Opportunity History Tracking and Reporting in Dynamics 365

Dynamics 365 is Microsoft’s new cloud-based business application suite, offering a number of different applications under a variety of plans customized to different work functions. Whether you need a system to track your sales process, customer onboarding, or case resolution, all of these activities can be set up and tracked in CRM. Companies of all sizes can take advantage of Dynamics 365’s powerful workflow and business process automation to improve business outcomes.

Let’s take the example of a sales process. There are multiple stages in a sales process that span multiple database entities, transforming from a lead to an opportunity and then potentially to an order and invoice.

sales process in dynamics-365

A sales process out of the box in Dynamics 365 looks something like this:

sales process out of box in dynamics 365

sales process in dynamics 365

As the opportunity moves from on stages to the next, the opportunity’s likelihood of closure increases. A customer is more likely to buy as they invest more time, resources and learn more about the services and products they are evaluating.

When reviewing their sales process, sales managers can look at numerous data points to identify top performers and gauge the potential likelihood of meeting numbers. These data points could include:

  • Calls made,
  • Appointments setup,
  • Quotes sent,
  • Or, any other metrics used to measure sales team performance

Sales numbers are a function of activity. However, the main purpose of these sales activities is to move an opportunity from one stage to the next. Most reports that measure a single type of activity like calls made do not provide the context of the sales process. By measuring the amount of activity like calls made we are not truly reviewing the results of that activity.

One alternative to the measurement challenge above is to use a Sales Funnel to look at your sales process’s cumulative results and where your revenue is in the pipeline. A sales funnel provides a quick snapshot of where the opportunities lie in the pipeline and is a good way to get an overall likelihood of closure. However, the funnel also doesn’t provide the Sales manager with a report of what sales progress has occurred during the reporting period.

sales process funnel dynamics 365

Activity reports illustrate the scale of the effort, but what if you could receive the result of those activities in a concise, easy to consume timely delivery on a weekly basis? What I am referring to is the results of sales activities on the progression of opportunities summarized in an email that shows the specific stage changes for a period of time.

Measuring activities are not the goal. You want to measure the results of those activities, such as:

  1. Opportunities created and by whom (not just how many opportunities)
  2. Stage changes that move an opportunity along the funnel (which opportunities moved to the next stage)
  3. Specific opportunities closed as Lost (which specific one were lost)
  4. Specific opportunities closed as Won (which specific ones were won)

For some sales managers, this may be a lot of information to process weekly depending on the size of the team and number of transactions and opportunities. But this approach actually simplifies reporting, as it focuses only on the result your activities have had on the stage progression of your opportunities. Additionally, other metrics and measures can be put in place to capture how long an opportunity takes to move from stage to stage and what time frame to expect (average transition times) for each stage.

We have developed a simple solution to deliver these reports in Dynamics 365 which requires a combination of configuration/workflow and the IOTAP report scheduler. In our second blog in this two-part series, we will discuss the specific implementation approach in the next article.

At IOTAP, we leverage technology to provide options for your customers and your business. We create opportunities to help you run your business on your terms using technology like Dynamics 365, and we’re excited to share our insights with you!