Managing various tasks and completing them on time is challenging. Before you know it, your schedule will be cluttered with incomplete tasks. All tasks would have something to add, clearing your to-do list.
To successfully manage your day, you need to find a tool that interfaces well with your CRM, where you manage all the projects.
The calendar can be used for project management. For this, you need a plugin that integrates with Dynamics 365 CRM and adds all the calendar functionality to CRM.
If you integrate the right tool with your CRM, you will be able to:
- ●: Manage projects from the calendar
- ●: Use different points of view to get a better idea
- ●: Track employee activity
- ●: Share the calendar with colleagues
- ●: Color code different activities
All of this can be done using two types of calendars: the organization calendar and the resource calendar.
First, let’s learn more about organization calendars.
Entity calendar allows users to visualize any Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM entity in a calendar. You can view all CRM projects and all activities created so far within that project. When you hover over an activity, it will show other important information like start date, end date, resource allocated to it and much more.
Basically, calendars come with different views like TopDown, Gantt, Agenda and Timeline view for users to choose the best one for them. For example, the Gantt view is perfect for project management. It shows all the action clearly and is easy to visualize.
Moreover, you can also color code the activities. For example, if the color code leaves green, tasks orange, birthdays blue, phone calls yellow, it becomes easy to find all the greens and yellows on the calendar and just check if there are any resources or if you have phone calls scheduled. You get all this information without any clicks, just by looking at your calendar. While it can filter out different activities, colors help distinguish multiple activities when visualizing them.
Speaking of filters, there are other filter options to find current, completed, or canceled tasks. So if you want to see only completed tasks for a project, you can filter it and have only completed tasks in the calendar.
Here we visualized the calendar with CRM entities in mind. But if you want to track resource productivity, you’ll need a resource calendar.
Resource calendars help you visualize the resources associated with different projects or activities. Just filter by username, team or business unit.
The calendar only views activities that are assigned to the selected resource. Again, you will have different types of views, choose the one you like.
Task priority, color coding, task status, and activity types are some of the filters available in the calendar designed to incorporate project management.
Are these two different calendars?
Not true. Yes, these calendars focus on different views, but are part of one calendar app.
When you integrate Calendar 365 with your Dynamics 365 CRM, you get access to three different types of calendars. Resource, organization and client calendar. As the name suggests, the resource calendar keeps resources central and is designed to help you keep track of resource activity, while the organization calendar allows you to select any entity. Whether you use it for project management, or to book a conference room at the office, or to view reserved rooms at your hotel, the organization calendar is suitable for all types of businesses. All fields are customizable. A customer calendar focuses on customers and helps you visualize all the activities for a given customer.
Why is the Dynamics 365 calendar app better than other standalone calendar apps?
When a CRM user uses a standalone calendar application for schedule management, they must update the calendar and CRM after completing a task. This is a tedious task and, if forgotten, can cause confusion for those viewing it.
However, there are some calendar apps that allow users to integrate CRM with it. In this case, you must choose a premium plan to use this feature. The app uses other third-party extensions like Zapier to integrate CRM.
This adds to the cost. Also limits user customization options.
But when you use a Dynamics 365 calendar app, it integrates directly with your Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM.
Thus, it eliminates the need for additional payment and goes a long way in integrating CRM. Here are some more features like meeting schedule to make your day more productive. These features are must-haves for an all-in-one CRM to make the most of the app.
1. Meeting links and lead qualification forms
Traditionally, the sales team manually organized meetings and distributed them among team members.
However, treating all meetings equally can result in losing potential customers. It’s critical to quickly identify high-value leads by gathering basic information about them, such as their industry, company size, and location.
To effectively qualify leads and assign them to the appropriate team members, you need to implement forms that contain this important information. These forms should be simple, concise and require only basic details.
Your calendar should include a feature that asks relevant questions and collects basic information before providing a booking link. Behind the scenes, the system can automatically redirect links to the appropriate person based on industry type and company size.
Avoid long forms to ensure effectiveness. Focus on asking only relevant questions, allowing prospects to fill out the form in under a minute. Once the meeting link, time, and date have been shared, you can display a “Thank you” message to confirm their submission.
2. Timing of team meetings using polls
Organizing a team meeting that accommodates participants in different time zones can be difficult. Finding a time that works for everyone can be difficult.
Organizations need to avoid managers or meeting schedulers spending valuable time searching for the ideal meeting time. Instead, calendars should include a voting system.
By asking invitees for their preferred meeting times, rather than guessing and rescheduling later, a meeting organizer can share a meeting request that contains multiple clocks. The final meeting time will be based on a time agreed upon by all participants.
In case the participants are in different time zones, the calendar should automatically adjust the meeting time to their respective time zones. Meeting requests are especially useful when you’re planning one-off meetings and trying to determine a common time that works for all guests.
This polling feature can be integrated into the meeting schedule. When someone initiates a meeting, they can choose whether or not to take a poll. If they choose a survey, the meeting can be scheduled after all invitees have selected their preferred times and the results are available.
3. Integration with video calling apps
Scheduling appointments manually leaves room for potential errors, such as forgetting to include essential details. When it comes to virtual meetings, organizations typically use video calling apps like Zoom.
To solve the problem of forgetting to add a video meeting link after scheduling, the calendar should be integrated with video calling applications. It should automatically create a video conference link for the scheduled event. Any changes or updates to the meeting, including cancellations or postponements, must be reflected immediately.
When scheduling a meeting, the user should be able to select the video calling platform they intend to use. therefore, the calendar will automatically include the meeting link in the event description, ensuring that all invitees receive the necessary details along with the invitation.
4. Limiting access to common tasks/events
Managers strive to ensure that standardized best practices are followed by everyone on the team. To facilitate this, they often document procedures and related tasks.
To prevent falsification of important details or misinformation between team members, these guidelines can be shared with all team members. Individuals can update their progress on tasks while keeping managers informed.
However, it is common to find instances where team members deviate from established processes.
To solve this problem, organizations can implement event locking, which allows them to share event details with all employees while preventing unauthorized changes. Only the event owner has the authority to make changes.
Meeting descriptions, notification details, and invitee questions can be locked down, especially for a sales team that regularly interacts with customers.
5. Distribution of meetings
As mentioned earlier, automating appointment allocation without proper insights can result in some team members getting more appointments and others less. Such an unequal division of labor is unfair.
Calendars should track the number of meetings assigned to each team member to ensure a fair workload distribution. If someone has already been assigned more meetings, they should not receive any more until the other team members have reached their workload.
By balancing the workload among team members, everyone can be treated equally, avoiding situations where individuals are overwhelmed with tasks. This tracking process can be automated, eliminating the need for manual assignment or calculation. Administrators can also customize the tasks assigned to the sales team based on priorities.
Implementing such features can help your team increase productivity. Consider these features when looking for a calendar for better scheduling. For Dynamics 365 CRM users, an app seems like the best idea.