Creating Monthly Goals in Bulk via Importing

Have you ever run across a solution that requires goals to be created every month within Dynamics CRM? If you have, then you know that recreating these goals on the first of every month, one by one, can become time consuming. Using "waiting" workflows create goals can become an inefficient use of CRM resources. In this blog we'll discuss an easy alternative for using Excel to import these goals in bulk using the following steps.

  1. Setting up your goals
  2. Creating your spreadsheet
  3. Importing goals from a spreadsheet

Let's get started!

Setting Up Your Goals

Let's pose a hypothetical scenario. Let's say you want to utilize goals for tracking the number of phone calls completed by each user each month, with the target being 1,000 calls a month. You have 50 users and the idea of setting up 50 phone call goals individually is an inefficient use of your time.

Before we go any further, some steps to this process need to already be in place. For starters, any Rollup Fields need to be setup in order to be used correctly for the appropriate Goal Metric (which should also setup properly). A common scenario for this example would be to have a Parent Goal to rollup totals for each month. This Parent Goal would need to be created prior to importing a spreadsheet of our 50 phone call goals, aka Child Goals.

Some things to note of this Parent Goal as it interacts with our Child Goal spreadsheet creation:

 

 

 

 

Creating Your Spreadsheet

We are now ready to create our spreadsheet of 50 goals. Fields to be included, along with some notes:

* Must match that of its Parent Goal

When formatting the columns for this data, all fields can be General with the exception of From and To, which will need to be Date. A big advantage of creating goals in bulk like this comes within Excel's abilities to Copy and Paste, as well as Find and Replace. When your spreadsheet looks accurate and complete, save it as a CSV (comma delimited) file:

Importing Goals from a Spreadsheet

Next, import into your CRM as usual using the Import Data Wizard. Map to Goals, which brings to you to mapping the fields individually. The wizard does most of the dirty work here by matching up the correct source and CRM fields. The exception for this example would the Target field, which we want to be an integer for phone call count, as opposed to a decimal or money.

And just like that, you have created multiple goals in Dynamics CRM using a much more time efficient process. Note that the goals will need to be recalculated to see results. And if you are feeling really ambitious (we know you are out there), you could create goals for months and months out in advance! Now, head off into the sunset and set those goals.

Happy CRM'ing!

Multi-Currency Functionality for Goals in Dynamics CRM

Goals in Microsoft Dynamics CRM are used to set revenue and count targets and to compare progress towards these targets. The multi-currency functionality for goals is Microsoft Dynamics CRM is an important feature that is used by many multinational companies to track currency values in multiple currencies. In today's blog, we'll focus on using multi-currency functionality to track and display revenue goals and the progress towards these goals.

All currency (money) fields in Dynamics CRM have two underlying fields. In the example below, the underlying currency fields for the "Estimated Value" field are "Est. Revenue" and "Est. Revenue (Base)". In case of multi-currency scenarios, the "Est. Revenue" field stores the value in the user's local currency and the "Est. Revenue (base)" field stores the value in the base / organization currency.

multi-currency functionality for goals in Dynamics CRM

For example, let's say the base currency of a company is UK Pounds and the local currency setting of a user is US Dollars (US $). All currency fields on the form, views, and roll-up charts will be displayed in local currency (US $ in this example), unless the base currency field is specifically added to the form, view, and chart.

In the case of the Opportunity entity, the transactional currency and the out-of-the-box roll up chart (in this case, the Sales Pipeline Chart) are displayed in local currency, which is US $ as illustrated below. If you want, you can build custom views and corresponding charts using the base currency fields to display values in the base currency.

multi-currency functionality for goals

However, in the case of the Goals entity, all of the currency fields, views, and out-of-the-box roll up charts display the currency values in the base currency. As you can see in the example below, it displays the currency values in UK Pounds which is the base currency for this organization. Both of the underlying (base and local) currency fields for the "Target", "In-Progress", and "Actual" fields display the currency values in the base currency.

