Tip #46: Don’t combine multiple sales process tracking methods

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, the Business Process Flow is a great way to keep track of where you are in your sales (or any other type of) process. There are also other methods, left over from previous versions of CRM, such as the Close Probability field and Sales Stage field.

It can be tempting (especially if you are upgrading and use one of the alternate methods to track sales process stage) to try to use multiple methods–we already have sales stage set for all existing opportunities, why don’t we use sales stage and also use process stage?

This is not the recommended best practice.

  • Process stage and sales stage are not tied together–there is no relationship
  • You can update sales stage when the process stage changes, but it gets messy. If you use a workflow to update sales stage, the workflow will run every time the process stage changes. In CRM 2013, the process stage can only be moved one stage at a time. That means if someone moves the process stage from stage 1 to stage 6, the workflow will fire six times. Since CRM has infinite loop detection that prevents a workflow from running seven times on the same times on the same record in one hour, you will probably see some cases where the values will be out of sync.
  • Any place you can display the sales stage, you can also display the process stage. On the form, the current process stage is visible from the form in the business process flow. The process stage can also be displayed in views, and by extension can also be displayed in charts. Probably the only thing that you can do with sales stage that you can’t do with process stage is sort the view, because it is in a different entity.

Don’t try to combine multiple sales process tracking methods. Pick one and go with it.

2 thoughts on “Tip #46: Don’t combine multiple sales process tracking methods

  1. […] you decided to follow tip 46 and use process flows instead of the sales stage field. How do you update your existing records? […]

  2. […] Dynamics CRM Tip of the Day #46 states only one tracking method should be utilized – either the “old” sales stage field or the new business process flow. The blog provides several valid arguments for the stance. If you opt for business process flows, you may want to add the process and current stage/step into your views. When an entity is enabled for business process flows, two fields are automatically added to entity: 1) processid and 2) stageid. When these two fields are added to a view, only the GUIDs are displayed. […]

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