data quality, consider what changes will make it easier for people to enter information into CRM.

As we’ve highlighted, sellers can conveniently use Copilot within Outlook to make direct changes to Dynamics and quickly save messages in CRM.

Within Dynamics 365, editable grids can enable users to quickly make field changes that reduce the need to open records.

Additional controls can be applied to record forms to simplify data entry, especially for mobile device users. Out-of-the-box examples include yes/no toggle switches, number inputs, ratings and gauges.

Additional controls can be configured using the Power Apps Component Framework (PCF). To see examples of what’s possible for Dynamics 365 model-driven apps, browse the PCF Gallery.

Workflow Optimisations

Automate Repetitive Workflows

What bottlenecks slow down your teams? Is it manual data entry or perhaps processing duplications?

With Dynamics 365 or a dedicated Power App connected with Power Automate, you can reduce manual efforts and avoid the pitfalls of duplication and inconsistency. Dynamics may already be helping you manage multiple processes, but you may still have some laborious workflows in place. Dynamics and Power Platform will offer a more efficient solution if these involve using spreadsheets and other manual tools.


Configure Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

SLAs in the Customer Service Hub enable organisations to define rules reflecting service commitments. These performance indicators, such as ‘first response, ’ help agents remain informed and responsive, even when not at their desks.

SLAs are a framework for managing customer service expectations effectively. They prompt timely actions to avoid breaches of agreed service terms, and key performance indicators (KPIs) provide essential metrics that guide performance evaluation.

Power Automate offers out-of-the-box SLA actions that can be customised to meet your needs. SLAs are supported by customisable conditions and automated actions, which enhance service workflow and efficiency.


Optimise Approval Processes

Approval workflows in Dynamics 365 help to streamline decision-making by acting as a crucial control for approving transactions and records. Organisations use these workflows to assign different tasks to different people, making processes more efficient and compliant.

Using pre-defined, customisable templates, you can establish control and clarity, letting the right people drive necessary approvals. Examples of this type of workflow include approval processes to authorise quotes above a threshold or check a marketing email.

Effective approval processes ensure that work is completed on time and without errors. See an example of how we adapt approvals when approvers are absent.

Explore Sales Sequences

Sales sequences are a series of actions that guide sellers through the sales process, providing a repeatable framework to apply best practices.

Available for D365 Sales Enterprise and Premium customers, sales sequences work across leads, opportunities and accounts, guiding sellers to complete the next action and prioritise activities.

Sequences help sellers save time and personalise interactions when handling recurring scenarios. For example, a sequence could guide actions for outbound prospecting or following up with prospects who didn’t attend a meeting.

Sales sequences can be customised to fit bespoke rules and methodology, giving sales teams a scalable and proven process for achieving successful outcomes. Read our post to learn more about how you can use this powerful feature in your business.


Data Management

Review User Security

Custom security roles are recommended to ensure that users have the minimum viable access permissions for their roles and responsibilities. These allow administrators to fine-tune permissions for teams and can avoid potential issues if Microsoft updates reset any changes made to standard security roles.

If your Dynamics environment was implemented several years ago, it’s worth reviewing the roles and permissions to ensure these still reflect how people use the system.

Field security is another control to ensure precise access management. For instance, some user groups may have full access to create, read, update and delete permissions. However, others may receive limited or no rights if this data isn’t relevant to their role.

Finally, using Microsoft Entra (formerly Azure Active Directory) to implement multi-factor authentication is strongly recommended to reduce the risk of security breaches by preventing unauthorised access.

Read more security best practices.

Set a Data Retention Policy

A data retention policy will help optimise storage and ensure compliance with governance and legal requirements. Custom retention rules can be enabled to highlight delete obsolete Dynamics records and other data that isn’t required beyond a defined period. Deletion rules can also be applied to automatically remove legacy data using custom rules.

Retention rules can help free up Dataverse storage space and ensure your system remains cost-effective. By removing outdated or irrelevant data, these rules streamline processes, making it easier for users to find relevant information and improving overall performance.

Certain data types may need to be retained for longer to comply with legal and regulatory requirements. Use Dataverse retention policies to efficiently archive older records. This will move them into compressed, immutable long-term storage, reducing costs while meeting compliance demand. Read our post to learn more.

Power BI Visuals

You can go beyond the default charts in Dynamics by using embedded Power BI visuals and dashboards within the CRM interface. You don’t need technical skills to get started thanks to a feature that converts a list view into an interactive dashboard. Instead, just click on ‘visualise this view’.

Bespoke Power BI charts and dashboards can also be published within the Dynamics interface, transforming CRM data into actionable insights that help everyone make informed, confident decisions.

This makes it easier to analyse complex data, providing a clear and intuitive view of customer interactions and performance metrics in real-time.

Extending Dynamics

Explore Dynamics 365 Customer Insights

If you want to increase customer engagement and better utilise your CRM data, we recommend investigating Customer Insights – Journeys.

Formerly, Dynamics 365 Marketing, Customer Insights uses the same Dataverse storage as other Microsoft business applications. As a result, unlike third-party marketing automation tools, this avoids configuring an integration or managing data sync processes.

Customer Insights helps teams boost engagement across channels with data-driven precision for personalised interactions and connected journeys. This ensures your data is unified and makes it possible to deliver a consistent experience to customers no matter where they are in their journey.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights - Journeys screenshot

Connect CRM with a Customer Portal

Integrating Dynamics 365 CRM with a web portal can streamline processes, enhance customer experiences, and boost scalability.

Power Pages templates speed up website creation, enabling businesses to deploy portals directly connected to Dynamics. With native CRM integration and embedded Copilot chat capabilities, customers can easily access information about their accounts and update profiles. Additional portal functions can include scheduling appointments or reporting a service issue.

Learn how ServerSys helps organisations quickly implement self-service web portals.

Deploy a Non-Production Environment

If you haven’t already, enabling a Dynamics 365 sandbox is highly recommended. This allows CRM admins to safely test updates, configurations and customisations without impacting your live system. Using a non-production environment, you can also validate new capabilities and integrations, ensuring quality assurance.

Dynamics 365 licensing terms include the entitlement to run a non-production environment at no additional cost. Your sandbox storage utilisation is deducted from your overall Dataverse file, log and database storage capacities. Creating a non-production environment requires 1GB of database capacity.

A non-production environment gives CRM admins greater peace of mind by minimising disruptions when rolling out changes. If you require help deploying or managing a test environment, don’t hesitate to contact us; we’ll be happy to advise.

Monitor Release Updates

Microsoft provides two major release waves for Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform each year typically announced in January and July.

It’s always worthwhile checking what new features are on the roadmap to assess how these could enhance your system and impact users. Often, new features are initially released in a public preview, allowing administrators to explore them and share feedback before they become generally available.

Other updates may be provided in an early access preview, allowing CRM admins to test them before they are enabled by default in the next release wave. Another benefit of a non-production site is that you can try out new features without impacting your production environment.

The best resource to monitor what’s new, available to test and coming soon is to bookmark the Microsoft Release Planner.

Final Thoughts to Level Up Dynamics 365

We are here to support you if you want to learn more about any of the points in this article and explore how to elevate your Dynamics 365 CRM system.

Contact us today to discuss how ServerSys can help you achieve more with Dynamics and the Power Platform.

February 29, 2024

Join our Mailing List

Stay updated with developments and insights across Microsoft Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform.
Warren Butler

Warren Butler

Warren is the director of marketing at ServerSys. He brings over 20 years of experience covering business transformation, CRM and Microsoft Dynamics to help organisations grow by embracing technology.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with us at hello@serversys.com

Daniel Norris - Linkedin profile