Playbooks in Dynamics 365 For Sales

One of the great strengths of the Dynamics 365 platform is it’s ability to allow organisations to configure their own business processes. Workflow, business rules and business process flows, have, for some time, been used to define and apply businesses processes, supporting users in their day to day work.

Earlier this year, a new tool in this “process arsenal” appeared in Dynamics 365, namely, Playbooks.

Before I go into the benefits that Playbooks can provide, lets look at the business problem they are trying to solve, and the outcome they are trying to drive. For example, lets say you are a sales organisation, your team are working on a major opportunity, and there is a change of decision maker on the prospect side. Your organisation may have ways that you approach such an occurance, but it is something that is not done regularly or reliably by all of the sales team. This is where Playbooks can help!

How do Playbooks Work?

Playbooks allow you to define a set of key activities that are to be carried out under a certain condition, or scenario, such as the one highlighted above. Once this even occurs on our opportunity, the salesperson can launch the playbook.

Playbooks are launched from the ribbon bar

The saleperson is then able to chose from a set of playbooks that have been defined by the organisation. In this instance, we will select the “Change of Decision Maker” playbook.

Users can choose from a list of organisation defined Playbooks

Once a playbook is launched, it will generate a set of pre-defined tasks that are designed to help the saleperson (or team) navigate through the scenario they find themselves in, and hopefully drive towards a successful outcome for the organisation, such as engaging with the new decision maker in this case. One of the great features of playbooks, is that tasks can be generated with due dates that are relative to the date you initiate the play. For example, you can specify that a call should be placed to the old decision maker within 1 day, and that a meeting should be set with the new decision maker within a week!

A set of pre-defined tasks are generated for the playbook

As users work their way through the playbook, progress is tracked, highlighting how many of the activities have been completed.

I believe that playbooks offer the following benefits to sales teams

  • Allow tried and tested plays/approaches to be standardised across the team
  • Support training of new team members by guiding them through plays
  • Improve visibility of where opportunities are in your process
  • Drive towards improved outcomes for your organisations by adopting methods/plays that are proven to work.

Another key thing to point out however, is that playbooks aren’t just restricted to being used with opportunities. You can also apply playbooks to;

  • Accounts
  • Contacts
  • Leads
  • Quotes
  • Orders
  • Invoices

So, you’re covered for the entire lead to invoice process!

Look out for an upcoming post on setting up Playbooks.

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