This could be an issue for a global company that wants to use the multi-currency functionality and also wants their users to be able to track progress towards their goals in the desired local currency, rather than having to convert the base currency into the local currency manually or through heavy customization.

One way of resolving this issue is to build a custom chart. The built-in chart designer can be used for this purpose. As shown in the example below, the custom chart includes the out-of-the-box local currency fields for the "Target", "In-Progress", and "Actual" value fields. The custom chart will display the target and corresponding in-progress and actual revenue values in the user's local currency. This gives the users the ability to quickly review and track their progress towards their goals. The chart can replace the built-in Goal Progress chart on sales performance dashboards.


There you have it. Happy CRM'ing!

Creating Daily Goals in Dynamics CRM 2011

Goals are one of the exciting features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. They can be created for a wide variety of purposes: from tracking progress on how many phone calls salespeople are completing over the month to measuring current customer satisfaction scores against a yearly goal (made possible by our very own PowerSurvey!).

While goals can be created for any time frame (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc), we have found that it can be cumbersome to create goals with a short time frame since you need to create a new goal once the current time frame expires. Imagine if you had daily goals in Dynamics CRM for 50 salespeople. You would be creating 50 goal records every day! Surely there must be a better way…

We previously blogged about how to recreate goal records via a dialog, but wouldn't it be great if we could create these recurring goals and report on them?

Let's go to the drawing board!

First, we need to add a field onto the goal form. This field will be a picklist where we will decide how often this goal is recreated (daily, weekly, monthly, etc).

creating daily goals in Dynamics CRM 2011

Now, we need to create the workflow that will make this all happen.

First, we want to create the workflow as an on-demand process. We also want to mark this AS A CHILD PROCESS

Then, create the overall structure as seen below.

We first want to create some CHECK CONDITIONS to see what type of goal recurrence it is (daily, weekly, etc)

Next, we have a wait condition. We will have the workflow WAIT for however long the recurrence is (1 day, 7 days, 1 month, etc)

After the wait we will CREATE A GOAL. The key here is that the START/END date are set in relation to the PROCESS EXECUTION TIME. Here is what a daily goal would look like:

Finally, we will have the workflow start a child workflow. We want to configure it to start itself (FYI, my workflow is called 'Test2')

We can now run this workflow against any goal we want to recur!

BONUS TIP: If you want to report on daily goals created with this workflow, create a view for GOALS CREATED ON TODAY (or LAST 7 DAYS, LAST MONTH, ETC depending on your recurrence). You can then use this view on a dashboard to only show today's goals!

Happy CRM'ing!

Dynamics CRM 2011 Goals and Advanced Sales Management

Goals were introduced in CRM 4.0 as a part of Extended Sales Forecasting. In CRM 2011 Goals come out of box without the need install any additional solution. So what are Goals? How do these augment Sales Forecasting and the built-in opportunity pipeline report?

Let's look at the opportunity sales pipeline. This funnel chart visually depicts the opportunity potential value as the opportunities move through the various sales stages. It's great for getting a quick glimpse at how the sales organization is doing. Though this chart comes out of box, we can build similar charts for each sales manager and salesperson.

Dynamics CRM 2011 Goals - Sales Pipeline

Let's say you want to assign each salesperson and sales manager a quota or target. One way to do it would be to have a customer entity or an Excel sheet to define targets. The spreadsheet could calculate the potential value for open opportunities and the actual value for all closed opportunities. We could also use this to compare the actual value to the target for each salesperson. Then the actuals for each salesperson can be summed up to get the value for the sales manager, and then summed up again to get the target to the actual for the whole sales organization. There are probably a few organizations that have a full-time employee or two dedicated to running these numbers every week, month, and quarter.

But what if this entire process could be automated? That's what goals in CRM 2011 do. Let's examine these in more depth.

Opportunities

Opportunities drive numbers, compensation, projections, R&D, expansion, and much more. They need to be tracked, managed and ultimately converted to a Sale. Salespeople should be tracked and compensated based on the opportunities that they manage and convert.

