How to rename Business Process Flow stages in Microsoft Dynamics without disconnecting your sales pipeline

I think we can all agree that every customer has their own unique business processes. If you are running Microsoft Dynamics 365 v8.2 or Dynamics 365 v9.0, CRM 2016, the pre-defined stages available within the Business Process Flow (BPF) might not suffice. So in this blog post, I will go over customizing BPF stages and renaming them for a custom flow without disconnecting your sales pipeline. Note: if your business only needs out of the box stages i.e. qualify, develop, propose, close from the Lead to Opportunity BPF or any other existing ones, this blog might not be for you.

Based on my experience at FMT Consultants, 80% of the CRM implementations are not using out of the box stage names. So I am sure you're still with me!

Now let’s dig into to it by examining the “Lead to Opportunity Sales process.” As you may know, the attribute attached to the famous Sales Pipeline chart is called “Pipeline Phase”. This attribute changes every time the user clicks on next/previous or set active stage.

The question is: What happens if we want to rename the existing stages from the “edit process” option? Do these change automatically for the sales pipeline? The answer is NO!

This represents a little bit of trouble simply because if those are not being updated, your sales pipeline will be wrong.

So, what do we do now? Well, the key is in the “sales category” global option set. Let’s take a quick look:

Dynamics 365 Stage Category

Do you see how these options are listed? These are a combination of the ones available in Opportunities and Cases. The answer resides in updating those options. As long as you are following the correct order, they will be updating accordingly.

Let’s go through the whole scenario. Let’s rename the Develop, Propose and Close stages as Execution, Quote and Finalize respectively.

Dynamics 365 Lead to Opportunity Sales Process

Dynamics 365 Lead Opportunity Sales Process Update

Easy to note that even we have changed the stages, the pipeline phase value it has not.

Dynamics 365 Opportunity Pipeline

Let’s go back to the global option set “sales category” and update the options accordingly (don’t forget to save and publish). The result should look like the following:

Dynamics 365 Power Apps Stage Category

Now, let’s play with the stages, you will notice the pipeline phase attribute is updated as expected when you click on next/previous or set active.

Dynamics 365 Opportunity Pipeline update

There you go, to validate the result let’s take a look at the sales pipeline chart:

Dynamics 365 Sales Activity Dashboard

Lastly, keep in mind the following considerations:

  1. Existing/New Opportunities. As far as new records this will work fine, however, for the existing ones, you will need to update the pipeline phase attribute. This attribute is a textbox type and you can either use the edit option by selecting more than two records or if you have a lot of them, maybe a workflow.
  2. Adding more stages to the standard BPF. The same process should work ok.

That’s a wrap!  I hope this small trick can help you with your new or ongoing projects with Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement. If you need additional assistance, contact us by filling out the form below.

 FMT Consultants, LLC.
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