Reduce Manual Data & Increase Productivity with Dynamics 365 for Sales

By Herb Johnson | June 29, 2022

Dynamics 365 for Sales has a ton of great features to help automate processes for you and your team to boost productivity.

One of the main ways to accomplish this is to reduce the amount of manual data you and your team have to input into your system.

Understanding Manual Data in Dynamics 365 for Sales & How to Limit It

Manual data is made up of bulk imports of data that need to be put into or updated in your business software systems. Some examples include:

  • Inputting lead or customer information
  • Pulling items out of or putting items into spreadsheets
  • Managing marketing subscriptions
  • Updating employee or customer profiles with contact information, interaction history, etc
  • Integrated data elements such as Accounts Payable, Inventory, and Supply Chain documents

Regardless of what it is, it will take a long time and use up a lot of resources. This leads to mundane and repetitive work that can cause burnout and human error.

People make mistakes. It happens and is more likely to occur if you or your team are stuck inputting large chunks of manual data into your system. Luckily, Dynamics 365 for Sales allows you to automate this work to save your team time and resources, and limit the amount of bad data in your system.

What is bad data?

Bad data is data that disrupts your business processes. The more manual data input you and your team do the more likely you are to end up with bad data. Some examples of bad data include:

  • Duplicate data – Having a single character off in an email address or a name misspelled can lead to duplicate data, which can cause big problems in your system and confuse users who need to access client profiles
  • Missing information – In the midst of burnout, a user might forget to input a client’s phone number or first or last name
  • Inaccurate information – Whether it’s a typo or client information that hasn’t been updated, having inaccuracies can cause confusion among staff members, particularly those who are new to the team
  • Data entered to pass a required field – Some systems require certain fields to be entered in order for a record to be created, even if that field doesn’t help with anything. It’s important to know why those fields are required and if you can possibly fill them from another system

At the end of the day, your salespeople need accurate information. If they don’t, they will lack accurate invoices, they won’t have the necessary information to make sales, and they will lose valuable time trying to fix things on the fly. This leads to lost profits, added costs, missed opportunities, lost time, and inaccurate forecasting and reporting.

Luckily, there is a solution!

Automate Processes and Increase Efficiency with Dynamics 365 for Sales

Dynamics 365 for Sales comes equipped with a number of out-of-the-box tools that reduce the expense of manual data entry, cut processing costs, and apply repeatable and consistent processes that ensure accuracy and help preserve and cleanup your systems. Below are some of the methods you can use to achieve these outcomes.

Power Automate

Power Automate gives you the ability to create low-code, drag-and-drop automated processes and pre-build connectors to automate processes like record creation, and client email and text reminders or notifications. You can also automate the scheduling of these flows and tasks so that you and your users can focus on what you need to focus on to complete the rest of your work.

It comes with dozens of automated approval flows, including:

  • Approval Emails – When users create records in Dynamics 365, it will send the record to a manager for approval. The manager can then mark it Approved, Rejected, or Needs More Information based on your company’s criteria
  • Push notifications through email or text
  • Outlook reminders for meetings with meeting information to ensure your staff is prepared
  • Email reports to leaders on their team’s activities.

These are just a few of the many benefits of Power Automate. Please reach out to us if you have any questions on this this solution can help you.

Business Process Flows

Two of the main Business Process Flows you can use are the Timeline and Automated Record Creation.

Timeline documents and provides you with a history of activities regarding a client or record. It also gives you the power to add activities manually, post about activities and tag specific users within CE, and sync emails with Outlook. This is especially useful for new employees who come in and need to familiarize themselves with a record or account they are taking over.

Automated Record Creation creates leads, form requests, revenue splits, invoices, and other records or communications that relate to a specific record or customer.

Email Tracking

This lets you keep tabs on when your customers see and open your emails to them, how many times they were opened, what links and attachments they clicked on, and how many times they interacted with them. All of this information culminates in insights on how you can achieve optimal email interaction with your customers.

You can find out how to craft personable and effective emails that ensure strong customer engagement. You can even find out the optimal time to send emails to customers based on their time zone.

Automated Copy Functionality

This feature automatically copies data from an existing project record onto a new one. This includes project properties, customer descriptions, type of currency used, work breakdowns, project team members, and project cost estimates. This saves a lot of time and works if you are working on multiple projects for the same company that has similar elements or are working on similar projects for multiple clients.

Guided Business Process Flows

This includes Stage Gating, which prevents users from progressing a process to the next stage unless specific conditions have not been met. It also automates Conditional Branching Logic to dynamically adjust process flow behavior based on data entry, and Business Rules that enforce mandatory fields set conditional field values, and apply visibility rules.

Other features that can help you reduce manual data include:

  • Common Data Service with Office 365 Products like Teams, SharePoint, and Outlook
  • Duplication Detection to identify and clean up bad data
  • Integrations with LinkedIn that can automatically generate leads and collect lead information from a person’s LinkedIn profile

Questions?

Please reach out to us if you have any questions about this or other ways to reduce manual data in your system.

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