Having used CRM 2013 for the last four months, I’ve concluded that as much as I love some of the more distinct features like the business process flows and the tile layout; some of my favorite Dynamics CRM 2013 features are slightly less razzle-dazzle. They are, however, equally significant in the sense that they go a long way in enhancing the application usability and most importantly, in saving time.

So, with that, I wanted to share my top 5 time-saving features in CRM 2013:

 

1. Navigating using the browser’s ‘Back’ button: In keeping with the single window experience philosophy, Dynamics CRM 2013 has introduced a provision for maintaining navigation history and supports the use of your browser’s back button function. So if you want to go back to the page you were on just before the current one, all you have to do is hit on the ‘Back’ button. Nothing beats this powerful single click navigation experience.

 

2. Quick creation of records: Let’s say you are working in the Leads area of the application and you suddenly remember about a new contact that you wanted to enter in CRM but kept forgetting about. Earlier you’d have to save the lead record you were working on to make sure you didn’t accidentally lose any changes, navigate to Contacts, and then create a new record. Multiple clicks and multiple window pop-ups. No more! Without leaving your current page, all you have to do is click on Quick Create on the top right of the navigation bar (see below) and choose to create a Contact record from there. This is also a great, quick time-saving tool for sales people on the go since the quick create form requires less information.

 

CRM Quick Create
Note the quick create button in the top righthand corner.

 

CRM Quick Create 2
Begin by selecting the record type you wish to create. Once you have done this, the above form will be displayed.

 

 

3. Quick View form: One of the more common requests I’ve come across with CRM customers is the ability to see parent record information inside the children records. For example, if I am in a contact record, I’d like to see some information on the Parent Company record – what industry the company is in, what the main address is and so on. In the earlier versions, you’d either switch back and forth between the records or write JavaScript to copy the company’s details in the children contacts’ records. Now, with the introduction of Quick View forms, all you have to do is put the Account Quick View form in the Contact form and that’s that! Such a simple, elegant solution.

 

CRM 2013 Quick View Screenshot
Parent record information can be found on the right-hand side of the form.

 

 

4. Setting a default view: If you’ve worked with the Outlook client previously, then the concept of ‘pinning’ a view in place is nothing new. That concept has been extended to the CRM web client as well in the sense that if you want to change your default view, all you have to do is to click on the ‘pin’ symbol next to the view name and it will get set as the default view.

 

 

CRM 2013 Pinning a View

 

 

5. Auto- Save: Not having to hit the Save button while editing the record is pretty fantastic. You know the changes you made are not going to get lost when you navigate away from the record. No more waiting for the record to save before you can get back to doing more work. This is a great little feature in general but especially from a mobility standpoint since it’s easier to make mistakes in a touch-enabled environment when compared with a keyboard and mouse. This post from The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Team Blog outlines some best practices for managing the auto-save feature (should you want to know how to turn it off).

 

 

CRM 2013 Auto Save Screenshot
The auto-save icon is highlighted in the bottom right-hand corner.

 

 

So these were my top five. I’d love to know if you have any top 5 features of your own that you find have improved your user experience.

If you’re interested in learning more about Dynamics CRM 2013 features but don’t know where to start – dive right in! Check out Matt’s post on 5 Areas of Change in CRM 2013 and Why They Matter or our CRM 2013 Readiness Checklist.

 

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