A chart indicating opportunities arranged by top customers.

The most common parameters for tracking opportunities are Potential Value and Actual Value. The stage the opportunity is in and the close date are also important parameters, and they also drive the funnel chart. For our purpose for tracking target or goals, we will look at the potential value, actual value and close date.

A chart indicated actual value in terms of revenue.

Goals

Let's say an opportunity is closed by a salesperson. The actual value of the deal would be added up and compared to the salesperson's target. CRM 2011 Goals allow you to define those targets. But before we do that, we need to add a couple of parameters to the Goals.

  1. Time period. Usually goals are defined for a specific period.
  2. Targets. Let's say you need to meet $50,000 in sales for the month of January 2013 or $250,000 for Q1 2013 or something on similar lines. You need to define a period for which the goal is to be tracked. So now, all opportunities closed in Jan 2013 will be tracked against the Jan 2013 goal of $50,000.

  1. Stretch targets. If you are an extraordinary sales person, and you negotiated an additional bonus if you exceed your target, you can also define a "stretch target" in Goals in CRM.
  2. Goal owner. This is who the goal is created for.
  3. Goal manager. This is who the owner of the goal reports to.
  4. Goal metrics. Here the Metric is actual value for closed opportunities. The goal metric can also be defined as the number of opportunities closed, number of tickets/seats sold, revenue collected through ticket sales, and so on. Dynamics CRM 2011 also allows you to define multiple metrics for a Goal.

To recap, we can define in CRM the following in the Goal Entity—Period, Target, Stretch Target, Goal Owner, Manager and Metric. Based on this, the actual revenue will be calculated and tracked against the goal as a Percentage Achieved.

So, let's say we just defined a target and asked the system to get the actual revenue for all closed opportunity in a specific time period. What if we do not want all Opportunities? What if we just want the opportunities which are owned by the Goal Owner or the Salesperson for whom the Goal is defined? That's where we can use the Goal Criteria, which can be found at the bottom of the Goal entity form.

For each rollup field defined in the Goal Metric, you can specify a Rollup query to selecting the set of records to be used in the Goal calculation.

So that covers the basics of Goal Management (or Extended Sales Forecasting) in CRM 2011!

What about other reasons for using goals?

Goals for Case Management

Let's say you have implemented CRM for your customer service team. It may seem like your customer service representatives (CSRs) have nothing to do with Opportunities. Fear not, for you can use goals for managing and tracking your customer service team! Instead of tracking opportunities, we will track Cases. One of the simplest metrics to track is the number of cases closed in the specific period. That would be the Goal for the CSR. To make things more interesting, you can also set goals for average open case time, average or absolute customer satisfaction points on cases, negative goals for cases open for too long, and so on.

Goals for Custom Entities

Ok, so can we do the same for anything else? Maybe you use CRM for something other than sales or customer service. Good news! Goals and metrics can be defined for custom entities too, offering truly limitless tracking. Maybe you should create a goal to see how many goals you have in the system? Let us know how you use goals in the comments!

Check out some of our other blogs on the topic of goals:

Happy CRM'ing!

Recreating Goals in CRM 2011 with a Dialog

Using goals in CRM 2011 is a great way to keep any team on track. To keep historical data of goals, we must recreate them each time they expire. Since many of the fields on a goal stay the same from one time period to the next, we can use a dialog to recreate the goals. The steps below will show a quick and easy dialog to make recreating goals a little easier. (Read our post on the difference between workflows and dialogs for a little background info on these types of processes.)

First, navigate to Settings > Processes and click New.

Steps 1, 2 & 3 for recreating goals in CRM 2011 with a dialog

On the screen that appears, give the dialog a Process Name, choose Goal as the Entity and Dialog as the Category. Then click OK.

Recreating Goals in CRM 2011 with a Dialog

The steps in this dialog will be determined by what changes are necessary from the original goal to the copied goal. At the very least, we will want the option to change From and To of the Time Period tab.

