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Are Your Salespeople Dialing-It-In?

If you were ever wondering where the figure-of-speech came from to “dial-it-in,” (or, maybe more relevantly — if you know very well where it came from) then I believe this article may be of interest to you.  Geo-Tracking Salesperson Appointments is a common request for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 implementations.  Client organizations are looking to provide analytics to regional sales managers as to whether the salespeople are dialing-it-in or stepping-up-to-the-plate (in-person, not virtually).

Geo-Tracking Salesperson Appointments

Geo-Tracking Salesperson AppointmentsI’ll start off with an out-of-the-box Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online trial, and add CWR Mobility functionality (also via a 30-day trial), as we implement the building blocks for Geo-Tracking Salesperson Appointments.  We might also suggest a bake-off with the Mobile CRM product from Resco if you like, but we’re focusing here on keeping it simple and wanted to just pick one vendor solution and get started.  A future article may compare and contrast an approach using the Resco technology.  By the way, both solutions are fairly competitive in price; and both offer functionality over-and-above what’s available with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Mobile App — which is still an excellent solution in it’s own right.

CWR Mobility provides us with a simple piece of JavaScript that enables the system to capture the Latitude and Longitude when an Appointment record is loaded from the mobile device.  I’m assuming that the Appointments are created from the home office, for the most part, and the outside salesperson is calling on the account or prospect in person.

I’ll create a couple of fields on the Appointment form for Latitude and Longitude; and I’ll create a couple more fields for address and check-in / check-out notes.

The out-of-the-box Appointment entity will be used for the Scheduled Appointments.  We’ll have the address in the originating Contact or Account (the Regarding field).  When we create the appointments we’ll bring in the address fields from the originating entity via a real-time workflow.  The PowerMap geo-coding feature of the Power Objects PowerPack solution will then allow those Appointments to be geo-coded based on the address.

When the out-of-the-box Appointment form is updated in the field by the outside salesperson, I’ll have another workflow create a second entity — essentially a cloned entity, which will also have Latitude and Longitude fields — only in this case the Latitude and Longitude fields won’t be populated via geo-coding based on the address, but rather based on the actual geo-positioning data pulled in by the mobile device when the user updates the Appointment.  To trigger the change, we may require the salesperson to “Check-In” when they get to the Appointment, and “Check-Out” when they conclude the Appointment.

Now, I have two different entities that should have matching geo-coded (Latitude / Longitude) info.  One would be the “Scheduled Appointment,” and the other would be the “Actual Appointment.”  I would have two separate views for the Appointments, and use similar filtering criteria for each, like Joe Salesguy’s Scheduled Appointments for the Week vs. Joe Salesguy’s Actual Completed Appointments for the Week.  Each of the two entities / views gets added to a PowerMap (part of the PowerPack app from Power Objects), and each gets a separate color push-pin.

Now you can envision that on the map, our Regional VP of Sales will be able to see if Joe Salesguy is stepping-up-to-the-plate on a daily basis, or if he’s just dialing-it-in!

Detailed configuration info to follow.  Please feel free to add comments / questions, below; or contact us for more info on Microsoft Dynamics CRM Consulting Services.

 

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