The views functionality in Dynamics CRM enables users and managers to develop their own cuts (views) of data for any object in CRM. Advanced searches can not only be saved, but users can even add key fields to a view, making it simple to see the right information. By configuring a new activities view, managers can get a quick glimpse of who their reps are calling over a specific timeframe, say over the last three weeks.
Microsoft also greatly enhanced the Excel integration with Dynamics CRM 3.0. Individual views of data can be exported to Excel as a static list. Even more powerful, however, is the ability to create a custom Excel pivot table report that includes a live, secured link back to CRM. Using the pivot table functionality, users can select the specific fields they would like to see in their report, lay out the report exactly as they want, and over time, refresh the report with new data. Report refreshes leverage the user's active directory credentials to limit the data that can be displayed – so individual reps may only see their data while managers and executives can see team summaries. Most of our Dynamics CRM customers use the Excel integration to create quick reports to answer pressing business questions, like who made the most calls last week. What's great is that these reports can be created without the need for a database administrator and can be easily added as report links within CRM.
By incorporating SQL Reporting Services, Microsoft has enabled organizations to better manage their business by tracking the key performance indicators that are critical for each client's business. While Microsoft provides a number of sales reports out of the box – neglected leads, sales pipeline, etc. we've rarely found two sales managers that ever wanted the same pipeline report. SQL Reporting Services is a robust platform for creating these custom business reports. The reports can be accessed directly from within CRM and can include embedded links to CRM records – so reps and managers can open opportunities or accounts directly from their pipeline report to make changes. SQL Reporting Services also offers incredible export capabilities – to Excel, Adobe PDF, and other formats – as well as the ability to email reports on a scheduled basis, which is great for weekly sales team or executive review meetings. We have helped our customers develop both custom pipeline and activity reports that enable managers to better pinpoint who is most effectively leveraging CRM across the organization.
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