On the screen that appears, click Add Step and select Page from the dropdown list.

Add a step to the process

Give the Page a description and then click Select this row and click Add Step. After selecting the row, click Add Step and choose Prompt and Response.

Recreating Goals in CRM 2011 with a Dialog    Recreating Goals in CRM 2011 with a Dialog

Give the Prompt and Response a description and then click Set Properties. The description should notify any person looking at the dialog, what the step is for.

Recreating Goals in CRM 2011 with a Dialog

The screen that appears is where we will define our first question. This question will determine when the copied goal begins. Fill in the Statement Label, Prompt Text and Response Type. The Prompt Text will be the question the User sees and the Response Type will be Date Only for this question. Click Save and Close after filling in all pertinent information.

Recreating Goals in CRM 2011 with a Dialog

Click Add Step and choose Prompt and Response again, to add any other questions. This dialog will only set the To and From dates.

Recreating Goals in CRM 2011 with a Dialog

After adding all the prompt and responses, we need to create our copied goal. Click directly left of Page to highlight that area and then click Add Step and choose Create Record.

Recreating Goals in CRM 2011 with a Dialog    Recreating Goals in CRM 2011 with a Dialog

This will add a Create Record step after Page 1. Give the step a description and choose to create a Goal. Click Set Properties.

Recreating Goals in CRM 2011 with a Dialog

In the form that appears all values need to be set. Set the values that will be copied from the other goal by clicking in the field and then choosing the Goal in the Look for: field and the field name from the dropdown below that. Then click Add and OK. Repeat these steps for all fields that don't have a prompt and response in the dialog.

Recreating Goals in CRM 2011 with a Dialog

For any fields that we have a prompt and response in the dialog for, select the prompt and response in the Look for: and the response from the dropdown below.

Recreating Goals in CRM 2011 with a Dialog

When complete, this is what the Time Period tab looks like for this goal.

Recreating Goals in CRM 2011 with a Dialog

It will look similar to below when it is completely filled in:

Recreating Goals in CRM 2011 with a Dialog

Recreating Goals in CRM 2011 with a Dialog

Click Save and Close, Activate the dialog and start copying dialogs. And now you've learned all about recreating goals in CRM 2011!

(If this post left you scratching your head, you can always review our intro to goals in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.)

Happy CRM'ing!

Introduction to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Goals

Introduction to microsoft dynamics CRM goals

Goal! That's one word that brings us ultimate happiness when our favorite team scores in a soccer game. Also, we sometimes bump into random motivational speakers at airports and they tell us only one thing – Have a goal! Since we are MS Dynamics CRM experts, we decided to use the amazing Dynamics CRM Goals feature to measure pretty much everything. How many times do we go to the woods and parallel park our company car under a waterfall to get it washed? How many unicycles do we see every day in Hipster Mecca (aka Uptown Minneapolis)? How much revenue do we make by selling our services to our awesome clients who love what we do?

Don't be intimidated by Goals. It is a very powerful yet easy feature that can provide very good insights. Estimated/Actual revenue in a fiscal period, number of products sold, number of new clients, number of unwashed mugs in the sink etc. – with just a few clicks, you can be handed the world of useful information on a silver platter. Here is a simple example that would help you understand Goals. After reading this post, we hope you will become more comfortable with this amazing feature, and use it frequently to measure your required metrics.

Alright, let's get started!

Here's a scenario – let's suppose your company sells concert tickets. You, as the sales manager of your company want to track how much revenue your sales agent is bringing in in the current fiscal period, and how many tickets they have sold.

In order to get those numbers, you need three things in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

  1. Goal
  2. Goal Metric
  3. Rollup Field

A goal would give you the actual figures, be it revenue or number of tickets sold. Every goal needs a goal metric which essentially tells the goal if the metric being measured is a number or $ amount. A goal metric has rollup fields which are nothing but actual and estimated values of the goal being measured (estimated/actual revenue and estimated/actual number of tickets sold in our case).

