4 Quick Wins to Improve Your Dynamics CRM Deployment

I thought it would be worth going over some potentially quick ways you can improve your CRM deployment. If you’re one of the many who has been working with CRM for a while now then you’ve undoubtedly developed new functionality, ‘improved’ forms and decided time and time again that you can improve the sales process in CRM, which is great, however there’s a tendency to avoid cleaning up old fields and the likes which can be a major frustration both for users and for those who have to manage CRM.

I’m going to cover some likely obvious but overlooked things that you probably need to consider doing, and then I’ll finish up by talking briefly about the built in maps functionality which can be a quick win with users and managers.

Reduce the Number of Fields

I told you I’d be pointing out obvious things. It’s easy to add new fields as new requirements are found or as the business changes and there’s definitely a place for new fields but you also need to pay attention and whenever possible need to prune old fields which will keep your database that bit fresher and your deployment that bit quicker and easier for everyone to use.

My suggestion for making a quick start at this is to install a solution which I use regularly called the CRM Data Detective which is a great tool which allows you to select an entity (including custom entities) and then see a report of useage of all fields in that entity.

dataDetective

Using this you can tell at a glance that the ‘Account Number’ field and the ‘Address Type’ fields can probably be removed from forms and views or removed entirely once you’ve verified they’re no use.

Reducing fields will improve the load times of forms and views, will speed up inputting data and will hopefully reduce user confusion in the process. As an added benefit this will likely reduce maintenance and simplify management of CRM for your administrators.

Reduce the Number of Forms & Views on Entities

A similar concept to reducing the fields is reducing the number of forms and views per entity, by default most entities in CRM will come with at least 2 forms and unless they’re absolutely required all they’re doing is seperating your user base, making it more difficult to help with issues and again make it more difficult to maintain.

As a start it may make sense to get feedback on which forms are preferred and what views are still used by users. From here you can then disable forms and views and eventually remove them entirely. This will make it easier to make changes in the future as you don’t have to contend with adding fields to numerous views and forms.

Clean Up the Sitemap (Site Navigation)

For users to get anywhere in CRM they need to be able to navigate around easily and without thinking too much. The default sitemap is useful and will attempt to keep itself up-to-date with any new entities or solutions you add but it isn’t tailored for how your organisation uses CRM and with just a little work you can most likely improve or at least reduce the navigation down to what’s required by your organisation.

There’s some great tools for doing this with my personal favourite being the SiteMap Editor which comes included with the XrmToolbox which I’ve posted about before, this tool will allow you to easily connect to your CRM deployment and make powerful changes.

sitemapeditor

The SiteMap editor  will allow you to make easy changes using it’s GUI or by adding sections using XML. This will also allow you to change icons used in navigation or to update navigation which has been taken over as part of a migration.

and finally something a little different…

Enable Bing Maps

Bing Maps is a useful feature in CRM which allows you to show maps on forms on most entities in CRM which can be based on address fields and post-codes, this is a powerful way to show users something informative and it’ll only take a moment to set up and add to any forms.

bingMaps

Enter a Bing maps licence key (on-Premises)

Go to the Bing Maps licensing page for details on how to get a key.

  1. Go to Settings > Administration.

  2. Choose System Settings.

  3. On the General tab, scroll down to Enable Bing Maps > Please enter Bing Maps key, and enter the license key.

  4. Choose OK.

Turn Bing Maps on or off for your organization

  1. Go to Settings > Administration.

  2. Choose System Settings.

  3. On the General tab, scroll down to Enable Bing Maps > Show Bing Maps on forms, and then select Yes or No.

  4. Choose OK.

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