CRM 4.0 Sales Process workflow observations and best practices.

There are several attributes in the opportunity entity which are used to relate the sales process stages, the opportunity form, and the sales pipeline report.

The Pipeline Phase “stepname” attribute is used to communicate the stage in the sales process in the bottom right-hand corner of the opportunity form. This is not used in the Sales Pipeline report but should be modified at each step in the sales process to match the step name of the sales process and thus communicate the sales process stage of to the person viewing the opportunity.

The Probability “closeprobabilitity” attribute is used to provide a weighted revenue forecast and can be updated in the opportunity form (unless you manually disable it) or can be updated by the sales process.

· The Process Code “salestagecode” attribute is a user customizable code that represents the current stage of an opportunity in a manual sales process. Designed to support manual sales processes upgraded from earlier versions of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This attribute is not used in the sales process or the sales pipeline report

Here are some sales process workflow best practices:

1 Always include stages in the sales process workflow with names such as “Stage 1: Initiate”


2 the first step in each stage should be an “Update Record” of the opportunity to change Pipeline Phase to match the sales process stage name.WindowsLiveWriterCRM42

3 If you are automatically updating the Probability in your sales process, that should be included in the previous “Update Record”.

4 If you use multiple sales processes with a master process to determine which one to use based on a set of criteria , the master process should not have stages as it will confuse the issue for reporting.

Sales Pipeline Report

The sales pipeline report can show a graphical representation of all the opportunities of a particular sales process workflow by stage.  This is accomplished by the following:

1 Open the reports folder and select the Sales Pipeline Report.

2 Enter the appropriate criteria on the filter when it appears.

3 Choose a sales process from the list in the “Group by Sales Process” box.

4 In the “group by” box, choose sales stage.

5 The report will contain one vertical bar for each stage in the selected sales process.  The titles for these bars the bottom of the report are from the opportunity workflow stage description.





Steve Noe

About stephenvnoe

CRM & XRM solution architect and project lead. I provide CRM design, services, mentoring & support to all manner of front office solutions and CRM projects.
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