In yesterday’s blog we looked at how easy it was to view activities using different calendar views. Today we are going to focus some attention on another aspect of MyACTIVITYCalendar that really delivers something rather unique to users of Dynamics 365...
Whilst being able to identify and schedule activities for individuals or teams is important, it is also very relevant for users to be able to view activities that relate to a given entity type. In Dynamics 365 as it stands, without MyACTIVITYCalendar, there is no way this can be achieved using any type of calendar view.
“So why is this important?”, I hear you ask. Well, let’s consider how this can help improve the effectiveness of a Sales Operation.
Irrespective of sales rank, everyone involved in sales, from the senior directorate team, down through management and right at the front line, those facing the customer, everyone wants to achieve more sales and strives to improve performance to achieve more sales success. Sales people are rarely ever satisfied with achievement and will always, by the nature of the job they do, want to achieve more. It is therefore very useful to be able to analyse how any improvements can be achieved, especially when it comes to scheduled activity.
MyAcTIVITYCalendar is a great help in this respect as it can be configured to produce a calendar view which can highlight all the activities that are associated to Opportunities. The truth is that whilst many sales people will be very busily engaged in various degrees of activity to close out sales, some sales opportunities may become neglected or worse still not engaged or interacted with at all.
Now wouldn’t it be REALLY useful to see a list of opportunities on a calendar view, with their associated activities populating the calendar’s schedule. With MyACTIVITYCalendar you can do just this, with every opportunity that has activities associated to it being shown in a drop down list.
This is shown below using the OPPORTUNITY ACTIVTY calendar view.
In the example here we are looking at a potential catastrophic failure. We have many opportunities listed but over the next quarter we’ve only got 2 associated activities (appointments) scheduled. Whilst this would be extreme, it demonstrates (as worst-case scenario) how MyACTIVITYCalendar lets users spot any issues immediately and very easily. In this scenario I think the sales team responsible would have some explaining to do!
Let’s take a look at what things should look like – as I prefer to air on the side of positive reality, rather than dwell on the apocalyptic negative.
OK, so now if I’m a Sales Manager I might be a great deal less concerned than in the previous example. Clearly there are a great number of various types of activity scheduled against the list of the open opportunities, although September is looking rather light, so that likely would need some further investigation.
However, it doesn’t stop there. If we want to interrogate a little further, we can select individual opportunities, or any number of opportunities in the list to display only activities associated to those we select.
Below you can now see that from the entire list we’ve only selected opportunities for Product 1 and Product 2. This results in our seeing a number of tasks that relate to these opportunities. However, there are no phone calls scheduled and no appointment activities. This would give cause for some concern and would certainly warrant some further investigation.
Using MyACTIVITYCalendar to take a good ‘honest’ look at what is going on in the world of sales opportunity management is really very beneficial, both from a manager’s perspective and also from that for a sales person. It’s great, and frankly should be essential, to be able to see easily how well engaged in opportunities we are. If we are not, at least we can go and rectify our activity actions or re-qualify the validity of the sales opportunity pipeline. The likelihood is that if there are opportunities that have no activities associated to them, then they are not likely to be real opportunities at all and as such shouldn’t be in the list in the first place.
MyACTIVITYCalendar helps to validate pipeline and saves users a great deal of time hunting through activity lists and running complicated advanced queries to provide views of related activities for teams and individuals. The productivity gains achieved from using MyACTIVITYCalendar are very significant.
In the next blog we’ll look at how the same principles as we’ve used for sales opportunities apply to help improve managing Cases.