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The Dynamics CRM 2013 business process flow functionality offers exciting possibilities for modeling a company's business processes. This includes building out sales processes in CRM—particularly the ability to include process steps at each stage.
Business process flows allow for an excellent means to guide sales representatives through any items or checklists that need to be completed at each stage in the sales process. Sales management can also use this feature as a coaching tool.
Today we'll illustrate a particular functionality that relates to the sales process that CRM practitioners should be aware of when customizing these processes.
The standard functionality in Microsoft Dynamics CRM includes some default business process flows that pertain specifically to the sales process. These include the Lead to Opportunity Sales Process and the Opportunity Sales Process, as you can see in the screenshot below.
All of these processes can be modified to cater to an organization's specific sales process. A best practice is to create a copy of the standard process and then modify the copy.
The Lead to Opportunity Sales Process, as the name suggests, is used to model the sales process that starts with the Lead and then follows through to the Opportunity Sales Process (stages).
In this case, the starting entity is the lead entity.
After completing the lead sales stages converting the lead to an opportunity, the user will move to the opportunity entity and the stages within the opportunity.
The Opportunity Sales Process is used to model the sales process that starts with the opportunity and then follows through the various stages of the opportunity sales process. Typically the Lead to Opportunity Sales Process will be used in conjunction with the Opportunity Sales Process, especially in organizations that utilize the lead entity to track leads and/or prospects in CRM.
If an opportunity is for an existing account, you would typically create an opportunity for that account and then use the Opportunity Sales Process Flow. Most organizations are likely to modify these processes to model their specific sales process, including the modifying the sales stages (and corresponding sales categories), as well as the steps (and corresponding fields) associated with the stages.
When customizing these processes, it is important to keep in mind that changes to the opportunity stages and corresponding steps are made to both the Lead to Opportunity Sales Process and the Opportunity Sales Process, and that these changes should match. This will ensure that users follow the same stages and steps regardless of which process they are following.
In the two screenshots below, both the Lead to Opportunity Sales Process and the Opportunity Sales Process have the same stages, stage categories, steps, and fields. You'll want to make sure the fields required match too.
These are some things to keep in mind when you start modifying the sales process flows in CRM 2013 for your organization. For more reading on business process flows in CRM 2013, you can read our blogs on creating business processes in CRM 2013 and controlling access to business processes by security role.