The Basics of Dynamics 365 for Sales

The Basics of Dynamics 365 for Sales

Dashboards, Accounts, Contacts, Leads, & Opportunities

As a Microsoft Enterprise Partner, Opal Business Solutions helps customers with their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) needs by offering Dynamics 365 for Sales. When introducing a new CRM system in your business, it’s important that employees know the basic entities.

Users who are brand new to Dynamics 365 should understand the basics including, Dashboards, Accounts, Contacts, Leads, and Opportunities.  Although there are additional out of the box areas, these are the main entities to build your sales pipeline.


When you first log into Dynamics 365, you’ll see a dashboard with lists & charts—this gives you a big picture at a glance.

  • Dashboards provide quick details on your sales pipeline, progress statuses and active deals.
  • There are about 20 out of the box dashboards, however, additional customized dashboards can be created to fit each individual needs


  • There are about 20 out of the box dashboards, however, additional customized dashboards can be created to fit each individual needs


  • Here you can see list of accounts within your Dynamics 365 organization: Accounts are companies or vendors that your organization will be doing business with
  • If you click on an account in the list (hyperlink), the account card will appear
  • The account is the top-level record that you can use to track valuable pieces of information for existing customers/vendors
    • You can track activities such as phone calls, tasks, emails, appointments


Tracking contacts allows you to capture information on an individual that may or may not have an account

  • With most entities, you can change the view of your contact list from MY ACTIVE CONTACTS which you are the owner to ACTIVE CONTACTS (Depending on permissions and security, similar to most entities, you may only see the information available to you)
  • Like the account we have our activities pane that will show the most recent activity such as a phone call, email, and tasks for follow up.
  • We can also track the opportunities where the contact is the primary contact
  • Contact preferences can also be set for each contact which details how they prefer to be contacted

How to use Dynamics 365 to manage your sales pipeline

Navigating back to Dashboards and you will see the Sales Activity Dashboard— this dashboard makes up the sales activity for your leads and opportunities

Lead- like accounts, you have a Leads “view”- View ALL open leads or “My Leads”

Leads are Sales engagements regarding a company or individual that you have limited knowledge on who they are and what they are inquiring. Within your sales process, you’ll be able to figure out if your solution can help them.

  • Within the lead record you have key information that should be captured; including information about the individual including name, job title, email, company etc.
  • You can also capture information about their purchase engagement including purchase time frame, budget, and purchase process
  • As your complete each step, a check mark will appear indicating that we completed that step. These steps help define specific sales process qualifications milestones within your business process flows.

Once all steps to configure a lead are finshed in the end, the goal is to either Qualify or Disqualify.

When you disqualify a lead you can choose different reasons why they are disqualifed

  • This means you are taking them out of the sales process, for now
  • If you have a disqualified lead, you can simply reactivate it and all the details you had before are still in the system and still available for use
  • If you deleted the lead, not only is the lead deleted, but all the related information is lost as well, including any activities, notes, or posts

If you qualify, you’re going to continue through your sales process.

  • When you qualify a lead, it automatically gets turned into an opportunity and a Contact and an Account are created, based on the name and company fields, respectively


Once the lead has been converted to an opportunity, this represents a potential sale that has either qualified from a lead. NOTE: An Opportunity can be created directly from a Contact or Account

  • Within the opportunity record, you can see numerous pieces of information

For example, progressing to the next stage in your pipeline “DEVELOP STAGE” & complete new steps that go along with that stage

  • You can also track stakeholders, team members, competitors, & products
  • After all information is entered into an opportunity, you can also generate a quote that automatically pulls the information from the opportunity


At the completion of an opportunity, you can record as WON OR LOST

  • Won
    • Customer agreed to work with you and accepts your proposal

Status changed to won, set to a status of inactive

  • Lost
    • Indicates that the customer decided to not move forward
    • Status changed to Lost, remains in the system as an inactive
    • Just like with leads, sometimes customers change their mind. And if they change their mind and want to re-engage with you, all you need to do is go back to the opportunity, click reopen opportunity, and now the status goes from out-sold to in progress

If you are you interested in learning more or feel that your company isn’t using Dynamics 365 for Sales to its fullest advantage, reach out to Opal Business Solutions. We would be more than happy to help!