To start creating a Goal, you would go to your Sales area, click Goals, and then New on the ribbon to create a new Goal.

On the new Window, give the goal a Name. To associate this goal with a specific sales agent, do a lookup on the Goal Owner field and choose their name. For the sake of this example, let's create a new Goal Metric by clicking the lookup icon and clicking New on the Goal Metric lookup window.

Dynamics CRM goals--create a goal metric

On the Goal Metric form, give the metric a name, and choose Metric Type Amount.

Note: Count only returns the number of rows, not the actual values. So choose Amount for Metric Type. For Amount Data Type, choose Money if you are tracking revenue or Integer if you are tracking numbers (number of tickets in our case).

You can also track stretch targets. For example, a sales agent may have a target of bringing in $5,000 revenue and a stretch target of $7,000.

Once those fields have been filled, save the record. It is now time to add Rollup Fields to this Goal Metric.

Click the "Add New Rollup Field" to add rollup fields.

Dynamics CRM goals--add a new rollup field

You would now create rollup fields for actual and estimated values (separate).

We will set the Rollup Field to Actual (Money) (and In Progress (Money) for estimated revenue) because we are tracking revenue. Our source field is in the Opportunity entity, so we choose Opportunity as the Source Record Type. Set Source Field to Actual Revenue or Est. Revenue based on the type of Rollup Field you are setting. If you are tracking revenue for a particular product, set Source Record Type Status to that specific product.

Finally, set the record Type to the entity from where the value is coming (Opportunity in our case), and set the Date Field to Actual Close Date (for actual revenue; choose Est. Close Date for estimated revenue).

Save and Close your Rollup Field window first, and then the Goal Metric window.

And that's it! On your Goal form, choose a period for which you want to track the actual revenue, and hit Recalculate. The actual revenue that this sales person has brought in so far is shown in the Actual (Money) field (and also Percentage Achieved).

You can repeat this procedure to create goals for actual and estimated number of tickets sold.

Happy CRM'ing!

CRM 2011 Actionable Goal Charts and Dashboards

Ever wonder how you could make goals actionable through dashboards? Let me walk you through it and soon you'll be on your way!

These are the steps you are going to take:

Let's take the example of a Central Region Sales Manager. As the regional sales manager I have a dashboard that includes my teams' quarterly revenue goal. Through the Goal Progress chart I can see my regions quarterly revenue goal, actual and in progress values. There are only a few days left in the quarter and we are $82,500 short in meeting our regional goal. I also have insight into my team members' goal breakdown. I can see that Joe hit his target already but Jane is falling a bit short.

In order to take action on pulling in the final $82,500 I'm going to drill into the pipeline report that is right of the Goal Progress chart in the same dashboard and see what opportunities are in the negotiation stage. I can expand the chart to show the records that support the visualization inline.

I drill into the negotiations stage of the pipeline and bring up only the opportunities in this stage. I can see that we have $649,500 of potential revenue currently in negotiation. I'm becoming more confident that we can pull in the $82,500 that is needed to make our regional quarterly revenue target.

Next I'd like to see who is managing these opportunities so I drill down one more time and look at "by account manager".

I now see that that Jane is managing $462,500 of the negotiation pipeline and Joe $187,000.

I see one opportunity that is estimated to close this month so I click on send email link from the ribbon and shoot off an email to Jane to try and get this closed by the end of the month.

Another communication option is Microsoft Lync that is embedded in Dynamics CRM 2011. Lync provides the ability to communicate from the context of Dynamics CRM by providing a richer collaborative experience with consistent presence, click to call options and a new Contact Card. When Lync is turned on I can view Jane's online presence and communicate with her via IM or video chat instantaneously right from the context of the CRM Opportunity record.

So as a sales manager, not only do I have a dashboard with the KPIs that I need to monitor to fulfill my role within the organization but the charts are intuitive and actionable.

Happy CRM'ing