It’s that time of year again! Microsoft’s first major release wave of 2020 is now available for early access and there’s lots in store. You can expect some exciting features on the list, all of which are guaranteed to improve the way customers use CRM. If you want to streamline efficiency and make improvements to the way you visualize and access data in your CRM, then look no further.
In this article we will highlight a handful of the top features for this upcoming release and discuss how they can increase productivity and help customers improve their CRM performance.
1. Rich Text Notes and Keyword Search in Timeline
Have you ever needed to emphasize a line in a note within your CRM? The timeline is the “go-to” place to add notes to records in the CRM but it’s never allowed users to make their notes stand out, until now. This new and exciting feature easily allows users to enter notes using a rich text editor so you can format information in a way that’s easily digestible for you and your team.
a) Adding a note to a CRM record’s timeline with rich text:
b) Screenshot of a note with formatting after it has been added to a record’s timeline:
Bonus: Microsoft has also enabled the ability to perform keyword searches to quickly display matching notes and activities on the timeline.
c) Searching for notes and activities using keywords (i.e., in this case, I am searching for any notes or activities that contain the keyword “additional”):
2. Enhanced Experience Adding Products
Users often find themselves spending a large amount of time navigating through multiple pages and pop-ups in order to complete what would seem like simple tasks in the CRM. For example, when adding product lines to sales items, the CRM would normally navigate you away from the screen you are working on and open an entirely different page. Once the product information is filled in and saved, you are then forced to click the back button on your browser in order to return to the original screen. Users would have to follow this navigation sequence as many times as they had products to enter.
This can be a very time-consuming process, for something that should be so simple. With the new release users can now add products from a side-window catalog, giving them the ability to add multiple products at a time without having to navigate away from the original screen. The catalog also contains search and filter functionality which allows users to explore product details inline and make informed comparisons.
Instructions to add products to opportunities using the new side-window catalog:
a) Click “Add Product” button to open catalog:
b) Search catalog for products:
c) Add products to opportunity:
3. Configurable Case Resolution Page
In 2019’s release wave 2, Microsoft gave customers the option to customize the Opportunity Closing Dialogue. This option gave customers the ability to input important data related to closing opportunities as Won or Lost that could later be used as metrics for reporting.
Microsoft is now giving customers the same option but this time with the Case Resolution Dialogue. Additional case fields can be added and re-ordered on the dialogue, and business rules can be applied to ensure data is being captured properly. This will allow organizations to capture specific data related to their case resolution. Service reports can then be customized to include specific resolution metrics to better inform managers of any gaps in their service delivery processes.
Instructions to customize and use case resolution page:
a) Screenshot of enabling the custom Case Resolution Dialogue:
b) Screenshot of how to access the Case Resolution form editor:
c) Screenshot of how to add a business rule to the custom Case Resolution form:
d) Screenshot of custom Case Resolution Dialogue:
4. Opportunity Kanban View
CRM can often feel like information overload, especially for the more visually inclined who are not used to working with large lists of data. From these large lists, users are forced to click into records to update information and make frequent use of their browser’s back button when they need to update information on multiple records. With the new Opportunity Kanban View, however, users can view their opportunities as cards, divided by sales stages or statuses; and each card can be dragged and dropped into different stages or statuses. This provides users with a much more efficient approach to managing their opportunities as they move along their organization’s sales flow.
Instructions to access and use opportunity Kanban view with screenshots:
a) Screenshot of how to access the opportunity Kanban view:
b) Screenshot of how to switch Kanban types:
c) Screenshot of Kanban lane:
The top of each Kanban lane shows the total estimated revenue for that lane as well as the count of opportunities in that lane.
d) Screenshot of how to drag ‘n’ drop opportunities between stages/statuses using Kanban view:
Note: CE customers should start preparing their sandbox environments to test the new features before they become generally available in April. You’ll need to follow the below procedure in order to access these new features:
1. Copy your Production to your Sandbox environment
2. Enable the 2020 release wave 1 on Sandbox
3. Update Sandbox
4. Test all the changes on Sandbox
5. When you are sure that everything is working as expected enable the 2020 release wave 1 updates in your Production environment