Use customization options

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Dynamics 365 Sales has full functionality right out of the box. The application gives you everything that you need to build and track relationships with customers and to manage the sales process from lead to order. Each business is unique in the data that they track and the processes that they follow. The first step to tailoring the functionality to fit your needs is to configure Dynamics 365 Sales. This unit explains how to begin customizing the app by tracking more data, changing or adding business processes, and tailoring forms and views to meet your specific requirements. Before you start customizing, you need to have a good grasp of the out-of-the-box functionality so that you don’t re-create something that the app already has.

Sales Hub app or custom app

Dynamics 365 Sales will ship with a Sales Hub app. This app is configured for people to use all primary sales features. The app’s navigation and contents are customizable. As Microsoft updates Dynamics 365 Sales, this app automatically reflects those changes, unless you make modifications that would prevent that update from happening. For example, if Microsoft added a new table to the app navigation, your users would see it automatically after the upgrade. The same is true for table forms and views. By default, if you don’t change your forms and your views, you will see all changes that Microsoft makes in an upgrade. However, if you create your own forms or views and then change the Sales Hub app to reference them, they won't be upgraded automatically.

Another common decision to make around apps is whether you should use the Sales Hub app or create a custom app that includes a subset of the same assets. Remember that, with the app, you can compose what your users see and interact with and how you define the user experience. A custom app gives you complete control of the contents but doesn't have the benefit of being upgraded automatically when Microsoft sends an update. If your custom app references the same forms and views as Sales Hub, it will still automatically reflect the changes that Microsoft has sent in an upgrade, even if the app is custom.

No single, correct choice is suggested. It's important that you evaluate your need for control and customization with the approach that you decide to take.

Security roles

The included security roles provide an example set of roles for sales, such as salesperson and sales manager. You can use these roles and modify them. Often, teams will copy these roles and tailor them for their own needs. For example, you might share data with all sales staff in an office or a division, or you might require all sales staff to only view their own data. Review how your specific requirements match with the included roles and then decide what customization is required.

Customizing security roles is also another way you can tailor what your users have access to in an app.

Tables, forms, and views

Forms are primary ways for people to use the application to create, read, edit, and otherwise interact with data. The application comes with several forms for each table. You can edit these system forms and also create your own. If you edit the existing forms and views, then as Microsoft changes the application, most of those changes happen automatically on upgrade of Dynamic 365 Sales. If you create your own or make a copy of these forms and views, you are responsible for making the changes after each release.

The most common customization for forms and views is to remove columns that you don’t need. The default forms come fully loaded to provide you with a good general sales app; however, most people typically don't use all columns. For example, on Account, if you don’t ship to your customers, removing the Shipping section that includes Shipping Method and Freight Terms makes sense. Removing the unused columns will help reduce clutter, and then users can focus on the data that they need to provide.

Reviewing views for essential columns is useful, as is creating views that filter on common needs. Good views can help your users quickly find the data that they are looking for.

Note

Removing columns from forms and views isn't the same as removing them from the app. Relatively few consequences occur from removing system columns from forms and views.

Business process flows

A business process flow is a tool to help guide users through a business process on rows. They enable you to give the user access to complete certain steps before the process is complete. Dynamics 365 Sales includes some business process flows, or you can create your own. Configuring the process stages and steps so that they work with your company’s business processes is essential for them to be usable, unless the company is adopting the included processes.

The Lead to Opportunity Sales Process is one of the included business process flows. This business process flow explains getting a lead through to the opportunity closing stage. This business process flow can be used by almost any average company that is going through the sales stages.

Screenshot of the Lead to Opportunity Sales Process.

Opportunity Sales Process is another business process flow that Dynamics 365 Sales has included. This business process flow includes the stages and steps to run through an opportunity process.

Screenshot of the Opportunity Sales Process.

Other than customizing the stages and steps, you can also add conditional branches to handle process variations. You can also add automation with workflows or Microsoft flows that are triggered from stages or steps in the process.

By customizing Dynamics 365 Sales, you change it from a standard application that everyone has to one that is tailored to your specific requirements.