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It’s very common in certain types of sales for reps to spend a good portion of their time making calls or visiting prospects. In this case, the data entry needs to be quick and NOT require going to multiple places to enter data. Did you know that sales processes can be streamlined with a multi-entity dialog in Dynamics CRM? They can! (If you need an introduction to dialogs, you might want to read the blog What is a Dialog in Microsoft Dynamics CRM to find out the basics.)

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In the example below, sales needs to document an in-person visit including the account, primary contact, billing contact, the cold call visit activity and a follow-up activity. To help them, we would create a multi-entity dialog box with logic to make the necessary relationships. The following is a guide to how we built the dialog and attached it to the accounts ribbon bar.

For this scenario, we will assume that the client needs to configure the account entity to include lookup fields for two types of contacts: a primary contact and a billing contact. The dialog is built with this configuration in mind, but you can alter this to suit your individual needs.

Create a new Dialog

  1. Navigate to Settings > Processes, and click New to create a blank dialog.
  2. Choose User for the entity. In this case we use several different entities, so we will tie it to a user and call it from the ribbon bar.

Multi-entity Dialog in Dynamics CRM

Create Stage 1 – Account

  1. Create a new stage for Account.
  2. Within the new stage, create a page.
  3. Inside the page, create a prompt and response object for Account Name.Simplifying Data Entry with a Multi-entity Dialog in Dynamics CRM
  4. Repeat the process for the remaining fields that you want to capture for the Account entity. Your page should look like this.

Simplifying Data Entry with a Multi-entity Dialog in Dynamics CRM

Create Stage 2 – Primary Contact

  1. Create a new stage for Primary Contact.
  2. Within the new stage, create a page.
  3. Inside the page, create a prompt and response objects for your primary contact fields.

Simplifying Data Entry with a Multi-entity Dialog in Dynamics CRM

Create Stage 3 – Billing Contact

  1. Create a new stage for Billing Contact.
  2. Within the new stage, create a page.
  3. Inside the page, create a prompt and response objects for your billing contact fields.

Simplifying Data Entry with a Multi-entity Dialog in Dynamics CRM

Create a stage for creating the Account Record

  1. Create a new stage.
  2. Create a step to create the Account record and fill in the values that were created in the prompt and response items in stage 1.

    Simplifying Data Entry with a Multi-entity Dialog in Dynamics CRM

  3. Add a condition step to determine if a primary contact was entered in Stage 2. If so, create a step to create the primary contact record.
  4. Add another condition step to determine if a billing contact was entered in Stage 3. If so, create a step to create the billing contact record.
  5. Create a step to update the account with the new created primary and billing contacts.
  6. Your completed stage should like this:

Simplifying Data Entry with a Multi-entity Dialog in Dynamics CRM

Create Stage 4 – Add Cold Call Visit record, save the activity and close it.

  1. Create a new stage to represent the Cold Call Visit activity.
  2. Create a page and create prompt and response objects to gather data about the visit.
  3. Create a step to create the cold call activity.
  4. Create a step to update the activity with a closed status.

Simplifying Data Entry with a Multi-entity Dialog in Dynamics CRM

Create Stage 5 – Create a follow-up activity

  1. Create a new stage to represent the follow-up activity.
  2. Create a new page and prompt and response objects to gather the type of activity, description and due date.
  3. Create a condition for each type of activity and if that condition is met, create a step to create the activity with values from the prompt and response.

    Simplifying Data Entry with a Multi-entity Dialog in Dynamics CRM

Review, Activate and Test your Dialog

  1. Review your dialog and activate it when you are ready to test.
  2. Since we assigned this dialog to the user entity, switch over to the enabled user view in the administration tab.
  3. Select any user and click Start Dialog from the ribbon bar.
  4. In the pop-up window, you should see your new dialog.
  5. Click the dialog and click OK to begin testing
  6. Your dialog should look something like the following screens depending on how your configured your pages.

Simplifying Data Entry with a Multi-entity Dialog in Dynamics CRM

 

Simplifying Data Entry with a Multi-entity Dialog in Dynamics CRM

Simplifying Data Entry with a Multi-entity Dialog in Dynamics CRM

Simplifying Data Entry with a Multi-entity Dialog in Dynamics CRM

Simplifying Data Entry with a Multi-entity Dialog in Dynamics CRM

Create the JavaScript to load the dialog

  1. When testing the dialog, click Ctrl-N on your keyboard to create a new full internet explorer window and grab the dialog GUID from the address bar.
  2. Create a new web resource and create a JavaScript function to load the dialog.
  3. The JavaScript uses the XRM.Page object to find the dialog and then opens up the dialog in a new window.

Simplifying Data Entry with a Multi-entity Dialog in Dynamics CRM

Create a ribbon bar button for your dialog

  1. Using a tool such as the Visual Ribbon Bar Editor, create a new ribbon bar button and assign it to the account form or any other desired location.
  2. In the action section, add the following action to call the dialog box. The function name will be the same as you identified in the previous step.

Simplifying Data Entry with a Multi-entity Dialog in Dynamics CRM

Conclusion

The multi-entity dialog box can be a significant time saver for sales reps who need who frequently enter repetitive data. This process also relieves the sales reps from having to make the required relationships using the out-of-the box lookup windows. While we used a fairly simple solution around a cold call visit, the options are wide open to create additional multi-entity dialogs. You can save even more time by making a repeatable Dialog in Microsoft Dynamics CRM!

Happy CRM’ing!

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Joe D365

Joe D365 is a Microsoft Dynamics 365 superhero who runs on pure Dynamics adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe D365’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics 365 and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.