Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Business Processes: Using Recipe Style Processes to Lift Efficiency

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Dashboards

It was years ago that I came across an individual (who from my experience) had one of the best steak recipes by far. Mouth-watering steaks were a staple to him and an encounter with his brand of steaks changed the definition of a good steak marinade.

What’s all incorporated into that recipe and steak marinade to this date  – I couldn’t tell you. Had I had a defined recipe – it would have been easy to replicate. For now – it’s a secret well hidden.


Delivering Secret Recipes in our Organizations

Internally in our organizations we work with recipes as well. As management we don’t want employees with secrets though – we want “systems”.

These systems function like recipes that are predictable and repeatable but are only known to us within the organization. Recipes that make our organizations systematically produce results faster than if everyone worked in their own style. Systems that have been proven over time.

CRM Business Processes

This brings us to our new Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 release. A large component of the new Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 release is about the inherent capability to create structured business processes.

Processes which act like recipes, helping you automate distinct parts of your business. Creating clear repeatable and successful outputs. Repeatable juicy steaks for your clients.

The profession of selling has long relied on these types of “recipes” or “methodologies” such as this to create repeatable sales processes. In summary:

  • Relying on sales methodologies such as “Spin Selling”, “Solution Selling”, “Strategic Selling”, and “Snap selling” the sales profession installed structured selling methodologies into the sales force
  • CSO Insights quotes that organizations who follow structured selling methodologies get 35% higher win rates then organizations who allows sales reps to follow their own sales methodologies.

These “sales recipes” would be taken from research on what types of personalities are naturally more successful at sales and what approaches best worked.

For example, individuals considered “challenger reps” by the trend setter book “Challenger Sales” shows that sales people who are the most successful:

  • Naturally teach new insights
  • Tailor the message based off distinct stakeholders
  • Take control of the sales cycle are much more successful than the rest


That’s the good part – unfortunately, they are only naturally a small portion of sales reps who naturally follow the path of teaching, tailoring and controlling. The other 80% need to be taught or guided with a “proven recipe”.

Sales Performance by Type

Items to consider in general when defining sales processes:

  • It’s more effective to take a negative view of human nature when defining business processes and requiring individuals in the organization to follow a certain structure
  • Along those lines, it’s most effective to mandate effective sales processes for employees for various reasons, but one being, that almost all individuals look for what’s best for them – not the organization they work for
  • Most individuals will take short cuts where possible – those that truly consider the best for the organization rather then what’s best for themselves are rare birds

Along the same lines, advocating focussing on doing the right things, management guru Peter F. Drucker would say; “efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.”

Its management’s role is to advise doing on doing the right things (Drucker would argue this is leadership and not necessarily a component of a manager’s work – manager might only focus on doing things right).

In summary though, only when the focus has been on doing the right things can the employees be most effective and focus on doing things right.

Management versus Leadership

Another proponent of focussing on repeatable processes is management consultant Michael Gerber –author of the E-Myth. He believes:

  • Businesses are primarily systems that need to be automated and replicated
  • True profits come from systematizing and franchising businesses
  • Small businesses need to define their business processes and make them easily repeatable, creating systems that can be done over and over again

Enter Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 business processes.

A “business process recipe” in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 is exactly that. It is a repeatable “recipe” that will show you where you are in the process, where you’ve come from and where you need to go.


8 Features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Business Processes That Will Explode the Possibilities for Automating Your Business

Create Multiple Processes Per Entity in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013

A large limiting factor in previous CRM systems (not just including Microsoft Dynamics CRM) was the fact that you couldn’t create multiple processes per entity unless you programmed them yourself. Salesforce still has the same issue.

Now within Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 it’s possible to define multiple processes per entity, meaning, we can create a process to take the lead out to lunch while also create a process to take the lead out to a hockey game – now we’re talking.


Dynamically Switch Microsoft Dynamics CRM Processes on the Go 

Fred our salesperson might start the process of working an opportunity through the funnel. He ends up jumping to the end and closes the sale. He can now directly switch processes and work on the “placing the order process”.

Switch Business Processes on the Go

Assign Microsoft Dynamics CRM Sales Processes to Individual Roles 

Fred our salesperson works on IT industry prospects. Craig, another salespersons, in the oil and gas industry. When either of them create a lead or opportunity they go through their own defined sales process.

Very slick – Fred takes the IT person in stage II of the process to a video game conference. Craig takes his prospect in stage II to the Calgary stampede (really?).


Link Stages Across Processes in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013

The concepts of stages allows us to set “gates” where incremental progress is measured through any business process we create.

While the concept of stages was there previously and you could update stages by updating the stage field in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 with workflow, the application of stages is much simpler. These stages can then be reported on in for example “sales funnels” or “sales pipelines”.

Not that I’ve seen this done yet, but this would simplify concepts like gamification (the concept around rewarding employees or customers when they hit certain milestones). Hit a stage in the opportunity you get ice cream (or something else better in that case).

Stages in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013


Solution Aware Business Processes That Can Easily Be Exported or Imported

Business processes can also be exported and imported into other CRM implementations. Something that I have not seen noted is that this opens the door for sales methodologies being easily imported and sold as industry sales methodology packages for enterprise organizations. We’ll see who the first person is to exploit this opportunity.

Extend Mobile Application Business Processes

Business processes that are created in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 automatically are applied to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 mobile client as well. You don’t have to write them twice (that’s kind of nice for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 customers).

Mobile Client for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013

Create Business Processes for Custom Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Entities

Business processes apply to custom entities you create as well.

Use PBL (Portable Business Logic) to Control the Process

PBL (Portable Business Logic) while not directly part of business processes in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, is intrinsically linked to the various business processes.

PBL allows power users or business analysts define commonly used client side logic which might have typically taken light programming to achieve.

For example, assume you have Fred who is filling out one of your sales processes. Until now, you wished when Fred filled out the fact that the prospect was in the oil and gas industry – it would become mandatory that he also then select which province the prospect was in. Now you can, enter PBL.


How does this help us today?

Fundamentally, one needs to assess oneself to determine – do you believe that an organization based on“systems” beat hiring individuals with great intuition, that statistical proven funnels are better then ad-hoc selling, and that your management knows the processes better than the people on the ground.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 offers a tremendous platform to automate virtually any business process that crosses sales, marketing or customer service.

Now that you have the tools to virtually automate any business processes – the question becomes are you automating the right things?

Dynamics 365 CRM How-To eGuide

41 pages of step-by-step instructions for 6 different key tasks in Dynamics 365 CRM apps. Includes interactions with Power Apps and Power Automate!

Get eGuide

Dynamics 365 CRM How-To eGuide

Get eGuide