8th Day of CRMas: Business Process Flows: The Gift That Keeps On Giving!

8th Day of CRMas: Business Process Flows: The Gift That Keeps On Giving!

Well well well, the CRM product team has really outdone themselves this time. As if Business Process Flows weren’t cool enough! BPF’s are an excellent way for users to provide guided visualization of processes that match their internal business processes to make CRM more real and meaningful in their organization. We love leveraging them for sales cycles, case management, and many other aspects of our customers’ business where a process has been established and CRM can reflect it. We have written several blogs on how to use this excellent feature in CRM to enhance user experience and add value and user adoption to your implementation.


So exactly what enhancements (yes MULTIPLE!) to this already great feature did CRM Santa deliver on his sleigh this Christmas? Well we are glad you asked and happy to answer! and there are quite a few!

Let’s start with an excellent new enhancement called “Branching”. Yes, that’s correct, BRANCHING! In other words users now have the ability to have a BPF contain different branches or directions the process flow will go in based on certain criteria. So now Business Process Flows change the next stage or future stages with user input from the current stage. For example, let’s say you have a Case Management Process, and you want to have the Customer Service rep take steps A, B, and C to handle all cases BUT for cases where the priority is “high” and the customer is a “VIP” customer you want the customer service rep to take steps A, D, and E rather than A, B, and C. Well with the new “Branching” enhancement you can do that! And it’s pretty simple too!

In order to set up branching, you simply add a branch instead of inserting a new stage (they put this new button right next to the insert stage button, so you can’t miss it!). Then, you set up your conditions and insert the alternate stages based on those conditions. Awesome huh? We think so too.


Now, we could stop there, because branching is awesome, but it’s Christmas and MSFT was really feeling the Christmas spirit so they decided to be even more generous with the BPF enhancements.

So what could we possibly add to our list now? Well they made it prettier! No, really, they gave the editor a facelift! Now the BPFs have a single edit view where you can edit the Stage and step configuration, Branching rules, and Select entity relationships all in a single pane!


But wait, there’s more! Previously in CRM 2013, you could only loop back to the primary entity once. Now you can loop back on an entity multiple times. Within CRM 2015, a Business Process can now go into and out of the entity loop as many times as it is necessary. For example the BPF could start with the Case entity, branch into a stage with the case entity, then go into a phone call (where the Customer Service Rep is calling the Customer), back out to the case (After the call is resolved) and then continues on deeper into various other branches with other entities looping back to the case entity (perhaps to facilitate the CSR submitting a return or reorder).

And we are NOT done yet either. Before in CRM 2013 you could only use entities with predefined 1:N relationships. Now you can use any entities that are enabled for BPF (most standard entities can be enabled for this and ALL custom ones can be) AND you can select the relationship that you want to use!


Also, after branching, the merged stage will allow the selection of previous stage relationships. These different branched stages could contain a unique relationship with different field mappings. This is important as it allows you to dictate a relationship based on the branches that merged ensuring the proper data is mapped over…. Whew, that was a lot! Okay, so now we are done.

So the newest enhancements make an already great feature even more relevant and useful for your CRM implementation and we are quite pleased to deliver the good news. Clearly this year the Business Process Flows are the gift that keeps on giving!